Tag: Mark Burstein

President Mark Burstein stresses the value of inner character in charge to UW-Fox Valley graduates

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Lawrence University President Mark Burstein served as principal speaker at UW-Fox’s 2015 commencement ceremonies. Photo by Max Hermans.

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein told graduates at UW-Fox Valley that “striving for inner character – to be kind, brave, honest or faithful – is as important or maybe more for your success than the degree you receive tonight” during the college’s spring commencement ceremonies.

Burstein served as the principal speaker May 20 for the Menasha campus’ annual graduation exercise held in the UW-Fox Fieldhouse, during which 224 Associate of Arts and Science degrees were awarded.

As part of the festivities, UW-Fox surprised Burstein by awarding him an honorary Associate of Arts and Science degree.

Burstein is the second Lawrence president to deliver UW-Fox Valley’s commencement address, joining Richard Warch (1979-2004), who served as commencement speaker for the 1989 ceremony.

In his remarks, Burstein assured the graduates that their experience at UW-Fox Valley helped build their inner character “as you read and listened and talked to each other in and out of class.

“Look back and take account of the learnings you gained from this experience,” Burstein said. “They will serve you well, surely as well as what you learned in books from English, biology and economics classes.”

He also credited the students’ UW-Fox Valley education for preparing them for a life of “deeper inquiry.”

“We live in a complicated time where opposing viewpoints are often expressed with great fervor and without consideration for other perspectives,” Burstein said. “It is easier than ever to take at face value the information available on the Internet, television and the press.

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Martin Rudd, UW-Fox Valley Campus Executive Officer and Dean (left) and Lawrence University President Mark Burstein share a moment prior to UW-Fox’s 2015 commencement ceremony. Burstein delivered the commencement address. Photo by Max Hermans.

“What has always been and what will always be more challenging, but I would argue also more rewarding, is to consider the issues that face this state, nation and world using the critical analysis you have employed in the service of your education to determine your own views and to help you plot your course in the years to come.  You have learned to question. That is an important and useful skill. It is a skill that builds character.”

Burstein issued a challenge to the graduates as they prepare to move on to the next chapter of their lives and confront the decisions and challenges that await them.

“Aim high and be bold,” he said. “The world is waiting for your talent and leadership.”

Watch President Burstein’s address.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence Receives Record $25 Million Gift for Scholarship Endowment

A lives changer.

That’s how Lawrence University President Mark Burstein sees a $25 million anonymous gift the college has received to support student scholarships.

major-gift-news-blog2The $25 million gift is the largest in Lawrence history and will be used to establish an endowed scholarship to help meet the financial need for future Lawrence students. It is a dollar-for-dollar matching gift that will result in a new $50 million in additional endowment to support scholarships.

“A gift this size will truly change lives. We are humbled by the donor’s generosity,” said Burstein. “This gift and subsequent matching support will further enhance Lawrence’s role as a catalyst for social mobility.

“The magnitude of a $25 million gift is really immeasurable, but we know it will impact generations of students from across the country and around the world,” Burstein added. “The students who benefit from this gift will go on to make a difference in their home communities. That will be the ultimate dividend of this gift.”

“Few moments happen in the more than 160-year history of an institution like Lawrence that are truly transformative. This is one of them,” said Terry Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate and current chair of the college’s Board of Trustees. “A boost of $50 million in our endowment guarantees that Lawrence remains affordable for generations to come. I’m sure it will excite our alumni as much as it does me.”

Based on the average financial aid package for the 2014-15 academic year, the endowment draw from this gift will allow Lawrence to offer financial aid awards that meet the full institutionally demonstrated financial need of at least 50 students each year in perpetuity.

“The magnitude of a $25 million gift is really immeasurable, but we know it will
impact generations of students from across the country and around the world.”
— President Mark Burstein

Since becoming Lawrence’s 16th president in July 2013, Burstein has made affordability a central institutional priority.

