Tag: Lawrence Fund

Give. Watch. Share. 12-hour live Giving Day show celebrates all things Lawrence

With apologies to Lorne Michaels and the late great Don Pardo, “LIVE…from the Hurvis Center…it’s Giving Day.”

It’s the Little Apple(ton), not the Big Apple, but starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, Lawrence University will stage its second annual “Giving Day,” a 12-hour live extravaganza webcast worldwide, featuring a cast of thousands, or at least dozens, ranging from President Mark Burstein and Mile of Music co-founder Cory Chisel to head football coach Rob McCarthy and the Lawrence Faculty Jazz Quartet.

Giving Day newsblog
Giving Day co-host Kasey Corrado (right) gets ready to try out a pair of hip waders courtesy of biologist Bart De Stasio (center) as he gives her a primer on doing research out in the field during 2014’s Giving Day live show..

The show will include interesting interviews and eclectic performances celebrating things happening at the college and showcasing the people and programs that make Lawrence distinctive.

Held for the first time in November, 2014, Giving Day is a special one-day opportunity for alumni and friends to show their support for Lawrence and its programs. Last year’s Giving Day, with the help of “game changers” who matched donations, raised $1.1 million for the college.

Kasey Corrado, Lawrence’s social media specialist, returns for her second stint as co-host of the 12-hour live show. She will be joined by senior Jon Hanrahan, a piano performance major from Johnsburg, Ill.

The webcast, available at go.lawrence.edu/givingday, will feature hourly “themes” on such topics as diversity, the arts, community service and of course, academics. From 7-8 p.m., everyone will be asked to don their thinking caps for a 60-minute trivia warm-up for Lawrence’s real deal 50-hour contest coming in late January.

Last year’s Giving Day was such a surprising success. Although we had planned for months, nothing really prepared us for what it turned out to be,” said Corrado, who is looking forward to reprising her one-part Barbara Walters, one-part Ellen DeGeneres role of a year ago. “I’m excited to see what happens this year.”

During the course of the show, Corrado will be more than just a passive host. She’s planning on learning a little Mandarin, creating a work of art with the help of sculptor Rob Neilson and boning up on her chemistry knowledge with chemist Stefan Debbert.

“I love that I get to co-host this show again,” said Corrado, whose first hosting stint came less than six months after getting hired at Lawrence. “As corny as it sounds, I feel like I’m getting to help make history at Lawrence.”

“Compared to last year, this is a far more ambitious undertaking, so I fully expect all kinds of interesting things to go wrong. It is 12 straight hours after all.”
— Rachel Crowl

Hanrahan, whose qualifications for his co-host role include four year’s performing with Lawrence’s improvisational troupe Optimistic Feral Children and three years as a trivia master, says his game plan is simple: Just dive in.

“I’m going to keep a curious mind turned on and gently nudge guests to the point where they have no choice but to share what they think, deep down, makes Lawrence such a weird, wonderful, impactful place,” said Hanrahan, who claims he’s made it through an entire trivia contest weekend without the aid of caffeine.Giving-Day_newsblog

Hanrahan says he’s excited about interacting with what he calls a line-up of “funny, smart, or strange people.”

Amid all the fun and games, Hanrahan wants the viewers to also appreciate the purpose of Giving Day.

“I really want our older viewers to come away with a reminder of what a transformative place Lawrence can be and I hope that current students get a glimpse of what goes on in the buildings that they don’t typically enter.”

Rachel Crowl, one of the masterminds behind this year’s Giving Day live show, will again handle all the off-camera chain saw juggling that goes with staging such a production.

“Compared to last year, this is a far more ambitious undertaking, so I fully expect all kinds of interesting things to go wrong. It is 12 straight hours after all,” Crowl said with a laugh.

Since July, Crowl has donned her executive producer/director/writer hat, scouring the campus for “talent.”

“I just used my institutional Rolodex to cajole, bribe and otherwise convince friends on the faculty and in the student body to appear on the show so we could cram as many facets of life at Lawrence as possible into 12 hours,” said Crowl, who promises a few surprises along the way. “I feel it’s my responsibility to put on a show that’s crazy entertaining, informative and one that makes the viewers want to support the institution.”

#LUGives15

According to Cara Gosse, director of annual giving, last year’s Giving Day trial run “surpassed our wildest expectations.”

“We were blown away by the way the college community pulled together to celebrate Lawrence, past and present,” said Gosse. “This year we have more than 200 Game Changers—alumni, parents and friends — who are providing matching funds to motivate others to support our students and the school they love. We’re so excited to do it all again. We want this year to be bigger, better, and bLUer.”

The complete Giving Day webcast schedule can be found here.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

A record breaker: Lawrence sets single-year fundraising mark

Lawrence University students may not realize it, but they have cause to celebrate. They will be the primary beneficiaries of a record-setting fundraising year by the college.

In the second year of Mark Burstein’s presidency, Lawrence set a one-year fundraising record with $34.7 million for the recently completed 2014-15 fiscal year. The previous high mark, $31.4 million, was established in 2008.furnraising-record_newsblog_1

As part of the overall fundraising total, the college also broke the record set last year for the Lawrence Fund, the college’s annual giving program, with $3.8 million.

More than 62 percent of the record fundraising total was designated for scholarships to support Lawrence’s “Full Speed to Full Need” campaign launched last year. The sole purpose of this focused effort is to provide financial aid to students of limited means. The college since has raised $22.6 million toward the full scholarship fund match.

“This record fundraising year is not only a tribute to President Burstein’s clear vision for Lawrence, but also a tribute to the generosity of spirit of those who make up the Lawrence community — students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, friends of the college and trustees,” said Susan Stillman Kane ’72, chair of the Lawrence Board of Trustees.

