Tag: Honorary Degree

Lawrence surprises provost, faculty dean with honorary degree

To his surprise, and delight, Lawrence University Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday at the university’s 168th commencement.

DAve Burrows receives honorary degree from President Mark Burstein
Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows (l.) receives congratulations from President Mark Burstein after being awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Lawrence’s 168th commencement.

Burrows announced last year that he would leave his current post to return to teaching this fall. He has served as Lawrence’s provost and dean of the faculty since July 1, 2005.

In awarding Burrows with his surprise honorary degree, which had been a well-kept secret, Lawrence President Mark Burstein praised him for leaving an “indelible mark on the intellectual character of Lawrence.”

“Your energetic championing of the liberal arts ideal that illuminates the educational mission of this college, and your devotion to lifelong learning have transformed this university and our graduates,” said Burstein. “There is no corner of this campus that has not been shaped by you, a shape that goes beyond buildings and maps and offices to the life’s blood of any institution of higher education: its intellectual character.”

Burrows officially leaves his position as Lawrence’s chief academic officer June 30. He will return to the classroom this fall as a professor of psychology.

As part of new duties, Burrows will lead an initiative to foster collaboration with faculty to develop ideas and programs for liberal learning pedagogy. Significant advances have been achieved in understanding how individuals learn and Burrows’ efforts will help Lawrence take advantage of these developments.

During his tenure, Burrows oversaw the hiring of 75 new faculty members and was instrumental in developing Lawrence’s Senior Experience program. He also played a leadership role in designing and launching the Lawrence Fellows in the Liberal Arts and Sciences program for emerging scholars who recently finished their graduate degrees.

Head shot of Lawrence Provost David Burrows
David Burrows

A native of New York City, Burrows joined the Lawrence administration after spending eight years as dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Beloit College, where he also taught in the psychology department.

Prior to focusing his career on college administrator, Burrows spent 25 years in the classroom as a cognitive psychologist: eight years on the faculty at the State University of New York at Brockport and 17 years at Skidmore College, where he also served as associate dean of the faculty for three years.

Beyond the campus borders, Burrows is a member of the board of directors of the Appleton Education Foundation and is a former chair (2012-14) of the board of directors of the Fox Valley Literacy Council, for which he still serves as a board member.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Toronto.

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.

 

Class of 2017: International refugee expert receiving honorary degree at Lawrence’s 168th commencement

Amid growing global concerns of displaced persons and their impact on the countries they’re entering and those they’re leaving, Lawrence University will honor an international expert on refugee policy Sunday, June 11 at its 168th commencement.

Photo of Gil Loescher
2017 honorary degree recipient Gil Loescher

Gil Loescher, a visiting professor at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during commencement ceremonies that begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green. Loescher also will deliver the principal commencement address.

This will be Loesher’s second honorary degree. He received an honorary doctorate of law in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame.

Lawrence is expected to award 344 bachelor degrees to 335 students from 28 states, the District of Columbia and 17 countries. A live webcast of the commencement ceremony will be available at go.lawrence.edu/commencement2017.

Peter Thomas, associate professor of Russian Studies at Lawrence, will deliver the main address at a baccalaureate service Saturday, June 10 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

The baccalaureate service and commencement exercise are both free and open to the public.

Retiring faculty member Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, will be recognized with an honorary master of arts degree, ad eundem, as part of the ceremonies.

In addition to Loescher, Lawrence President Mark Burstein, Board of Trustees Chair Susan Stillman Kane and senior Andres Capous of San Jose, Costa Rica, also will address the graduates.

During a 40-plus-year career, Loescher has established himself as an authority on refugee policy. Prior to joining Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre in 2008, Loescher held appointments as Senior Fellow for Forced Migration and International Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London and as senior researcher at the European Council on Refugees and Exiles.

According to Loescher, containing refugees in camps prevents them from contributing to regional development and state-building.

“Refugees frequently have skills that are critical to future peace-building and development efforts, either where they are or in their countries of origin following their return home,” he has said.

A miraculous survivor of a suicide bomber attack in Baghdad, Iraq, Loescher has a long history of working with the United Nations, especially the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In August, 2003, Loescher was in the office of then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sérgio Vieira de Mello at the Canal Hotel in Baghdad when a suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb outside the building. The blast killed more than 20 people and injured more than 100.

