As the deep freeze that shut down campus for two and a half days begins to thaw (we think, we hope), it’s time to venture back outside.
No better time for the arrival of the annual Winter Carnival, one of Lawrence University’s favorite traditions.
With activities both indoors and out, the weekend is full of winter togetherness for Lawrence students, highlighted by the President’s Ball on Saturday night.
“Winter is a hard time for everybody, and it’s a fast term,” said Nadir Carlson, student activities coordinator and one of the Student Life organizers of Winter Carnival. “And the weather is just not great, so the Winter Carnival kind of gives us a reason to celebrate and be together.”
Saturday is the big day, and the forecast calls for temperatures to climb back into the 30s. Think broomball on Ormsby Lake and gingerbread building, games of all sorts and two showings of the movie “Happy Feet” (um, penguins) in the Warch Campus Center. Then it’s time to get dressed up for the President’s Ball in the Somerset Room.
Winter Carnival was a tradition at Lawrence dating back decades. But it went away as the millennium neared. It roared back to life in 2011 and has been part of the Lawrence experience ever since. Check out this video from its 2011 return.
The broomball tournament gets rolling at 10 a.m. Saturday. Teams can register here.
The gingerbread house competition -– this replaces the ice sculpting of past years -– goes from 1 to 3 p.m. on the third floor of Warch.
Games will be played from 1 to 3 p.m. in Mead Witter.
“Happy Feet” showings are set for 8 and 11 p.m. Friday and 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday in the Warch Cinema.
The President’s Ball, featuring Big Band Reunion, runs from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday.
“The big culminating event is the President’s Ball,” Carlson said.
There’s live music, photos, catered food, even fondue. It’s a student event where faculty and staff are invited to attend.
You can get a jump start on the fun Thursday night with the always popular Grocery Bag Bingo in Mead Witter, set for 7:30 p.m. No better celebration of winter than winning cool food prizes.
We survived this week’s wind chills of 50 degrees below zero. We’ve earned a Winter Celebration.
While most of the world is counting down to the end of 2013, the Lawrence University admissions team is hitting the fast forward button to 2018. Admit packets are in the mail to 600 seniors who applied for Early Action admission—inviting them to join the Lawrence Class of 2018. Members of the admissions staff (pictured) merrily carried admit packets to the Lawrence mailroom earlier this week.
“While holiday cards and letters fill mailboxes this holiday season, we suspect there’s a little more joy when that envelope comes from Lawrence,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Ken Anselment. “We hope that for these students and their families, receiving an admit packet from Lawrence makes for a nice holiday gift.”
For those students still considering Lawrence, there’s still time! The deadline for Regular Decision is January 15.
Few places on the planet offer the complexity of environmental and economic governance as does China. Competing and overlapping bureaucracies with environmental officials at the prefecture, county and township levels often answering to local officials rather than superiors in the central environmental bureaucracy, create opposing perspectives on the balance between economic development and environmental sustainability.
A $400,000 grant from the New York City-based Henry Luce Foundation will support Lawrence University’s long-standing commitment to engaging students with East Asia through the college’s distinctively integrated, multi-disciplinary initiative “Sustainable China: Integrating Culture, Conservation and Commerce.”
The four-year implementation grant builds on two previous Luce Foundation planning grants for $50,000 and $30,000 that helped Lawrence lay the groundwork for the development of courses, study-abroad opportunities and collaborative research projects examining critical issues in sustainability.
Awarded through the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE), the grant also will enable Lawrence to expand partnerships with two Chinese institutions. Guizhou Normal University, located in the provincial capital city of Guiyang, is home to the Institute of China South Karst. Lawrence and the Karst Institute have successfully collaborated previously to improve understanding of how culture, conservation and commerce must be integrated for true sustainability. The award-winning Linden Centre in Yunnan province serves as a retreat for those studying how traditional Chinese culture meshes with modern economic development in an ecologically responsible way.
