Tag: community engagement

Lawrence supporting Homeless Connections by showcasing gardens at president’s house

Magnificent hostas, aromatic cat mint and splashes of daisies surrounding the Lawrence University president’s house will be publicly showcased Saturday, July 15 in support of efforts to combat local homelessness.

David Calle standing in president's house garden.
Master Gardener David Calle has created the gardens around the president’s home over the course of the past three years.

The beautiful planting beds accenting the president’s house, 229 N. Park St., Appleton will be one of six stops on the 27th annual Garden Walk: Sowing Seeds of Opportunity sponsored by Homeless Connections, a local non-profit organization working to end homelessness by connecting individuals and families to resources that promote self-sufficiency. The organization served nearly 2,000 people in 2016.

“Homelessness is a real issue in our community,” said Beth Servais, Homeless Connections’ community relations director. “The annual Garden Walk is not only a fundraising event for Homeless Connections, but it provides an opportunity to engage with community members by generating awareness of homelessness and communicating our mission of ending homelessness by connecting people to resources.

“We’re honored to be able to feature the garden of Lawrence President Mark Burstein’s home on our Garden Walk this year,” Servais added. “Lawrence’s active involvement with our organization, and others like ours, is vital to our community and we are grateful for their partnership.”

david Calle with potted succulents
Tropicals in over-sized pots line the patio.

Nominated by a member of the Homeless Connections Garden Walk Committee, this is the first time that a Lawrence garden is featured on the tour.

“I wanted to express our appreciation for the support provided by Lawrence University,” said Steven Schultz, chair of this year’s Homeless Connections Garden Walk. “We thank the Lawrence community for joining together to end homelessness in the Fox Valley.”

 

“We’re honored to be able to feature the garden of Lawrence President Mark Burstein’s home on our Garden Walk this year. Lawrence’s active involvement with our organization, and others like ours, is vital to our community and we are grateful for their partnership.”
— Beth Servais, community relations director, Homeless Connections

“For me it is exciting to see this as an invitation for the community to visit Lawrence as well as to work together to support the important local work that Homeless Connections does in helping people prevent and manage their way out of homelessness,” said David Calle, a Master Gardener and President Mark Burstein’s spouse, who created the gardens with assistance from Jim Sternat and John Adams of the Lawrence grounds team.

Calle’s design was inspired by the property’s 1904 house and his extensive travels abroad.

“When we moved to the Fox Cities four years ago, Mark and I wanted to create a garden where the Lawrence community could gather,” said Calle, who designed an arts and crafts garden with interconnected garden spaces and curved beds. “Most of the plants are original to the property or welcome gifts from friends and family. This new garden for an old house shows what is possible in just a few years.”

A series of three bird houses modeled after Lawrence University buildings.
Hand-built bird houses modeled on Lawrence University buildings are part of the “moon garden.”

The gardens include a front hosta border that leads to a side rock garden with succulents in hypertufa pots. That flows into the restful moon garden, with light-colored plants best enjoyed at dusk. A sculpture by Lawrence art professor Rob Neilson, set on an axis visible from the street, provides a focal point to draw visitors in.

Colorful shrubs, flowering bulbs and perennials surround the “Tent Lawn,” so named for the large tent used in the back yard for university commencement and reunion events.  Garden paths provide access to planting beds, a tall grass border to the south and a rain garden.

Close to the house, tropicals in over-sized pots frame an outdoor dining area. A series of bird houses, modeled after Lawrence’s Main Hall, Memorial Chapel, Mudd Library, and Wriston Art Center, and hand built by Calle, adorn the side of the garage.

“What makes this garden special is that it shows what is possible in creating a garden in just a few years,” said Calle, the garden’s designer, planter and care taker. “As a historically inspired garden, it also provides an example of a style that was popular in the early 1900’s when the house was built.”

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 leftovers: Student organizations helping to feed the Fox Cities

An old English proverb claims the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.

