A series of virtual events celebrating Asian American culture and addressing the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes across the United States will be presented to the Lawrence University community in the coming days and weeks.
The events, honoring May as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, are being organized by Lawrence’s Pan-Asian Organization (PAO).
Reese Lavajo ’23, a biology major from Ingleside, Illinois, is a PAO event organizer who has taken the lead in putting together the virtual events. These are conversations that are more important than ever as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been subjected to growing discrimination and abuse.
“As Asian Americans, Asians, and Pacific Islanders, obviously this is a huge problem and it’s very prevalent, especially in these times,” Lavajo said. “We are taking on the responsibility of bringing it to the forefront and saying, ‘Hey, this is a problem; we need to fix it and listen to these voices that are being offended and hurt. This is coming from our own experiences living in America and identifying as Asian or Pacific Islander. It’s a way to uplift voices that are often put to the side.”
The PAO’s AAPI Heritage Month events, all at 5 p.m. and lasting one hour, include:
Lavajo said the events are the latest outreach for a student organization that is looking to grow its presence on the Lawrence campus.
For Lavajo personally, PAO has provided a needed outlet, and they want others who identify as Asian to feel that connection.
“Coming to Lawrence, I really needed that sense of belonging, and to have a support system of people who share my experiences being Asian living in America,” Lavajo said. “That’s really important to me. That’s why I Joined PAO, and I’ve made a lot of friends because of that.”
Lavajo, who is Filipino, said they grew up in a predominantly white community and only had a handful of Asian American friends through high school. Getting involved in Lawrence’s PAO was a chance to widen that path while also stepping forward as an advocate for others.
“As an event coordinator, I saw an opportunity to broaden not only other people’s horizons and bring awareness and support for Asian identities, but I also wanted to broaden my own horizons,” Lavajo said. “Most of my friends are Filipino like me. Through PAO, I really diversified my friend group. There are people from Nepal, from Vietnam that I’ve met. I had my first encounters with Hmong people through PAO. It’s really exciting to get these new experiences and learn about other cultures and traditions other than my own, and just have a safe space for all these different voices.”
PAO members meet regularly, sometimes for social events, sometimes to share and celebrate cultures, sometimes for wellness purposes. Guest speakers have addressed topics ranging from cultural identities to mental health to the dynamics of international relationships.
“We want to make sure there’s an educational and learning aspect in every event we have,” Lavajo said. “We’re a fairly small org, but we’re trying to grow as a club. We’ve got quite a few first-years joining this year, which is really exciting to me.”
April 22 is shaping up as a day to remind us of the breadth and depth of the Lawrence experience.
It’s often been said that on any given day Lawrentians have at their fingertips a richly satisfying array of academic, arts, athletic, recreational, and social opportunities. When paired with the school’s small size and close community connections, it speaks to the transformational experience that has long defined Lawrence.
That has been tested at times during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But April 22 provides a hint that campus activity, all done with Honor the Pledge protocols in place, is again becoming robust.
This is just one day; a moment in time. But it has us remembering what’s to come when we return to something resembling normalcy on campus.
Let’s take a guided walk to see what April 22 has in store, in addition to classes.
Yoga, anyone? Physically distanced, of course. Yoga sessions are a regular thing on campus, adapted this year for Honor the Pledge protocols. They’ve been held outdoors on campus when the weather has made that doable; otherwise in the gym in the Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center.
“We know that movement and experiences that are not on screen are beneficial to the overall health and well-being of our students,” said Erin Buenzli, director of wellness and recreation. “Not only can physical activities help us connect socially, it helps improve our sleep, our mood, energy, and, most of all, should be fun.”
Let’s move on to tai chi, which follows yoga in the Wellness Center. It also has been held outdoors at times. It’s organized by Linda Morgan-Clement, the Julie Esch Hurvis Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life, and this term is being led by fencing coach Eric Momberg.
Upwards of 40 students have turned out for sessions that Morgan-Clement calls socially distanced and physically present.
“Tai chi is internal awareness, opening energy, and connecting beyond oneself,” she said. “This year, tai chi has made us aware of our connections even when we are not able to be together, of our bodies in motion through opening and grounding, and of gratitude for breath and the possibilities in each inhale and exhale.”
Here’s a chance to support Lawrence athletics on a beautiful spring day. The softball team plays a doubleheader against St. Norbert College at Whiting Field. Lawrence is now allowing two guests per LU student-athlete at spring sporting events. There are some rules. Guests will be checked in on a pass list, masks are required, and spectators will need to bring their own chairs. Go Vikings!
OK, as we make our way deeper into the afternoon, we’ve got some decisions to make. Several options are on tap—one is the return of a notable lecture series from the Government Department, one is a chance to connect with classmates, one encourages you to connect with yourself, and one will deliver some knowledge courtesy of an accomplished mathematician.
Option 1: The Povolny Lecture Series will be held in Wriston Art Center. Lt. General William Troy will present “Three Challenges for the U.S. Military: The Rising Importance of Soft Power; Urbanization; and The State of Civil-Military Relations.” Open in person to Lawrence students, faculty, and staff (socially distanced), it is part of a Povolny Lecture Series that’s named in honor of former government professor Mojmir Povolny. It promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions. Troy was an Army officer for 38 years; he rose to the rank of lieutenant general (three-star) and went on to become a CEO in the private sector. His talk also is available via Zoom: https://lawrence.zoom.us/j/99033963657
Option 3: Gather outdoors at the Esch Hurvis Center for Spiritual and Religious Life for guided meditation.