The Linden Center was created by Brian and Jeanee Linden, who also operate the Linden Gallery in Ellison Bay, which specializes in Asian art. The gallery is not far from Lawrence’s Door County Bjorklunden estate.
A Three-Prong Approach
Lawrence’s “Sustainable China” initiative is a multi-disciplinary collaboration among the college’s East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies programs, including faculty in biology, Chinese and Japanese language and culture, economics, government and history. As China and its environmental concerns loom larger on the world stage, the program provides opportunities for student engagement with issues of economic growth, environmental sustainability and a shifting cultural landscape.
The program’s mission is threefold:
• broaden and deepen Lawrence student engagement with China through the curriculum
• diversify and expand opportunities for students to gain first-hand experience with China
• promote mutually beneficial partnerships with organizations in China.
“This grant offers our students first-hand experiences in China with study tours to both rural and urban sites as well as research opportunities on environmental and cultural issues, such as ethnic minorities and economic development, ” said Jane Parish Yang, associate professor of Chinese at Lawrence, who will co-direct the “Sustainable China” program for the first year. “Our students also will be able to study at Guizhou Normal University and receive internships, including post-graduate positions. We hope these opportunities encourage students to pursue Chinese language study in conjunction with coursework related to China in environmental science and the social sciences.”
Three “Cs” of Sustainability
The program approaches China’s competing and conflicting perspectives on development and the environment by focusing on three ” Cs” of sustainability: • Culture — language, history and the roles of ethnic minorities.
• Conservation — the importance of establishing governance systems and social institutions that encourage both public and private actors to be good stewards of natural resources.
• Commerce — an alliterative substitute for economic vitality, reflecting the perspective that environmental sustainability should be pursued in ways that also drive broader prosperity and economic sustainability.
“In today’s world it is vitally important students grapple with the complexity of sustainability, transcending the purely scientific and environmental issues to encompass economic, political and cultural factors as well and China offers an ideal context for such study,” said Merton Finkler, professor of economics and John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor in the American Economic System who will co-direct the program its first year. “The interdisciplinary nature of our program offers a distinctive lens through which our students will study China, one based on the assertion that sustainability must address various perspectives for how scarce resources are allocated and managed.”
Last November, a Luce Foundation grant supported a 19-day study tour to China for 13 students and four faculty members for an investigation of water resource management issues.
The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation builds upon the vision and values of four generations of the Luce family: broadening knowledge and encouraging the highest standards of service and leadership. It seeks to bring important ideas to the center of American life, strengthen international understanding, and foster innovation and leadership in academic, policy, religious and art communities.
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. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.
Unabashed nature enthusiast Will Meadows speaks of canoes in near reverential tones. In his mind, canoes are as centric to the ecosystem as a bird’s nest or a beaver dam.
“Canoes represent the coexistence of creativity and nature,” says the Lawrence University senior. “They lie at the intersection of human ingenuity and place, vessels for exploration, artistic expression and sustenance.”
Beginning in August, Meadows will spend a year immersing himself in canoe-building communities across five distinct environmental regions of the world as a 2012 Watson Fellow.
Meadows, an environmental studies major from Cincinnati, Ohio, was one of 40 undergraduates nationally awarded a $25,000 fellowship from the Rhode Island-based Thomas J. Watson Foundation for a year of independent travel and exploration outside the United States on a topic of the student’s choosing.
His proposal —”Humanity’s Vessel: The Art and Ecology of Canoes” — was selected from among 147 finalists representing 40 of the nation’s premier private liberal arts colleges and universities. More than 700 students applied for this year’s Watson Fellowship.
For much of his still-young life, Meadows has used canoes and rivers for his method and means of exploring the world, whether it was the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, the Jong River in Sierra Leone, the Rogue River in Oregon or the Boundary Waters Wilderness and Canoe Area in northern Minnesota.
“I would often escape to the river after school, looking for my true education,” said Meadows, who is spending his spring break on a 100-mile canoe trip down the Buffalo River in Arkansas. “In every way, rivers have been my teachers, my schools. Rivers define me. Moving steadily in a canoe is my natural experience.”
