Tag: endowed professorships

$1.5 Million Gift Establishes Endowed Professorship in Innovation

During a 38-year career with 3M, the company that developed Scotch Tape and the Post-it Note, Dwight Peterson learned the importance of innovation and creative thinking.

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Dwight and Majorie Peterson have donated $1.5 million to establish an endowed professorship in innovation. Adam Galambos, associate professor of economics, will be the first holder of the professorship.

Peterson, a 1955 Lawrence University graduate, is a firm believer that a liberal arts education can be a hotbed of innovation because of the way liberally educated students think about ideas and problems from the perspectives of multiple disciplines and look at old problems in new ways.

To fuel innovative thinking at Lawrence, Peterson and his wife, Marjorie, have established an endowed professorship in innovation with a $1.5 million gift.

Adam Galambos, associate professor of economics, has been named the first holder of the Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professorship in Innovation.

Appointments to endowed professorships are made in recognition of academic and artistic distinction through teaching excellence and/or scholarly achievement. Galambos was one of three faculty leaders who launched Lawrence’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship in 2008.

Dwight Peterson, a former member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees (2005-2013), spent his entire professional career at 3M, where he says innovation is ingrained in the company’s culture.

“The long term history of 3M is based on continuous development of new products,” said Peterson, citing Wet-Or-Dry sandpaper, masking tape, Scotch Tape, magnetic recording tape and reflective sign sheeting as examples of the many products the company has created. “I learned about Lawrence’s program in innovation and entrepreneurship a few years ago and found it stimulating.

“We’ve been thinking about being able to help the school in a major way and decided that innovation really fit my interest most closely,” Peterson added. “The idea of looking at things from new and different perspectives, of doing collaborative interdisciplinary work, of having a culture where there is the possibility to fail — and it is acceptable — and then start over and rework it, that all fits very well with a Lawrence education.”

David Burrows, provost and dean of the faculty, said the college was “very excited and grateful” for the Peterson’s gift establishing the professorship in innovation.

“The ability to create what is new is one of the primary goals of a liberal education,” said Burrows. “As the world changes more and more rapidly, this ability looms larger in its importance. Professor Galambos has established a brilliant record as a person who engages in the creation of new ideas and new approaches. He is an ideal person to hold this professorship.”

“The idea of looking at things from new and different perspectives, of doing collaborative interdisciplinary work, of having a culture where there is the possibility to fail — and it is acceptable — and then start over and rework it, that all fits very well with a Lawrence education.”
— Dwight Peterson ’55

While thrilled to be named the professorships inaugural holder, Galambos said its establishment is the result of the collaborative efforts of many.

“Dwight and Marjorie’s generosity is wonderful recognition of the work we have done over the past few years, starting with Marty Finkler in economics, who introduced the idea of entrepreneurship to the Lawrence community more than 10 years ago, and John Brandenberger in physics, who first proposed that we teach innovation,” said Galambos, who joined the Lawrence faculty in 2006.

“In addition to Marty and John, the variety of courses and co-curricular programming we now have in I&E is a result of the enthusiasm and commitment of a number of other colleagues as well, including Gary Vaughan in I&E, Dena Skran in government, Tim Troy in theatre arts, Brian Pertl in the conservatory, and art department members Rob Neilson, Ben Rinehart, John Shimon and Julie Lindemann. The Petersons’ gift is a great affirmation of all of their efforts and encouragement to continue to bring I&E to Lawrence students in new ways.”

A number of student-created and directed ventures have grown out of the I&E program — the Rabbit Gallery, a pop-up art gallery in downtown Appleton, Greyfell Theatre, a company devoted to producing student-written plays, the Paper Fox, a printmaking workshop with a community programming component and the Lawrence Baroque Ensemble, a student performance group that focuses on community outreach activities — and other projects continue to be created by students who have taken I&E courses.

This spring, students Joe Bazydlo and Eddie Elizondo were among 20 finalists from among more than 250 teams from around the country to deliver a presentation in Princeton University’s Entrepreneurship Club’s annual national competition. They pitched a smart phone app — Trailblazer — to be used by hikers and other trail users to unlock preloaded information about specific locations in U.S. national parks was was developed in Lawrence’s “In Pursuit of Innovation” course.

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 2015 and 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.

Multimillion Dollar Gifts Enable Lawrence University to Establish Two New Endowed Professorships

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Amy Abugo Ongiri

Deep-seated appreciation for film and opera has led a pair of Lawrence University alumni and an anonymous donor to establish new endowed professorships at the college. Lawrence requires a minimum of $2.5 million to establish an endowed professorship.

