Lawrence Scholars in Business

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Lawrence welcomes five new members to its board of trustees

Five new members have been elected to Lawrence University’s Board of Trustees, including two with previous board service. Each joins the board for a three-year term effective July 1.

Derrell Acon, an award-winning vocalist, Lydia Howarth, a retired publishing editor, David Knapp, senior managing director with Chicago’s Northern Trust, Robert Perille, a former private equity investment firm partner, and Sara Quandt, public health professor at Wake Forest University, were elected to the board at its most recent meeting.

Susan Stillman Kane
Susie Stillman Kane

They replace four members of the board who are retiring: Bob Anker, a 1964 Lawrence graduate who joined the board in 2004; Bob Buchanan, a 1962 Lawrence graduate who has served on the board since 1978; Garth Neustadter, a member of the class of 2010, Lawrence’s first Recent Graduate Trustee, and O. B. Parrish, a 1955 Lawrence graduate who served initially from 1983-86 and again from 1998-2017.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, it is my distinct pleasure to welcome three new and two returning trustees to the Board who represent a wealth of professional experience,” said Susie Stillman Kane ’72, board chair.

“In addition to her previous work in the publishing field, Lydia brings perspectives on higher education through her work as spouse of the chancellor of Vanderbilt University,” said Kane. “Sara, a veteran member of the academy as an applied medical anthropologist, has served as a director of Lawrence Alumni Association and has given generously of her time to Lawrence, faculty members and students. Derrell, a lecturer and opera performer, has performed globally and will provide important insights to board deliberations as a graduate of the conservatory. During his earlier service as a trustee, Bob’s strong interest in improving career services led to the birth of the Lawrence Scholars in Business Program. David’s extensive professional experience as well as that on the Lawrence Board will help to ensure the needed balance between the long-term institutional perspectives and good governance practices.”

Derrell Acon
Derrell Acon

Derrell Acon ’11, Chicago, Ill.
Acon is the board’s fourth Recent Graduate Trustee, a position established in 2014 exclusively for Lawrence alumni within 2-10 years of their graduation. He will serve one three-year term.

An award-winning bass-baritone, Acon has nearly two dozen operatic roles to his credit, among them Sarastro in “The Magic Flute” at the Glimmerglass Festival, Leporello in “Don Giovanni” for the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and the title character in “Don Bucefalo” for the La Musica Lirica International Music Festival.

Acon is a two-time Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions regional finalist and  earned first place and Grand Prize awards in Chicago’s Bel Canto Foundation Opera contest in 2010 and first prize honors in the 2015 Nicholas Loren Competition.

He has delivered lecture/recitals internationally, including the American Academy in Rome, Italy and the University of Gondar in Ethiopia.

A summa cum laude double-degree graduate of Lawrence with a B.A. in government and a B.M. in voice performance, Acon earned a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in 19th-century opera history and performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Lydia Howarth
Lydia Howarth

Lydia Howarth ’75, Nashville, Tenn.
Howarth, a former Lawrence admissions volunteer, is a retired editor for various publishing entities, including the University of Wisconsin Press, the University of Chicago Press, the National Geographic Society and the Brookings Institution. She is the wife of the chancellor of Vanderbilt University, Nicholas Zeppos.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Lawrence with a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy, Howarth earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Chicago and a master of fine arts degree in writing and literature from Bennington College.

David Knapp
David Knapp

David Knapp ’89, Chicago, Ill.
A senior managing director in wealth management with the Northern Trust in Chicago, Knapp returns to the board, where he previously served from 2003-2016, including two years as board secretary (2014-16). During his previous tenure on the board, Knapp was chair of the investment committee and the Lawrence Corporation of Wisconsin.

Prior to joining Northern Trust, Knapp worked as a consultant with Stern Stewart & Co. in Chicago and was vice president and director of the SCI Financial Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Beyond his service as a trustee, Knapp has been active in Lawrence’s Scholars in Business program, has served as a volunteer for both the admissions office and career services.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Lawrence, Knapp earned an MBA from the University of Iowa.

