Category: Press Releases

Lawrence University Honored for Leadership and Innovation in Workplace Health

WELCOA Platinum LogoLawrence University’s commitment to the health and wellness of its employees  has earned it a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) in conjunction with the Wellness Council of Wisconsin. Lawrence is one of only seven institutions nationwide to be honored with the Platinum designation, which honors organizations that “have distinguished themselves as not only leaders, but innovators in workplace health promotion.”

“For more than ten years Lawrence has focused on the overall well-being of our community. We value our employees and students as a whole person and are committed to providing preventative and comprehensive wellness programming,” said Director of Wellness and Recreation Erin Buenzli, who is spearheading Lawrence’s wellness initiatives.

Lawrence was honored with a Gold Award in 2016, and the Platinum Award demonstrates its ongoing commitment and continued innovation in employee wellness. Lawrence’s wellness initiatives focus on key interventions: tobacco cessation, stress intervention, nutrition, and challenges to increase physical activity. “Our goal is to meet people where they are in their wellness journey by offering a variety of programs focused on the individual including our mind spa, massage program, personal training, and dietician,” continued Buenzli.

“Lawrence University has clearly demonstrated their commitment to protect and enhance the health and well-being of their employees.  By meeting the comprehensive standards necessary to achieve the Platinum Well Workplace Award, Lawrence University is prioritizing the well-being of their employees as a foundation of their organization’s culture,” said Wellness Council of Wisconsin’s Executive Director Marissa Kalkman.

WELCOA’s Well Workplace awards, which recognize “America’s Healthiest Companies,” are based on criteria of the seven “Cs”: Capturing CEO support; Creating a cohesive wellness team; Collecting data to drive health efforts; Carefully crafting an operating plan; Choosing appropriate interventions; Creating a supportive environment; and Carefully evaluating outcomes.

Lawrence will join other winners from around the region at the Fox Cities Well Workplace awards ceremony on November 13. An announcement regarding the status of the Fox Cities as a “Well City USA” will be made that evening. Achieving a Well City designation requires that 20 percent of a community’s entire working population must be employed by at least 20 Well Workplace award-winning organizations.

Lawrence University Performs Concert Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the End of World War I

At 11:00 a.m. in the Lawrence Chapel on Sunday, November 11, 100 years after the moment the World War I guns fell silent on the western front, students and faculty from the Lawrence Jazz Department will perform Armistice 1918, a multimedia piece composed and arranged by jazz pianist and Lawrence faculty member Bill Carrothers. The event is free and open to the public, no tickets are needed.

Armistice 1918 begins with a musical and visual representation of the period immediately before the war, the second section revolves around the separation of loved ones and the extraordinary events of Christmas 1914. The third part is a portrait of life at the front in a series of improvisations and popular songs from the time, and finally the silence of Armistice day, interrupted only by the sound of church bells bringing the news of peace. In Armistice 1918, Bill Carrothers attempts to bring together his two passions; history and music. His goal with this project was to tell a story of the Great War through music; of the process from the relative innocence of 1914 to the wasteland of November 11, 1918. Heavily influenced by the poets of the war and specifically of infantry officer 2nd lieutenant Wilfred Owen, with his gritty realism and and the poignant contrasts between idealism and reality Carrothers brings together his inventive harmonies and passion for history to create an experience unlike any other.

Carrothers will be joined by fellow Lawrence faculty members Jose Encarnacion, saxophone; Matt Turner, cello; Mark Urness, bass; and Dane Richeson, drums; as well as by guest vocalist Peg Carrothers and guest percussionist Jay Epstein. The performance will be accompanied by a slideshow of photographs and poems from the First World War and will also feature a choir made up of Lawrence University Conservatory students, as well as narration by Jerald Podair, Professor of History at Lawrence.

Bill Carrothers has been a professional pianist for 35 years and has been teaching at Lawrence since 2011. He has played many venues throughout the U.S. and Europe including the The Village Vanguard, Birdland, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Montreal Jazz Festival. In October of 2000, Mr. Carrothers headlined the prestigious Rising Star Tour throughout Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. He has been a leader on twenty-six recordings, all of which have received critical acclaim, and has played with some of the greatest names in jazz including: Scott Colley, Dave Douglas, Billy Hart, Freddie Hubbard, Dave King, Dewey Redman, Bill Stewart, and Toots Thielemans.

Lawrence University Launches Transformative $220 Million Be the Light! Campaign

Lawrence University announces the launch of Be the Light! Learners. Leaders. Lawrentians., a historic $220 million capital campaign.

