Tag: Jill Beck

Nobel Prize Winner Thomas Steitz Delivers Lawrence University Commencement Address

Lawrence University graduate Thomas Steitz, whose research on the structure of ribosomes earned him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, returns to his alma mater Sunday, June 13 as featured speaker for the college’s 161st commencement. It will be Steitz’ first visit back to his home state since being named a Nobel laureate.

Lawrence is expected to confer 310 bachelor of arts and/or music degrees to 297 seniors from 33 states and 14 countries during graduation ceremonies that begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

John Dreher, Lee Claflin-Robert S. Ingraham Professor of Philosophy, delivers the address “What’s Good Today” at a baccalaureate service Saturday, June 12 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The baccalaureate service and commencement exercise are both free and open to the public.

Four retiring faculty members will be recognized at commencement. s. Robert McMillen Professor of Chemistry Jerrold Lokensgard, Professor of Biology Brad Rence Professor of French Judy Sarnecki and Associate Professor and Director of Technical Services in the library Corrine Wocelka will be awarded honorary master of arts degrees for their combined 129 years of service to Lawrence.

During commencement, President Jill Beck, Lawrence Board of Trustees Chair Harry Jansen Kraemer ’77 and senior Alicia Bones of Omaha, Neb., will join Steitz in addressing the graduates.

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Thomas Steitz

Steitz, who grew up in Milwaukee and graduated from Wauwatosa High School in 1958, was named one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in October and received his award in ceremonies last December in Stockholm, Sweden. He was honored for his decades-long research into the structure and function of ribosomes, which decode messenger RNA into proteins, a function central to life. An understanding of the structural basis of the function of ribosomes provides possibilities for the development of new antibiotics.

Since 1970, Steitz has taught at Yale University, where he is the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and professor of chemistry. He also is an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

His address Sunday will be his third appearance on the Lawrence commencement stage. In addition to receiving his own bachelor’s degree with a major in chemistry in 1962, Steitz was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree in 1981. Lawrence also recognized Steitz with its Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002.

On Friday, June 11, Lawrence will rename its 10-year-old Science Hall the Thomas A. Steitz Hall of Science in recognition of Steitz’ achievements.

Since winning the Nobel Prize, Steitz has maintained a busy travel schedule. He returned earlier this week from Cambridge University in England where he delivered a lecture to the Medical Research Council. He arrived in England from Erice, Sicily where he was teaching a class. During the past several months, he has attended conferences or delivered lectures in California, Denmark, France, Italy and Switzerland.

The Nobel Prize was just the latest in a long list of awards and honors Steitz has received during his distinguished career. He has been the recipient of the Pfizer Prize from the American Chemical Society, the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for distinguished work in basic medical sciences and the Newcomb Cleveland Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He also was awarded Japan’s Keio Medical Science Prize in 2006, which honors researchers for outstanding and creative achievements in the fields of medicine and life sciences and the 2007 Gairdner Foundation International Award, which recognizes outstanding discoveries or contributions to medical science.

After Lawrence, Steitz earned a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and biochemistry from Harvard University, where he worked with 1976 Nobel Prize winner William Lipscomb. Following a postdoctoral year at Harvard, he moved to the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England before joining the Yale faculty in 1970.

Steitz is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was recently elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

His wife, Joan Steitz, also is a Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale. Steitz’ younger brother, Richard, graduated from Lawrence as well, earning a bachelor’s degree with a major in mathematics and physics in 1964.

LU’s Jill Beck Cited by Forbes as Barrier Breaker

Forbes.com recently named Lawrence University President Jill Beck to its list of “barrier breakers” in a report about female college presidents. According to the American Council on Education (ACE), 23 percent of college presidents are women, a significant increase over 1986’s 10 percent. Forbes says the future holds even more promise as women continue to break down gender barriers in higher education. Fifteen of Forbes’ 50 Best Colleges are led by women. Eight presidents, including Beck, are the first female president in their school’s history. Read the full story and learn more about Forbes’ 15 “barrier breakers.”