Option 4: A McDougal Lecture features Lillian B. Pierce, a Duke University math professor whose research connects number theory with harmonic analysis. She’ll speak on, “What we talk about when we talk about math.” It’ll be presented via Zoom: https://lawrence.zoom.us/j/95898853704. The McDougal Lecture is in honor of alumnus Kevin F. McDougal ’79, a leading math scholar before his death in 2004.
All campus community members will have the opportunity to join a two-hour virtual Courageous Conversations Workshop for skill-building and discussion toward being an antiracist, equity-minded institution and community. A Zoom link will be sent to community members earlier that day. Simon Greer, founder of Bridging the Gap, a Courageous Conversation at The Neighborhood Project, will facilitate the workshop. It will launch Courageous Conversations at Lawrence, to be followed by a four-week boot camp for Lawrentians who want to take on leadership roles in ongoing antiracism efforts.
“Recognizing that engaging in these dialogues is much easier said than done, we sought out a program that would equip our campus community with the skills and tools necessary to have these often intense and emotion-inducing conversations,” the Office of the President and Public Events Committee said in an invitation sent to all students, faculty, and staff.
Intramural sports offer chances to get some exercise, connect with other students, and scratch that competition itch. The Wellness Center gym will feature intramural volleyball on this night.
“We have been able to safely operate the Wellness Center since last summer,” Buenzli said, noting that that includes personal training programs for students, all with health and safety protocols in place. “Offering a place where students can get out of their rooms, concentrate on their wellness, and see others has been important.”
We’re all well aware of the richness of arts opportunities available at Lawrence because of the Conservatory of Music. Nothing speaks to the Conservatory experience quite like a student recital, putting into practice all that has been learned in classroom and studio spaces. This night’s recital, available via livestream, will feature Ben Hiles ’22 and Melanie Shefchik ’23, both on saxophone. Among the works they will perform is one composed by a Lawrentian who came before them, Evan Williams ’10.
“Having a joint recital during the pandemic comes with obvious logistical challenges in working with each other and other musicians, but we have found a way to make it work,” Hiles said. “This opportunity to work on a recital with one of my closest friends has been so rewarding.”
Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl notes that this will be one of 73 student recitals taking place during Spring Term.
“Some students will play live recitals with limited audiences—no more than 10 people in Harper Hall—but also webcast; others webcast their recitals from home; others use the opportunity to create feature-length films that incorporate their recital repertoire. They provide a portal from the upside-down world of the pandemic into a space of music and magic and community.”
LU Earth Hour in celebration of Earth Day will bring students to Main Hall Green after dark. Sponsored by Greenfire, a student organization dedicated to environmentally-conscious initiatives, Earth Hour aims to be a global energy-saving activity in response to climate change. For this hour, all of Lawrence’s nonessential lights will go dark around campus. Students are encouraged to turn out their lights and come together on Main Hall Green to watch the stars and learn about astronomy with associate professor of physics Megan Pickett. Glow sticks will be provided.
“We need to use less energy to combat climate change, and this event will allow students to do that while still having a good time together,” said Grace Subat, sustainability and special projects fellow in the president’s office. “Even unplugging your electronics and turning off your lights for one hour can make a difference.”
Need more motivation? “There also will be free stuff for all who attend,” Subat said.
Everyone’s college experience is different. We’re all charting our own path, finding our own niche, figuring out what we can see ourselves doing for the rest of our lives. My four years at Lawrence University will vary dramatically from yours, and there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore our interests, whatever they may be.
But as unique as we all are, some parts of college life are practically universal. Whether it’s a walk down memory lane or a glimpse of what’s to come, here are 17 quintessential college experiences that unite us.
Let’s be honest, there’s no way I could start a Lawrence listicle of iconic college experiences with anything other than First-Year Studies, the introductory, multidisciplinary course which every Lawrentian takes during their first year. While several other colleges have their own version of First-Year Studies, I don’t know of any others that are able to unite a student body quite as much as ours.
Whether you’re a first-year student, a senior or an alumnus, you know you can always find a connection in the form of First-Year Studies. Controversial opinion: Plato’s Republic should be removed from the curriculum, but Angels in America and Native Guard taught me more about art and justice than any philosopher ever could. And this decades-old debate among Lawrentians is all part of the fun! Whether you’re pro-Plato or anti-Plato, you’ll always have this shared bond with the Lawrence community, and you can be sure that by the end of Winter Term, you’ll be a better writer and thinker than you were at the start.
To be honest, I really dropped the ball on this one during my first year. I’ve memorized the walk down College Avenue from Main Hall to Walgreens, but my knowledge of Appleton essentially stops there. While the restaurants and shops along that mile-long stretch definitely hit the spot (I’m always craving Katsu-Ya’s Red Dragon roll), I’m only scratching the surface of what the Fox Cities have to offer. You can be sure that I’ll be spending the rest of my college career making up for lost time and exploring Appleton as far as my feet (or Uber) can carry me.
What better way to make new friends and converse with like-minded individuals than by joining a student organization? United under a shared purpose, you have a guaranteed opportunity to explore your passion with classmates who care just as much as you do. And if none of Lawrence’s 114 existing student organizations feel just right, you can always take the initiative and start your own! Any takers for a YA Lit book club?
