Tag: Convocation Series

Joy (and concern) in the night sky will be focus of Honors Convocation message

Megan Pickett, associate professor of physics, leads an Earth Hour event on Main Hall Green earlier this spring, sharing information on the night sky. She’ll give the Honors Convocation address on May 27. (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

The beauty of the night sky, the stories it can tell, and the “light pollution” that is increasingly hindering our view will be the topic of Lawrence University’s May 27 Honors Convocation.

Megan Pickett, associate professor of physics, will deliver the Convocation address, The Stars: Mansions Made by Nature’s Hand, at 11:15 a.m. It will be delivered virtually and is available to the public on the Honors Convocation page at lawrence.edu.

In her address, Pickett will share why light pollution, the ever-increasing brightening of the sky by artificial lighting, is a concern that has long-term economic, health, and biological costs.

“The stars tell our stories, guide our way, and quietly mark time,” Pickett said in preparation for the Convocation. “They inspire artists and compel scientists. The shared heritage of the night sky is a universal natural resource—and we are losing it, one star at a time.”

The annual Honors Convocation, which publicly recognizes students and faculty recipients of awards and prizes for excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, languages, music, athletics, and service to others, is traditionally held in Memorial Chapel. But due to campus facilities being closed to the public and physical distancing practices being in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, this marks the second year it is being held virtually.

Pickett said she remembers being 12 years old and holding a copy of H.A. Rey’s book, The Stars, as she stared at the night sky in her suburban Detroit neighborhood.

“I truly saw for the first time the hidden treasure suspended above,” she said of that night. “I knew then, standing in a palpably spiritual awe, that my life’s work would be to share that joy and wonder.”

Megan Pickett (Photo by Danny Damiani)

Pickett would go on to become an astrophysicist, earning a bachelor’s degree in physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Indiana University. She joined the Lawrence physics department in 2006 after six years on the faculty at Purdue University. Before that, she spent four years as a research associate at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California.

Much of her research through the years has focused on the formation of solar systems.

Now she wants to share some of that work and her passions for protecting the night sky with the Lawrence community.

“I will discuss the problems of light pollution, and the solutions that I and other astronomers advocate—simple, cost effective changes that can give us back our nights,” she said. “I will also explore what we are losing, from the soaring spirit of exploration the sky inspires to the traditions of so many peoples—often overlooked—that are celebrated in the stars themselves.  My work in understanding our home in the cosmos has given me a deep appreciation for how we all come to see that home, and a sense of urgency to save the night for all those 12-year-olds who step out in the cold and look up.”

Pickett said more than 80% of the world, and 99% of America, lives under a polluted sky. 

“Fully one-third of the world can no longer see the Milky Way, our home galaxy, including more than half of Europe and three-quarters of America,” she said. “In the few enclaves of pristine sky, you can see 5,000 stars on a clear night, but if you live in suburban America, only a tenth of that number; in a city, less than 50.”

Don’t take it for granted, Pickett said. There is joy in those stars, and generations to come may be hard-pressed to find it.

“The night sky is at once a visible and an ephemeral natural resource,” she said. “Its loss, and the increase in unnecessary sky-brightness come with economic, medical, and biological costs. As important, we lose something of ourselves, and our history, as each generation sees less of the wondrous night.”

Ami Hatori ’23 will perform the Convocation’s prelude, Jupiter’s Moons, on piano. The postlude, On a Clear Day, will feature Courtney Wilmington ’22, soprano vocals; Samara Morris ’21, alto vocals; Jack Murphy ’21, tenor vocals; David Womack ’22, bass vocals; Nick Muellner ’20, alto and tenor saxophones; Alyssa Kuss ’22, baritone saxophone; Jack Benedict ’21, trumpet; Allie Goldman ’21, trombone; Carson Bell ’22, guitar; Rowan Barcham, keyboard; Ali Remondini ’21, double bass; and Daniel Green ’21, drum set.

This is the third and final convocation of Lawrence’s 2020-21 academic year. The earlier convocations featured President Mark Burstein and author Kiese Laymon.

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

President’s Matriculation Convocation kicks off new year; circle these key dates

President Mark Burstein poses for a photo on the Lawrence campus.
President Mark Burstein will deliver the Matriculation Convocation at 11:10 a.m. Thursday.