Robert Perille
Robert Perille

Bob Perille ’80, Santa Monica, Calif.
Perille begins his second stint on the board after previously serving from 2006-2011. He joins the board after also serving on the President’s Advisory Council. He played a leadership role in the creation of Lawrence’s Scholars in Business program.

A veteran of the investment industry, Perille retired in 2015 from Shamrock Capital Advisors, a private equity investment firm in Los Angeles focused on the communication, entertainment and media industry. He currently invests in private companies through Calvello Investments, LLC, a family holding company, and serves as a venture partner for Draper Frontier, a seed stage venture fund based in LA.  Prior to Shamrock, Perille spent 23 years with Bank of America, including as a managing director in leveraged finance and then managing partner of a captive private equity fund, Bank of America Capital Investors.  He currently serves on the boards of five private companies and the board of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from Lawrence, Perille earned a master of business administration degree from Babson College.

Sara Quandt
Sara Quandt

Sara Quandt ’73, Winston Salem, N.C.
As an applied medical anthropologist at Wake Forest University, Quandt conducts research using a community-based participatory framework with rural, minority and low income populations, including work in occupational safety and health with immigrant farmworkers, poultry processing workers and other manual workers. Her research also has focused on older adults and nutrition, including self-management of diabetes and oral health deficits.

Her efforts have been recognized with awards from the National Rural Health Association, the National Occupational Research Agenda and the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists. She also was honored by Lawrence in 2013 with the university’s Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award.

Quandt joined Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine’s department of public health in 1994 after spending 11 years on the faculty of the University of Kentucky.

In addition to her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Lawrence, Quandt earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from Michigan State 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 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 Launching New Summer Internship Program for Conservatory of Music Students

Providing a musical complement to Lawrence University’s successful LU-R1 student science research initiative, the president’s office, in conjunction with the conservatory of music, is launching a new summer internship program specifically for conservatory students.

Known as “Conservatory² —  Grow Your Music Career Exponentially,” the program will begin this summer with eight internship opportunities designed to encourage student thinking about how a music degree can lead to success in a variety of career fields after graduation.

Brian Pertl

“This groundbreaking program will provide opportunities that will expand our students’ musical lives, and in some cases, open our students’ minds to completely new career pathways in music,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory.

Conservatory² is designed to jump start “life after Lawrence NOW!” by providing a summer experience that both complements and accelerates each student’s education while offering substantial career experience and networking opportunities.

Conservatory students participating in the program will be selected though a competitive application process, placed in prearranged internships and awarded a university grant to assist with their expenses.

Inspired by a $25,000 gift from the Olga Herberg Administrative Trust to support arts programming and guided by student concerns raised last year regarding the college’s new 10-year strategic plan, Lawrence President Jill Beck used the gift to create Conservatory².

President Beck

“Student feedback on the recent Strategic Plan asked that Lawrence expand LU-R1 opportunities into areas beyond the sciences,” said Beck.  “Katelin Richter has worked with me this year as presidential intern to do just that: to take the LU-R1 model and replicate it in the conservatory for the benefit of music majors. In future years, I hope that this expansion will include the social sciences and humanities, if student and faculty demand is there. In the meantime, the summer internship opportunities that Katelin has created will add greatly to students’ experience, learning, and ability to bridge from college to career or graduate school.”

The eight available internship positions for the summer of 2012 include an array of prominent employers and alumni at organizations both in the United States and abroad:

Saxophonist Javier Arau ’98 of the New York Jazz Academy offers a summer-long internship at New York’s fastest growing music school.  Arau will integrate the student intern directly into his administration and engage them in strategic planning for his expanding organization.  The student will gain exposure to summer jazz workshops and have the possibility of assistant teaching.

The Deep Listening Institute in Kingston, N.Y., under the supervision of composer Pauline Oliveros and other DLI staff, offers an internship opportunity tailored to the student’s specific interests in deep listening philosophy.  The internship could include: assembling a book of Oliveros’ pieces, archiving recordings, managing the website, doing computer programming, writing grants, assisting with the Adaptive Use Musical Instruments Program for people with disabilities, developing a networking system for DLI-certified instructors, as well as gaining exposure to Oliveros’ summer intensive Deep Listening Workshops. DLI’s office has a performance and recording studio, which could provide a venue for the student’s work.