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“Refugees frequently have skills that are critical to future peace-building and development efforts, either where they are or in their countries of origin following their return home.”
— Gil Loescher
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Loescher was one of nine people in the office, seven of whom were killed instantly. He and Vieria de Mello were trapped in the debris of the collapsed building as American soldiers spent more than three hours trying to rescue them. Vieria de Mello died before he could be extricated. While Loescher survived, his legs were crushed and had to be amputated by the soldiers.

A native of San Francisco, Loescher began his career at the University of Notre Dame, where he spent 26 years teaching in the political science department. During his tenure, he held appointments in the Notre Dame’s Helen Kellogg Institute of International Studies, the Joan Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies and the Center for Civil and Human Rights.Photo of procession of graduating Lawrence seniors

He also has served as a visiting fellow at Princeton University, the London School of Economics and the Department of Humanitarian Affairs at the U.S. State Department.

He has been the recipient of numerous honors and research grants from organizations ranging from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation to the Fulbright Program and the British Academy.

A graduate of St. Mary’s College of California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history, Loescher also holds a master’s degree in politics and Asian studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics.

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.

 

 

Appleton native, Iowa Writers’ Workshop Director named Lawrence’s 2016 commencement speaker, honorary degree recipient

It will be a homecoming of sorts for award-winning writer and Appleton native Lan Samantha Chang when she returns to the Lawrence University campus to receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 12 at the college’s 167th commencement ceremony.

Chang, the director of the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, also will serve as the principal commencement speaker. This will be Chang’s first honorary degree.

“An understanding of the creative process is core to the education Lawrence offers,” said President Mark Burstein. “We are very pleased that Lan Samantha Chang will join us for commencement this spring so we can honor an Appleton native who has perfected her craft and now teaches it to others as director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. From her first book, which the New York Times described as ‘a taut, incisive study of Chinese immigrants in America and their almost wordless struggle to adapt to a new life,’ to more recent work, Samantha has provided us a window into the human experience.”

Lan Samantha Chang will receive an honorary degree from Lawrence and serve as the principal speaker at the college's 167th commencement June 12. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.
Lan Samantha Chang will receive an honorary degree from Lawrence and serve as the principal speaker at the college’s 167th commencement June 12. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Chang, whose parents emigrated to the United States from China, graduated from Appleton West High School in 1983. Her honorary degree will further connect her to Lawrence. Her mother earned a bachelor of music degree in piano pedagogy from Lawrence, while her father was an associate professor of engineering at the former Institute of Paper Chemistry, which had a long affiliation with Lawrence.

“Receiving an honorary degree from Lawrence means a great deal to me,” said Chang, “in part because when I was growing up, Lawrence was the center of intellectual life in Appleton. It is a greatly respected university. I have vivid memories of being at the conservatory during my mother’s recitals and meeting her professors.”

Her path to award-winning writer followed a circuitous route. Chang attended Yale University intending to satisfy her parent’s wishes of pursuing a medical degree, but she soon decided becoming a doctor was not in her future. After earning a degree in East Asian Studies, she told her parents she would become a lawyer, another career option more designed to please her parents than her own interests. She eventually earned a master’s of public administration degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“I realized that I didn’t want to pursue that direction either,” Chang explained of her second change of heart. “It was really just a question of coming to face the fact that I had never wanted to do anything else except write fiction and that it would be pointless to try to keep trying to do other things.”

Chang eventually enrolled at the University of Iowa and earned a master of fine arts in creative writing.

While she says her life has been much easier since then, “I don’t think I’ve ever circled as much as I did after college when I understood that I would have to disappoint my parents and pursue an uncertain life,” said Chang.

Before returning to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Chang taught creative writing at Stanford University as Jones Lecturer in Fiction, in Warren Wilson College’s MFA program for writers and at Harvard University as Briggs-Copland Lecturer in Creative Writing.