Major-Gift_newsblog#2“We fully realize college costs can be a financial burden, which is why we are so focused on scholarship support,” said Burstein. “With this gift, along with an institutional commitment to contain expenses and manage tuition growth, we aim to help students from all backgrounds attend Lawrence and reap the benefits of a challenging and rigorous education.”

The importance of a college degree in improving a person’s social mobility was underscored in a 2008 Brookings Institution report, “Getting Ahead or Losing Ground: Economic Mobility in America.”

According to the report’s authors, when children born into the bottom fifth of the United States of the income distribution earn a college degree, their chances of making it to the top fifth of income earners nearly quadruple, and their chances of escaping the bottom income quintile increase by more than 50 percent. While half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, only 1 in 10 people from low-income families do.

The record-setting gift comes on the heels of other positive financial news for Lawrence. The college is coming off its best year ever for gifts to its annual giving program — the Lawrence Fund — with an institutional record $3.7 million raised during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

The Lawrence Fund provides nearly 10 percent of the college’s annual operating budget. It helps bridge the gap between what students pay in tuition and actual operating costs and in conjunction with endowment earnings, helps reduce each student’s tuition by more than $10,000 per year.

In July, Lawrence announced a $2.5 million gift to expand its current teacher education program to include elementary teacher education certification beginning in the fall of 2015.Major-Gifts_newsblog_4

Earlier this year, Lawrence received a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III SIP program for a comprehensive program designed to increase the graduation rate of at-risk students.

“Collectively these gifts and grants have fueled considerable institutional momentum that will help our students have a positive, productive experience while they’re here and prepare them to succeed in a rapidly changing world,” Burstein said.

Lawrence’s previous largest gift was $16 million in 2006 for the Warch Campus Center.

For the 2014-15 academic year, Lawrence provided $33.4 million in institutional financial aid.

Ninety-six percent of Lawrence students are receiving need and/or merit based financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year.

The average need-based student financial aid package for the current school year is $35,600.

For the current school year, 21 percent of Lawrence students are receiving federal Pell Grants, which are given to undergraduates from low-income families with the highest need.

As for June 30, 2014, Lawrence’s endowment was nearly $250 million and experienced a 16.2 percent investment return over the fiscal year.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2015 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” 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.

White House Cites Lawrence University as One of 100 Colleges Committed to Assisting Low-Income Students

A peer mentoring program and increased academic support services are among the commitments Lawrence University has pledged to help more low-income students attend and complete college.

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President Mark Burstein

Lawrence joined a select number of colleges and universities in the country publicly pledging plans to assist low-income students as part of a higher education summit hosted Thursday (1/16) by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

The administration released the promises — financial or otherwise — of 100 institutions and 40 organizations aimed at assisting more low-income students attend college.

Lawrence and UW-Madison were the only Wisconsin institutions included in the White House-issued report “Commitments to Action on College Opportunity.”

“Affordability and access to a quality college education are Lawrence’s top priorities,” said President Mark Burstein. “Our plans address families’ financial burden and provide resources to assure a successful experience through graduation.”

Lawrence’s current efforts include providing need-based financial aid to about two-thirds of its students annually. Twenty-two percent of Lawrence students have extremely high financial need and qualify for federal Pell Grants. The college also enrolls a substantial number of first-generation students. Typically 10 to 15 percent of each class of degree-seeking students do not have parents who attended college.

In 2006, Lawrence was at the forefront of colleges nationally to implement test-optional admissions, helping to level the admissions playing field for low-income students who cannot afford expensive test-preparation services.

Among the additional steps Lawrence is pledging include:

Enhanced current partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs), including College Possible, College Horizons, the Posse Foundation and several others throughout the Chicago area to expand enrollment of students well matched for Lawrence. The expanded partnerships are expected to more than double the number of students from CBOs matriculating at Lawrence, beginning in fall of 2015.