State of the University: President Beck’s Annual Matriculation Convocation Opens Lawrence University’s 161st Academic Year

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University President Jill Beck officially opens the college’s 161st academic year as well as the 2009-10 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 17 with the matriculation address “The State of the University: Challenges and Opportunities.” The convocation, at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, is free and open to the public.

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Beck will discuss the momentum currently underway at Lawrence despite the obstacles posed by the current economic downturn, including the completion of the Richard and Margot Warch Campus Center, the College Ave. median garden and the structural and aesthetic renovations of the iconic Memorial Chapel, as well as other innovative initiatives on campus and in the community as a result of faculty and student engagement. The convocation will celebrate the achievements of students, faculty and staff in enacting the mission of the college.

As part of the convocation Jeff Clark, associate professor of geology and faculty associate to the president on the Green Roots program, a campus-wide sustainability initiative launched in the fall of 2008, will provide a progress report after one year of the program and lay out goals for the coming academic year.

Beck, the first woman appointed president of Lawrence, is in her sixth year as head of the college. Since assuming the presidency in 2004, she has focused on strengthening Lawrence’s commitment to individualized instruction, increasing collaborative and complementary activities between the fine and performing arts and the traditional liberal arts and sciences and encouraging more active community engagement by Lawrence faculty, students and staff.

Prior to being named Lawrence’s president, Beck spent eight years (1995-2003) as the dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine, where she established the daVinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts, an interdisciplinary center for research focused on learning across disciplines.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Beck earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art history from Clark University, a master’s degree in history and music from McGill University, and a Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the City University of New York. She served on the faculties of City College of the City of New York and The Juilliard School and has written extensively in the fields of dance history, theory, repertory, and technique, as well as choreographing and directing ballet and modern dance repertory.

Joining Beck on the 2009-10 convocation series are:

• Oct. 20, 2009 – Marcia Bjornerud, Lawrence University professor of geology and Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies. A structural geologist, Bjørnerud is the author of the book “Reading the Rocks: The Autobiography of the Earth,” a history of the Earth and the toll human activity is exacting on the planet. A recipient of two Fulbright Scholar fellowships, she appears on this year’s series as the first recipient of Lawrence’s new Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for professional excellence.

• Feb. 16, 2010 – Adam Werbach, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S., the world’s largest sustainability agency. In 1996 at the age of 23, Werbach became the youngest-ever national president of the Sierra Club. He is the author of the 2009 book “Strategy for Sustainability,” an appeal to the business world to address social and cultural trends as well as environmental and economic ones.

• April 8, 2010 – Rebecca Solnit, award-winning writer and essayist, whose work focuses on issues of the environment, landscape and place. A contributing editor to Harper’s magazine, she is the author of more than a half dozen books, including 2007’s “Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics,” an anthology of nearly 40 of her essays from the past 10 years.

• May 20, 2010 – Robert Hartwell, Vermont State Senator. A 1969 Lawrence graduate, Hartwell has been an advocate for environmental protection and land use issues, including the most comprehensive energy legislation ever enacted in Vermont. He currently serves as a trustee of the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont River Conservancy.

Four Lawrence University Faculty Honored at 160th Commencement

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University recognized four members of its faculty Sunday, June 14 for teaching excellence, scholarship and creative activity during the college’s 160th commencement.

Michael Orr, professor of art history, received Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society. Michael-Orr_web.jpg

A specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, Orr joined the Lawrence faculty in 1989. He previously received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1992) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Prize (2006). He is one of only eight faculty members presented both the Excellence in Teaching and Young Teacher awards in the program’s 34-year history.

Orr has served as an exhibition consultant for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy. Earlier this year, he was named one of 42 American Council on Education Fellows nationally. The program prepares promising senior faculty for responsible positions in college and university administration. Orr will spend the 2009-10 academic year working with the president and senior officers at Macalester College.

President Jill Beck cited Orr’s excellence as a lecturer in presenting his award.