Since 2006, she has served as the program director of the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, where she also teaches English as the May Brodbeck Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Chang’s experiences as an Asian American inspired her to write two novels and a collection of short stories about the merging of Chinese and American culture and the dynamics of family and wealth in times of hardship or after war. Her works include 1998’s “Hunger: A Novella and Stories,” 2004’s “Inheritance: A Novel” and “All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost: A Novel” in 2010.

Chang’s work has been recognized with the 2005 PEN Open Book Award for “Inheritance,” while “Hunger” was the winner of the Southern Review Fiction Prize and named a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Award. Chang’s writing has been selected twice (1994, 1996) for inclusion in the yearly anthology “The Best American Short Stories.”

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.

Martha Nussbaum: Liberal Education Crucial to Producing Democratic Societies

In her charge to the class of 2013 at Lawrence University’s 164th commencement June 9, honorary degree recipient Martha Nussbaum told the 289 graduating seniors liberal education is critically important in producing democratic citizens and urged them to become advocates for it.

Martha Nussbaum, Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago.

“What you can all do is to keep institutions like Lawrence strong,” said Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. “You can also lobby with your local school board, your state and national representatives, for more attention to the liberal arts in public education at all levels. And, above all, just talk a lot about what matters to you about the education you’ve had here. Spread the word that what happens on this campus is not useless, but crucially relevant to the future of democracy in this nation and in the wider world.

In an interview prior to her commencement address, Nussbaum said liberal education is more relevant today than ever “because it stimulates a kind of respectful and deliberative political debate, and there’s no time in American history when we need that more.”

“It also stimulates curiosity and involvement in the different groups that make up our world,” added Nussbaum, “This is more crucial than ever if big problems, like environmental problems, racial animosity, religious animosity, are going to be solved. When people think narrowly about jobs, they’re selling short democracy, and we need to think, “What is it that keeps democracy healthy?’”

Nussbaum discussed several other higher education topics, including the emergence of MOOCs — Massive Open Online Courses, which she says may have a role for those with limited access to higher education, but are “just no substitute” for a traditional education

“It’s a poor second place, if second at all, because the interaction is the key to the education — interaction with other students in the classroom and the interaction with faculty,” said Nussbaum, a self-described “Luddite” who has no interest in teaching an online course. “I’m sure people try to make it more interactive, but it just isn’t the same thing.”

Martha Nussbaum received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Lawrence’s 164th commencement.

During a few visits to campus to visit a family friend’s son, who was a freshman at Lawrence this past academic year, Nussbaum sat in on several classes and came away impressed.

“One was a political science class about American politics and another was an introductory econ class,” said Nussbaum, “and I just thought, ‘I want to stay here the whole semester to have this class!’ I’m just amazed at the way these teachers can combine sophistication with absolute clarity. These introductory courses that a freshman was taking were of course accessible to freshmen, they were very clear. But I was also stimulated. I was getting something out of the way the issues were presented. I just think they’re just so lucky to have that.

“Of course, in Freshman Studies, they do music!,” Nussbaum added. “This is the only place I’ve ever seen of which that’s true. Most places, they expect that every faculty member could teach Shakespeare, but they don’t ever expect that faculty could teach Stravinsky, but here they are in Freshman Studies. They’re all doing Stravinsky and I think that’s fantastic.”

Download the entire conversation with Prof. Nussbaum or listen online

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 2013 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. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

New U.N. Ambassador Nominee Holds Honorary Degree from Lawrence University

Samantha Power, President Barack Obama’s recent nominee as new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, has a Lawrence University connection.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN nominee Samantha Power received an honorary degree from Lawrence in 2004. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

President Richard Warch awarded Power an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters — her first honorary degree — at Lawrence’s 2004 commencement. At the time, she was a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s  John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The year before Lawrence recognized her with an honorary doctorate, Power had won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in the general non-fiction category for her book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” which examines U.S. responses to genocide in the 20th century. The book also earned the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Council on Foreign Relations’ Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy.

A long-time Obama advisor, Power currently serves as the president’s senior director for multilateral affairs and human rights. Her nomination is subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.

Lawrence holds its 2013 commencement Sunday, June 9. Celebrated University of Chicago Professor Martha Nussbaum will be this year’s honorary degree recipient.