Increased academic support services, including the addition of new staff positions, to provide greater individualized assistance to help students overcome obstacles and stay on a path to graduation.

Creation and implementation of a summer bridge program focused on equipping at-risk students with the skills and resources needed for successful transitions into and throughout their college experience.

Greater emphasis on a peer mentoring program to help first-year students navigate academic and personal challenges, build habits for success and learn to thrive at Lawrence.

Implementation of a new retention management system that will provide better early warning of students who may be struggling and then more effectively delivering services that support student success from enrollment to graduation.

Enhanced training for faculty advisors to equip them with evidence-based strategies for supporting the success of high-need students.

“Taken together, we believe these initiatives will address White House and Lawrence goals to provide greater access to qualified students who might otherwise find a Lawrence education beyond their reach,” said Burstein.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence President, Provost Issue Statement Opposing Academic Boycotts

In response to calls by several academic associations for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions because of that country’s occupation of Palestinian territories and restrictions on Palestinian students and scholars, Lawrence University President Mark Burstein and Provost and Dean of the Faculty David Burrows have jointly issued the following statement.

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“A central principle of a liberal arts education is the ability to discuss differing opinions in an environment that supports the exchange of ideas and the learning that comes from that exchange.  At Lawrence we have supported this value of discourse since our founding 167 years ago.

“The longer we live and work within an academic community, the more deeply we are convinced that our most precious possession is the freedom to speak what we think, and to listen thoughtfully to one another.  Whatever our political commitments, whatever the nature of any government’s policies, no boycott should interfere with this freedom of academic discourse either here or at universities elsewhere in the world.  So we have joined the officers of other American universities, the American Association of University Professors, the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities, and the President of the American Council on Education—all of whom oppose the call by the Association of American Studies to boycott Israeli academic institutions.”

Mark Burstein, President
Dave Burrows, Provost and Dean of the Faculty

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Thunderbird School of Global Management Executive Named Lawrence VP for Finance and Administration

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Christopher Lee

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein has announced the appointment of Christopher Lee as the college’s new vice president for finance and administration.

Lee has spent the past 10 years with Thunderbird School of Global Management, a highly regarded not-for-profit graduate school based in Phoenix, Ariz. Since 2010, he has served as president of Thunderbird Russia in Moscow, where he was responsible for the strategic leadership, program quality, daily management, business development, financial  outcomes and compliance of Thunderbird’s $7 million wholly-owned corporate training and development subsidiary. The Moscow center provides training and development solutions to companies throughout Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

He joined Thunderbird in 2003 as associate vice president, finance and administrative services. In 2009 he was named vice president of finance and technology.

In addition to his decade in higher education, Lee spent 10 years in public company management, holding leadership roles at Fossil, Inc. in Richardson, Texas, and Bank One in Chicago.

“Chris’ strong finance and administrative skills and leadership experiences impressed all of us,” said Burstein. “He has considered most of the issues that presently face Lawrence during his time at Thunderbird. What drew us to Chris even more is his collaborative approach to challenging issues.”

Lee, a native of Dallas, Texas who has lived in Moscow the past three years, said Lawrence’s small size and reputation for high quality learning were great attractions for him.

“Coming from a unique institution like Thunderbird, those factors are blended with the uniqueness of Lawrence’s students and the phenomenal Lawrence culture I have found in alumni that I know and in the new colleagues I have met during the search process,” said Lee, who has been active with United Way of Russia and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Russia, which works with institutionalized orphans.

Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in economics/finance from Texas Wesleyan University and a master’s in business administration degree in global management from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Lee is set to join the Lawrence administration Jan. 6, 2014.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

Weekend-long Festivities Celebrate Inauguration of Mark Burstein as Lawrence’s 16th President

He was elected Lawrence University’s new president December 13, 2012 and assumed office July 1. This weekend, Mark Burstein officially will be installed as the college’s 16th president.
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Mark Burstein will be officially installed as Lawrence’s 16th president Saturday, Oct. 26.