4. Live the dorm life
The lovely ladies of Sage Hall fourth floor were my first friends on campus, and now, they’re some of my best friends in the world. There’s something special about the bond that comes from living in close quarters that can’t quite be replicated in any other setting.
Where can I even begin with this one? I have so many treasured memories of dorm life: playing pool in the lounge, knocking on my neighbor’s door every night for Commons dinner dates, buying marshmallows and cereal from the Corner Store to make the world’s densest Rice Krispies treats. And, of course, I’ll never forget the many Saturday nights that started as dance parties and turned into a dozen people crammed in a dorm room, sharing our childhood memories and deepest insecurities until the sun began to rise.
5. Find volunteer work
One of the first things I did when I started college was look for volunteer opportunities, and luckily for me, GivePulse and the Center for Community Engagement and Social Change made that easy. The Wednesday nights I spend tutoring Appleton Area School District students through the VITAL program have been among the most rewarding times of my college career, as I contribute to the community, develop new skills and get to know some pretty great kiddos. And with Lawrence’s six diverse volunteer communities, every student is sure to find the volunteer program that inspires them to give back.
6. Enjoy life outside of class
If college was just about the academics, I have a feeling the retention rate would be a lot lower. It’s also about that classic college student lifestyle, swiping into the Commons for meals, hammocking with friends on Main Hall Green, enjoying winter’s first snowfall, and, most importantly, participating in student life events. From annual events like Winter Carnival and LUAroo to the smaller scale events that pop up every week (caricatures, anyone?), student life events are the best way to keep yourself connected to the campus community. Plus, they almost guarantee free food, which I’m certainly not going to pass up.
7. Choose a major
Some people come to Lawrence knowing exactly what they’re majoring in, and then there are those of us who maybe tend to be indecisive (I call it multi-interested) and push off declaring a major until well into sophomore year—and that’s OK! Lawrence doesn’t require a major declaration right away, giving you time to explore. Choosing your major impacts your entire college experience, and you want to make sure you’ve had a taste of everything before you make the (flexible) commitment. But when you come to the conclusion for yourself (and you can finally stop marking that awful “undecided” box on every form), it’s a moment of pure pride and an exciting look into your future.
8. Play intramural sports
OK, hear me out on this one—I couldn’t find my high school’s swimming pool or football field until my junior year, and even I’ve participated in intramural sports at Lawrence. If you’re actually an athlete, show off your skills in an official capacity on one of Lawrence’s 22 fantastic sports teams. Or if you, like me, faked sick to get out of gym class, there’s no shortage of lower intensity, recreational sports that any Lawrentian can try. Test your coordination on the broomball rink or join me on Main Hall Green for a friendly game of ultimate frisbee!
9. Cheer on classmates at athletic events
If I didn’t convince you with that last one, this is a great alternative for my fellow bench-warmers. As a native of the lower Midwest, I went to my very first hockey game last winter to cheer on the Vikings, and I’ve got to say, nothing quite instills school spirit like praying it won’t be your guys who get pushed into the wall. I’m happy on the sidelines, thank you very much!
10. Study abroad
My 61-year-old father still talks about his college study abroad experience, and my mom says her biggest college regret is not making time to study abroad, so I’m starting to get the feeling that this is the type of experience that stays with you all your life. I, like every other 20-something, don’t want to make the same mistakes as my mother.
Since financial aid travels with you (plus additional scholarships) and major requirements can be fulfilled with any number of Lawrence’s affiliated off-campus programs, many of the traditional barriers to study abroad have been mitigated at Lawrence. At this point, it’s mostly just a matter of planning ahead to fit it in your schedule! Whether you want to follow the path of many fellow Lawrentians and study at the London Centre or you want to find a program that’s uniquely you, it’s never too early to seek some guidance from the Off-Campus Programs office.
11. Get to know faculty
When my CORE leaders told me that part of the Lawrence experience was personal student-professor relationships, I was a little skeptical, but I’ve been proved wrong 10 times over. As you start to specialize and narrow your field of interest, Lawrence faculty members are there for you every step of the way as both teachers and guides. Whether it’s a studio pizza night at your professor’s house or an impromptu discussion sparked by guest speakers, you have ample chances to get to know your professors outside of the classroom. Plus, it also makes it a whole lot easier to forgive and forget when the Geoscience faculty steals the last table at Bowl 91.
12. Attend concerts and performances
Everyone knows that the Conservatory is pretty amazing, and no Lawrentian’s college experience is complete without attending a few incredible concerts and performances. In addition to supporting classmates in choir, band, and orchestra concerts (not to mention musicals, operas, and plays), Lawrence brings in a variety of professional musicians each year to perform in the World Music, New Music, Dance, Jazz and Artist series. I can’t say that I ever expected to see a Balinese Gamelan and dance performance, but I can say that it has undoubtedly enriched my college experience.
13. Be a student worker
Trust me on this one—I spend 15 to 20 hours each week working for my three on-campus jobs, and I wouldn’t change it if I could. It’s the perfect baby step into the job market as you gain real-world work experience, develop technical and professional skills, and start to fill up some of that dreaded white space on your resume. (Of course, it’s also the best way to ensure you’ll be able to afford that weekly coffee from Seth’s.)