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 2013 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. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Awarding Honorary Degree to Renowned Scholar, Author Martha Nussbaum

Lawrence University will recognize Martha Nussbaum, one of the world’s pre-eminent scholars, public intellectuals and an award-winning author, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 9 at the college’s 164th commencement.

Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago, also will serve as the principal commencement speaker. This will be Nussbaum’s second speaking engagement at Lawrence. She delivered the university convocation “Global Duties: Cicero’s Problematic Legacy” in May, 2001.

Before joining the University of Chicago in 1995, Nussbaum taught at Harvard and Brown universities. At the same time, she served seven years as a research advisor at the World Institute for Development Economics Research in Helsinki, which is part of the United Nations University. .

As the holder of the Freund chair at Chicago, Nussbaum has full appointments in the philosophy department and the law school, as well as associate appointments in the political science and classics departments and the divinity school. She is also a member of the Committee on Southern Asian Studies and a board member of the Human Rights Program.

“Martha Nussbaum is a great defender of the liberal arts and exemplary role model for our students,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “She demonstrates how to bridge effectively scholarly interests with issues of the day and with the need for taking informed positions in our lives and societies. In Dr. Nussbaum’s case, she uses her knowledge of classics to generate contemporary political critique. I’m sure the graduating students will enjoy meeting her and hearing her perspectives.”

Among the country’s most celebrated philosophers and celebrated thinkers, Nussbaum believes philosophers should act as “lawyers for humanity” to address questions of justice, basing her work on a political philosophy of human capability and functioning that has both Aristotelian and Kantian roots. Her scholarship also has focused on the transformative aspects of the connections between literature and philosophy.

“As we tell stories about the lives of others,” Nussbaum has said, “we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events.  At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves.”

Award-winning scholar, author

A prolific writer with more than 350 published scholarly articles, Nussbaum is the author of nearly three dozen books, including 2010’s “Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities,” in which she argues that the humanities are an essential element for the quality of democracy. Her book “Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education,” was recognized with the Ness Book Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Grawemeyer Award in Education.

She has been recognized nationally and internationally with numerous awards, including 50 honorary degrees.  She was the recipient of the 2012 Phi Beta Kappa’s Sidney Hook Memorial Award, which honors national distinction by a scholar in the areas of scholarship, undergraduate teaching and leadership in the cause of liberal arts education. Last year she became just the second woman to receive Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Social Science. The award recognizes a person whose work “constitutes a significant contribution to the benefit of mankind.”

A native of New York City, Nussbaum earned a bachelor’s degree in 1969 from New York University, where she studied theatre and classics. She went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees in classical philology from Harvard University.

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 2013 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. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold Named Lawrence University Scarff Professor

Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will spend part of the Fall Term at Lawrence University as the college’s 2012-13 Stephen Edward Scarff Distinguished Visiting Professor.

The Scarff professorship was established in 1989 by Edward and Nancy Scarff in memory of their son, Stephen, a member of the Lawrence class of 1975, who died in an automobile accident in 1984. It brings civic leaders and scholars to Lawrence to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day.

Russ Feingold

Feingold received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lawrence in 2011 and spoke as part of the college’s 1994-95 convocation series.

During his Scarff appointment, Feingold will present guest lectures for the courses “Introduction to International Relations,” “International Politics” and others. He also will deliver a public address and participate in a weekend retreat with students at Björklunden, Lawrence’s 425-acre northern campus in Door County.

“We are extremely pleased that Senator Feingold will be able to offer his insights and wisdom directly to Lawrence’s students,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows. “His experience in government will complement our programs that stress the theoretical analysis of political systems with actual examples of how our politics works in contemporary life. His commitment to improving the living conditions of our citizens is a fine example of civic engagement and will serve as a helpful model for students, faculty and staff.”

One of Wisconsin’s highest-profile elected officials, Feingold spent 28 years in public service as both a three-time state senator (1982-92) and U.S. Senator (1994-2010). During his 18 years in Congress, Feingold established himself as one of the U.S. Senate’s most independent voices. He was the lone senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001, opposed President Obama’s decision to expand the war in Afghanistan, was the first senator to propose a timetable to exit Iraq and fought against NAFTA and other financial deregulation and trade agreements he considered unfair.