“Students describe your class presentations as ‘amazing, funny, interesting, efficient, and fantastic,'” said Beck “You are thought of as a person with high standards for both student work and your own performance. Your willingness to help each student and your powerful devotion to teaching are sources of great respect.”

Orr earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of London and master and doctorate degrees at Cornell University.

Bruce Pourciau, professor of mathematics, received the Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which honors a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar. In 2000, he was presented Lawrence’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Bruce-Pourciau_90_web.jpgA member of the faculty for 33 years, Pourciau has distinguished himself as a scholar with interests spanning the areas of pure mathematics, the history of science and the philosophy of mathematics. He has earned national and international recognition for his analyses of Sir Isaac Newton’s seminal work “The Principia.”

In presenting the award, Provost David Burrows praised Pourciau as person “whose precise and sophisticated thinking brings clarity to the most complex problems and situations.

“Your thoughtful and stimulating scholarly contributions have been an important part of the intellectual life of Lawrence,” said Burrows. “Your concern for the accurate use of language is a hallmark of your scholarship, as well as a source of frank commentary on the writings of others. The breadth and depth of your work are outstanding and establish you as a person of great intellectual achievement.”

Pourciau graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

David McGlynn, assistant professor of English, received the Award for Excellence in Creative Activity. Established in 2006, the award recognizes outstanding creative work for advancing Lawrence’s mission. David-McGlynn_web.jpg

McGlynn is the author of the 2008 book “The End of the Straight and Narrow,” a collection of nine short stories that examines the inner lives, passions and desires of the zealous and the ways religious faith is both the compass for navigating daily life and the force that makes ordinary life impossible. His fiction and creative nonfiction works also have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, and Shenandoah.

In May, the Council for Wisconsin Writers recognized McGlynn with its annual Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award for his essay “Hydrophobia,” which appeared in the Missouri Review.

His scholarship includes the literary analysis of ideas of other authors, George Eliot and Frank Norris among them, the context in which they express their ideas and the connections between their writings and those of others.

“Your outstanding accomplishments in the areas of fiction, non-fiction creative writing and scholarship mark you as a person of exceptional ability,” Beck said of McGlynn. “Your imagination, sense of empathy and mastery of the craft of writing enrich the lives of all who read your work. You are not only a wonderful creative writer but are also an excellent literary scholar.”

McGlynn joined the Lawrence faculty in 2006 after earning a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. He also earned master and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah.

Andrew Mast, assistant professor of music and director of bands, received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

Andy-Mast_web.jpg In addition to conducting the Lawrence Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band, Mast teaches courses in band history, conducting, music education and the Freshman Studies program. Under this direction, the Wind Ensemble was recognized this spring by DownBeat magazine in its annual student music awards competition as the nation’s best in the classical group division, which encompasses chamber ensembles, bands and orchestras from around the country.

He is a frequent guest conductor and has led honor bands and festivals throughout the Midwest, as well as the Pilzen Conservatory in the Czech Republic. He co-founded and serves as president of the Vincent Persichetti Society, an organization dedicated to the work of the prolific 20th-century American composer.

“Your passion, enthusiasm and friendly approach have made you a very successful teacher and a valued member of the Lawrence community,” Burrows said in presenting Mast his award. “Your students hold you in high regard both as a teacher and conductor. Many students in your ensembles describe their experience as transformative, both musically and personally.”

Mast joined the conservatory faculty in 2004. He earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa and also holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Lawrence University Celebrates 160th Commencement, Honors New York Times Columnist

APPLETON, WIS. — In recognition of his professional achievements, Lawrence University will award New York Times op-ed columnist Bob Herbert an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Sunday, June 14 at the college’s 160th commencement. As part of commencement exercises, Herbert also will address the graduating seniors.

Lawrence is expected to confer 324 bachelor of arts and/or music degrees to 314 seniors from 32 states and 14 foreign countries during graduation ceremonies that begin at 10:30 a.m. on the Main Hall green.

William Chaney, George McKendree Steele Professor Emeritus of History, delivers the address “College and the Final Exam” at a baccalaureate service Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The baccalaureate service and commencement are free and open to the public.