Lawrence is launching Be the Light! with a celebratory weekend at its Appleton campus. The announcement of two leadership gifts will mark the celebration: a $2.5 million gift from philanthropist and chair of Old World Industries J. Thomas Hurvis ’60 to endow the Riaz Waraich Dean for Career, Life, and Community Engagement, and $2.5 million from the Kohler Co. to renovate Kohler Hall into a 21st-century residential space.

These gifts from Mr. Hurvis and the Kohler Co. illustrate the generosity and momentum behind Be the Light!. The campaign has raised $165.5 million toward its overall goal during the quiet phase—already more than the total raised during the university’s last capital campaign. More than 7,800 alumni have provided transformational support for Lawrence through leadership gifts and contributions to the Lawrence Fund.

“Today we embark on the most ambitious fundraising initiative in Lawrence’s history.  This campaign will provide foundational investments in a bold vision for Lawrence’s future,” says Lawrence University President Mark Burstein.

The Waraich Dean for Career, Life and Community Engagement will play an integral role in fulfilling Lawrence’s mission to prepare students for successful and meaningful lives after graduation. In addition to endowing the deanship, Mr. Hurvis is asking Lawrence alumni, parents, and friends to join him by matching his gift with an additional $2.5 million to support internships, career exploration, and curricular development through the Center for Career, Life, and Community Engagement. Mr. Hurvis, one of Lawrence’s most dedicated donors, named the endowment for his business partner, Riaz Waraich, as a moving recognition of how partnership provides a key ingredient for career success.

“We are honored that the deanship of the Center for Career, Life, and Community Engagement will carry Riaz Waraich’s name. His partnership with Tom represents essential Lawrence University values of innovation, entrepreneurship, and how the combination of different perspectives brings success,” said President Burstein.

The Kohler Co.’s gift will transform Kohler Hall, which originally opened in 1967, into a welcoming home and community space for Lawrence students. Kohler Hall was named in honor of Ruth DeYoung Kohler, who served as a Lawrence University trustee from 1945-1953. Mrs. Kohler’s service to Lawrence was followed by her son, Herbert V. “Herb” Kohler, Jr., who served as a trustee from 1974-2002 and is currently an emeritus trustee; and her granddaughter, Laura Kohler, who has served as a trustee since 2014. In addition to Kohler Hall, the Kohler Gallery in the Wriston Art Center is named in the family’s honor.

“Kohler Co. and the Kohler Trust for The Arts and Education have had long-standing relationships with Lawrence and understand how important the residential experience is to the Lawrence community,” noted President Burstein. “Lawrence students encounter new ideas, engage in intellectual exchange, interact with different cultures, and make friendships that last a lifetime in the residence halls. This generous gift will transform the student experience on campus.”

The Be the Light! Campaign is infused with the values of Lawrence University: creating an inclusive educational experience accessible to all that prepares today’s students to lead lives of meaning and distinction. These values are reflected in the cornerstones of the campaign:

Full Speed to Full Need: A $30 million matching gift supporting endowed scholarships jumpstarted Be the Light! in 2014. This matching gift became the Full Speed to Full Need initiative, a visionary move to make Lawrence accessible and affordable to every student. Meeting the full demonstrated financial need of every student places Lawrence in the elite ranks of the fewer than 70 colleges nationwide that offer this level of support; it would also make Lawrence the only full need institution in the state of Wisconsin.

Student Journey: Lawrence educates the whole student, from classroom learning in programs of distinction to personal development through wellness, career advising, and more. Generous gifts have supported the creation and expansion of cutting edge and interdisciplinary programs, including: the Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professorship in Innovation, the Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Professorship in Cognitive Neuroscience, the Wendy and KK Tse Professorship in East Asian Studies, and the Jean Lampert Woy and J. Richard Woy Professorship in History. Additional support for the whole student includes the endowed Julie Esch Hurvis Dean for Spiritual and Religious Life.

Campus Renewal: Lawrence’s spaces shape the student experience, and Lawrence is renewing its beautiful and historic campus in key areas including athletics, the Center for Academic Success, and residence halls. Alumni generosity has supported the renovation of Lawrence’s stadium facility, the Banta Bowl and Ormsby Hall, a student resident hall.  Additional gifts have transformed the campus landscape and public spaces.