Olivera Music Entertainment is a full-service entertainment and talent booking agency that provides professional music entertainment production in the Washington D.C. area. The student will work with co-owner Connie Trok Olivera ’82, who has used her music education degree to produce and perform entertainment for prominent guests, including President Obama. The internship will provide start-to-finish production experience, as well as special projects, such as developing a marketing strategy to target younger demographics and selecting and arranging repertoire per client requests.

Oberlin Conservatory has partnered with Lawrence to offer internships in two of its summer programs: the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and Oberlin in Italy. The Baroque Institute internship combines experience in festival administration with full participation in the annual festival. Oberlin in Italy offers two exciting performance opportunities for qualified students in two of three areas: vocal performance, stage direction or rehearsal accompanying in the beautiful city of Arezzo, Italy.

Beth Snodgrass ’93 will oversee the Carnegie Hall Community Programs internship in New York City. The position will provide general assistance and administrative support for the Community Programs team in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, the education and community arm of one of the leading music presenters in the world. The intern will work with a dedicated staff to help prepare for the 2012-2013 season which will include more than 100 events across three different programs – the Neighborhood Concert Series, the McGraw-Hill Companies CarnegieKids and Musical Connections. These programs provide free, quality music programming featuring first-class musicians from all over the world. The intern will contribute to a team focused on providing quality community engagement events through exceptional artistic programming, production, artist professional development, strategic marketing and rigorous program assessment.

Beit Yehuda Guest House Amphitheatre in Israel offers a student internship managing the hotel’s offerings of plays and concerts. Nestled among the foothills of Givat Massuah, the facility is a short drive from Jerusalem’s city center.

“This program is a perfect complement to our course offering in entrepreneurship and our Lawrence Scholars in Arts and Entertainment program, which brings successful alumni back to Lawrence to work with and inspire our students,” said Pertl.  “Now Conservatory² will allow our students to leave campus, and through their hard work, inspire our alumni.  We are starting with eight fantastic internships, and there is a potential to grow the program substantially. I look forward to watching  Conservatory² become a signature program for our conservatory.”

For additional information on eligibility and application requirements, grant allotments and how to apply, visit or follow Conservatory² on Facebook.  Deadline for applications is February 15, 2012.

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. For more information visit or follow us on Facebook.

“Compassionate” Manhole Covers Video, Lawrence Scholars Program Cited by CASE

A Lawrence University video chronicling the creation of  “compassionate” manhole covers by art students has been recognized with a 2011 Pride of CASE V Gold Award in the Best Video Feature category

Lawrence also received a Pride of CASE V Bronze Award in the Best Collaborative Program category for its Lawrence Scholars program.

The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) honors institutions and individuals for outstanding achievement in the concept and execution of advancement programs and communications.

Rachel Crowl

Produced by Rachel Crowl, web content and new media coordinator at Lawrence, the compassionate manhole video follows the project from idea phase, through the casting process at Neenah Foundry to installation on the sidewalks in downtown Appleton and on the Lawrence campus.

The 12 custom-made manhole covers feature a different design depicting some aspect of each student’s own personal definition of compassion. The public art project was inspired by the community-wide Compassion Project, in which 10,000 Appleton school children used 6-by-6-inch ceramic tiles to create drawings and paintings of what compassion means to them.

“Rachel has done an exceptional job in bringing our video series to the next level,” said Cal Husmann, vice president for development, alumni relations and communications. “Her work has an artistic quality that helps tell Lawrence stories with an aesthetically pleasing style, while also being creative, authentic and often fun.  We are so pleased that her work has been recognized in this fashion. She deserves it.”

The Lawrence Scholars program was launched in 2008 to connect Lawrence alumni working in various business-related fields — banking, marketing, international finance, entrepreneurship and investment management, among others — with students for career counseling and networking opportunities.  Alumni return to campus throughout the academic year for day-long “summits” with students to share their expertise and experience.