Tom Hurvis, and his wife, Julie, 1960 and 1961 Lawrence graduates, respectively, and the Caerus Foundation, Inc., have established the Jill Beck Professorship in Film Studies in recognition of Lawrence’s 15th president, her service to Lawrence, their love of film and their conviction that student participation in film studies has an important role in a liberal arts education.

In 2011, a $5 million gift from the Hurvises enabled Lawrence to establish the Hurvis Center for Interdisciplinary Film Studies, a facility dedicated to the integration of film production into the Lawrence curriculum.

Motivated by a desire to encourage participation in music and arts at Lawrence, an anonymous donor made a gift to enhance the college’s capacity to provide learning and performance opportunities for students in opera studies while increasing multifaceted collaboration within the curriculum by establishing the endowed director of opera studies position. The Lawrence conservatory, with the support of the theatre arts department, has annually staged an opera production since 1961.

In conjunction with the newly created professorships, Lawrence President Mark Burstein announced the appointment of Amy Abugo Ongiri, currently an associate professor of English at the University of Florida, as the Jill Beck Professor and Director of Film Studies and J. Copeland Woodruff, assistant professor and co-director of opera studies at the University of Memphis, as Director of Opera Studies.

Both Ongri and Woodruff join the faculty with the rank of associate professor. Ongiri’s appointment includes tenure.

“One of the many strengths that a Lawrence education develops is the ability to link a student’s own talent and creativity with performance and presentation, a skill one needs to succeed in the world today,” said Burstein in announcing the appointments. “The addition of Amy Abugo Ongiri and J. Copeland Woodruff significantly enhances our capability in this area both for students interested in film studies and in the conservatory and also in the larger Lawrence student body.

“I want to thank Julie and Tom Hurvis and anonymous members of the Lawrence community for making these two important appointments to our faculty possible,” Burstein added.

Award-winning Educator

Ongiri joined the University of Florida faculty in 2003 after four years at the University of California-Riverside. In 2006, she was recognized with both UF’s Teacher  of the Year Award and  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award.

Her scholarship interests focus on African American literature and culture, film studies, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. She is the author of nearly 20 published journal articles, three dozen conference papers and the 2009 book, “Spectacular Blackness: The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search for a Black Aesthetic.” She spent 2005 in Dakar, Senegal on a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar in African film.

She is a member of the editorial board of the journals American Literature and Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies and serves as a reviewer for the Journal  of African American History and the Journal of American History.

At Florida, Ongiri has taught courses ranging from the history of film and African cinema in a world cinema context to an introduction to Asian American film and video.

Ongiri earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Bryn Mawr College, a master’s degree from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Amy Ongiri as the first director of film studies,” said Brent Peterson, professor of German, chair of Lawrence’s film studies program and a member of the search committee. “She is an accomplished scholar and dedicated teacher; someone who is there for every last one of her students at a large public university. She will be a terrific asset for Lawrence students. She is also exactly the right person to put together an expanded curriculum for film studies and to shape the program in film making.”

“Amazingly Creative, Innovative”

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J. Copeland Woodruff

Woodruff has taught at the University of Memphis since 2008. He previously has held teaching appointments at The Julliard School, Oberlin College, Temple and Yale universities as well as the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and Germany’s Universität Bamberg. He also has served as a guest instructor with La Musica Lirica in Italy, the Festival of International Opera of the Americas in Brazil and at Bejing University.

He has directed more than 90 opera productions, including the 2013 world premiere of “Raise the Red Lantern” at the Tianqiao Theatre in Bejing, one of three productions in China he has directed. Since 2006, Woodruff has earned four first-place National Opera Association Best Opera Production Awards and was recognized in 2013 with the University of Memphis’ Dean’s Creative Achievement Award.

Woodruff has enjoyed an extended relationship with Boston’s Guerilla Opera, serving as stage director of a new production of “Heart of a Dog” and earning Second Prize in the 2012 American Prize in Opera Performance competition, professional division.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Copeland Woodruff to Lawrence,” said Brian Pertl, dean of the conservatory of music. “Besides being an amazingly creative, innovative and well-respected opera director and educator, he is also passionate about  the liberal arts and cross-disciplinary collaboration. In short, he will absolutely flourish at Lawrence. We are entering an exciting new era for opera studies at Lawrence and I can’t wait to see how all the possibilities unfold.”

Woodruff attended the University of South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in vocal performance and also completed extensive master’s level coursework in theatrical design. He earned a master’s degree in stage directing for opera from Indiana University.

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.