“I could not be more pleased to be working with the students at one of the great pillars of education in Wisconsin, one that has produced some of Wisconsin’s strongest civic leaders,” said Feingold.

In 2011, Feingold accepted a visiting professor appointment at Marquette University Law School to teach the courses “Current Legal Issues: The U.S. Senate” and “Jurisprudence.”

Feingold also was named the inaugural Mimi and Peter Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University during the winter quarter of 2012 and will return to Stanford Law School to teach in 2013.

He is the author of the New York Times’ best-selling book “While America Sleeps,” which examines the challenges America faces as a nation since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2011, Feingold founded Progressives United, a grassroots organization designed to counter corporate influence in politics.

A native of Janesville, Feingold graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975 and earned a law degree in 1977 from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He returned to the states and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1979. Feingold practiced law in Madison from 1979-85.

Feingold is the 18th person named Lawrence’s Scarff Professor. Previous appointments include McGeorge Bundy, national security adviser to presidents Kennedy and Johnson; Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., former chaplain at Yale University, noted civil rights advocate and peace activist; and Takakazu Kuriyama, former Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in 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 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Awarding Honorary Degree to Lehman Bros. Bankruptcy Examiner at June Commencement

Lawrence University graduate Anton “Tony” Valukas, the court-appointed examiner in the historic bankruptcy case of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., will be recognized by his alma mater with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree Sunday, June 10 at Lawrence’s 163rd commencement.

Valukas, chairman of the Chicago-based national law firm Jenner & Block, also will serve as the principal commencement speaker.

Anton "Tony" Valukas '65

Valukas served as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois from 1985 to 1989.  He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In 2009, Valukas was appointed by a federal judge as the examiner for the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy in United States history. As examiner, Valukas investigated the causes of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. After reviewing 34 million documents and interviewing nearly 300 witnesses, Valukas issued a seven-volume, 2,200 page report detailing potential wrongdoing by certain Lehman executives and Ernst & Young, the auditor.

Litigator of the Year

Last month, The American Lawyer named Valukas its 2011 “Litigator of the Year,” an honor that recognizes lawyers who have had “extraordinary results for their clients.” In its cover story, the magazine hailed Valukas as one of the “few heroes to emerge from the financial debacle of 2008.” It cited his 2,200-page, seven-volume Examiner’s Report as “a tour de force of truth-telling” and credited him with “untangling what caused a historic collapse that helped set off the broader financial crisis.” Bankruptcy Court Judge James Peck called Valukas’ report “the most outstanding piece of work ever produced by an examiner.”

Valukas has been named one of the country’s leading litigation lawyers for seven consecutive years by Chambers USA, while Chicago Lawyer honored him as its “Person of the Year” for 2009. Last year, the Anti-Defamation League recognized him with its First Amendment Freedom Award.

“Tony Valukas is a superb role model for our graduating students and should be a very interesting commencement speaker for the entire audience,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Not only is he a distinguished and nationally respected legal expert, he is a humanitarian, a man with a strong social conscience. He demonstrates a balance in life between high professionalism and concern for society that our liberal arts graduates should see in action, so they might consider how to achieve this balance in their own ways in the coming years.”

Civil and Criminal Litigation

Specializing in civil and white collar criminal litigation, Valukas’ extensive experience includes consumer products litigation, product defect and consumer fraud class actions, food contamination, mass accident and environmental claims as well as defense work with accountants, real estate developers and corporate executives in high-profile matters.

Valukas is a frequent presenter to global business and legal leaders on the financial, ethical and legal challenges facing the country, has been the featured speaker at numerous American Bar Association programs and has been published extensively.

“I was surprised and delighted when I received a call from President Beck advising me that the university was going to award me an honorary degree,” said Valukas. “This award comes from an institution that I cherish and which was instrumental in shaping my life.

“So much of what I have become is attributable to the education and insights I gained while a student at Lawrence,” he added. “I remember the faculty with respect and genuine fondness. They profoundly shaped my view of the world and my commitment to the community. For Lawrence to award me this degree is both humbling and an extraordinary honor.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in government at Lawrence in 1965, Valukas earned his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law in 1968. He joined Jenner & Block in 1976 and was named the firm’s chairman in 2007.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in 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 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

Lawrence University Recognizes Russ Feingold with Honorary Degree at June Commencement

Lawrence University will recognize former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 5 at the college’s 162nd commencement. Feingold also will serve as the principal commencement speaker.