During commencement, President Jill Beck, Lawrence Board of Trustees Chair Harry Jansen Kraemer ’77 and seniors Nora Taylor of Chicago and James Duncan Welke of Appleton will join Herbert in addressing the graduates.

An award-winning journalist, Herbert has enjoyed a career spanning both print and broadcast media. Since June 1993, he has written a twice-a-week column on politics, urban affairs and social trends for the New York Times, telling stories that give ordinary people hope and a voice. Prior to joining the Times, he spent two years as a national correspondent for NBC, reporting for “The Today Show and “NBC Nightly News.”

Born in Brooklyn, Herbert began his journalism career in 1970 as a reporter with The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. He joined The Daily News in New York in 1976 as a general assignment reporter and later served as national correspondent, consumer affairs editor, city hall bureau chief and city editor. He was appointed to the paper’s editorial board in 1985 and began writing columns that ran in The Daily News for eight years.

He launched his broadcast career in 1990 as a founding panelist of “Sunday Edition,” a weekly discussion program on WCBS-TV in New York and also served as host of “Hotline,” a weekly hour-long issues program on WNYC-TV.

His writing has earned Herbert numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editors award in 1988 for distinguished deadline writing, Columbia University School of Journalism’s 1989 Mike Berger Award, which honors distinguished and enterprising reporting by New York journalists and most recently, the 2008 David Nyhan Prize from the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University for excellence in political reporting. He is a former chairman of the Pulitzer Prize jury for spot news reporting.

Herbert is the author of the 2005 book “Promises Betrayed: Waking Up from the American Dream,” a collection of essays in which he examines the lives of ordinary citizens, minorities and children who are facing real problems in a society he argues too often fails to meet the American creed of fairness and justice.

Read Herbert’s charge to the Class of 2009.

Author Salman Rushdie Highlights Lawrence University Convocation Series, President Jill Beck Kicks off Series with Annual Matriculation Address

Lawrence University President Jill Beck officially opens the college’s 156th academic year Thursday, Sept. 22 and kicks off the 2005-06 convocation series with her annual matriculation address.

Beck will examine the importance of student involvement in the greater community and its role in developing character and instilling personal principles in the address “A Question of Values: Community Engagement, Altruism and Liberal Education” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Joining Beck on the 2005-06 convocation schedule is environmental ethicist and author Christopher Stone, theoretical physicist Lisa Randall, award-winning novelist Salman Rushdie and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge D. Michael Lynn.

Lawrence’s 15th and first woman president, Beck assumed the presidency in July, 2004 and was formally installed in office in May, 2005. Among the themes she has chosen for her presidency are to increase collaborative and complementary activities between the fine and performing arts and the traditional liberal arts and sciences and to encourage more active community engagement by Lawrence and its students.

Under her leadership, the college has created an innovative postdoctoral teaching fellowship program — the Lawrence University Fellows in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. During its first year (2005-06), the Lawrence Fellows program has brought eight recent Ph.D.s to campus in fields as diverse as music composition, physics, gender studies, geology and philosophy.

Prior to coming to Lawrence, Beck spent eight years (1995-2003) as dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. At UC-Irvine, Beck established the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts, an interdisciplinary center for research focused on learning across disciplines. She also founded ArtsBridge America, an outreach program that offers hands-on experiences in the arts to school-age children, placing university students in K-12 classrooms as instructors and mentors. In 2005, Lawrence became the headquarters of ArtsBridge America and the first private institution to join the program, which now has 22 participating institutions in 13 states and Northern Ireland.

A native of Worcester, Massachusetts, she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art history from Clark University, a master’s degree in history and music from McGill University and the Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the City University of New York. She served on the faculties of City College of the City University of New York and The Juilliard School and has written extensively in the fields of dance history, theory, repertory, and technique, as well as choreographing and directing ballet and modern dance repertory.