First Stop Lake Titicaca
Meadows will begin his “wanderjahr” at Lake Titicaca, on the border of Bolivia and Peru, working with the indigenous Uros peoples, who build reed canoes. There he also hopes to use his talents as a sculpture artist to create beautifully intricate reed dragon headed vessels with the Uros.
Next fall he will travel to the Solomon Islands, immersing himself in the ocean voyaging Polynesian canoe culture.
“I want to explore the art of the open-ocean canoe and the issues affecting the people of the sea as the struggle continues to preserve ancient voyaging knowledge and artisanship.”
On Tanzania’s ocean island of Zanzibar, Meadows will help construct outrigger dugout canoes and sail among Tanzania’s native fishing communities while studying the ecological issues affecting these peoples.
“My academic background in the environmental sciences as well as my professional experiences in sustainable agriculture, forestry, water and land management, will help me explore the conservation issues affecting the canoe-building natives,” said Meadows, who has been active in Lawrence’s on-campus sustainable garden and instrumental in the establishment of an on-campus orchard.
The diverse designs of North American native bark canoes will be Meadows’ focus for two months beginning in April 2013. Using Toronto as his base, Meadows will work with two world-renowned canoe builders, Rick Nash and Pinnock Smith of the Algonquin First Nation.
Meadows concludes his fellowship next summer in northern Norway with an apprenticeship in skin and canvas boat building with Anders Thygesen, founder of Kajakkspesialisten (the kayak specialist), a company renowned for its work in building traditional skin-on-frame sea kayaks and traditional paddles.
“As the final location in my journey,” said Meadows, “Kajakspecialisten will be a place to really consider what my role will be in this world after the Watson experience.”
An “ideal Watson Fellow”
Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music and Lawrence’s campus liaison to the Watson Foundation, described Meadows as “an ideal Watson Fellow.”
“Will’s proposed canoe-building odyssey perfectly channels his deepest passion into an immersive multi-cultural experience,” said Pertl. “His endless curiosity, love of life and affable nature will make him an ideal ambassador for this most prestigious of fellowships. I am so excited for his success and can’t wait to see how this year changes his life.”
Over the course of the past year and a half, Meadows and a four-person crew, with help from the father of Lawrence geologist Marcia Bjornerud, constructed a 16-foot pine and walnut strip canoe on campus — a project he described as “the most meaningful and enveloping of my life. When she finally rode the water for the first time, I remember lying on my back looking at the sky from her seatless belly, and the border between river, canoe and person faded with the setting sun.”
According to Meadows, his Watson proposal is in many ways a paradoxical project.
“A global comparison of handcrafted vessels hasn’t been thoroughly conducted, so in that way this is a new and cutting edge idea. But it’s also the desire to transfer knowledge of some of the oldest practices of humankind. I might be one of the only people with the chance to learn techniques in all these diverse world canoe styles. This is an opportunity to find new meaning at the crossroads of all my passions, including writing, ecology, art, people and exploration. I can’t wait to dive in and challenge myself to the absolutely fullest during my Watson year.
“I encourage everyone to ask themselves the question, ‘what is my ultimate passion?,'” Meadows added. “Putting this proposal together has helped me answer that question, but more importantly it showed me the beauty in other people’s passions. What’s your Watson?”
Meadows is the 68th Lawrence student awarded a Watson Fellowship since the program’s inception in 1969. It was established by the children of Thomas J. Watson, Sr., the founder of International Business Machines Corp., and his wife, Jeannette, to honor their parents’ long-standing interest in education and world affairs.
Watson Fellows are selected on the basis of the nominee’s character, academic record, leadership potential, willingness to delve into another culture and the personal significance of the project proposal. Since its founding, nearly 2,600 fellowships have been awarded.
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries. Follow us on Facebook.
The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on issues ranging from supporting at-risk youth to neighborhood revitalization.