The Lawrence Fund: The Lawrence Fund is a critical part of the university’s financial health and ensures student success every day. Contributions to this annual fund come from alumni and friends of Lawrence at all financial levels. Gifts support students, faculty, and facilities on every corner of campus, including flexible support for athletics, study abroad, student research, the library, Lawrence’s Door County campus Björklunden and more. The online launch of Be the Light! took place on October 10, 2018, as part of Lawrence’s annual Giving Day tradition: 2,920 donors contributed more than $1.79 million to the Lawrence Fund in a single day.

“The Be the Light! Campaign comes at a critical time, when it is more important than ever that the education Lawrence provides responds to current societal needs. This campaign has the power to transform our university, our students, and the future leadership of our world,” said President Mark Burstein. “I am grateful for the generous support of the Lawrence community, which has already helped us surpass our previous campaign total.  These investments will allow us to continue our transformational work, to be the light.”

Visit the Be the Light! Campaign website 

Lawrence Hosting Symposium on International Refugee Crisis

Lawrence University will be hosting a symposium on the international refugee crisis November 4-6. This critical and timely topic will be explored through speakers, art, dance, music and film, introducing the community to people who are themselves refugees; to medical, legal and journalism professionals who provide refugee services; to artists and musicians who have chronicled the loss of homeland; and to scholars who examine and write about the economic and ethical implications of immigration. This event is free and open to the public.

The centerpiece of this multi-day event is a symposium featuring experts from around the globe followed by a concert and performance. It takes place Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m. in the Esch Hurvis Room of the Warch Campus Center.

The speakers are:

Speakers: David Hausman, Attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Liza Ramlow, Nurse-Midwife, Doctors Without Borders
Mark Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Amel Abbas ’14, Iraqi Refugee and Lawrence University Alumna
Moderator: Claudena Skran, Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science and Professor of Government, Lawrence University Department of Government

This event is free and open to the public.

Full Schedule of Events

Nov. 1-6, 2018

Art exhibit at Wriston Art Center
Exhibit in Seeley G. Mudd Library
Photography exhibit in Warch Campus Center

Sunday, Nov. 4  Warch Campus Center Cinema

6 p.m. A Local Perspective on the Refugee Crisis with Joseph Kabamba, Resettlement Specialist at World Relief and refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tami McLaughlin, director of World Relief Fox Valley
7 p.m. Myanmar’s Killing Fields (57 minutes)
8 p.m. The Pirogue (Moussa Toure, 2012) (87 minutes)

Monday, Nov. 5  Esch-Hurvis Room, Warch Campus Center
7–9 p.m. Symposium

Speakers: David Hausman, Attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Liza Ramlow, Nurse-Midwife, Doctors Without Borders
Mark Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Amel Abbas ’14, Iraqi Refugee and Lawrence University Alumnus
Moderator: Claudena Skran, Edwin & Ruth West Professor of Economics and Social Science and Professor of Government, Lawrence University Department of Government

9 p.m.-10 p.m.—Concert of music by and about refugees performed by students and faculty of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music  View the program

10 p.m. Reception and networking opportunity

Tuesday, Nov. 6, Mead Witter Room, Warch Campus Center (note new location)

4:30 p.m. Main Hall Forum: Dollars and Sense of the Refugee Crisis
Shyam Souri Suresh, Professor of Economics, Davidson University
Harry Brighouse, Professor of Philosophy, UW-Madison

Election Law Expert to Discuss Partisan Gerrymandering on November 8

Prof. Robert Yablon (Univeristy of Wisconsin Law School) will be at Lawrence University November 8 to discuss contemporary challenges to redistricting law, including Wisconsin’s own Gill v. Whitford.  In his talk, “Partisan Gerrymandering: What Next?,” he will discuss both legal and partisan issues with drawing the lines that group voters into districts–and what that means for democratic representation.  He is an expert in election law, federal courts, and campaign finance law.  Yablon was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and has clerked for both Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.  An engaging teacher, Prof. Yablon was honored with the Classroom Teacher of the Year award this year at University of Wisconsin Law School. 

Robert Yablon
Election law expert Robert Yablon

Yablon’s visit is sponsored by the American Constitution Society and the Lawrence University Government Department.  “American democracy is uniquely about rules and institutions, and nowhere is this more evident than in American elections.  There is no roadmap in the Constitution for drawing the lines, but Prof. Yablon can show us the contours of where they might go,” said Prof. Arnold Shober, an associate professor of government.