14. Learn from impressive speakers
You know when your friend is talking about something that they really care about, and their passion is so infectious that you can just listen to them go on for hours? That’s like every speaker that comes to Lawrence, except this time they’re an expert in their field and they came prepared. From convocations to cultural competency lectures, from course-specific guest speakers to talented alumni, attending these speaking events is the best way to dive into the deep end of any given subject.
Welcome to the real world! No college experience is complete without this first taste of postgraduate personal and career life. Sure, you might be underpaid and overworked (though employers are thankfully starting to treat their interns a whole lot better), but you’re learning more about your future job prospects than you could in any classroom, while also gaining professional contacts and starting to build a life for yourself as an independent young member of the workforce. And if you want to make sure you find that perfect internship, where you spend your time getting paid for valuable, stimulating work instead of coffee runs, the Career Center is always available to help you find the right job and apply for any supplemental funding.
16. Take a class that has nothing to do with your major
So, at this point you’ve declared your major, and it’s all about squeezing those graduation requirements into your schedule. Maybe in your first couple of years, you spent some time exploring different disciplines, trying to figure out that one true passion—after all, academic exploration is a core principle of the liberal arts! But now, term after term of classes in the same area of study start to pile up.
The good news is, the opportunity to try something new doesn’t end as you get deeper into your major. In fact, it’s the perfect time to give yourself a little break, and sign up for a course because you want to take it, not because you have to take it. I love my government and anthropology classes (after all, there’s a reason I declared the major!), but I, for one, can’t wait for the term when I finally manage to fit a dance class into my schedule.
17. Bring it all together with Senior Experience
I couldn’t have ended this story with anything other than the Chandler Senior Experience. It’s the culmination of our academic careers. Tailored to your personal interests and expertise, Senior Experience is an exhibition of all that you have become as a scholar, encompassing hours and hours of independent and collaborative work, many late nights, and probably a few too many scoops of ice cream from the Cafe—but in the end, you will have become a better and more accomplished student, expert, and person. Four years of learning and living the college experience all leads up to this, and there’s no way you can leave Lawrence without an empowering and well-deserved sense of pride.
Alex Freeman ’23 is a student writer in the Communications office.
In our fast-paced, hyper-connected world, we had to make a lot of adjustments when we were thrust into the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. As Lawrence students know, everything changed.
Now in my third term learning remotely—and second-to-last term of college—the challenges I’ve faced with distance learning are ongoing. But I’ve learned a lot along the way. So, I’m here to offer some advice, from one struggling student to all the others who are trying to find their way through this pandemic while studying from afar.
Winter Term brings its own challenges for those of us who are remote. For many students, cold weather and short days can augment those feelings of detachment from the campus community. For those students struggling to stay connected, here are some things that have helped me.
1. Utilize your professor’s office hours: Does you professor have that Zoom link designated for office hours? You don’t need to be struggling in class to set up a meeting. Having a one-on-one with your professor can be a lifeline if you’re feeling disconnected from Lawrence. Most would be happy to discuss something from class or just to chat; they miss you, too.
2. Have virtual hangs with on-campus friends: If you have friends who are on campus, catching up with them via video chat is a great way to bridge the gap. Maybe they can take you on a virtual tour around campus buildings to show you the sights you miss most. Or, if you’re like me and most of your pals are remote, too, video chatting with them can also keep you in the loop.
3. Keep up with the Lawrence News Blog: My totally unbiased opinion is that bookmarking the News Blog page is an easy way to maintain a relationship with Lawrence when you’re learning remotely. For the low price of a few minutes of your time, you’ll receive a variety of news on fellow students, professors, and campus events that you may not hear about elsewhere.
4. Look for virtual events: Living and learning off campus doesn’t mean you’ve lost access to the events Lawrence has to offer. Some events you loved on campus have adapted to the virtual world, including LU Reads and guided meditations. Maybe you’ll see someone you know there. You can find them on the Calendar of Events.
5. Write about it: Hear me out. Writing about this whole pandemic experience is a healthy outlet to vent those feelings of separation from life at Lawrence. Jot down your favorite Lawrence memories, document your experience with distance learning. Wherever you are, this is a simple way to keep Lawrence close.
6. Just talk to people: Few things are as effective as remembering you’re not alone in the ordeal of remote learning. Don’t forget about your friends. Respond to those unopened texts. Be honest about your day-to-day life away from campus.
Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
At the end of a year that included more than 1,000 edited photos taken in and around the Lawrence University campus, I was tasked with selecting my top 10 images of 2020. Narrowing this rather unusual year down to 10 photos was a difficult task, but below you will find my favorites, along with notes on how and why. A huge thank you to all the students, faculty, and staff who allow me to step into their world both digitally and in person to make all of my photos happen.
1. Aerial Landscape, the Wellness Center, and Sampson House reflected just before sundown on Aug. 6. One of my goals this year was to try to show campus in new ways. I spent many hours this summer looking for different angles to reflect this beautiful campus. It wasn’t until I spotted a portion of Aerial Landscape reflected in nearby glass that I stopped and worked the angle of the reflection to get this result.
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2. Students dance during the Feb. 1 President’s Ball in Warch Campus Center. Thinking back to winter term, a favorite memory is the smiling faces at the President’s Ball. Covering the event was a bit of a technical challenge because of the low light, but like many assignments, it’s all about waiting in the right place for the right moment.
