Lawrence University and the Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional and Executive Development (CPED) have launched a partnership to offer learning and development opportunities to the business community in the Fox Valley.
The partnership, facilitated through CPED, is providing immersive programs on critical skill development. The courses are being delivered online during the COVID-19 pandemic but will shift to in-person sessions on the Lawrence campus when it’s safe to do so.
Lawrence leadership first began talking with CPED Director of Corporate Partnerships Mark Seifert in late 2018, expressing interest in using Lawrence facilities and expertise to provide educational outreach in business skills development. Surveys and several rounds of meetings with executives from area organizations indicated there was interest.
Lawrence President Mark Burstein called the partnership a great opportunity for Lawrence to support area organizations in new ways.
“Many CEOs in northeastern Wisconsin have asked me over the past few years if Lawrence could offer learning opportunities for their staff that would be practical, tailored to their business needs, and locally delivered,” Burstein said. “Teaming with CPED has allowed us to fulfill this need, relying on the expertise of the Wisconsin School of Business and Lawrence’s local knowledge and talent.”
The first session in the partnership, How to Influence Without Direct Authority, held earlier this year, drew associates from Jewelers Mutual, Johnsonville Sausage, Michel’s Corporation and Schreiber Foods.
“This was a great cohort; each of them worked on creating a strategy for influencing something pretty big in their organizations,” said Susan Finerty, CPED instructor and author of Cross Functional Influence. “In a lot of ways, when it ended, I felt like I was leaving in the middle of a really great movie. I am anxious to know how all of these changes, ideas, and initiatives turn out.”
The responses from the course have been promising. It is traditionally a two-day immersive program helping leaders positively expand influence beyond their formal authority in order to ensure professional and organizational success. But with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program shifted to an online delivery, running six weeks via 75-minute weekly learning sessions.
The interactive sessions offered participants the opportunity to grow their professional networks and get real-time feedback on their progress. The Live Learning Sessions were complemented by pre- and post-work activities that included a multi-rater assessment tool, videos, readings, discussions, and a final project.
“I enjoyed the content presented and the time spent in the program,” said Rick Heck, business manager – enterprise projects at Schreiber Foods. “The content fit exceptionally well with my responsibilities of leading a team of dedicated project managers working cross-functionally in our organization. I recommend this program to others if their role requires them to truly influence others on a regular basis. The Influence Planner provides a framework from which to ‘script’ influence conversations and will be helpful going forward.”
A new economic and community impact study released Tuesday offers new data on just how significant Lawrence University’s ties are to the community it calls home.
The study from Appleseed, an independent economic consulting firm, shows Lawrence’s annual impact on Appleton and the greater Fox Cities totals nearly $70.3 million — from employee earnings, goods and services, construction projects, off-campus spending and visitor spending. It also highlights how the liberal arts college’s contributions to the community go well beyond economics, highlighting ongoing cultural and charitable relationships.
The first-time study, commissioned by Lawrence, details those
deep ties between the school and the community.
Nearly 200 leaders from Lawrence, area governments, and the business and nonprofit communities gathered on campus Tuesday for Lawrence’s annual Report to the Community, which included the rollout of the study and the granting of an honorary Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree to Cathie Tierney, president and CEO of Community First Credit Union and a longtime community leader.
“The Appleseed study is a testament to how ideally situated Lawrence is here in the Fox Cities,” Lawrence President Mark Burstein said. “It speaks to how tightly woven we are into the very fabric of this community. Lawrence is proud of that, proud of our deep roots in Appleton and the economic, cultural, charitable and intellectual contributions that come from our faculty, students and staff.”
See a copy of the full economic impact report here.
The report estimates that in fiscal year 2017, Lawrence, its
students and visitors directly and indirectly accounted for 1,059 jobs in the
Fox Cities region, with earnings totaling $44.1 million, and nearly $70.3
million in regional economic output.
The fortunes of Lawrence and Appleton have forever been
intertwined. After all, Lawrence and Appleton have grown up together, Lawrence
having been founded in 1847 and Appleton incorporated six years later. The new
village — it would become a city in 1857 — was named for the wife of the
school’s founder, Amos Lawrence. Her maiden name was Appleton.
The new study demonstrates just how significant those ties remain and how important the relationship is going forward.