Prof. Yablon talk will be in Wriston Auditorium at 4:30 p.m., November 8.  The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Lawrence University Presents 38th Annual Jazz Weekend

Lawrence University will present the 38th annual Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend with live performances from the Regina Carter Quartet on Friday, November 2 and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, November 3. Both concerts will take place at 7:30 pm in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Tickets are free for all students with a valid student ID, and range from $20 – $30 for seniors and adults. Tickets are available for purchase from the Lawrence University Box Office in person, online or by calling 920-832-6749.

Headshot of Regina Carter
Jazz Violinist Regina Carter

Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend brings professional jazz artists to the Lawrence campus for a non-competitive jazz education festival. Over the course of the weekend hundreds of middle and high school students from around the Midwest work with Lawrence faculty and jazz educators from across the country. The weekend culminates in the Friday and Saturday evening concerts given by internationally acclaimed jazz musicians.

The concert on Friday, November 2 will feature Regina Carter, a Sony Masterworks recording artist and the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Her quest for beauty combined with her passion for excellence did not escape the attention of the MacArthur Foundation, who awarded Regina their prestigious fellowship “genius grant.” Carter’s recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive and touring program, Simply Ella, mark the 100th birthday of musical legend Ella Fitzgerald. Carter will perform Simply Ella live at Lawrence with her quartet.

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra

The concert on Saturday, November 3 showcases the multiple-Grammy winning 16 piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra which features some of the world’s finest musicians. Co-founded by legendary trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis, after more than 50 years the ensemble still plays virtually every Monday night at the renowned Village Vanguard Jazz club, New York City’s most famous basement. The beautiful and unique arrangements of Thad Jones enchanted audiences worldwide. The mixture of the music from diverse backgrounds created their innovative sound and the band was quickly recognized as a world-class big band. The ensemble cultivated its rich history while commissioning new music that made them the prototype of innovative big band music.

For more information about these events or the Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend, contact Jillian Johnson at 920-832-6773

Lawrence University recognized as Chicago Scholars Star of Transformation

At a ceremony held at McCormick Place in Chicago on October 23, Lawrence University received The College Star of Transformation award from Chicago Scholars, an organization dedicated to helping “academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities complete college and become the next generation of leaders who will transform” Chicago’s neighborhoods and the city itself.

These students, named Chicago Scholars themselves, receive special training and mentorship from the organization to help them succeed in the college admission process and, more importantly, during their time in college. The organization boasts that its students graduate from college at a rate of 86%, which is nearly 40 percentage points higher than their peers, according to the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Chicago Scholars CEO, Dominique Jordan Turner, cited Lawrence University’s generosity of financial support for the Chicago Scholars it has enrolled, along with strong on-campus mentoring and advising. Earlier this year, Turner was named as a member of the inaugural class of Obama Foundation Fellows, a program that brings together 20 leaders from 11 countries who are creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Ken Anselment, Lawrence University’s Vice President for Enrollment & Communication, accepted the award on behalf of the university.

“Our partnership with Chicago Scholars has helped Lawrence University meet, recruit, and enroll high-caliber students who are traditionally underserved by the college admission process,” says Anselment, who appreciates the close partnership with the organization, one of more than a dozen around the country with which Lawrence has developed a formal working relationship.

Shortly after leaving the stage, Anselment was called back up to introduce the organization’s Crystal Award winner, Tom Hurvis, a 1960 graduate of Lawrence University, whose support for the organization has transformed its ability to serve Chicago students.

According to Turner, “As a result of Tom’s investment, Chicago Scholars has scaled tremendously.” She notes that the number of students selected to participate in the program has increased from 250 Scholars a year to 1,000 this year—due largely to the supercharging effect of Hurvis’s support.

In his remarks about Hurvis, Anselment noted, “The world is filled with many people like Tom who have been incredibly successful. But there are far fewer people in the world who use their successes in the ways that Tom does, which is to take great joy in using the fruits of that success to create extraordinary opportunities that lift others to their own success.”

Bernard Lilly, a 2018 Lawrence graduate and Chicago-based musician, then took the stage to sing a special tribute to Hurvis, which brought the more than 300 attendees to their feet with a standing ovation for the gifted vocalist.

Hurvis is one of the founders and chairman of Old World Industries, the world’s leading supplier of antifreeze and diesel exhaust fluid, including PEAK antifreeze and coolant, and Blue DEF, respectively.


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.

Thomas A. Steitz, Lawrentian and Nobel Prize winner, dies at 78

The Lawrence University community and the rest of the world learned of the sad news that Thomas A. Steitz, one of the giants of biochemistry whose research on the structure of ribosomes earned him the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, died on Tuesday, October 9, from pancreatic cancer.