Russ Feingold

The Doctor of Humane Letters degree is in recognition of Russ Feingold’s distinguished service to the state of Wisconsin and to the nation during his 28 years in public service to date. Feingold, 57, established himself as one of the U.S. Senate’s most independent voices during his 18-year career there. He was the only senator to vote against the Patriot Act in 2001, opposed President Obama’s decision to expand the war in Afghanistan, was the first senator to propose a timetable to exit Iraq and fought against financial deregulation and trade agreements like NAFTA he considered unfair. He lost his 2010 election bid for a fourth term to Oshkosh businessman Ron Johnson.

“Senator Feingold exemplifies the ‘responsible and meaningful citizenship’ that Lawrence University values, that is central to our mission and that we would like our students to observe in action,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “As we celebrate the commencement of the Class of 2011, we are honored to be doing so with a thoughtful and humane leader who exemplifies integrity and independent thinking.”

Recognized as an effective legislator who worked across party lines on both domestic and foreign policy, Feingold is perhaps best known for his work on campaign finance reform. It resulted in the landmark Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, better known as the McCain-Feingold bill, which he co-authored with Republican John McCain. As a senator, he served on the Senate Budget, Judiciary, Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees.

Earlier this year, Feingold accepted a visiting professor appointment at Marquette University Law School to teach the course “Current Legal Issues: The U.S. Senate.” In February, Feingold announced the formation of Progressives United, a grassroots political action committee to counter corporate influence in politics. The organization will support candidates while serving as a media and political watchdog.

Feingold graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1975 and earned a law degree in 1977 from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He returned to the states and earned a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1979. Feingold practiced law in Madison from 1979-85.

A native of Janesville, Feingold first ran for public office in 1982, winning a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate. He was re-elected in 1986 and 1990 before successfully running for the U.S. Senate in 1992, defeating two-term incumbent Republican Robert Kasten.

As a U.S. Senator, Feingold made a point of visiting each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties annually to conduct “listening sessions” with voters. This approach was one example of Feingold’s honest desire to represent his state with respect for all of its citizens.

Former U.S. Ambassador, International Banking Expert Discusses World Economy at Lawrence University

Former U.S. Ambassador to India and U.S. Treasury official David Mulford discusses the state of the world economy Tuesday, April 13 in an address at Lawrence University.

Mulford will examine the ongoing economic and financial crisis in the major industrial countries and its lingering effect on the global economy at 1:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center cinema. The event is free and open to the public.

David-Mulford_web
David Mulford

A 1959 graduate of Lawrence, Mulford was appointed Ambassador to India in 2004 by President Bush and served until February 2009. He joined the U.S. State Department after spending 11 years as chairman international of the London-based banking firm Credit Suisse First Boston, where he directed worldwide, large-scale privatization business and other corporate and government advisory assignments.

Since leaving his ambassador’s post, Mulford has returned to Credit Suisse in London as vice chairman of the bank’s international division.

Prior to his ambassadorial appointment, Mulford served in public service as a senior international economic policy official in the U.S. Treasury Department under Secretaries Donald Regan, James Baker and Nicholas Brady.

His financial experience also includes eight years as managing director and head of international finance at the Boston-based investment bank White, Weld & Co., Inc. In 1974, he was named senior investment advisor to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), where he oversaw the management and development of investment programs of Saudi oil revenues until 1983.

His work in both the public and private sectors has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the Legion d’Honneur presented by the president of France, the Alexander Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Secretary of the Treasury in recognition of extraordinary service and benefit to the Treasury Department and the nation, the Order of May for Merit from the president of Argentina and The Officer’s Cross of the Medal of Merit presented by the president of Poland.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics from Lawrence, Mulford earned a master’s degree in political science from Boston University and a Ph.D. from Oxford University. Lawrence recognized him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1984. A football and basketball standout as an undergraduate, Mulford also was inducted into Lawrence’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.