Lawrence University senior and Servant Leader Fellow Shang Li is applying a similar philosophy not for affection, but to improve the lives of hundreds of area residents.

A product of Lawrence’s innovation and entrepreneurship program, Food for Fox is the brainchild of Shang, Rachel Gregory and Malcolm Lunn-Craft and run with the help of the Lawrence Food Recovery Network team to reduce food waste while also providing a healthy meal for clients of two area non-profit organizations, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter and the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.
Helping to provide meals to area nonprofit organizations are Professor Mark Jenike, faculty advisor, Food for Fox co-founder Shang Li, Food Recovery Network co-presidents Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen and Food for Fox co-founders Malcolm Lunn-Craft and Rachel Gregory.

With the help of various student groups of volunteers — athletes, fraternity and sorority members, residents of theme houses and passionate individuals — unused food is collected from Andrew Commons, the Lawrence dining area, several evenings three weeks a month for twice-a-week deliveries of between 50 and 100 pounds of food to Harbor House. The collection the last week of the month is earmarked for a meal for children and their families at the Fox Cities Boys and Girls Club.

Beyond simple nutrition, Food for Fox’s goal is to support education of needy children through these donated meals.

“Food is a very powerful thing,” said Li. “We want to partner with local organizations to provide educational sessions for the children and their families on the importance of establishing healthy eating habits, especially at a young age.”

Gregory was drawn to Food for Fox in part because of her interests in sustainability.

“We waste an abundance of food, while many families in our own community go hungry or do not have access to a reliable supply of nutritious foods,” said Gregory, an environmental studies major from Plano, Texas. “We are melding two problems together to create a solution.”

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The Food for Fox program has partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley to provide a family meal the last Friday of each month.

As of the end of February, the Boys & Girls Club had served 230 meals courtesy of the Food for Fox program.

“The biggest benefit of this program is being able to open the meal up to our member’s families,” said Holly Purgett, Healthy Habits Food Program Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club. “Socially speaking, this event encourages families to have a meal together and spend quality time with one another on a Friday night. Our kids are proud to bring their parents, siblings and grandparents to the club and show them where they spend much of their time.

“Although we receive certain reimbursements, they do not cover all of our food program expenses,” Purgett added. “Having a meal donated, even once a month, helps with those non-covered expenses.”

Li was initially inspired by a Facebook video she saw two years ago about the Food Recovery Network, which prompted her to help establish a campus chapter — one of the first two in the state of Wisconsin — in the spring of 2014.

“That Facebook video really touched my heart,” said Li, a government and history major from Tianjin, China. “I was fascinated with how simple procedures and a support system can transform food waste into warm, nutritious meals for people in need.”

“I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”
     — Shang Li ’16

In its first year of operation (May 2014- June 2015), the Food Recovery Network collected more than 5,000 pounds of leftovers, which were shared with its initial Fox Cities organizations, Loaves & Fishes and Homeless Connection. When those partnerships dissolved for various reasons, Li proposed the Food for Fox idea last fall to the Food Recovery Network’s new leadership team, Sarah Diamond and Lindsay Holsen. Harbor House and the Boys and Girls Club became the new beneficiaries.

“We are extremely appreciative of the Boys & Girl’s Club for their willingness to collaborate with Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox to create an event that has a lot of potential as it continues to build awareness, promote sustainability and provide meaningful meals to kids in need,” said Holsen, a Servant Leader Fellow who joined the Food Recovery Network board in 2014 and became co-president last April.

Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.
Food for Fox founders Shang Li (l.), Macolm Lunn-Craft (c.) and Rachel Gregory (r.) are using surplus food from Lawrence to help feed others in the community.

Like Li, Gregory and Holsen, Diamond is passionate about food, maximizing its use and reducing its waste. She sees the collaboration between the Food Recovery Network and Food for Fox as an ideal vehicle to accomplish those goals.

“Food is a topic that is largely under discussed in daily life, especially among those that have enough of it,” said Diamond, a junior from Winchester, Mass., who worked with a group that focused on food, farming and hunger in the Boston area while in high school. “The fact that 40 percent of food produced in this country is thrown away while at the same time one in seven Americans are food insecure is simply not okay.”