Pastor Mahnie, executive director of B.A.B.E.S., a nonprofit child abuse prevention program, was among the speakers embracing the connections between Lawrence and the community.
Lawrence is a host site for the Funding Information Network and provides workshops for area nonprofits to help them pursue needed grants. It’s an important piece of the puzzle that allows nonprofits to do their work.
“Your willingness to not only house the Funding Information Network, but to also host free workshops to educate us on how to utilize the database and improve our grant-writing skills is invaluable,” Mahnie said.
“Thank you for the access. Access gives us knowledge. Access leads to progress. Access to the Funding Information Network is vital for the work of serving our community.
“Lawrence University, the Oshkosh Area United Way, United Way Fox Cities and the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, thank you for helping us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to rescue the lost, to give hope to the hopeless, to diaper their infants, to educate the young and inexperienced parents, to tutor their children, to supplement their household cleaning and personal hygiene items, and the list could go on and on. Because of you, because of your generosity, because of access, we, the nonprofits of the Fox Valley, we can accomplish our mission to serve.”
Economic impact studied
The economic data provided in the Appleseed report shows just how significant the Lawrence footprint is in the Fox Cities. Among the notable numbers:
886 Lawrence graduates live and work in the Fox
Cities (5% of area residents with a bachelor’s degree are Lawrence graduates).
$1.44 million in financial aid is provided to LU
students from the Fox Cities.
605 faculty and staff are directly employed by
Lawrence, with a payroll totally nearly $29.9 million. The earnings of faculty
and staff employed full-time averaged $58,240 in 2017.
$1.4 million was paid to contractors and vendors
in the Fox Cities for various construction and renovation projects in 2017.
Another $2.2 million went to contractors elsewhere in Wisconsin.
Lawrence is a residential liberal arts college with an
enrollment of about 1,500. During the 2016-17 academic year, Lawrence provided
$36.9 million in financial aid from its own resources.
The school’s impact on the community goes far beyond
economics, the study says.
Faculty, staff and students have ongoing
relationships with 100 agencies and organizations in the Fox Cities. Nearly
10,450 hours of community volunteer work was reported in the 2016-17 academic
Nearly 1,500 children across the Fox Cities
participate in the Lawrence Academy of Music, a division of the Conservatory of
Lawrence plays a major role in the arts
community in the Fox Cities. The Conservatory features upwards of 20 performances
throughout the year by internationally recognized artists. Three convocations a
year bring in nationally recognized speakers. The Wriston Art Gallery presents about
10 art exhibits a year. All are open to the public.
The Warch Campus Center has become a popular
location for booking community and corporate events, as well as weddings and
Lawrence has worked closely with local leaders
in efforts to make Appleton and the Fox Cities a more welcoming and inclusive
community for people of all backgrounds.
“Lawrence and the Fox Cities are forever linked,” Burstein said. “Progress for one is progress for the other, and neither of us can afford to rest on what we’ve already accomplished. We share similar goals, including the need to attract and retain talented employees and students. That means ensuring that our communities offer people from diverse backgrounds attractive and welcoming places to study, live, work, build careers and have families. We can never relent on those efforts.”
Honorary degree to Tierney
Tierney, meanwhile, was honored for her long and distinguished leadership in the Fox Cities. She studied at Lawrence before embarking on her career.
“I’m astonished, delighted and humbled at this amazing honor,” she said.
Tierney has been with Community First Credit Union since 1976 and has held multiple executive officer positions, spending much of her career as vice president of marketing and branch operations. In 1993, Tierney graduated from the first CU Executive Leadership Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and was named president/CEO of Community First in 1994.
She had attended Lawrence for a year before leaving school for family reasons. Despite the success she would later find in the business world, she said that decision to leave school has always haunted her. But she maintained a strong relationship with Lawrence as she became a community leader.
“We all know of Lawrence’s incredible academic rigor, the quality of the faculty and the enriching experience gained through an education at Lawrence University,” she said. “As a lifelong citizen of Appleton, I have seen first-hand the significant contributions that Lawrence University, its staff and faculty and graduates have made in our community, our state, our country and our world.”
To now get an honorary degree — and to be called a Lawrentian — is humbling and moving, she said.
“Through this process I have learned, there is no right path, only your path,” she said.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org