During the 2010-11 academic year, 967 Lawrence students provided more than 27,400 service hours to community volunteer and service-learning programs, including completion of student-teaching requirements for certification.
Honorees are chosen on the basis of several factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
Lawrence was among 642 colleges and universities honored for their impact on issues of literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.
“Community engagement and service is a distinguishable characteristic of the Lawrence educational experience and it speaks to the dedication of our students to once again be nationally recognized for their efforts,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck.
Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:
• A research initiative supported by the Mielke Foundation that evaluated the effects of after-school programming on confidence, problem-solving and creativity. Professor of Psychology Beth Haines collaborated with UW Fox Valley, the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley and the Building for Kids Children’s Museum. Lawrence students provide the enrichment at the BFK, assess the children’s development and assist in the analysis of the data, which will be used to develop more effective after-school programming and make better use of volunteer resources.
• The Volunteers in Tutoring at Lawrence (VITAL) Program, a student-run initiative providing free tutoring services to area K-12 students, with a priority placed on disadvantaged students who may not have the financial means for other tutoring services. Lawrence volunteers work with students in need of help in academic subjects ranging from basic math to linguistics. VITAL is the area’s only free tutoring program that accepts all applicants.
• The Lawrence Academy of Music, which strengthens children’s creativity, self-esteem, teamwork and leadership skills through comprehensive music instruction and performance opportunities for K-12 students. Last year the Academy’s Young Band Program, which provides free regular band instruction at Appleton’s Lincoln Elementary School, was expanded to also include band instruction at Edison Elementary School.
“This honor belongs to everyone at Lawrence who goes that extra step to reach out to the community and meet our neighbors’ needs,” said Monica Rico, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “I’m grateful to all of our inspiring students, faculty and staff, especially the Director of Volunteer and Community Service, Kristi Hill. The leadership that she has provided, along with the commitment of my faculty colleagues and our outstanding students, has once again earned us this important recognition.”
According to the CNCS, a federal agency, 3.1 million students performed more than 312 million hours of service across the country, providing services valued at $6.6 billion.
The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.
Following a review of national executive search firms, Lawrence University has selected the highly regarded firm of Isaacson, Miller to assist it in its search for its next president. Jane Gruenebaum, who has considerable experience in searches for educational institutions and other non-profit organizations, will lead the Isaacson, Miller team for Lawrence, with assistance from Jackie Mildner.
A 15-member Presidential Search Committee also has been formed and will be chaired by Trustee Dale Schuh ’70. The committee is composed of trustees, faculty, students and alumni.
The search for the successor to President Jill Beck, who announced last month she will retire in June, 2013, will officially commence in early April with progress updates issued during the process.
Sculptor Rob Neilson, associate professor of art and Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art, was among 13 “creatives” spotlighted in the March edition of Fox Cities Magazine for helping define “the Fox Cities’ new wave of artistic ambition.”
Best known for his public art, including last year’s “compassionate manhole covers,” which can be found in the sidewalks along College Ave. in downtown Appleton and on the Lawrence campus, Neilson was featured in a story examining community artists, creators and innovators who represent the potential the Fox Cities has “to make its mark on the creative world map.”
Formed at the Yale School of Music in 1999, the group has been hailed as an “experimental powerhouse” by The Village Voice. Described as “astonishing and entrancing” by Billboard Magazine and “brilliant” by the New York Times, So Percussion is known for their innovative, original music as well as its collaborations some of today’s most exciting composers, among them Baltimore “electro-freak” Dan Deacon, electronic collage duo Matmos and Academy Award-nominated film composer Martin Bresnick.
“There are only a handful of professional contemporary percussion groups that are making a name for themselves and moving this genre of music forward,” said Dane Richeson, professor of music at Lawrence and director of the conservatory’s percussion studio. “So Percussion is in this elite group. They have great skill not only on a variety of percussion instruments, but in how they program the repertoire in their concerts. They are truly an exciting ensemble to watch and hear.”