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3.Ryan Erdmann ’22 wears a mask while taking part in a Chamber Music class in City Park on Oct. 7. Mask-wearing quickly became a vital aspect of 2020, so I always kept an eye out for students who were using their masks to show off a little of their personality. It took nearly the entire class before I was able to get the light to fall in just the right spot for this photo.
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4. Kelvin Maestre ’21, a Makerspace assistant, watches as a laser cutter starts its work on a piece of wood on Jan. 22 in the Seeley G. Mudd Library. Having the chance to document the interesting work that students do is a highlight of my job. That often goes hand in hand with our 2 Minutes With series of student features. I knew the Makerspace would have lots of interesting light sources, so I went in looking to take an image that utilized one of them.
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5. Ghania Imran ’21 poses for a May 22 portrait in her Chicago home via Zoom. Speaking of our 2 Minutes With series, many of the photos I take for those stories are portraits. Spring Term brought new challenges for taking portraits of students. For this photo, I decided to try a portrait through Zoom. It involved lighting the laptop with two separate lights, help from Ghania to find a good spot in her home, and finally positioning the laptop for the right angle.
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6.Sonja Klusman plays the piano with Matt Turner, instructor of music, during an Applied Musicianship II class on Feb. 17 in Shattuck Hall. I always take into account the amount of time that’s available to me when I get to an assignment. Do I need to get a photo within five minutes or, in the case of this image, do I have the time to really explore different angles?
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7.Nicholas Jatta ’21 kicks a soccer ball with friends Oct. 6 on the Quad. During Fall Term, I spent a good deal of time looking to document what students were up to in this Honor the Pledge environment. Finding Nicholas kicking the soccer ball with friends was a pleasant surprise. Not only was the afternoon light falling beautifully on the Quad, but it had been a long time since I had the chance to photograph anything related to sports.
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8. The moon rises above Main Hall on Jan. 7. This image came together as I was nearing the end of a workday. While walking to Brokaw Hall from the Warch Campus Center, I noticed the moon was bright, and close enough the cupola to capture a photo.
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9. Nathan Graff ’22 and Daniel Johnson ’23 rehearse outdoors with the Jazz Ensemble on Oct. 7. After taking photos of an outdoor music class in City Park (see earlier entry), I decided to edit the images on Main Hall Green. Not long into my edit I heard the sounds of brass behind me. After getting a few images of the Jazz Ensemble students as they practiced, I noticed the shadows against the white chapel, so I reset myself and took this photo.
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10.Sophia Driessen ’22 transplants leafy greens while working on a hydroponics research project on Dec. 10 in the Briggs Hall greenhouse. This was the first time I took photos in the greenhouse. The purples and greens are what pull this image together for me.
It’s been a different sort of year. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly altered life on the Lawrence campus.
But one thing proved true. Lawrentians (and future Lawrentians and friends of Lawrence) are hungry to read about Lawrence and their fellow Lawrentians. We’ve dived into the analytics to share today the most viewed stories of 2020 on the Lawrence news site. (A few of the stories that placed in the top 20 are partnered here because they are so closely related.)
Eight alumni, eight stories: See 2020 edition here.
From voice professor John Holiday’s success on NBC’s The Voice to Lawrence again being hailed as a world-class school to adjustments made to campus life in the midst of a pandemic, there was no shortage of Lawrence news that drew a lot of interest. We provide here links to those most popular stories. Check out what you missed or take another look at stories that remind us of what makes Lawrence shine.
1. John Holiday hits big on NBC’s The Voice.
“There are people who dare to dream bigger than themselves; they never stop learning, never stop growing. I wanted to show my students what that looked like.” See stories here and here.
2. Princeton Review names Lawrence one of nation’s Best Impact schools.
“I see it and hear it when I meet with our alumni around the world. They point back to their time at Lawrence as unlocking something for them, discovering an interest or talent they didn’t know they had until they started working with professors here who helped guide them in that discovery.” See story here.
3. We say farewell to beloved Lawrentians.
“I will always remember Lifongo as the warmest, kindest, and most generous, joyful, and magnanimous of colleagues and friends.” … “I know many Lawrentians join me in remembering moments when Terry’s advice provided exactly what you needed to hear to be the best version of yourself.” See stories here and here.
4. Campus life changes amid COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of us living, learning, and working on campus this fall need to understand and to honor the responsibilities outlined by the Pledge.” See storieshereandhere.
5. A professor’s guide offers look at Freshman Studies.
“The entire list shows a remarkable range and an admirable ambition.” See story here.
6. New trestle trail adds to trails, parks near campus.
“The abandoned railroad trestle has been transformed into a 10-foot-wide trail that spans the Fox River at the southern edge of campus.” See story here.
7. Bidding good-bye for now to retiring faculty.
“You have served as a steadying force, stepping into a host of academic leadership positions that have lent stability in moments of uncertainty and grace in times of worry.” See story here.
8. Six faculty earn tenure.
“I’m absolutely delighted that their contributions are being recognized through the awarding of tenure and promotion, and look forward to continuing together our rich, rewarding work for years to come.” See story here.
9. Jake Woodford ’13 elected mayor of Appleton.
“It has been a pleasure to watch Jake’s energy turn toward the city he loves.” See story here.
10. Princeton Review names Lawrence to Best Colleges list.
“As we head into another academic year, albeit one that looks different from any other in history, it’s reassuring to see that some things have remained the same.” See story here.