Originally focused only on business, the scholars program has been so successful it has expanded into other careers, engaging alumni who are involved in law, medicine, arts and entertainment, government, international relations and environmental fields.

“The Lawrence Scholars in Business program has made an incredible impact on our students by expanding their understanding of career possibilities, while also providing a network for them to embark on their career search,” said Husmann.  “It’s been extremely gratifying seeing so many of our alumni enthusiastically giving back to the college through this innovative program.”

In addition to weekend summits with alumni, the Lawrence Scholars program sponsors a trip to Chicago each spring for students to meet with alumni working in major businesses there.  The program also offers two $5,000 student scholarships for a career development summer internship with Lawrence alumni.

Since it began, more than 100 Lawrence alumni and more than 600 students have participated in the Lawrence Scholars program.

Winners of the Pride of CASE V Awards will be recognized Dec. 11-13 at the 37th annual CASE V conference in Chicago.  District V includes institutions in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

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 Scholars in Business Advised to “Be Flexible”

Lawrence alumni working in the entertainment industry visited campus Saturday to share their advice on pursuing careers in Hollywood. Alumni panelists working as actors, writers, directors,  producers, and agents said Lawrence’s liberal arts education provides a solid foundation for successful careers in business – even “show business.” Read more.

Campbell Scott, Class of 1983, to Screen “Company Retreat” at the Warch Cinema Friday and Saturday

“Company Retreat,” a film written and directed by Campbell Scott ’83 will be shown twice this week at the Warch Campus Center, with Scott taking questions from the audience after both screenings.

The film follows the development of a fictional game show which places white-collar workers on teams opposite their company’s blue-collar workers. The zany characters clash as the stakes rise in the isolation of New York’s Adirondack mountains.

“It’s ostensibly a mockumentary in the Christopher Guest vein about a reality TV show doomed from its inception. It’s about what happens to a bunch of people when they end up in the mountains with nothing to do,” Scott said.

Scott has had a long and successful career, starring in such movies as “Longtime Companion,” “Roger Dodger,” “Music and Lyrics” and “The Secret Lives of Dentists.” His directorial efforts include the movies “Big Night,” “Off the Map” and “Company Retreat.” Scott’s most recent acting performances include recurring roles on the television shows Damages and Royal Pains.

“Company Retreat” will be shown at the Warch Campus Center Cinema at 7:15 p.m. Friday, May 21 and at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 22. Audience members are invited to stay after the film for a brief question and answer session with Scott.

Scott will also be participating in the Lawrence Scholars in Business Entertainment Industry Summit May 22 from 4-6 p.m., where alumni will be discussing careers in entertainment with Lawrence students. Click here for more information about the summit.

Steppenwolf Theatre Director David Hawkanson ’69 Discusses Challenges Facing Arts Organizations

David Hawkanson, executive director of Chicago’s award-winning Steppenwolf Theatre, discusses the challenges facing arts organizations and his efforts to strengthen the arts in urban communities Monday, April 19 at 4:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

David Hawkanson

A 1969 graduate of Lawrence, Hawkanson presents “The Business of the Arts: How a Non-profit Arts Organization Navigates the Business and Government Sectors.” The event is free and open to the public.

Hawkanson has spent more than 35 years in arts management, including the past seven as executive director at Steppenwolf Theatre. In 2008, Steppenwolf’s production “August Osage County” won four Tony Awards, including Best Play.

Prior to joining Steppenwolf Theatre, Hawkanson spent six years as managing director of Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater. His distinguished career includes positions as managing director at the Hartford Stage Company, which received a special Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre during his tenure and managerial posts with the Arizona Theater Company and San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater.

Hawkanson also has served as artistic advisor to the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, a program committee member for the National Arts Stabilization Fund and a panelist and advisor to both the Ford Foundation’s Working Capital Fund and the Minneapolis Foundation’s Working Capital Reserve Fund. He is a former senior staff member at the National Endowment for the Arts and a former chairman and panelist for the theatre program of the NEA.