Stone, the J. Thomas McCarthy Trustee Professor of Law at the University of Southern California, presents “Mending the Earth: Ethical Issues in Healing the Global Environment” Tuesday, Oct. 4. He has written extensively on the environment, ocean policy, U.S. alternate energy policy and climate change, among other topics. He serves as a member of the Commission on Environmental Law of the IUCN (World Conservation Union) and is a Trustee of the Center for International Environmental Law.

Randall, a professor of physics at Harvard University, will discuss the mysteries of the universe’s hidden dimensions Thursday, Jan. 26. A rising star in the world of theoretical physics, her groundbreaking research has investigated possibilities for particle physics and cosmology when there are more than three dimensions, such as the possibility of a hidden fifth dimension of infinite extent. The recipient of a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, Randall taught at MIT and Princeton University before joining the faculty at Harvard.

Rushdie, one of the most successful and celebrated novelists of his generation, presents “A Morning with Salman Rushdie,” Thursday, April 20. While his novels have earned critical acclaim and enjoyed widespread commercial success, he is perhaps best known for his work “The Satanic Verses,” which generated a firestorm of controversy. It was banned in his native India before it was published and was deemed sacrilegious by Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeni, who issued a “fatwa” against Rushdie in 1989.

His book “Step Across This Line: Collected Non-Fiction, 1992-2002” is a collection of articles that explore his own reaction to the fatwa, as well as reactions of the media and various governments. His latest novel, “Shalimar the Clown,” which explores the evolution of a terrorist, was released earlier this month.

Lynn will deliver the address “American Justice: Proud Promise or Oxymoron: How Does the Legal System Measure Up?” at Lawrence’s annual Honors Convocation Thursday, May 25. A 1965 Lawrence graduate, Lynn was appointed U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in September, 2001 after a 29-year career of practicing corporate reorganization and bankruptcy law in Dallas, Texas. He also serves as a professor of law on the faculty of Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law and has been recognized for his work on behalf of the homeless and by the State Bar of Texas for his participation on the faculty of numerous continuing legal education programs.

Lawrence University Celebrates Inauguration of Jill Beck as its 15th President

For the first time in more than 25 years, Lawrence University will officially install a new president.

Formal inauguration ceremonies of Jill Beck as the 15th president in Lawrence’s 158-year history will be held Saturday, May 7 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Delegates representing more than 50 colleges, universities and learned societies from around the nation will participate in the inaugural procession of Lawrence faculty and trustees into the chapel.

William O. Hochkammer Jr., chair of the Lawrence Board of Trustees, will deliver the inauguration’s welcome. Community greetings will be presented by Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna and Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, a 1987 Lawrence graduate.

Additional greetings will be delivered by John Bassett, president of Clark University, Beck’s alma mater, as well as individuals representing Milwaukee-Downer College alumnae and Lawrence alumni, faculty and current students.

Beck will deliver the inaugural address “Taking Flight: Exploring New Collaborations Between the Arts and Science.”

Inaugurations of college and university presidents trace their roots to 17th-century America. The custom was established by the country’s nine colonial colleges as a way of formally acknowledging a change in leadership at a school’s highest level within a context of tradition and continuity.

“A presidential inauguration is a significant event in the life of a college,” said Hochkammer, a 1966 Lawrence graduate. “It provides a wonderful opportunity to share and reflect on our role in the community and to showcase some of the people who make this institution such a special place.”

Prior to Saturday’s inauguration, Lawrence will hold a community open house on Friday, May 6. The day-long event (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) will celebrate the academic life of the college, the connections between the arts and liberal learning and the many partnering activities engaged in by Lawrence and the Fox Cities communities.

Among the open house’s activities will be departmental displays, panel presentations or tours of all academic buildings, several art exhibitions, including a display of the recently completed Picturing Peace Project featuring photographs and poems by Appleton students and performances in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel by area kindergarten through 12th-grade students who were involved in ArtsBridge projects.

Concluding the day’s festivities will be an inaugural celebratory concert by Lawrence conservatory of music faculty. Detailed schedules of all open house activities will be available at the inauguration information desk in Main Hall on Friday (5/6) beginning at 9 a.m.