The students involved see the two programs growing and expanding their reach in the years ahead, including operating during the summer and winter term break.

“We want to be a support system to low-income families and their children throughout the year,” said Li, who plans to pursue graduate studies in social innovations post-Lawrence. “I envision LU Food Recovery Network along with Food for Fox being run by generations of Lawrentians because there is always a demand for food and there is always a platform that will allow our students to shine as servant leaders.”

Gregory sees great potential for the Food for Fox program, especially in the education realm.

“I hope over the next five to 10 years, the program increases awareness to food-related issues. We want to introduce the kids to delicious healthy foods they might not have tried before, which will give way to healthy life-long eating habits. Economically, Food for Fox could even increase economic efficiency among our donors as they begin to take note of which foods are often left over. In our work this term, we tried to build a simple, logical model that can be applied to many different locations so that the program expands throughout the Fox Valley, Wisconsin and the Midwest.”

Members of Lawrence's athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.
Members of Lawrence’s athletic teams are among the groups who volunteer to collect leftovers for the Food for Fox program.

Julie Severance, general manager of Bon Appetit, has served as the advisor for Food Recovery Network since its inception while Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and associate professor of anthropology, joined the team as faculty advisor earlier this year. John Brandenberger, Alice G. Chapman Professor Emeritus of Physics, Adam Galambos, Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professor of Innovation and associate professor of economics, and Gary Vaughan, coordinator of the innovation and entrepreneurship program, have served as mentors to the Food for Fox program.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Community Service Lands Lawrence University on President’s National Honor Roll

For the eighth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

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Helping build hoop houses at Riverview Gardens was among the student volunteer service hours that helped Lawrence earn its eighth straight spot on the President’s Higher Education National Community Service Honor Roll.

Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions to be cited every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since it launched the honor roll program in 2006 in response to the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Nine hundred Lawrence students contributed 17,777 hours to community volunteer and service-learning programs in collaboration with a wide variety of valued partnerships throughout the Fox Cities during this year’s reporting period, including 138 students who devoted 20 hours or more per term.

The President’s Honor Roll program recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on a broad range of issues. Honorees are chosen on the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

“Community service provides ways to better understand ourselves,” said President Mark Burstein, “and involvement in the wider community enhances our learning environment. I am proud of the work and dedication our students display and pleased they have once again been nationally recognized for their efforts. At Lawrence, service continues to be not only altruism, but also part of the transformative educational experience that we strive to provide for our students.”

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

• Question, Persuade, Refer Suicide Prevention Training. The training program benefited not only the campus, but the greater community. Lawrence collectively trained one master trainer, 51 instructors and 510 gatekeepers. Instructors and gatekeepers reported intervening within days of learning QPR skills to connect distressed community members to immediate crisis intervention services.

Self-Agency in Youth (SAY) Program. Using a two-pronged approach of support groups and a tutoring/mentoring initiative, the SAY Program helps teens gain ownership over their post-high school futures. Beautiful You African American Girls’ Group and Hmong Youth Pride and Empowerment (HYPE) are two branches of SAY and one of several collaborations between Lawrence and the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley. With backgrounds and challenges similar to those faced by the teenagers, the Lawrence student volunteers turned their own experiences as a refugee or a first generation college student into a source of knowledge to help high school students in need of mentoring, reassurance and support.

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Student volunteers helped sort clothes at Appleton’s Bethesda Thrift Shop at Lawrence’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Nearly 500 students participated in activities under the theme of  “learn, serve and celebrate.” Activities included a “Read and Reflect: A Lunch Discussion” event on the book “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting in the Cafeteria,” six student-led on-campus volunteer opportunities and the presentation of a specially developed curriculum on tolerance to more than 650 area youth at seven after-school sites of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley. Members of the Lawrence community ended the day by joining Fox Cities leaders to listen to Rev. Wanda Washington speak on “How to Build a Just World” at the annual MLK celebration hosted by Lawrence.