A 1962 graduate of Lawrence University who earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in chemistry, Steitz also received an honorary doctorate of science degree from his alma mater in 1981, as well as the Lucia R. Briggs Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002.

The year after winning his Nobel Prize, Steitz returned to Lawrence as the featured speaker for the university’s 161st commencement. As part of the celebration of Steitz’s achievements, Lawrence renamed its Science Building—home to the university’s chemistry and biology programs—to Thomas A. Steitz Hall of Science. From Lawrence’s press release at the time:

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.

Typical of so many Lawrentians, Steitz was a multi-interested lifelong learner. Beyond his pursuits in science, Steitz was also an accomplished saxophonist. His ability to pursue his science and musical interests is one of the things that drew Steitz as a high schooler from Wauwatosa (Wis.) to Lawrence. In his autobiography for the Nobel committee, Steitz writes:

My four years at Lawrence College changed my life, my view of the world and my professional direction. Since Lawrence is a liberal arts school, I was required to take many humanities courses to supplement what turned out to be my major in chemistry. These courses began with what was called a Freshman Studies course which was a broad based reading, discussion and writing course on many classical books. We learned to ask as well as answer questions. Importantly, we were also required to take a philosophy course, a scholarly based (e.g., Niebuhr, etc.) religion course, and an anthropology course, as well as English, History and language courses. I entered Lawrence with a heavy religious background and left it with an entirely different understanding of the origins of religious beliefs, their veracity and their roles in cultures. Lawrence also has a music school so that I was able to continue my love of music by participating in the band, orchestra and choir.

Steitz often credited Lawrence’s Professor Robert Rosenberg as “the person who had by far the greatest influence in inspiring me to pursue a career in science, and in particular chemistry.”

According to the October 10, 2018 tribute in the New York Times, Steitz’s spouse, Dr. Joan Steitz, and their son, Jon, were at his side when he died at their home in Connecticut.

“The world knows Tom as a Nobel prize-winning biochemist,” says Lawrence University president, Mark Burstein. “To the Lawrence community he was a beloved classmate, smart and engaging alumnus, and all-around gentleman. We will miss his presence and leadership. And in his name we will carry on the values of learning and transformation his life’s story represents.”

Pulitzer Prize Winner James Forman Jr. to Explore Causes of Mass Incarceration at Lawrence Talk

James Forman Jr., author of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction for Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, will deliver a talk that explores the rise of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. The talk will be followed by a signing of his book, which is hailed as “superb and shattering” by The New York Times.

James Forman Jr. headshot
Pulitzer Prize Winner James Forman, Jr. to speak at Lawrence University.

Forman explores how the war on crime that began in the 1970s was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers and seeks to understand why. His exploration began when Forman served as a public defender in Washington, D.C. After he failed to keep a 15-year-old out of a juvenile detention center, he wondered how the mayor, the judge, the prosecuting attorney, the arresting officer, even the bailiff—all of whom were black—could send so many of their own to a grim, incarcerated future.  

Forman, now a professor at Yale Law School, will explore the answers during a talk and signing at Lawrence University on Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Wriston Hall Auditorium.  He will show how good intentions and pressing dangers of the last 40 years have shaped the get-tough approach in the culture at large and in black neighborhoods.

Forman’s visit is sponsored by the Erickson Fund for Public Policy, Center for Institutions and Innovation at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, and Lawrence University’s Government Department and Office for Diversity and Inclusion. He is hosted by Lawrence University Associate Professor of Government Arnold Shober. “Wisconsin has some of the highest incarceration rates of African-Americans in the country, yet race, crime, and prison are one of the most complex—and heart-rending—policy issues in modern America,” Shober says.  “Forman’s talk will help us think carefully and compassionately about our way forward.”

This event is free and open to the public and no registration is required.

Lecture and Signing with Pulitzer-Winner James Forman, Jr.
Thursday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Auditorium
Appleton, WI
Free and Open to the Public

Lawrence experts to speak about pressing global issues at Povolny event

On Tuesday evening, October 2, a multi-disciplinary panel of faculty and students will convene to discuss some of the most important global issues facing us today.

This free event, sponsored as part of the 2018 Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies, is open to the public and will be held in the campus cinema, located on the second floor of the Warch Campus Center. (Click here for a campus map with parking.)

Download a copy of tonight’s program here:
Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies 2018