Delegates, including 13 presidents, representing more than 60 colleges, universities and higher education consortia from across the country, MIT, Stanford and Yale among them, will participate in the inaugural procession along with Lawrence faculty,trustees and alumni.

Terry Franke, chair of the Lawrence Board of Trustees, will deliver the inauguration’s welcome. Community greetings will be presented by Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna.

Additional remarks will be delivered by Shirley Tilghman, president emerita and professor of molecular biology at Princeton University, Burstein’s previous institution, and Catharine Bond Hill, president and professor of economics at Vassar College, Burstein’s alma mater. Other program speakers include faculty, student and alumni representatives.

Burstein will present the inaugural address “Frontier: A State of Mind.”

The inauguration ceremonies will be available via live webcast.

“A presidential inauguration is a special moment in any college’s history and Mark’s is certainly an exciting and important one for Lawrence,” said Franke, a 1968 Lawrence graduate. “This is really an occasion to celebrate the college’s past and excitingly look to its future. A change in leadership naturally inspires optimism and brings a dynamic new energy to the institution.”

The inauguration ceremony is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. Contact the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

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.

As part of the weekend festivities, Lawrence will hold a pair of panel discussions on Friday, Oct. 25 in Stansbury Theatre of the Music Drama Center — “Civil Communities in an Age of Incivility” and “The Issue of Difference and the Liberal Arts”at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively.

ABC News Chief Foreign Correspondent and 1982 Lawrence graduate Terry Moran, fresh off assignment in Syria, will serve as moderator of the first panel. Admission to the panel discussions is free, but a ticket is required and can be obtained through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Lawrence’s vast and varied musical talents will be on full display Friday (10/25) evening in a unique format. Visitors are invited to enjoy a leisurely stroll around campus and experience the distinct sounds of the Conservatory of Music. From funk and rock to classical and jazz, talented musicians will perform in familiar as well as non-traditional campus venues. Continuous performances will be conducted from 8-10 p.m. at these locations:

Main Hall Portico—brass

Music-Drama Center—classical and jazz

Science Hall Atrium—winds

Memorial Hall and Viking Room—funk and rock

Seeley G. Mudd Library—acoustic, bluegrass and singer/songwriter

Wriston Art Center Galleries—chamber music

Specific information for “Lawrence Performs” will be available in the lobby of the Music-Drama Center.

The inauguration weekend wraps up on Sunday with members of the Lawrence community volunteering from 11 a.m-3 p.m. at Riverview Gardens, Appleton’s urban garden.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

President’s Matriculation Convocation Opens Lawrence University’s 165th Academic Year

First-year President Mark Burstein officially opens Lawrence University’s 165th academic year as well as the 2013-14 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 19 with the annual matriculation address.

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President Mark Burstein

Burstein presents “Crossing the Threshold: Community as Curriculum” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. He will discuss Lawrence’s strengths as a residential learning community and explore opportunities to improve what the college provides.

Named Lawrence’s 16th president last December, Burstein began his tenure in July after nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University. Prior to that, he spent five years as vice president of facilities management at Columbia University.

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Burstein earned a bachelor’s degree in history and independent studies from Vassar College and a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Other speakers on Lawrence’s 2013-14 convocation series include:

• Oct. 15, 2013Alison Bechdel, “Drawing Lessons: The Comics of Everyday Life.” Bechdel is the creator of the self-syndicated cartoon strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” and author of the graphic memoir “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic,” which Time magazine named its Best Book of 2006.

• Jan. 23, 2014Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker, humorist and political activist, best known for his documentary film “Super Size Me,” which chronicled a 30-day experiment in which he only ate food from McDonald’s while examining the balance between corporate responsibility and nutritional education.