“It is a source of pride for everyone at Lawrence who values the college’s contributions to the vitality of the greater Appleton and global communities, that we have been recognized, once again, by the Corporation for National and Community Service for our achievements in community service,” said Mark Jenike, Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “At Lawrence, community engagement, enabled by strong partnerships, is one of the most important ways in which we pursue our mission of preparing students for lives of achievement, responsible and meaningful citizenship, lifelong learning and personal fulfillment.”

The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and 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.

 

Public Invited to Free Screening of Lawrence’s Civic Life Project Films Oct. 28 at Fox Valley Technical College

The second Civic Life Project, a documentary film program designed to engage Lawrence University students with social issues facing the Fox Cities community, presents a free public screening at Fox Valley Technical College Tuesday, Oct. 28 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.Civic-Life-Porject_weblog

Five short films on topics ranging from dementia to the reintegration of sex offenders, will be shown in the Commons on the FVTC campus, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., Appleton. Use Entrance 6 off of the south parking lot. Due to limited seating, advance registration is requested.

The Civic Life Project was created by award-winning documentary filmmaker and 1972 Lawrence graduate Catherine Tatge and her husband, Dominique Lasseur. The topics for the videos grew out of conversations Tatge conducted with numerous community leaders to identify issues of concern in the Fox Cities. Three-member teams of Lawrence students then shared the roles of writer, editor, producer, director and videographer in creating the documentaries.

The titles and topics of the films to be screened are:

“Labeled for Life,” the challenges sex offenders face reintegrating into our community.

• “Living with Dementia,” the challenges faced by caregivers and individuals suffering from the disease.

Civic-Life-Project_newsblog• “Before Bars,” the story of disproportionate imprisonment of minorities.

“If you can’t reach ’em, you can’t teach ’em,” the achievement gap in Appleton-area schools.

“Domestic Violence and Schools,” the effects of domestic violence on children’s performance at school.

Brief, student-led round-table discussions follow the screening of each film, which Tatge sees as vital to the process of community engagement with these topics.

As a result of the discussions “the students get a chance to really see the impact of their work on the community members,” said Tatge. “And I think that just to show these films one after the other doesn’t have the same impact as allowing people to reflect after each one.”

Tatge and Lasseur designed the Civic Life Project as an innovative educational tool to challenge each student to learn about civics and democracy in a unique way, discover more about the community in which they reside and find their own individual voice through the creation of a documentary video.

Lawrence student Jaime Gonzalez, who worked on the film “Labeled For Life,” found the experience rewarding and enlightening.

“I learned from the experience to never look at something from one point of view,” said Gonzalez, a junior from Milwaukee. “Once we started creating this film…it became more evident how important it is to do your research and understand the legal, social and political aspects” of these topics.

Tatge is in her fourth year as an artist-in-residence at Lawrence. The Civic Life Project at Lawrence is modeled after a similar program she and Lasseur launched in 2010 in their home state of Connecticut. Started at one high school, the program has since expanded to 10 schools around the state.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and 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.

Riverview Gardens Receives Lawrence University’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award

One of the Fox Cities’ newest and most inventive social enterprises was honored Oct. 14 by Lawrence University during the college’s sixth annual Report to the Community.

Riverview Gardens was presented Lawrence University’s Collaboration in Action Award as part of the report.

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Lawrence students helped construct hoop houses last January at Riverview Gardens, the recipient of Lawrence’s 2014 Collaboration in Action Award. Students contributed a total of 1,038 volunteer hours to Riverview Gardens last year.

The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Riverview Gardens was founded in December 2011 on the grounds of the former Riverview Country Club on Appleton’s south side. As a self-sustaining social venture, it engages Fox Valley residents in community stewardship of a market garden, community park space and job training program. It seeks to assist local outreach organizations and build financial resources to help address the root causes of poverty, homelessness and unemployment.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership with Lawrence,” said Burstein. “The staff at Riverview has collaborated with Lawrence on a variety of initiatives ranging from courses that use the gardens as a living laboratory and research and internships that help students prepare for a wide range of careers to outreach projects that take classical chamber music beyond the concert hall and community meetings to foster dialogue on issues of common concern.”