So Percussion — Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski and Jason Treuting — has performed their eclectic blend of unusual music throughout the United States, including the Lincoln Center Festival, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, as well as on tours to Australia, Russia, the Ukraine and throughout Europe.
Three episodes from the PBS television series “Women, War and Peace,” which spotlights stories of women in conflict zones around the world, will be shown at Lawrence University’s Warch Campus Center cinema.
The series opens Friday, March 2 at 8 p.m. with “I Came to Testify,” the story of 16 women who testified against Serbian-led forces in the Bosnian war.
“Peace Unveiled,” which follows three Afghani women advocating for women’s rights during peace talks with the Taliban, will be shown Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m.
The series closes Sunday, March 3 at 1 p.m. with a screening of “War Redefined,” a film that challenges the conventional wisdom that war and peace are a man’s domain through interviews with leading thinkers, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Bosnian war crimes investigator Fadila Memisevic and globalization expert Moisés Naím.
Filmmaker Abigail Disney, who was awarded an honorary degree by Lawrence in 2010, served as an executive producer for the series.
Baroque composer Henry Purcell’s opera “The Fairy Queen” receives a modern adaptation in Lawrence University’s production of the fantastical tale of romance and magic. The opera will be performed March 1-3 at 8 p.m. and March 4 at 3 p.m. in Stansbury Theatre of the Music-Drama Center.
Tickets, at $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office, 920-832-6749.
Originally written as a “masque” — light entertainment featuring lavish costumes and scenery but nearly devoid of narrative — the opera was inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The story follows four young lovers’ escape to an enchanted forest.
The updated adaptation, written by Professor of Theatre Arts Timothy X. Troy ’85, who also serves as the production’s director, replaces the anonymously written libretto with Shakespeare’s own words.
“I restored the actors’ text to the First Folio version before shaping a narrative that closely followed the story of the young lovers who are tricked in the forest by Puck, the most famous of all fairies,” said Troy.
His adaptation was inspired by the psychedelic cover art of fairies on an LP of English composer Benjamin Britten’s 1973 recording of “The Fairy Queen.” It transports the action to a hippie commune in the woods outside Athens, Ga., immediately after a tornado. The new and modern setting offered creative opportunities for the production team.
Costume designer Karin Kopischke ’80 playfully explores the eclectic fashions of hippie culture of the commune-dwelling fairies against the academic preppy and jockish culture of the quartet of young lovers and their pursuit of true love.
“Karin’s costumes are inspiring, lively and delightful,” said Troy. “She found ways to model the repurposing impulse of the period to create a delightful sense of surprise and individuality to each of the 60 costumes you see on stage.”
Rebecca Salzer, Lawrence Fellow in Dance who served as choreographer for the production, worked closely with a corps of six dancers to blend Purcell’s set dance pieces with popular dance forms from the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
“To support Tim’s melding of times and places in this production — Baroque music, Elizabethan theatre and a 1970’s American setting — the choreography also had to be a mix of styles,” said Salzer. “If you look closely, you’ll see movement inspired by 60’s mods, 70’s funk and even the occasional minuet.”
Because Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen” is considered a “semi-opera” — an amalgam of scenes from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and musical interludes — it presented special challenges and opportunities for Bonnie Koestner, associate professor of music, who served as the production’s vocal coach.
“The masque portions (musical interludes) reflect the mood and general spirit of the spoken scenes, but are not directly tied to a plot line,” said Koestner. “It’s somewhat like the difference between a musical revue with its diverse collection of numbers and a Broadway show like ‘Carousel,’ in which the music really does play a part in character development. Both Shakespeare and Purcell have given us works of genius and if the audience doesn’t worry about the lack of a single coherent plot, I think that they will find it very entertaining.”
Featuring some of the most famous music of the Baroque period with virtuosic arias and complex ensembles and choruses, “The Fairy Queen” offers its audience a stunning variety of vocal talent alongside innovative choreography and compelling acting.
“It’s a delight to integrate the talents of our strongest actors with those of our accomplished singers,” said Troy.
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.