• May 29, 2014 — Annual Honors Convocation featuring Catherine Kautsky, professor of music at Lawrence.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

Lawrence Ranked 59th Nationally in U.S. News’ 2014 America’s Best College Guide

Lawrence University was ranked 59th nationally among 240 national liberal arts colleges and universities in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 “America’s Best Colleges” report released today (9/10).U.S. News Best Colleges Guide_newsblog

No Wisconsin college was ranked higher than Lawrence among eight Wisconsin institutions in the national liberal arts category.

“Rankings are but one way colleges can be compared. We’re focusing our efforts on making Lawrence the best liberal arts experience possible,” said President Mark Burstein. “The strength of our liberal arts and conservatory education will be enjoyed by one of our most diverse classes ever.”

Geographically, nearly 50 percent of this year’s new students hail from states beyond Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, including 12 percent who are from outside the United States, the largest percentage of freshmen international students since at least 2000. Additionally, 19 percent of this year’s freshmen are domestic students of color.

Lawrence’s commitment to close faculty-student interaction and small classes was reflected in its high rate of classes with 20 students or fewer (78 percent). Lawrence was one of only 30 schools among the 240 in the category with that high of a percentage.

For more information on the criteria used in their evaluation of nearly 1,400 of the nation’s public and private four-year colleges, visit U.S. News.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

 

$250,000 Gift from Sentry Insurance Honors Retiring Chair, Lawrence Alumnus Dale Schuh ’70

Lawrence University has received a $250,000 gift from the Sentry Insurance Foundation in honor of retiring Sentry Chairman Dale Schuh’s leadership and more than 40-year career with the company.

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Dale Schuh ’70

A 1970 Lawrence graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, Schuh also has served on the college’s Board of Trustees since 2008. The $250,000 gift will be used to continue Schuh’s commitment to Lawrence students. He and his wife, Annette, endowed a scholarship at Lawrence in 2009 that assists students who are the first in their families to attend college.

“As a first generation college student, I have a fond spot in my heart for Lawrence University,” Schuh said.

Since joining the Board of Trustees, Schuh has served on numerous committees, including recruitment and retention, executive committee and finance committee, which he has chaired since 2011. He also has been active as an admissions volunteer. From 2010-2012, Schuh served as president of Lawrence’s Founders Club, providing extraordinarily important leadership to the college’s most generous donors.

Most recently, Schuh served as the chair of a 15-person presidential search committee that led to the selection of Mark Burstein, executive vice president at Princeton University, as Lawrence’s 16th president.

“Dale Schuh’s leadership of the Presidential Search Committee was my first experience of how dedicated Lawrence alumni are to their alma mater. His enthusiasm for Lawrence continues to be contagious,” said Burstein, who took office July 1. “I thank Sentry for honoring Dale’s extraordinary career in this way. Lawrence, and more importantly, our students, will benefit significantly from their generosity.”

Schuh joined Sentry as an actuarial intern while still a student at Lawrence. He became a full-time employee in January, 1972 and spent his entire career with the company. Within eight years of joining Sentry, Schuh was named vice president of corporate planning. He also held the roles of vice president actuarial and control and senior vice president of marketing. Schuh was named president and chief operating officer in 1996 and two years later was elected chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors.

“During Dale’s period as a senior executive, he has either been in the engine room or directly at the helm during some of the most pivotal moments in Sentry’s history,” said Peter McPartland, Sentry president and CEO. “When I began working with Dale, one of the first things I noticed was his intelligence, total understanding of how the insurance business works and his grasp on all aspects of Sentry. He never stopped thinking about Sentry and how to make Sentry better.”

Under Schuh’s leadership, Sentry’s financial strength and position significantly improved. It now holds an A+ financial rating from AM Best Company.

“The past dozen years have slipped by quickly,” said Schuh. “I am proud to have been with the company through thick and thin. I feel very confident about this company’s future.”

The gift to Lawrence was one of two   the foundation made in Schuh’s honor. A $50,000 contribution was also presented to United Way of Portage County to kick off the organization’s 2013 campaign.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.