“Our relationship is far more than just a volunteer affiliation,” Burstein added. “It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps both the college and community thrive.”

Since embarking on its mission, Riverview Gardens has utilized Lawrence students with expertise in sustainable agriculture provided by the Sustainable Lawrence University Gardens (SLUG) and the college’s environmental studies program. During the 2013-14 academic year, more than 300 Lawrence students contributed 1,038 volunteer hours at Riverview Gardens, the most of any of the 144 area agencies at which students served.

Two recent Lawrence graduates, Oren Jakobson (2011) and Hava Blair (2013) turned their student involvement with environmental and sustainability issues into key leadership roles with Riverview Gardens after they graduated.

“Riverview Gardens is not only innovative in its approach to addressing
root causes of poverty, it has been equally creative in its partnership
with Lawrence. It is a deeply rewarding connection that helps
both the college and community thrive.”

— President Mark Burstein

Jakobson, who led the permitting process involved with establishing a bee colony on campus, serves as Riverview Gardens’ director of farm operations. Blair, who conducted an independent study project that created a wetlands restoration plan for Riverview Gardens, is the manager of farm sales and markets.

Lawrence’s connection to Riverview Gardens also includes executive director Cindy Sahotsky and ServiceWorks outreach coordinator Ronan Christman, 1984 and 2013 graduates, respectively.

“Riverview Gardens is a great opportunity for students to put thought into action and the people we serve benefit greatly from their impetus to action,” said Sahotsky. “Many students will take what they learn at Riverview Gardens and use it to provide community, wherever they live. We are extremely grateful and humbled by the financial and volunteer support we receive from Lawrentians.”

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Bethesda Thrift Shop, where Lawrence students help sort donated items, was one of 144 community agencies in the Fox Cities served by Lawrence student volunteers in 2013-14.

Riverview Gardens joins the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation (2010) as previous winners of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award.

As part of its Report to the Community, Lawrence’s involvement with the greater Fox Cities community was highlighted, including:

• Lawrence faculty and staff volunteer and make contributions to 133 community agencies, serve on the boards of 46 local nonprofits while spending an average of 71.4 hours a year volunteering in the community.

71 different Lawrence student organizations volunteered in the community in the past year.

 52 percent of Lawrence students — 785 — volunteered during the 2013-14 academic year, contributing 12,420 volunteer hours to 144 community agencies.

 Lawrence Academy of Music teachers and students provided 74 free community concerts, recitals or master classes during the 2013-14 academic year.

35 local employers provided internships to 45 Lawrence students.

• 73.1 percent of the Wisconsin vendors used by Lawrence University in the 2013-14 fiscal year were located in the NEW North Region.

 Lawrence spent $5,438,819 in the NEW North Region during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

 2,026 Lawrence alumni live in the NEW North Region.

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and 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.

Lawrentians Turn MLK Holiday into Day of Service

It may have been a day off from classes, but several hundred Lawrence University students, staff and faculty put Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy into practice in the Fox Valley community.

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Students braved cold temperatures to build hoop houses for Riverview Gardens as part of Lawrence’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

From helping build hoop houses for an area community garden, baking treats for the local warming shelter, knitting scarves for the homeless and leading area students in after-school art, dance, music and sports activities, Lawrence volunteers registered to provide 587 hours of service on the holiday honoring Dr. King (1/20).

In all, Lawrence partnered with 10 local organizations for a day of community engagement:  the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, Brewster Village, Riverview Gardens, Bethesda Thrift Shop, Fox Valley Warming Shelter, Fox Valley Humane Society, CHAPS Academy Creative Counseling programs, National Alliance on Mental Illness, SLUG and Glamour Gals.