Beck was elected president on January 23, 2004 by the Lawrence Board of Trustees and began her duties on July 1 of last year, succeeding Richard Warch, who had served as president from 1979.

Prior to being named president of Lawrence, Beck held the position of director of the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts at the University of California, Irvine. Beck founded the da Vinci Center in 2001 during her tenure (1995 2003) as UCI’s dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.

A nationally recognized arts innovator, Beck also founded the ArtsBridge America program, a national model for the advancement of educational arts partnerships between universities and K-12 communities. Under her direction, the outreach program has grown from just seven students in 1996 to nearly 800 “Arts Bridge Scholars” at 21 institutions in 13 states, providing hands-on, experientially-based arts instruction to more than 30,000 school children.

Lawrence became the national headquarters of the ArtsBridge America program last year and is the only private institution among its 21 participating colleges and universities.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Beck earned a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in philosophy and art history at Clark University in 1970 and a master of arts degree in history and music from McGill University in 1976. She earned her doctorate in theatre history and criticism in 1984 from City University of New York.

Beck has written broadly on issues of arts education, as well as directed ballet and modern dance repertory extensively. During her career, Beck has been the assistant director of the dance division at The Julliard School and was the chair of the dance department at City University of New York, Connecticut College and Southern Methodist University before being appointed dean at UCI.

Beck is married to Robert Beck, a visiting professor of education at Lawrence.

President Jill Beck Opens Lawrence University’s 155th Academic Year with Matriculation Convocation Focusing on Value of Personalized Instruction

Jill Beck makes her official public debut as Lawrence University’s 15th president Thursday, Sept. 23, opening the college’s 155th academic year with her first matriculation address.

Beck, who was named the successor of long-time Lawrence president Richard Warch in January and assumed the president’s duties in July, will deliver the address “The Value of Individualized Instruction in
Liberal Education” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

Beck will discuss the importance of highly individualized, one-on-one personal interaction between students and teachers and why that kind of close collaboration is so essential to effective learning.

Prior to her appointment as president of Lawrence, Beck spent eight years as dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California-Irvine. During her tenure as dean, she founded ArtsBridge America, a national model for the advancement of educational arts partnerships between universities and K-12 communities, and established the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts, an interdisciplinary center for research focused on learning across disciplines.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Beck earned a bachelor of arts degree from Clark University in 1970 and her Ph.D. from City University of New York.

In addition to opening the new academic year, Beck’s matriculation address also launches Lawrence’s five-part convocation series for the 2004-05 academic year. Other scheduled speakers in the convocation series include:

Oct. 7 — Columnist, author and political commentator Arianna Huffington

Feb. 8 — Georgia Congressman and noted civil rights activist John Lewis

March 8 — Human rights activist and Partners in Health medical director Joia Mukherjee

May 26 — Columbia University President Lee Bollinger

Lawrence University Names Jill Beck College’s 15th President

Jill Beck, former dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine and current director of the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts at UCI, Friday (1/23/04) was named the 15th president of Lawrence University.

Beck will succeed Richard Warch, who is retiring June 30. Warch is completing a 25-year tenure, the second-longest presidency in Lawrence history. He is currently the longest-serving college president in Wisconsin and, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, one of only 20 sitting presidents in the country who have achieved the 25-year mark or beyond. Beck, 54, will assume office July 1 as the first woman president in Lawrence’s 158-year history.

“I am delighted and honored for the opportunity to carry on Lawrence University’s well-earned reputation as one of the country’s finest liberal arts colleges,” said Beck. “Lawrence is unique in having achieved excellence in both the performing arts and the liberal arts and sciences, and in finding a way to properly balance each.

“Former Lawrence president Henry Wriston noted that ‘Only when the intellect and the emotions work together can a satisfactory result be achieved.’ It will be a privilege to offer leadership to the Lawrence community in working toward that goal, of providing learning experiences that develop all of our human capabilities.”

Jeffrey D. Riester, chair of the Lawrence University Board of Trustees, cited Beck’s breadth of academic, administrative and fundraising leadership as well as her passionate commitment to the liberal arts among the attributes that made her a compelling candidate.