11. President Mark Burstein announces plans to leave Lawrence.
“During Mark’s tenure, our curricular offerings became deeper and broader, applications and the endowment increased dramatically, and our community became more diverse, inclusive, and equity-minded.” See story here.
12. Lawrence offers assistance during pandemic.
“We have always risen to the challenges that face us with resilience and ingenuity.” See story here.
13. Conservatory named ‘hidden gem,’ adapts to life in pandemic.
“It’s beautiful, creative flexibility. We’re working with our students all the time to say, ‘This is what you’re going to need out there in the world, and this is what’s going to be exciting about being a musician in the world today.’” See story here.
14. Natasha Tretheway named 2020 Commencement speaker.
“Our journeys have been intertwined since I visited Lawrence four years ago, and I am delighted and honored to be able to reconnect with this class in such a meaningful way.” See story here.
“One of the really, really cool things about my time at Lawrence was that the boundary between the Conservatory and the college is pretty permeable.” See story here.
16. Lawrence adds major in Creative Writing, minor in Statistics and Data Science.
“We’ve seen more prospective students articulating their desire to focus directly on creative writing.” … “Data scientists are working with bioinformatics, genetics; it’s huge in economics, and it’s become a huge thing in political science.” See story here.
17. Four alumni added to Board of Trustees.
“At this critical moment for higher education, I couldn’t be more appreciative for the diverse group of individuals who are giving so much of their time and talent as trustees to ensure that the college continues to distinguish and differentiate itself.” See story here.
18. Alexander Gym court gets a redesign.
“While resurfacing was certainly a maintenance requirement, the fresh new design work is an added bonus.” See story here.
19. Our 2020 Alumni Awards are announced.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the annual Reunion celebration, this year’s recipients are still being celebrated for their contributions to both the Lawrence community and the world.” See story here.
20. Alex Damisch ’16 cherishes her Jeopardy experience.
“After I taped the shows, I thought to myself, ‘Man, it went by so fast, and I was always so focused on my next move, I hope I remembered to smile.’ Spoiler alert: I did not.” See story here.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like other Lawrence students, Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21 are navigating Fall Term amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Awa is doing so on campus in Appleton. Isabella is doing so remotely, having spent part of the term accessing classes while working on an organic farm in Hawaii before returning home to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, in early November. The two Communications Fellows talked to each other about their respective student experiences.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21
Isabella: Hey, Awa, I’ve been seeing friends posting on social media about life on campus right now. How’s that going for you?
Awa: Hey, Isabella! I can truthfully say it’s not like any other year I’ve had here at Lawrence, but I’m glad I can be closer to my friends. What’s it been like taking classes remotely?
Isabella: The first thing that comes to mind is how hard it is to stay motivated. One of the biggest roadblocks to remote learning, I think, is losing motivation. There’s no right or wrong way to motivate yourself; it comes down to what works for you as an individual.
Awa: I hear that. I remember during Spring Term when most students were off campus and all my classes were online. I would be up until about 6 a.m. trying to read before class because that was the only time motivation struck. Maybe it was something about watching the sunrise after spending all night on TikTok that gave me the real push I needed.
Isabella: I love that. Maybe it comes down to dedicating that period of time when you put yourself in an academic mindset.
Awa: How about staying organized? Have you been able to do that?
Isabella: This is another big one for me. I’ve found myself losing track of dates and deadlines when taking classes. That’s pretty natural, since no one else is around to hold me accountable for making it to class or turning things in on time. Honestly, writing in my planner every day is really the only thing keeping me on track with school. It might surprise you how much making lists can boost your confidence and productivity.
Awa: I still find myself losing track of dates and deadlines, even on campus. I’m glad you have found a way that works for you in keeping track of assignments as they are coming up. Having two in-person classes and my third class being synchronous on Zoom has definitely helped. I am able to create a schedule around my classes.
Isabella: Yeah, I guess it’s comforting to know people struggle with this on campus, too. You’re lucky to have those class times that you can work around. Being on the farm or at home, it’s also been helpful to have a space where I keep all my school stuff. Just to create a “class space” where everything is kept in order.
Awa: Have you felt connected to campus when you are so far away?
Isabella: Connecting to people and resources on campus definitely feels harder being remote. While Lawrence has lots of connective resources on campus, it’s easy to feel distant from that when you are at home. I just remind myself that I’m only an email away from the CAS staff, and you also can schedule Wellness Center telehealth appointments for counseling or health issues if you’re not on campus. And staying in touch with professors has been really helpful.
Awa: I hope you’re not having FOMO about life on campus! It’s still pretty hard to see people here. We all want to stay safe, so seeing friends you don’t live with has been a challenge.
Isabella: I do sometimes get FOMO seeing some of my friends posting on Instagram from campus. But as you say, it might be more painful if I was there and couldn’t spend time around them if they weren’t in my pod. Are you still in regular contact with your professors? Does being on campus make that different for you?
Awa: I would say getting to see my professors in person is one of the biggest benefits from being on campus. I have two classes in person, so I get to ask any question I may have there, rather than waiting for an email.
Isabella: How about developing a routine? That’s been another big one for me. It’s been one of the hardest things. Remote learning is full of distractions, and it can feel impossible for me to make time to get things done. At home, I’m so distracted by my dogs, and suddenly deciding to rearrange my room. That’s why I think creating your own routine is key when you’re remote. Again, I don’t think there’s a formula you have to follow for this. It’s just about knowing what works for you personally.
