Tag: Awards

Lawrence opera program recognized with national award — again

The hits just keep on coming for Lawrence University’s opera studies program.

For the second straight year, Lawrence has garnered national recognition. Its 2016 production of “The Beggar’s Opera,” which was performed last February at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, was awarded first-place honors in the 2015-16 National Opera Association’s (NOA) Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

A photo of Lawrence University students in the university's opera production "The Beggar Opera."
Lawrence’s 2016 production of “The Beggar Opera” earned first-place honors in the National Opera Association’s Division 6 Best Opera Production competition.

Lawrence earned top honors against competitors with graduate student programs, some of which are previous winners in the category.

The college’s first micro-opera production, “Expressions of Acceptance,” which was performed at the PAC in November 2015, tied for third place in the 2015-16 NOA’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“This is a win for all of Lawrence because opera is a huge, intricate event,” said Copeland Woodruff, who joined the college in the fall of 2014 as director of opera studies. “Opera incorporates all of the disciplines — singing, instrumental solo and ensemble, collaborative piano, theatre design and technical craft, acting, choreography, stage combat, research in history, literature, art, sociology, psychology and of course administrative assistance to make it all happen. We are so lucky to have such a supportive, collaborative environment at Lawrence that fosters this type of exploration.”

“Expressions of Acceptance” was a collaborative effort between Woodruff, Margaret Paek, director of Lawrence’s dance program and Matt Turner, director of the ensemble Improvisation Group of Lawrence University (IGLU) in conjunction with Lawrence’s student organization GLOW and Celebrate Diversity Fox Cities, Riverview Gardens and COTS. Through , 5-8 minute micro-operas, it examined issues and experiences that both bind people together as well as differentiate us. The pieces were perrformed in non-traditional places in the PAC, including stairwells, bathrooms and even an elevator.

“I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.”
      — Copeland Woodruff, director of opera studies

This was the second year in a row Lawrence was recognized nationally for its opera program. In 2015, Lawrence earned first-place honors in the undergraduate division of the Collegiate Opera Scenes competition at the joint national conventions of NOA and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Lawrence’s 2015 production of “The Tender Land” earned second-place honors the NOA’s Best Opera Production competition.

A photo of Lawrence University students in the university's micro-opera.
Lawrence’s micro-opera production “Expressions of Acceptance” earned third-place recognition the National Opera Association’s Division 1 Best Opera Production competition.

“These awards allow our students to garner a idea of where they stand among their peers,” said Woodruff, who will accept the awards in person in January at the 2017 NOA national convention in Santa Barbara, Calif.  “I’m so proud of the dedication, hard work and long hours everyone devoted to crafting these memorable, landmark experiences. I am thrilled that our students’ talent is recognized and revered by our peers across the nation.

“Being remote from other opera companies and schools with opera programs, it is important for our students to participate in these competitions so that they can compare themselves with the pool of artists who will be their competitors for and colleagues in graduate schools, summer opera training programs and their eventual career,” Woodruff added.

The production competitions are based on an anonymously submitted video of the production. Judges, who are industry and academic professionals, base their decisions on criteria that includes musicianship of both singers and instrumentalists; dramatic credibility and characterization; production concept, staging and execution; and overall quality of the production. The scenes competition is based upon live performance at the national conference.

The divisions are based upon the size and scope of an institution’s music and opera program, level of vocal training of the singers and production budget.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence To Honor Nobel Prize Winner with Building Renaming Ceremony on Friday

Science Hall signs have been taken down to make way for the building's new name.
Science Hall signs have been taken down to make way for the building's new name.

Thomas Steitz

The Appleton community is invited to attend a special ceremony at Lawrence University Friday, June 11 when the college’s Science Hall will be renamed Thomas A. Steitz Hall of Science in honor of 1962 Lawrence graduate and 2009 Nobel Prize winner Thomas Steitz.

The ceremony, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Science Hall atrium, will include brief remarks by Lawrence President Jill Beck and Robert McMillan Professor of Chemistry Jerry Lokensgard.  The ceremony will conclude with the unveiling of a display commemorating Steitz’s Nobel Prize.

