Lawrence University Faculty Promoted, Granted Tenured Appointments

Lawrence University faculty members Michael Orr and Alan Parks have been promoted to the rank of full professor by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Four other faculty — Jerald Podair, Matthew Stoneking, Timothy Troy and Dirck Vorenkamp — have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenured appointments.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty as an art historian in 1989. A native of England, Orr has served as an exhibition consultant to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded two research grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, Orr was recognized with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

Parks has taught mathematics and computer science at Lawrence since 1985. A member of the American Mathematical Society, Parks’ research interests in applied mathematics include dynamical systems and differential equations. As a computer programmer, he has focused on the theory of computation, coding theory, and the analysis of algorithms and he written applications in C++, Fortran, Pascal and MATLAB. He was cited for his teaching in 1987 as the recipient of Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Podair, a 20th-century American historian specializing in race relations, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1998. His Ph.D. dissertation was recognized in 1998 by the Society of American Historians with the Allan Nevin Prize, which honored his work as the single most outstanding dissertation in American history that year. It was published as the book “The Strike That Changed New York” last fall by Yale University Press. Podair, who earned his doctorate at Princeton University, served as a consultant scholar for the recent Joe McCarthy exhibition at the Outagamie County Museum.

Stoneking, a physicist whose research interest focus on plasma physics and magnetic confinements of non-neutral plasmas, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1997. He’s been the recipient of a $225,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $37,000 grant from Research Corporation to support construction of his plasma physics laboratory, including a toroidal vacuum chamber. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Troy, a 1985 Lawrence graduate, returned to his alma mater’s theatre and drama department first from 1989-92 and again in 1997. He directs Lawrence opera, play and musical productions, as well as the “Plays on History” series staged at the Outagamie County Museum. In addition, he serves as community artist-in-residence for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and wrote the libretto for Samuel Barber’s “Excursions” Opus 20, which premiered in January. He earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Iowa.

Vorenkamp, a member of the Lawrence religious studies department since 1997, specializes in Asian religions, especially Buddhism. His teaching was recognized with the Lawrence Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2000 and his scholarly research has been published in the Encyclopedia of Monasticism, the Journal of Asian Studies and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, among others. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lawrence University’s “Classics Week” Salutes Ancient Greece, Rome

Lawrence University pays homage to the glory of ancient Rome and Greece May 19-23 with its annual Classics Week celebration.

Lawrence President Richard Warch officially opens the week-long salute Monday, May 19 at 11 a.m. with an official proclamation from the steps of his Sampson House office, reaffirming Lawrence¹s commitment to, and the importance of, the study of the classics.

All Classics Week events are free and open to the public. The schedule includes:

Monday, May 19 — “150 Years of Classics in Main Hall.” Daniel Taylor, Hiram A. Jones Professor of Classics at Lawrence, traces the history and evolution of Latin and classics education at Lawrence, from its 1847 founding to the present. Main Hall 201, 4:15 p.m.

Tuesday, May 20 — “Clash of the Titans.” The 1981 film classic that recounts the myth of legendary hero Perseus and the battle among the Greek gods with an all-star cast featuring Harry Hamlin, Maggie Smith, Sir Laurence Olivier and the work of special effects master Ray Harryhausen. Wriston Art Center auditorium, 8 p.m.

Wednesday, May 21 — “Disorder in the Court: Performance and Calculation in Athenian Legal Trials.” Randall McNeill, Lawrence assistant professor of classics, discusses the legal proceedings typically found in ancient Athenian courts and the often off-beat measures plaintiffs and defendants would employ to garner jury sympathy. Main Hall Room 201, 4:15 p.m.

Thursday, May 22 — “The Frogs.” A student reading of Greek playwright Aristophanes’ tale of Dionysus’ journey to Hades in search of Euripides in hopes of bringing him back to earth to restore the lost art of tragedy in Athens. Main Hall south steps, 4:30 p.m. Rain site: Main Hall 104.

Friday, May 23 — “Latin Stories.” Junior Carrie Cleaveland and sophomore Suzanne Henrich present Latin versions of several Dr. Seuss classics. Main Hall south steps, 4:30 p.m. Rain site: Main Hall 104.

Legendary Performers The Skatalites Highlight Lawrence University Ska-Fest

One of the genre’s most legendary performers, Jamaica’s own Skatalites highlight “Skappleton 2003,” Lawrence University’s annual salute to ska Saturday, May 17.

The Skatalites will close an 11-hour “skavaganza” that features 13 bands on two stages in Lawrence’s Buchanan Kiewit Recreation Center. Doors open at 12 noon, music begins at 1 p.m. Tickets for the event, at $10 each, can be purchased in advanced by calling 920-832-6749.

Formed in the early 1960s, the Grammy-nominated Skatalites — the one-time backing band for reggae great Bob Marley — are counted among the earliest founders of the ska sound, an upbeat, danceable brand of music, an up-tempo cousin of reggae, with an affinity for horns and socially conscious lyrics. It combines the musical influences of calypso, jazz, blues and swing.

Another ska pioneer, The Toasters, who have churned out more than two dozen CDs and albums in their 20-year history, take the stage just before the Skatalites.