Awa: That’s true. I think the same works for being on campus. Sometimes I get jealous of my friends who only have class online because they don’t have to leave their rooms, but I’ve found little things I can do before class like grabbing lunch to get me excited. And I also remember how I would be up until 6 a.m. when my classes were online and I thank myself for making the best decision for me. Do you think being off campus is working for you?
Isabella: Ultimately, I think it was the best decision for me. I know plenty of people are making it work on campus right now, but I don’t think I could properly enjoy my time there right now. I’m glad you mentioned using lunch to get yourself ready for class. Building routines around mealtimes is definitely helpful, which reminds me of something I’m really curious about. Do you think your sleeping habits/routines are different on campus?
Awa: Surprisingly, it has been better. My sleeping schedule during Spring Term in quarantine was all over the place, probably because of all the late-night snacks. But here I know I have to get up and get ready for class, so I try to make sure I get enough sleep to do that.
Isabella: Finding personal time also is really big for me. When all is said and done, you’re still a person with needs before you’re a student. It’s crucial to find a balance between your academic responsibilities and your personal life, especially when those two become intertwined. Just because you’re not in an academic environment doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a nap on your couch or watch movies.
Awa: I completely agree with you. Even though two of my classes are in person, I still find myself on Zoom calls quite often. From LUCC meetings, to committee meetings, to meetings with administration, etc., I am on Zoom A LOT. But I have found in between the many Zoom meetings, stepping away from my computer and phone and just going for a walk or curling my hair to be very relaxing.
Isabella: Wow, I always forget how busy you are. You must actually be an expert at knowing when you need personal time.
Awa: It’s been great catching up.
Isabella: This has been interesting because I expected that students on campus wouldn’t be having the same problems as me. I even thought that students on campus were simply having an easier go of things because they’re physically at Lawrence. But that’s not always the case.
Awa: Yeah, we are living in very interesting times. It’s been an adjustment for all of us. It helps that we are all going through it together.
Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21 are student writers in the Communications office.
The light that glowed from the steps and walkway in front of Main Hall on Sunday night sent a welcoming message to the more than 400 first-year and transfer students who will be beginning their studies at Lawrence University today.
In a reimagining of the traditional presidential handshake, the students made their way to the president’s house, where President Mark Burstein greeted each one on the lawn – masks on, from 6 feet apart – welcoming them to Lawrence and presenting them with a luminary. The students then brought the luminary to the front of Main Hall, placing it with those of their classmates.
Welcome Week greets first-year students. Read more here.
“Bring Your Light” was the theme. With safety protocols in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, the presidential handshake ceremony that usually happens the night before classes begin could not take place in its usual way. Thus, it was reimagined in a way that still allowed each first-year student to be personally welcomed by the president.
“It’s an incredibly important moment in the student experience,” Burstein said. “It gave me a chance to talk with every first-year student.”
The process began before the sun went down, but by the time the more than 400 luminaries were in place, the lights were glowing in the dark, lighting the way into a new journey.
Eighty-six luminaries were placed on the Main Hall steps to represent the first-year students who opted to study remotely during Fall Term. The students who are on campus then walked with their luminaries from the president’s house, traversing campus before placing them along the sidewalk leading from the steps.
Perhaps a new tradition was born.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: email@example.com
The Lawrence University Community Council’s Student Welfare Committee has a message of unity as students return to campus for Fall Term: We are Lawrentians, and we are up to the challenge of protecting our community.
With more than 850 students expected to be living on campus amid new safety protocols put in place to combat the spread of COVID-19, the commitment to the practices set forth in the Lawrence Campus Community Pledge will be key to keeping campus as open as possible, said committee chair Sterling Clarke Elvin Ambrosius ’22.
Challenges, excitement mix as Fall Term arrives: Read more here.
Welcome Week greets Class of 2024. Read more here.
The Student Welfare Committee shares eight ways you can help protect the Lawrence community:
1. Stay within Lawrence community as much as possible.
Bellin Health’s testing of every student, faculty, and staff member on campus, combined with plans to use quarantine and isolation spaces on campus, gives us the best chance of keeping the spread of the virus in check. If you must leave campus, remember to follow the same safety protocols you do on campus like wearing masks, maintaining social distance, avoiding crowded spaces.
2. Avoid large gatherings like parties. Don’t go to bars.
We need to think about our social priorities in a different way. There are lots of creative opportunities for fun and spending time with one another in a safe manner — sticking with our pods or taking part in larger campus events designed with physical distancing and other safety practices in place. Outdoor yoga, anyone?
3. Wear a mask.
This is an easy one. Make it part of your routine when you leave your room in the morning. Phone, LU ID, wallet, mask. Make your mask a fashion statement. Have fun with it. Show if off. Wear it proudly.
4. You’re paying for your education, so don’t waste your money.
We all know this pandemic life isn’t ideal, here on campus or anywhere else. But we’re still Lawrentians. We’re in class with brilliant professors and sharing spaces – virtual or in person – with smart, curious, open-minded, diverse, and amazing classmates. Let’s all rise to the occasion together. We’ll be all the smarter for it.
5. Have the courage to hold others accountable.
There’s been a lot of chatter among students at campuses across the country about how to respond to poor choices by fellow students. To snitch or not to snitch. Let’s not look at it that way. Let’s be respectful but vigilant. Let’s be appreciative when someone reminds us of the Pledge we signed. It’s not about me, it’s about we. The University has laid out consequences for students, faculty, and staff who fail to abide by the Pledge. Let’s work together, as a community, to make that unnecessary.