Story by Isabella Mariani ’21

Welcome to the 2019-20 academic year. As classes begin today, students are kicking off a journey filled with performances, events and activities, and amid all the fun, they must stay in control of exams and deadlines. We couldn’t include everything, but we chose some important dates you should remember — the indispensable Lawrence traditions and crucial academic deadlines — so you can make the most of this year at Lawrence.

Matriculation Convocation

Thursday, Sept. 19, 11:10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Memorial Chapel

At the start of each academic year, the president welcomes the Lawrence community back to campus with the Matriculation Convocation. The speech lays the foundation for a collaborative, engaging year. This Thursday, President Mark Burstein will address students, faculty and members of the Appleton community with “Is Our Future Too Hot to Handle?” He’ll examine how human activities are impacting our natural environment and speak to how higher education institutions can better educate and inform on the topic. The convocation is open to the public. Admission is free.

Last day to make class changes

OK, this one has several dates to mark on the calendar. Fall Term: Friday, Sept. 20 | D-Term: Monday, Dec. 2 | Winter Term: Friday, Jan. 10 | Spring Term: Friday, April 3.

Some students miss their registration time or are waitlisted for a class. That’s what late class change deadlines are there for. When you get into that class you were waitlisted for, or you decide on the second day of the term that a course isn’t for you, your schedule is still in your hands. Remember, failing to finalize your schedule by these dates will earn you a late registration fee.

Involvement Fair

Friday, Sept. 20, 7-8 p.m., Somerset Room

Do you want to get involved on campus? This is the place to go. The Involvement Fair gives students the chance to explore more than 100 clubs and organizations at Lawrence, from the Baking and Cooking Club to the Society of Physics Students. Tour the booths and chat with club representatives to explore all of your extracurricular options. Who knows, you might find the group you stick with for the rest of your Lawrence journey.

“The Involvement Fair is a great way for student organizations to recruit new members and spread the word about their purpose,” says Assistant Director of Student Organizations Charity Rasmussen. “Or just have a great time welcoming new or returning students to campus.”

To learn about student organizations before the fair, visit the directory of student organizations.

Mid-term reading period and D-Term registration deadline

Thursday, Oct. 24 to Saturday, Oct. 27

This long weekend is designated for students to prepare for midterm exams. Some students use this free time to take a trip home; the winter and spring reading periods only last two days. In the meantime, maybe you’ve been considering a supplemental academic experience during your winter break. If so, in the midst of studying, don’t forget to register for D-Term. Lawrence’s optional two-week term runs Dec. 2-13. Registration can be completed on Voyager. Find information on D-Term and the course list here.

Convocation Series: “The Parallel Polis”

Thursday, Jan. 16, 11:10 a.m., Memorial Chapel

Russian-American journalist, author, translator and activist Masha Gessen will give a speech, “The Parallel Polis,” as part of the 2019-20 Convocation Series. These convocations are free and open to the community.

Cultural Expressions

Saturday, Feb. 29, Warch Campus Center

Cultural Expressions is an evening of performances in music, dance and poetry that showcase the talents of students of color on campus. This free event serves to celebrate and educate about cultures at the close of Black History Month. Cultural Expressions also punctuates the end of POC Empowerment Week (Feb. 23-29), highlighting the amazing contributions of people of color on our campus.


Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12, Stansbury Theatre

Lawrence International presents Cabaret, an evening of impressive student talent and a whirlwind of cultures. Members of Lawrence’s diverse student body – approximately 13 percent of which are international students – take the stage and treat the audience to cultural performances with the goal of cultural education. This annual spring showcase has taken the stage for 43 years and counting.

Zoo Days

Saturday, May 16, Main Hall Green

By mid-May, the weather is warming up and the school year is winding down. In true Ormsby Hall spirit of tradition, members of the Ormsby community host this event to showcase activities from student organizations, Greek Life and other residence halls at booths and tables. Zoo Days is distinguished from other campus affairs by the classic carnival booths that are brought to Main Hall Green. Try your hand at the dunk tank and enjoy live music, snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn.


Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, Quad Green

Every Memorial Day weekend, students gather on the quad in the final days of Spring Term for Lawrence’s own student-run music festival. The lineup consists of student musicians and exciting headliners, with past performances from The Tallest Man on Earth and Empress Of. This always much-anticipated Lawrence tradition is one last hurrah before finals arrive.