“We set out to find the best person in the country to lead Lawrence University into its future and we had the extraordinary good fortune to discover Jill Beck,” said Riester, a 1970 Lawrence graduate.

Robert Buchanan, who served as chair of a 15-person committee consisting of trustees, faculty members, representatives of the student body, alumni and administrative staff which conducted an extensive national search, said Beck was the unanimous recommendation of the search committee.

“Dr. Beck has compiled an impressive record of academic excellence. She has a demonstrated track record of finding creative management solutions to complex issues and an inclusive style of problem-solving that superbly qualifies her to be an outstanding president of Lawrence University,” said Buchanan, a 1962 Lawrence graduate. “Add to this an articulate, warm, engaging personality and it becomes clear we have found an exceptional leader for Lawrence.”

Classicist Daniel Taylor, who also served on the search committee, said Beck stood out among a strong field of candidates early in the process.

“Jill Beck emerged immediately as a candidate in whom we were obviously going to be seriously interested. The more we learned about her, the more interested we became,” said Taylor, Hiram A. Jones Professor of Classics and a 1963 Lawrence graduate. “She’s a genuine renaissance woman as her lengthy career accomplishments attest.

“Moreover, she’s a born leader,” Taylor added. “She seems to be surrounded by an aura of creativity and what is most impressive, she inspires creative thinking in those around her. She describes her own undergraduate liberal arts education as life transforming and that’s exactly what a Lawrence education is intended to be. What I like best about her vision of the academic world, however, is that she deems what we do in the liberal arts as noble.”

An award-winning administrator and a nationally recognized arts innovator, Beck founded the ArtsBridge America program in 1996 and established the da Vinci Research Center for Learning Through the Arts in 2001 during her tenure (1995-2003) as UCI’s dean of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. She currently serves as director of both programs and holds the rank of full professor in UCI’s department of dance.

Beck has earned numerous honors for her leadership of ArtsBridge America, a national model for the advancement of educational arts partnerships between universities and K-12 communities. Under her direction, the outreach program has grown from just seven students in 1996 to nearly 1,000 university students at 17 institutions in California and eight other states, providing experientially-based arts instruction to school children in urban and low-income areas.

In 1998 the ArtsBridge America program was recognized with a national dissemination award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) and has received several other awards for its work with schools and communities.

During her eight years as dean of the School of the Arts, Beck also established four $1,000,000 endowed professorships, directed a $22 million capital campaign, increased undergraduate applications to the arts department by 70% over a four-year period and created ArtsWeek, an annual visual and performing arts festival that showcases the research and creative work of faculty and students.

In 2002, Beck was awarded the UCI Medal, the university’s highest honor, in recognition of her “visionary leadership in building community.” She received the Disney Corporation’s Jack Linquist Award for Innovation in 2000 for her work with ArtsBridge and its creative approach to social problems and the American Red Cross’ Clara Barton Award for humanitarian service in the arts that same year. The Orange County Department of Education honored Beck last year with its Outstanding Contributions to Education Award.

A native of Worcester, Mass., Beck earned a bachelor of arts degree cum laude in philosophy and art history at Clark University in 1970 and a master of arts degree in history and music from McGill University in 1976. She earned her doctorate in theatre history and criticism in 1984 from City University of New York.

A passionate advocate of interdisciplinary arts education, Beck has written broadly on issues of arts education, as well as directed ballet and modern dance repertory extensively. Fluent in French, Beck has lived in Canada, France and Australia and traveled broadly throughout Europe and Asia.

During her career, Beck has been the assistant director of the dance division at The Julliard School and was the chair of the dance department at City College of New York, Connecticut College and Southern Methodist University before being appointed dean at UCI. Irvine is the fourth-largest campus of the University of California system with 23,000 students and 1,300 faculty members. UCI was ranked among the top 50 best national universities by U.S. News & World Report in its 2004 “America’s Best College’s” guide.

Beck is married to Robert Beck, a professor of education at UCI.