Lawrence University “Shack-a-thon” Aids Habitat for Humanity

Lawrence University’s Main Hall Green will be transformed into a temporary shantytown the weekend of May 17-18 when the Lawrence Volunteer and Community Service Center sponsors its second annual “Shack-a-thon” for Habitat for Humanity.

Teams of students will construct shacks from donated materials on 10-foot-by-10-foot plots near Main Hall beginning Saturday at 2 p.m. and remaining up until mid-morning Sunday. Teams will be soliciting pledges for having at least one member remain in the shack overnight to simulate the feeling of homelessness. Change jars also will be placed in front of each shack. Cash donations to the jars will be counted as “votes” for a best shack contest. A host tent on site will provide information on issues related to homelessness and the need for affordable housing.

Shack-a-thon organizers are hoping to construct 20 shacks and raise $10,000 at this year’s event. Last year’s Shack-a-thon featured 12 shacks and raised $5,000. All proceeds will to be applied toward the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home in the Fox Cities. For more information, contact the Lawrence VCSC at 920-832-6644.

Celebrate! Lawrence University Festival Marks 30th Year of Family Fun and Entertainment

Celebrate!, Lawrence University’s popular annual spring festival of the arts celebrates its 30th birthday Saturday, May 10. The family-oriented celebration of community life in the Fox Cities runs 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Lawrence’s downtown Appleton campus and is free and open to the public.

Celebrate! 2003 will feature its usual array of live music, a lively family area with a diverse mix of kid-friendly performers and attractions, more than 160 arts and crafts booths of hand-crafted and fine arts items for sale along with food and beverage concessions featuring international treats as well as Wisconsin favorites.

An eclectic mix of popular music groups from throughout the Midwest will be featured on the Wriston Stage, located in the amphitheatre between the Wriston Art Center and the Lawrence Memorial Union.

The Madison-based band German Art Students opens the Wriston stage at 11:15 a.m. The New Wave rock quartet plays mostly original material, crafting songs with lyrics that are witty without being smug, intelligent without being pretentious.

At 1:15 p.m., the five-piece acoustic group Paradise String Band performs American and Irish folk music, bluegrass and old-time traditional folk music.

Wisconsin’s Tasty Wanton, which is drawing national attention for its original music full of infectious grooves, soaring harmonies and stunning melodies, takes the stage at 2:45 p.m. The five-piece blues, funk and rock band recently signed with Head West Records.

Closing out the Wriston stage at 4:30 is the Oshkosh-based band Road Trip, one of the state’s hardest-working musical groups. The six-piece rock band regularly plays more than 150 shows each year and has opened for several national acts, including Sheryl Crow, Stir, ZZ Top, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Fleetwood Mac and Foreigner.

The Shattuck Stage, located on the Conservatory of Music porch, will feature a day-long blend of the best new and seasoned jazz performers from the Lawrence campus and beyond.

Back by popular demand, Lawrence’s percussion ensemble Sambistas kick things off at 11 a.m. with their infectious Brazilian rhythms.

The nine-piece tour de force Phat Phunktion takes the stage at 12 noon, combining the polish of Top 40 with the smoothness of ’60s soul and the raw energy of ’70s funk.

At 2 p.m., the Sullivan Trio brings jazz riffs to the stage, followed at 3:45 p.m. by Recycled Percussion, the four-piece band that turns recycled and salvaged items into choreographed percussion. Music veterans of concerts in more than 40 states, Recycled Percussion has performed with such notables as LL Cool J, Godsmack, Staind and They Might Be Giants, created halftime shows for the NBA and NFL and been featured on numerous television shows, including “Crook and Chase,” “Talk Soup,” and CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Appleton’s own Big Band Reunion rounds out the Shattuck stage at 5 p.m. with its trademark repertoire of jazz tunes and big-band classics.

The Family Stage, located on the lawn north of Ormsby Hall, plays host to a range of artists and activities aimed at the younger festival goers. Dick Stader, a certified dive master and retired U.S. Navy master chief machinist mate, opens the stage at 10:30 a.m. with a scuba diving demonstration geared especially for children.

Ventriloquist Dave Parker with Skippy and all his friends will entertain at 12 noon, followed on stage by caricaturist Paul Merklein and his “Great Big Faces” at 1:30 p.m. Merklein also will be available for free caricatures throughout the rest of the day.

Rick Kelley brings rock and roll with a message for children of all ages to the stage at 2:45 p.m., and local favorite Chad Harkins presents his unique puppet show at 4:30 p.m.

In addition, the family area will feature a petting zoo, pony rides, carriage rides, inflatable attractions, a climbing wall, a mechanical bull as well as numerous children’s games, exhibits and activities. There will be roving artists throughout the day, including a special appearance by the “Renaissance Man,” a wandering bard who presents Shakespeare to passers-by and Dizzy D. Clown making free balloon creations for the kids and clowning around.

For more information regarding Celebrate!, contact the Lawrence University Campus Activities Office at 920-832-6600.