Georgia Greenberg ’20, co-chair of the Band Booking Committee and co-director of LUaroo, says the festival strikes a special chord with students.

“(Students) should feel like they can take time to relax and celebrate how far they’ve come in the school year,” she says. “It’s usually about two weeks from finals, and while that can be a stressful time, Lawrentians like to set time aside to party with their friends and have an awesome and fun-filled weekend.”

Honors Convocation

Thursday, May 28, Memorial Chapel, 11:10 a.m.

The 2019-20 Convocation Series closes with the Honors Convocation, which highlights academic and extracurricular achievements of students. Amy Ongiri, the Jill Beck Director of Film Studies and Associate Professor of Film Studies, was selected for this year’s honor. Her speech is “The Importance of Failure.”

Final exams

Again, several dates to be aware of here. Fall: Sunday, Nov. 24 to Tuesday, Nov. 26 | D-Term: Friday, Dec. 13 | Winter: Monday, March 16 to Wednesday, March 18 | Spring: Monday, June 8 to Wednesday, June 10.

Final exams are perhaps the most important dates for a student to mark on the calendar. Know the dates well ahead of time so you can give yourself enough time to prepare and ace those tests. Professors give reminders as the exams approach, but they can still sneak up on you.


Sunday, June 14, Main Hall Green

Residence halls close for underclassman three days prior, but the year’s festivities aren’t over yet. Graduating seniors stay on campus for Commencement, which signifies their move into life after Lawrence. It’s a time for family, friends and the future. There will be a number of events during the weekend for the graduates, culminating with Sunday’s Commencement.

Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.

Project 562 creator’s convocation, art installation looks to reshape the narrative of Native communities

Story by Ed Berthiaume / Communications

Brigetta Miller calls it a historic moment for Lawrence University, a big step forward in the understanding of Native communities and the need to embrace and value the knowledge, history and contributions of indigenous people.

When Matika Wilbur, creator and director of Project 562, arrives on campus on Friday, April 5 for a week-long artist-in-residency — including the creation of a contemporary mural celebrating area tribal communities — and an April 11 convocation address at Memorial Chapel, it will be significant.

Significant for Native students and alumni. Significant for the 11 federally recognized tribes in Wisconsin. And significant for the university.

“I see this spring convocation as history unfolding before our eyes since it’s the first Native American woman who has been chosen as a university convocation speaker since the opening of the institution in 1847,” said Miller, an associate professor of music in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music and a member of the Stockbridge-Munsee (Mohican) Nation.

“Given the fact that our campus is on sacred Menominee ancestral homelands, I believe our ancestors are truly smiling down on this event. It’s a very big deal for us to be visibly represented in this way.”

Stories to tell

Wilbur, a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, has been traveling the country as part of Project 562, using photography and art installations to connect with tribal communities and help redirect the narrative of their history, their present and their future. The 562 is a reference to the number of federally recognized tribes in the United States at the time the project launched in 2012.

Wilbur sold most of her belongings, loaded her cameras into an RV and set out to document lives in tribal communities across all 50 states. Connecting to college campuses along the way has been a big part of her journey.

“We are in a very critical time that requires educators, administrators and college communities to create a more inclusive environment for Native American students,” Wilbur says in her Project 562 plan. “By engaging in this social art project, students will have the opportunity to, a) organize, b) have their voices heard on campus, and c) elevate the consciousness and encourage the social paradigm shift to acknowledge the contemporary indigenous reality.”

That’s music to the ears of Miller, a 1989 Lawrence graduate who teaches ethnic studies courses in Native identity, history, and culture and works with Native American students on campus as a faculty advisor to the LUNA (Lawrence University Native Americans) student organization.

This community — on campus and beyond — needs to know that Native culture is alive, vibrant, intelligent, resilient, and moving forward, she said.

“I learned of her work a few years ago,” Miller said of Wilbur. “I saw her mission. I’ve been an educator for many years, and when I saw the beauty of what she was doing, substituting the historical distortions and fixed images of the past for the truth about our people, raising visibility for the historic erasure that has happened, sharing the many parts of our culture that often don’t make it into the history books, that inspired me.