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Najja Gay, a junior from Charlotte, N.C., helped organize clothes at Bethesda Thrift Shop, one of 10 area agencies Lawrence students provided volunteer service to on the Martin Luther King holiday.

“Our community partners provide an opportunity for Lawrence students to learn beyond the classroom, to gain a new perspective and to further explore their own beliefs,” said Kristi Hill, Lawrence’s director of volunteer and community service programs. “This year’s ‘What do you believe’ theme encouraged students to first explore their beliefs with a book discussion and then encouraged students to put those beliefs into action through service opportunities available both on and off campus.

“Lawrentians showed strong interest with 378 people registering for at least one opportunity,” Hill added. “This day would not be possible without our community partners and we appreciate their collaboration to help us all honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

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 Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Mielke Family Foundation Honored with First Lawrence University “Collaboration in Action” Award

The Mielke Family Foundation, one of northeast Wisconsin’s most active philanthropic foundations, was recognized Tuesday, Sept. 21 with Lawrence University’s first “Collaboration in Action” award during the college’s second annual Report to the Community. Oscar Boldt, chairman of The Boldt Group, served as emcee of the event, while Dave Vander Zanden, CEO of School Specialty, was the featured speaker at the program, which attracted an audience of nearly 150 community leaders.

The Collaboration in Action award honors an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community. Richard Calder, president of its board of directors, and Dr. John Mielke, a member of the board, accepted the award on the foundation’s behalf from Lawrence University President Jill Beck.

For nearly 30 years, the generous support of the Mielke Family Foundation has enabled Lawrence to enhance its work on campus and build bridges into the community.

In 1982, the foundation established the Edward F. Mielke Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Science and Society, currently held by Associate Professor of Philosophy Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald.

As holder of the professorship, Boleyn-Fitzgerald annually organizes the Edward F. Mielke Lecture Series in Biomedical Ethics that brings speakers to campus for community discussions on topics related to topical ethical issues.

In 1996, the foundation established the Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education, currently held by Associate Professor of Education Stewart Purkey. It was the education department’s first endowed professorship.

In conjunction with the Bee Connell Mielke professorship, the foundation also established a community outreach program — the Mielke Summer Institute in the Liberal Arts. Directed each summer by Purkey, the program provides approximately 25 educators from Appleton and Shawano a week-long opportunity to examine a specific theme of cultural or social significance from a multidisciplinary perspective at Bjorklunden, Lawrence’s northern campus in Door County.

In discussing Lawrence collaborations in the Fox Valley, Beck highlighted the ArtsBridge program in which eight student-scholars and other Lawrentians worked with 132 area elementary school students to prepare ethnic dances, social studies projects and folk songs for World Arts Day; the Lawrence Scholars Programs, which brings alumni from around the world to campus to share their expertise with students, participate on panels, speak with classes and network with those who might be interested in internships and future career opportunities; and the college’s emerging innovation and entrepreneurship program, including a recent student-driven initiative to open temporary art gallery spaces in empty downtown Appleton storefronts.

“A great college-community relationship, like any successful partnership, is a constant act of collaboration, a commitment to one another’s welfare that is renewed every day,” said Jill Beck. “I am very proud of this partnership and the good work that we have done together.”

Lawrence’s community engagement efforts in the past year included more the 300 student volunteers who participated in the AmeriCorps M3C Fellows program, serving at local schools and nonprofit organizations; the establishment of the Young Band Project, a partnership between the Lawrence Academy of Music and the Appleton Area School district to provide twice- a-week band instruction to fifth-grade students at Lincoln Elementary School; and an outreach program supported by a federal grant to provide training and education to lower suicide risk. More than 120 educators, clinicians and nonprofit staff members from 13 area schools and 24 youth-serving organizations attended a day-long training session at Lawrence in March.

During the 2009-10 academic year, Lawrence faculty and staff members supported more than 150 Fox Cities’ churches, schools and organizations through volunteering and charitable gifts, including serving on boards and committees of nearly 40 local nonprofits.