Steitz, who will not be in attendance at Friday’s ceremony, will be the featured speaker at Lawrence University’s 161st commencement on Sunday, June 13 beginning at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

“This is a fitting way for Lawrence to recognize one of our most distinguished graduates, by naming for Dr. Steitz the facility in which our current students are learning cutting-edge science,” Beck said. “His dedication and accomplishments serve as inspiration to all of our young, aspiring scientists. Having the building they learn and conduct research in bear his name will motivate them to consider all that is possible in their own careers.”

Last October, Steitz was named one of three recipients of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research that revealed the structure and function of ribosomes.   A few weeks later, the Lawrence University Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the nine-year-old Science Hall in Steitz’s honor.

A Milwaukee native and graduate of Wauwatosa High School, Steitz called the building renaming “a great honor from a university to which I owe so much.”

Steitz is the Sterling professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry and professor of chemistry at Yale University, where he has taught since 1970.

Warch Campus Center Wins Two Design Awards

Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center has been named one of Wisconsin Builder magazine’s 2009 Top Projects.

The program recognizes construction developments that, according to the magazine, “have made a difference in their communities, triumphed despite tricky circumstances or introduced a new technique to the industry, among other reasons.”

The city of Appleton’s new $17.85 million, 1,372-foot College Ave. bridge, which opened in late October, also was named one of the state’s top 30 projects.

The 2009 winners feature projects from across the state in a variety of sectors, including education, health care, religious, commercial, residential and infrastructure. The state’s “top” Top Project of 2009 will be announced at an awards dinner April 21 in Waukesha.

The Warch Campus Center, along with each of the other winning projects will be featured in the May issue of Wisconsin Builder.

The $35 million, 107,000-square-foot Warch Campus Center also was recognized with a Concrete Design Award by the Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association for the 11-county Northeast Region. The biannual award comes with an engraved concrete plaque in the shape of the state of Wisconsin.

In December, FOX CITIES Magazine, in its annual “Great Spaces Great Places” contest, named the Warch Campus Center the winner of its “Best New Construction” category.

Officially opened in September, 2009 the Warch Campus Center earned LEED-certified Gold status, the second highest designation on the green building four-level certification system by the U.S. Green Building Council for its sustainability and energy efficiency features.

Two Lawrence University Students Earn Outstanding Witness Awards at Mock Trial Tournament

APPLETON, WIS. — Two members of Lawrence University’s mock trial team made impressive debuts at a recent tournament in Milwaukee.

Sophomores Caitlin Fish and Karl Hailperin, neither of whom had any previous college mock trial experience, both earned outstanding witness awards March 1 for their performance at the 23-team American Mock Trial Association regional tournament hosted by Marquette University.

Fish and Hailperin were two of just 12 students recognized as outstanding witnesses from among nearly 100 students who participated in the tournament as witnesses. Fish portrayed defense witness Jan Patel, a star-crazed janitor, while Hailperin played Mickey McQuiggan, a crime scene investigator for the plaintiff.

Fish was ranked the top witness by 19 of 20 judges, placing her among the top four witnesses at the tournament. Hailperin earned top rankings from 17 of 20 judges.

The tournament “trial” was based on a libel lawsuit in which gubernatorial candidate Drew Walton sued the Blitz News Network (BNN) for reporting that Walton shot Lane Hamilton, a Midlands University Professor. Walton maintained that Hamilton committed suicide. Walton had to prove BNN published a false and defamatory statement of fact that damaged him, acting with reckless disregard of the truth in the process.

A total of 13 Lawrence students — 11 of whom had no previous mock trial experience — competed on two teams in the tournament, which included teams from the University of Chicago, Hamline University, Lake Forest College, the University of Minnesota and Northwestern University, among others.

Amy Risseeuw, an attorney with the Appleton law firm Peterson, Berk & Cross, is the coach of Lawrence’s mock trial team, while Assistant Professor of Government Steve Wulf serves as the team’s faculty advisor.

“I was very proud of the accomplishments of both of Lawrence’s teams,” said Risseeuw. “I was especially pleased with the work of Karl and Caitlin. Not only did they have an excellent command of their materials, they presented full-bodied witnesses with unique personalities. Their commitment to their characters allowed them to rise above the other competitors.”