“Her message is that we are resilient and we are strong and that we’re reclaiming our own narrative. She’s really aiming to share that part of our story, as opposed to one that popular American culture often believes is dead or invisible. As indigenous people, we are interrupting the settler narrative of the past, embracing our present and ensuring the future for our children. We are moving, we are shaking, we are scholars, we are artists — the sky is the limit for us.”

Wilbur recently teamed with Adrienne Keene, a member of the Cherokee Nation, to launch a new podcast, All My Relations, now live on iTunes, Spotify and Googleplay. It’s an extension of Project 562 in many ways, aimed at exploring relationships and issues important to Native people.

“I see her as a change agent,” Miller said. “Heads are turning.”

A reflection of who we are

At Lawrence, in the week leading up to the convocation address, Wilbur will work closely with Native students and allies to bring the outdoor mural to fruition. They’ll start with a workshop on photography and the important role of art in social justice, focused on how they can document the lives of indigenous people ethically and respectfully.

A group of students will then join Wilbur on visits to nearby reservation lands, where they’ll meet with tribal members, take photos, and participate in a seasonal longhouse ceremony. They’ll use the photos in the creation of a collage that will form the core of a mural to be installed using wheat paste on the outside north wall of the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center.

The mural, a non-permanent installation expected to remain visible for two to five years, will be unveiled following the 11:10 a.m. convocation on April 11.

“It means a lot to me that this convocation and art installation will show the beauty and forward-thinking of our culture,” Miller said. “It means more than one can imagine for our current Native students. It’ll be the first time we’ve had contemporary Native American artwork on the side of one of our buildings. Our indigenous students will see themselves reflected back for the first time ever.”

In her convocation address, Wilbur will discuss Project 562 and takeaways from her interactions with Lawrence students, the visits to area tribal lands and the creation of the mural.

Beth Zinsli, an assistant professor of art history who chaired this year’s Public Events Committee, said the invitation to Wilbur is part of a rethinking of convocation.

“In addition to our excitement about bringing an indigenous woman to campus for this honor, the Public Events Committee was interested in expanding what Lawrence’s convocation series could be — does a convo have to be a single, stand-alone lecture, or can its significance extend beyond the speaker’s visit and have a more lasting and visible impact?” she said. “I think Matika’s residency and the mural will be an excellent example of this.” 

The convocation will include a traditional Menominee flutist and an Oneida drum/dance group. There also will be an opening invocation spoken in the Menominee language by Dennis Kenote, chairman of the Menominee Nation Language and Culture Commission. That, too, is hopeful, a reflection of understanding and acceptance that hasn’t always been felt by Native communities on college campuses, Miller said.

“I hope this entire experience opens up the door to further meaningful conversations between cultures,” Miller said. “And I hope it attracts more Native students, faculty, and staff to our campus. I hope it raises visibility about the importance of the deeper cultural knowledge that indigenous people inherently bring to a college campus.

“I want Lawrence to be perceived as a welcoming place for Native students, families, and communities. We do welcome an indigenous presence here — students, faculty, local tribal members. Our doors are open to you. I want our people to know that.”

Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: ed.c.berthiaume@lawrence.edu

Spring Convocation

What: Convocation featuring Matika Wilbur, creator and director of Project 562, Changing the Way We See Native America

When: 11:10 a.m. April 11; unveiling of mural on campus to follow.

Where: Lawrence Memorial Chapel

Cost: Free

President’s annual matriculation convocation opens Lawrence’s five-part 2018-19 series

Lawrence University President Mark Burstein officially opens the university’s 170th academic year, along with its 2018-19 convocation series, Thursday, Sept. 13 with his annual matriculation address.

All convocations begin at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.

President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

Now in his sixth year as Lawrence’s 16th president, Burstein has focused on creating learning communities in which all members can reach their full potential.

Prior to Lawrence, Burstein served nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.

Joining Burstein on this year’s series will be:

Katherine Cramer
Katherine Cramer

Oct. 23 — Katherine Cramer, professor of political science, UW-Madison
Known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, Cramer presents “Listening Well in a World that Turns Away.”

Her scholarship focuses on the way Americans make sense of politics and their place in it. She is the author of “The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker,” which examines rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics. The book earned Cramer the 2017 American Political Science Association’s Qualitative and Multi-Method Research Section Giovanni Sartori Award for the best book developing or using qualitative methods.