Lawrence Radio Drama Featured on WPR Program

Lawrence University’s recent Theatre-of-the-Air taping production of the World War II radio drama “Strange Morning” will be among the shows featured Sunday, May 4 on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Old Time Radio Drama.” The program airs from 8-11 p.m. Sunday evenings.

Directed by Tim Troy, associate professor of theatre and drama, “Strange Morning” was taped during a live performance in mid-March in Lawrence’s Cloak Theatre. It recounts the differing reactions of wounded soldiers at an army hospital in March, 1945 to the news from a nurse that V-E Day is near.

The 25-minute drama, one of seven shows featured on Sunday’s program, is scheduled to air at approximately 10 p.m. and can be heard on WPR affiliates WLFM 91.1 FM and WRST 90.3 FM.

Lawrence University’s Rogness Named Udall Scholar

Lawrence University senior Steve Rogness has been named one of 80 national recipients of a $5,000 scholarship by the Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation.

An environmental studies and economics major from Roseville, Minn., Rogness was the only student from a Wisconsin college or university to be named a Udall Scholar for 2003. This is the third straight year a Lawrence student has been awarded a Udall scholarship.

Lawrence was one of 57 colleges and universities represented among this year’s 80 Udall scholarship recipients. Yale and Penn State universities led the way with four apiece, while Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the University of South Carolina, Pomona College and Swarthmore College each had three Udall recipients.

Each year, the Udall Foundation awards scholarships to American undergraduates in fields related to the environment and to Native American and Alaska natives in fields related to health care or tribal policy.

The Udall Foundation was established by Congress in 1992 to honor Morris Udall’s 30-year career in the U.S. House of Representatives and his commitment to preservation of the nation’s natural environment.

Kenyan Struggle for Human Rights, Democracy in Africa Focus of Lawrence University Amnesty International Address

Koigi wa Wamwere, a political prisoner in Kenya for more than a decade, shares his personal story of survival and the struggle for democracy in Africa in an Amnesty International lecture at Lawrence University.

A visiting scholar at the Institute for Human Rights at Columbia University, wa Wamwere presents “Human Rights, Exile and Liberation” Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium on the Lawrence campus. The event is free and open to the public.

While a student at Cornell University in the 1970s, wa Wamwere discovered democracy, freedom of speech and black pride, concepts he took with him when he returned to his native Kenya. In 1979, he won a seat in the parliament, but as an activist and parliament member, wa Wamere was a target of the oppressive Kenyatta and Moi regimes. He eventually was detained on three separate occasions, spending more than 13 years in prison after speaking out against the Kenyatta regime. He escaped execution only through the intervention of the Norwegian government and human rights organizations around the world.

Wa Wamwere, who was re-elected to the Kenyan parliament last December, chronicled his life in his 2002 autobiography “I Refuse to Die.” A second book, “Negative Ethnicity,” which addresses African tribal conflict and genocide, is scheduled for release later this year.

Talks by DNR Chief, Secretary of State Highlight Lawrence University Earth Day Celebration

Appearances by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett and Secretary of State Douglas La Follette highlight Lawrence University’s fifth annual Earth Day Festival Saturday, April 26. All Earth Day Festival activities are free and open to the public.

Hassett, who began his duties as DNR secretary in January of this year, delivers the address “Environmental Challenges Facing Wisconsin” at 2 p.m. in Youngchild Hall, Room 121. Following his talk, La Follette, who helped organize the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, presents “Black Smoke to Backlash — 30 Years of U.S. Environmental History.”

Lawrence’s Earth Day Festival begins at 9 a.m. with a trash pickup along the north banks of the Fox River adjacent to the Lawrence campus. Refuse collected during the pickup will be used to create a one-of-a-kind Fox River “trash sculpture” near Main Hall. All volunteers interested in participating can meet at the front of the Lawrence Memorial Union.

Between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Main Hall Green, the festival will feature information booths addressing various environmental issues, including organic food and Fair Trade coffee, a display of environmentally friendly hybrid automobiles and arts and crafts activities for children. Lawrence’s award-winning, six-member jazz combo will provide musical entertainment from 11 a.m.-12 noon.

Lawrence’s Earth Day Festival is sponsored by EARTH House, a student organization that promotes environmentally sustainable lifestyles, Greenfire, a student environmental awareness organization and the Co-op House. In the event of inclement weather, festival activities will be moved inside the Lawrence Memorial Union and the Buchanan Kiewit Recreation Center.

Ayn Rand Expert Discusses the Mind as Hero in Lawrence University Address

One of the world’s leading proponents of objectivism discusses philosopher Ayn Rand’s literary portrayal of the human thinker as the ultimate hero in an address at Lawrence University.

Andrew Bernstein, adjunct professor of philosophy at Pace University, presents “The Mind as Hero in Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged'” Tuesday, April 22 at 8 p.m. in Main Hall, Room 216.

A senior writer at the Ayn Rand Institute, a California-based think tank that promotes the philosophy of objectivism, Bernstein is a frequent talk radio and television guest and has written widely on philosophical issues, including the need for heroes in our lives and the application of philosophical principles on topics ranging from volunteerism to war. His first novel, “Heart of a Pagan,” was published in 2002. His next book, “The Capitalist Manifesto,” is scheduled for publication next year.