Alumni Updates

  • An update on Björklunden seminars | April 28

    Dear Friends of Björklunden,

    We hope that you and yours are well.

    We are writing to share an important update: We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Björklunden seminars through September 4. To those who have already registered for a seminar this summer, we will contact each of you in the near future regarding seminar fees you may have already paid and options moving forward.

    We do not yet have a decision on seminars scheduled post-September 4. That decision will be made over the summer and we will let you know as soon as it is reached. 

    This has not been an easy decision, but it was the best one for our community given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We so love welcoming each of you to our beautiful Björklunden and will miss seeing you, but the safety and health of you, our seminar participants, as well as seminar leaders, Björklunden staff and student workers is our chief concern.

    We hope that everyone is staying healthy, safe, and optimistic during these trying times – and appreciate your patience and understanding about this year’s seminar program. As always, we look forward to seeing you at Björklunden as soon as that becomes possible.

    Our deepest thanks,

    Mark Breseman ’78

    Executive Director

    Alex Baldschun

    Assistant Director

  • A Message from President Mark Burstein | March 25

    Dear Lawrentians, 

    Thank you for your overwhelming reaction to my note sent last Wednesday. Your ingenuity, support and advice are helping us transition to distance learning and to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. You have also shown your generosity, care, and support for our students in immediate and tangible ways. Our student food pantryreports significant increased support from many of you and we have also seen wonderful contributions to the Supporting Our Students Emergency Fund.

    These have been turbulent times for all of us. Yesterday, I sent a message to our students, faculty, and staff about the way in which recent changes will impact our lives as we prepare for Spring Term. I also took a moment to record a short video to share my thoughts with the campus community as we adjust to this new normal. 

    To read my full message to campus, please visit our COVID-19 News site, where you can stay up to date on everything the University is doing to address the pandemic.

    As you can imagine, this has been a challenging few weeks for all of us, as I know it has for you. Guidance on how to address the spread of COVID-19 changes daily, sometimes hourly. Yesterday morning, at the direction of Governor Tony Evers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm issued a safer at home order effective today.  

    We are focused on ensuring continuity of Lawrence’s operations and functions so that we may continue to deliver on our educational mission. Shared Governance continues to operate: Faculty committees are actively addressing policy issues from instruction to curriculum; LUCC leadership is working to adjust its meeting processes and will continue to represent students.  And we are engaged in ongoing counsel with the Board of Trustees. Core functions in all operational divisions continue and a COVID-19 management team meets daily to handle Lawrence’s response to this situation. 

    As we work to adhere to our new statewide guidance and prepare for Spring Term, I want to take a moment to remind us all that our bonds as Lawrentians will endure. Community is a hallmark of the Lawrence experience. I mourn the loss of the vibrancy of the Spring Term. While it will be different, we must find ways of sustaining our social connection.  In these difficult times, we must work to sustain connections via social media, electronic gatherings, and other virtual means. 

    Social connection is more important now than ever.  In that spirit, we promise to update our social media accounts to give you a sense of what’s happening at Lawrence. We hope that you will share your experiences with us as well. Please feel free to contact me or other Lawrence colleagues via email or telephone to offer suggestions and ideas or just to hang out. These connections will make us stronger as a community and as individuals.  

    I have faith we will weather this crisis together as we have before. Homer, David, and I look forward to having our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents back on campus soon. 

    Be well and make choices that keep others well,


    Mark Burstein
    President, Lawrence University

  • POSTPONED – 2020 Crowdfund for LU Athletics | March 23
    Dear Members of the Lawrence Vikings Athletics Family,

    We are in unprecedented times. As campus shared earlier, in order to protect the health and safety of our community, Lawrence’s leadership made the difficult decision to move to distance learning and cancel or postpone spring term activities.

    For several months, we have been looking forward to our 3rd annual Once A Viking, Always A Viking: Crowdfund for LU Athletics, slated for March 31–April 7, 2020. Unfortunately, we have made the decision at this time to postpone the Crowdfund for LU Athletics due to the uncharted and uncertain times our community is navigating. Our staff is devoting its attention and energy to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Immediate support for our students who are most in need is critical in these challenging times.

    We have created The Lawrence Fund Supporting Our Students Emergency Fund. It supports immediate student needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can make a gift today and directly help LU students with the implementation of the newly created distance-learning model, food, travel, housing, and other unexpected expenses.

    We are also still committed to building an eventual Crowdfund that invites the Viking community to come together and tangibly impact our student athletes’ experiences.

    • We will be selecting a new date for our 2020 Crowdfund for LU Athletics later this year once we have a better grasp of how the months ahead will unfold.
    • Once a new date is set, we will let you know. Stay connected to our Athletics website, our social media channels, and our coaches’ e-newletters for an update.
    • Giving to Vikings Athletics remains open within the current Be the Light! Campaign. Gifts can be made here or by contacting Andrew Borresen, Assistant Director of Athletics Giving at 920-832-7486 or

    Thank you for being a part of our Lawrence Athletics community. Thank you for your understanding in this unprecedented time. And thank you for personifying the hallmark of what it means to be a Lawrence Viking – selfless service & sacrificial leadership to community amid adversity.

    The world needs us, Vikings.

    Christyn Abaray

    Director of Athletics
    Assistant to the President

  • An update on Björklunden seminars | March 20

    Dear Friends of Björklunden,

    Everyone, including Lawrence University and those of us who work and volunteer at Björklunden, is concerned about the current situation with COVID-19 and anxious about the future. We are watching the situation closely. 

    Our 2020 seminar season is scheduled to begin on Sunday, June 14. For now, we still plan to move forward with the series and are looking at measures to ensure that you and other guests, together with instructors, staff, and volunteers, are safe and comfortable at the lodge. But as the spring proceeds, our seminar plans may change. If they do, we will update you on the situation as soon as we can. Like you, we are closely paying attention to guidance from the CDC, local and state health departments, and other reputable sources.

    We will communicate updates via email, our website, and Facebook. You may also call the lodge at 920-839-2216. Please know that we will offer a full refund to all participants in the event of a seminar cancellation. At this point, we are retaining our normal policy for cancellations initiated by individuals, but we intend to revist this, along with other matters, during the weeks and months ahead. If you’d like more information on Lawrence University’s response to COVID-19 and its most recent updates, please visit the Lawrence University COVID-19 website

    We sincerely thank you all for your support and patience as, together, we navigate this uncertain time. With all hope, we will welcome you to Björklunden soon. 


    Mark Breseman ’78

    Executive Director

    Alex Baldschun

    Assistant Director 

    You now have the opportunity to register and pay online, as you can tell from the new seminar materials. Or you can register as you’ve always done, by contacting Alex Baldschun at 920-839-2216, emailing, or by mail.

  • Reunion 2020: Registration delayed | March 13

    Dear Lawrentians,

    Lawrence campus leadership is working diligently to monitor rapidly changing conditions about the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Like every organization today, we are applying federal, state, and regional guidance to our unique circumstances to determine the appropriate adjustments to when, where, and how we learn, work, and celebrate.

    Considering all the information currently available, we are saddened to announce we are unable to open Reunion 2020 registration on March 20 as initially planned. It is highly likely that Reunion will need to be modified. We are working to finalize these decisions as quickly as possible and will share final plans by April 15.

    Learn more about the University’s COVID-19 response plan