She also has written the books “Talking about Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference” and “Talking about Politics: Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science at UW-Madison, she earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan.

Phil Plait
Phil Plait

Jan. 17, 2019 — Phil Plait, astronomer
A popular science writer based in Boulder, Colo., Plait is the mind behind the blog “Bad Astronomy,” on which he tries to debunk scientific myths and misconceptions. In 2009, Time magazine included it on its list of the 25 best science blogs. He will deliver the address “Strange New Worlds: Is Earth Special?”

While he’s never been a NASA employee, he was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA ‘s Goddard Space Flight Center and has been involved with NASA-sponsored public outreach programs for several satellites that study high-energy forms of light emitted by black holes, exploding stars and super-dense neutrons stars.

Pliat, who earned a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Virginia, is the author of “Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing ‘Hoax’” and “Death from the Skies!,” in which he provides real science behind all the ways astronomical events could wipe out life on Earth.

Matika Wilbur
Matika Wilbur

April 11, 2019 — Matika Wilbur, director/photographer Project 562
Wilbur, a member of the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, has been on a five-year mission to change the way we see Native America. As a visual storyteller, she has traveled the country with her camera, creating portrait art of the lives and experiences of people from the nation’s indigenous communities. She will present the address, “Changing the Way We See Native America.”

A one-time fashion photographer who earned a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute of Photography, Wilbur launched Project 562 in 2012 with a goal of photographing and collecting stories of Native Americans from each federally-recognized Indian tribe in the United States. To date she has visited more than 300 sovereign nations in 40 states documenting the diversity, vibrancy and realness of Indian country.

She has taught visual arts at Tulalip Heritage High School in Washington state, providing training and inspiration for the indigenous youth of her own community.

Her photography has been exhibited in national and international venues, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Royal British Columbia Museum of Fine Arts and France’s Nantes Museum of Fine Arts.

David Burrows
David Burrows

May 22, 2018David Burrows, professor of psychology and director of inclusive pedagogy
Burrows, whose address is titled, “Education for Effective Action,” is the 10th recipient of Lawrence’s Faculty Convocation Award, which represents the judgment of faculty peers that the person’s professional work is of high quality and deserves the honor of selection.

His career in higher education spans more than four-and-a half decades, including the past 13 years at Lawrence after joining the administration in 2005 as provost and dean of the faculty. In 2017, he returned to the classroom as a full-time member of the psychology department, where he teaches “Principles of Psychology,” “Cognitive Psychology” and Freshman Studies.

Burrows, who earned a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, taught and served as psychology department chair at the State University of New York at Brockport and spent 17 years at Skidmore College, where he was department chair and associate dean of the faculty. Immediately prior to Lawrence, Burrows served as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at Beloit College from 1997-2005.

His current scholarship focuses on how students learn in college settings. He has worked with students to help them develop good self-evaluative skills as an enhancement for learning and is interested in the concept of engagement as a critical factor in learning and cognitive development.

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.

Pianist Catherine Kautsky Closes 2013-14 Convocation Series

Lawrence University Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky explores the ways composers speak through their music in the college’s annual Honors Convocation.

Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky

Kautsky presents “Whispered Doubts and Shouted Convictions: What are These Composers Saying?” Thursday, May 29 at 11:10 a.m in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel in the final address of the 2013-14 convocation series. The event is free and open to the public.

The convocation also will be live streamed.

Playing music ranging from John Phillip Sousa’s patriotic “Stars and Stripes Forever” to works filled with question marks, Kautsky will discuss what composers can tell us about their personal convictions, struggles and fallibilities and how they use keys, harmonies and rhythms to convey world views.

The Honors Convocation publicly recognizes students and faculty recipients of awards and prizes for excellence in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences, languages and music as well as demonstrated excellence in athletics and service to others. Students elected to honor societies also will be recognized.

An accomplished pianist, Kautsky was chosen to speak as the recipient of Lawrence’s annual Faculty Convocation Award, which honors a faculty member for distinguished professional work. She is the fifth faculty member so honored.

Chair of Lawrence’s keyboard department, Kautsky has performed throughout the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician, appearing in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall in New York and Boston’s Jordan Hall to the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Cultural Center in Chicago.