“The central theme of Mark Burstein’s vision, the value of the liberal arts and the importance of our educational mission in this rapidly changing world,” Kane added, “is enhanced by his goals of making a Lawrence education affordable for all students, sustaining a balanced university budget and creating an environment where a diverse student population can thrive. This resounding affirmation of his vision and the outpouring of philanthropic support this past year is unparalleled.”

Lawrence enjoyed a jump in its alumni donor participation rate (37 percent), the college’s first increase since 2004. Nationally, private baccalaureate arts and science colleges have seen the  average alumni donor participation rate drop every year from 2002-2014. According to the 2014 Voluntary Support of Education Survey, Lawrence’s alumni donor participation rate was nearly four percent above the national average, ranking 46th nationally among 204 peer institutions.

The college also saw a small increase in its retention rate, which measures the portion of prior year alumni donors who gave again the following year. At 80.3 percent, it was Lawrence’s second-highest mark since 2004. According to Target Analytics Index of Higher Education, the median retention rate for colleges and universities is 62 percent.

“This record fundraising year is not only a tribute to President Burstein’s clear vision for Lawrence, but also a tribute to the generosity of spirit of those who make up the Lawrence community…the outpouring of philanthropic support this past year is unparalleled.”
— Susan Stillman Kane ’72, chair of the Board of Trustees

“This is tremendous news because it provides a clear demonstration of how highly engaged and supportive the alumni community and friends of Lawrence are in securing the college’s future,” said Charles Saunders, ’84, a member of the Lawrence Board of Trustees and outgoing president of the Founders Club, a gift club which recognizes donors who contribute gifts of $1.000 or more annually to the Lawrence Fund. “This allows us to make significant progress on maintaining our affordability, which is the primary issue facing colleges and universities today.”

In Forbes’ 2015 Grateful Grads Index, which ranks colleges by the median amount of private donations per student over a 10-year period, Lawrence ranked 63rd nationally among all colleges and universities and was the highest ranked among Wisconsin schools.fundraising-record_newblog_2

The Lawrence Fund provides close to seven percent of the college’s annual operating budget and helps bridge the gap between what students pay in tuition and actual operating costs. The Lawrence Fund, along with endowment earnings, help reduce each student’s tuition by more than $10,000 per year. In addition to providing student grants and scholarships, the Lawrence Fund also supports everything from classroom resource and athletic equipment to sheet music for conservatory students.

The record-setting fundraising year included another milestone for the college, with membership in the Lawrence-Downer Legacy Circle crossing the 1,000-member threshold. At the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year, membership in the college’s planned giving program jumped by nearly 11 percent over the previous year, growing to 1,016 members.

“The act of including Lawrence in one’s estate plans is arguably the most profound endorsement anyone can make,” said Dave Mitchell, ’71, legacy gift planning co-chair of the Lawrence-Downer Legacy Circle. “The fact that membership in the Legacy Circle increased by more than 10 percent speaks volumes about Lawrence’s special place in our hearts.”

For the third consecutive year, the Lawrence Fund enjoyed 100 percent participation from all 32 members of the Lawrence Board of Trustees as well as all 31 members of the Lawrence University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

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” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. 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.

Lawrence Fund Enjoys Record-Breaking Year

Lawrence University alumni and friends rewarded first-year President Mark Burstein with a special present — a record-setting fundraising total.

Classroom_Annual Fund_newsblog
The Lawrence Fund provides essential support for virtually all aspects of a student’s education, including scientific equipment such as this re-circulating flume for the geology department.

But the real beneficiaries are Lawrence’s students.

For the recently completed 2013-14 fiscal year, the college raised an institutional record $3.7 million for the Lawrence Fund, breaking the previous mark of $3,647,259 set in 2008-09.

The Lawrence Fund, the college’s annual giving program, provides close to 10 percent of the annual operating budget and helps bridge the gap between what students pay in tuition and actual operating costs. The Lawrence Fund and endowment earnings help reduce each student’s tuition by more than $10,000 per year, provide much-needed support for everything from scholarships and classroom resources to athletic equipment and sheet music for conservatory students.

Lawrence’s overall fundraising for the 2013-14 fiscal year totaled $17,681,384, the sixth-most in school history.

“This past fiscal year’s record-setting Lawrence Fund total is testament to our alumni’s loyal support of the college’s mission. I’m humbled by the generosity of the 10,308 individual donors who gave to Lawrence last year,” said Burstein, who marked the end of his inaugural year as president June 30. Earlier this year, Forbes ranked Lawrence highest of any college or university in Wisconsin on its 2014 Grateful Grads Index.

Helping the Lawrence Fund establish an institutional all-time high was a record-setting gift of $804,817 by members of the Class of 1964, the most ever by a 50th reunion class.

Lawrence also added 90 new members in the past fiscal year to its Legacy Circle, the college’s planned giving program. It was the most new members in a single year since 2000 and raised the program’s total to a record 907 members.

“Making Lawrence more affordable is among our highest priorities,” said Burstein. “Support for the Lawrence Fund assures students and families from all incomes that a Lawrence education remains accessible at a time when they have less resources to support their children in college. No other form of giving has a more direct and meaningful impact on our students.”

For the second year in a row, the Lawrence Fund enjoyed 100 percent participation from all 30 members of the Lawrence Board of Trustees as well as all 35 members of the Lawrence University Alumni Association Board of Directors. Collectively, they contributed a total of $587,986 — nearly 16 percent — to the fund’s overall total.

Among Lawrence’s 20,500 alumni, nearly 36 percent contributed to Lawrence’s overall fundraising efforts in the past fiscal year. According to the New York City-based Council for Aid to Education’s most recent Voluntary Support of Education Report, private baccalaureate institutions averaged 20.1 percent alumni participation in 2012-13 (the most recent year for which figures are available.)

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.” 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.