She has traveled widely, performing frequently in France and England and recently has presented concerts and classes in China, Korea, Brazil and South Africa.

She has soloed with the St. Louis Symphony, Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra and Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra; performed chamber music at the Aspen, Tanglewood and Grand Teton summer music festivals; and appeared frequently on the radio in Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Madison.

Many of her recent performances have centered around social or literary themes, locating musical masterpieces in their historical moment. She has presented lecture-recitals on the music of the Holocaust, French music and World War I, and Schumann and the writings of ETA Hoffmann. Her repertoire runs the gamut from Bach to Rzewski and Crumb, with a special emphasis on French music and the music of the first Viennese school.

Kautsky, who taught in the Lawrence conservatory of music from 1987-2002 and then returned to the faculty in 2008, holds a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Juilliard School and a doctoral degree in performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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.

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.


Harry Jansen Kraemer Jr. ’77 On Leadership – Listen Now

Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr. — author, professor, and executive partner of the Chicago-based private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners — delivered a lesson on leadership at Lawrence University’s opening convocation of the 2011-12 academic year.  Sharing the insights revealed in his book “From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership”, Kraemer encouraged students to take the leadership reins “ASAP”.

Watch the speech.

A 1977 Lawrence University graduate, Kraemer is also the former chief executive officer of the multibillion-dollar global health care company Baxter International. He generously donated 500 copies of his book for distribution to Lawrence students.

President Beck Welcomes Business Leader, Author Harry Jansen Kraemer Jr. ’77 for Annual Matriculation Convocation

Harry M. Jansen Kraemer Jr., former chief executive officer of the multibillion-dollar global health care company Baxter International, joins President Jill Beck in opening Lawrence’s 163rd academic year and 2011-12 convocation series Thursday, Sept. 15 with the annual matriculation address.  The theme for this year’s convocation series is “Liberal Arts and the Life of the Mind.”

Harry Jansen Kraemer Jr.

A 1977 Lawrence University graduate, Kraemer presents “Becoming a Values-Based Leader” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.  The convocation is free and open to the public.

The address is based on his 2011 book “From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership.” Kraemer has generously donated 500 copies of the book for distribution to the Lawrence community.

In the book, Kraemer draws upon his own professional experiences to provide a values-based framework for leaders to create organizations that do the right thing, not just do things right. Leaders, according to Kraemer, should be guided by four critical principles: self-reflection, balance, true self-confidence and genuine humility.

“Harry has spent a great deal of time in recent years looking inward, reflecting on who he is and what it is that he most believes in,” said Beck.  “In doing so, he’s identified keys to a style of leadership that is values-based and driven by success that is not defined in dollars, or in owning sprawling mansions and luxury cars, or by the title that is on an office door.”

Past chairman of the Lawrence Board of Trustees, Kraemer is an executive partner at Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity investment firm based in Chicago. He also serves as an adjunct professor of management and strategy at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he was recognized with the school’s 2008 “Professor of the Year” award.

Other speakers on Lawrence’s 2011-12 convocation series include:

• Nov. 3, 2011 — Alex Ross, author and music critic for The New Yorker, “The Lamento Connection: Bass Lines of Music History.”

• Feb. 2, 2012 — Frans de Waal, primatologist and professor of primate behavior at Emory University, “Morality Before Religion: Empathy, Fairness and Prosocial Primates.”

• April 19, 2012 — William Deresiewicz, essayist, literary and cultural critic, and former associate professor of English at Yale University, “Through the Vale of Soul-Making: the Journey of the Liberal Arts.”

• May 31, 2012 — Jerald Podair, professor of history and Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence, “The Only Life: Liberal Arts and the Life of the Mind at Lawrence.”

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 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.

Human Behavior, National Security, the Arts Explored in 2006-07 Lawrence University Convocation Series

An award-winning researcher on stress, an expert on national security strategy, a theatre executive and an acclaimed social commentator will join Lawrence University President Jill Beck on the college’s 2006-07 convocation series.

Beck will kick off the series Thursday, Sept. 21 with her annual matriculation address, officially opening the college’s 157th academic year. All convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel beginning at 11:10 a.m. and are free and open to the public.

Robert Sapolsky, a biologist, neuroscientist, nature writer and Stanford University professor will speak Tuesday, Nov. 7. Since graduating from Harvard in the mid-1970s, Sapolsky has divided his time between field work in Kenya, where he has lived with a group of baboons and highly technical neurological research in the laboratory. His expertise spans pecking orders in primate societies — human as well as baboon — as well as understanding how neurotransmitters function under stress. He is the author of several well-received books, including “A Primate’s Memoir,” which details his more than 20 years’ work as a field biologist, “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers,” a primer on stress and stress-related disease and “The Trouble with Testosterone,” a collection of provocative essays on relationships between biology and human behavior.

Juliette Kayyem, a specialist on counterterrorism, homeland security and law enforcement, visits the campus Tuesday, Feb. 6. A lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Kayyem spent two years as a congressional appointment on the National Commission on Terrorism, a federally-mandated review of how the government could better prepare for growing terrorist threats. She previously served as a legal advisor to former Attorney General Janet Reno, focusing on a variety of national security and terrorism cases. She is the co-author of the 2005 book “Preserving Liberty in an Age of Terror” and the co-editor of 2003’s “First to Arrive: State and Local Response to Terrorism.” Kayyem serves as a national security analyst for NBC News.

Ted Chapin, president and executive director of New York City’s Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, will speak Tuesday, April 17. Chapin, who attended Lawrence in the early 1970s, oversees all the divisions within R&H, including Williamson Music, the Irving Berlin Music Company, R&H Theatricals and the R&H Concert Library. As a 20-year-old college student, Chapin served as a “go-fer” on the set of the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical “Follies.” He kept a diary of his experiences as an insider and 30 years later used that diary as the basis for the book “Everything Was Possible: The Birth of the Musical ‘Follies.’” He has served as chairman of the Advisory Committee for New York City Center’s “Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert” series since its inception and is currently a member of the Tony Administration Committee.

Author and social commentator Susan Faludi will be featured at the annual honors convocation on Tuesday, May 22. The recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 while working as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Faludi earned national attention for the best-selling book “Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women,” which examined the attacks endured by women in the wake of the feminist movement of the 1970s. The book earned Faludi the 1992 National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1991, she followed up with an analysis of the forces that shape the lives and attitudes of men in another ground-breaking book, “Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man.”

“An American Place:” Noted Environmental Historian Closes Lawrence University 2003-04 Convocation Series

Lawrence University will recognize award-winning author and historian William Cronon with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree Tuesday May 25 during the annual Honors Convocation, which closes the 2003-04 series.

Cronon, whose scholarship combines the disciplines of history, geography and environmental studies, will deliver the address “The Portage: History and Memory in the Making of an American Place” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. He also will conduct a question-and-answer session at 2 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Union. Both events are free and open to the public.

The author of two books and editor several others, Cronon, 49, has earned critical acclaim for his writing and research on the ways human communities modify the landscapes in which they live and how people in turn are affected by changing geological, climatological and ecological conditions.

His first book, “Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England,” which explored the changes the New England landscape underwent as control of the region shifted from Native Americans to European colonists, was awarded 1984’s Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians.

His second book, 1991’s “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West,” an examination of Chicago’s relationship to its rural hinterland during the latter half of the 19th century, earned Cronon the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize for the best literary work of non-fiction, the Bancroft Prize for the best work of American history and was one of three nominees for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

In addition, “Nature’s Metropolis” was recognized with the George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History and the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Award from the Forest History Society for the best book of environmental and conservation history.

The Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas Research Professor of History, Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cronon is currently working on a local history of Frederick Turner’s hometown, Portage, Wis., in which he is exploring ways to integrate environmental and social historical methods with non-traditional narrative literary forms. He is also completing an anthology of first person accounts of past landscapes of the United States and the lives people have lived on them entitled “Working on Life on the American Land: A Commonplace Book.”

Cronon joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1992 after spending more than a decade teaching at Yale University in his hometown of New Haven, Conn. Among numerous academic awards he’s received, Cronon was named a Rhodes Scholar and a Danforth Fellow in 1976, received a $500,000 “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 1985 and was named the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1995. In addition to UW-Madison, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history and English, Cronon holds advanced degrees Oxford University in Britith urban and economic history and from Yale in American history.

His professional affiliations include serving on the Board of Curators for the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society and the editorial boards of Environmental History and the Journal of Historical Geography.