6. Be a responsible community member.
The decisions we make matter. We are connected to others on campus. And the campus is connected to those who call Appleton home. And Appleton to the greater Fox Valley. And so on. Let’s take pride in Lawrence setting the example of what is possible as we find our way through this pandemic.
7. Avoid public transportation once in Appleton.
Use the LU Shuttle instead. It’s free! The LUCC Student Welfare Committee is running the shuttle to pick up students from Appleton International Airport and the Appleton Bus Terminal. There’s no need to grab a ride share. The shuttle is free, and it comes with snacks. Safety practices will be in place. It’s be available for students returning to campus now through Sept. 12.
8. Think of others and be generous.
We all need to think about how our actions affect everyone. Never before has it been clearer that we are a community, that we’re all connected in a myriad of ways despite our different interests, backgrounds, viewpoints, and experiences. That togetherness is something we should be celebrating right now. The things that drew us to Lawrence – the chance to be a small, tight-knit, enthusiastic, and, yes, wonderfully quirky community on this gorgeous liberal arts campus – will be the things that see us through these difficult times.
We have many traditions at Lawrence University that have carried on through the years. As we prepare to begin a new academic year, let’s celebrate 13 of them.
Allow me to be your tour guide as Lawrence welcomes the Class of 2024 with Welcome Week festivities that begin on Tuesday.
A quick aside: Many student organizations on campus have their own beloved traditions that are worth exploring. We aren’t going to get into all of those here. Rather, these are 13 annual campus-wide staples that are part of the Lawrentian experience. Some began well over a century ago and some were established more recently, but all are now part of what makes Lawrence so special.
The safety protocols in place during Fall Term to restrict the spread of COVID-19 will alter or postpone some of these traditions this year. But all are expected to carry on, even if they have to take a brief hiatus.
At the close of Welcome Week, before returning students move into the residence halls, the University president personally welcomes the incoming class to Lawrence in an event at Memorial Chapel, shaking each new student’s hand. This ceremony is a way to symbolize you joining the Lawrence community, similar to how seniors at commencement shake the president’s hand again to celebrate graduation. As a freshman, this ceremony made me feel like there was a clear beginning, a sign of my transition into college, where I would soon experience and learn more things than I could have ever imagined.
LU Zoo Days
Organized by our student events organization SOUP during Spring Term when the weather is starting to warm up, Lawrentians from all over campus congregate on Ormsby Green to play games, listen to music, and enjoy an afternoon of fun in the sun. The best part about Zoo Days is that all of the money raised by student clubs and organizations goes toward nonprofit causes. Favorite things to do at Zoo Days include getting soaked by the “dunk tank,” having a hot dog at the barbecue, and making sand art.
Winter Carnival is a spark of warm joy in the cold of Winter Term here at Lawrence. Activities for the carnival vary year to year, from ice sculpting to building gingerbread houses to playing grocery BINGO. One of the most exciting events of the year comes at the end of Winter Carnival, when President’s Ball is held. It’s a night of dancing to a live jazz band and eating chocolate fondue. President’s Ball takes the cake because all students and faculty get dressed to the nines. It’s always exciting to see students get out of their winter clothes and study sweatpants and into their best formal wear. It’s the best night of Winter Term.
Lawrentians look forward to Memorial Day weekend. Why? Because LUaroo, the much-anticipated, weekend-long mini music festival on the quad, is the highlight of all the annual events at Lawrence. Coming to enjoy artists from around the Midwest — and even bands from our own Conservatory of Music — students lay out on the quad or dance with friends from morning until night all weekend long. It’s a great stress-breaker right before Spring Term finals. LUaroo is by far my favorite event of the year because the whole campus comes together. One year there was a taco truck that came to campus, and Chicago-based artists Ric Wilson and Kweku Collins were spectacular as they headlined the festival. Great memories.
Lawrence’s international students come together each year to put on a show of cultural expressions. Performed in Stansbury Theatre, the spectacle includes original and traditional dance choreography, musical offerings, and fashion. The Cabaret is different every year, with a changing theme to guide the “plot” of the show. This truly is a must-see event every year. My favorite thing about Cabaret is seeing friends and classmates show off amazing talents that I never knew they had.
This showcase of on-campus performance talent, ranging from music to dance to spoken-word, has become a tradition over the past half dozen years, a conclusion to the annual People of Color Empowerment Week. Two years ago, the Excellence Ball was added at the front end of the week, providing bookends to a week of films, art, and speakers on issues of equity, opportunity, and inclusion.
The 2-ton granite boulder next to Main Hall is back in its rightful place after having gone missing for about 20 years. The Rock was brought to campus 124 years ago by the Class of 1895 after students found it on a geology trip in New London, Wisconsin. It made its debut next to Main Hall a short time later. The Rock has been painted countless times for all kinds of causes. It’s been the subject of pranks and fraternity feuds, where it has been guarded and dragged across campus, and, yes, stolen. But mostly painted. We are excited to see the different ways students will paint it in the days, weeks, and years to come.
More like Ormsby Ice Rink during the winter. This classic nod to winter is a hot spot for fun on Ormsby Green during January and February. From skating and broomball to frolicking with friends, students come to the “lake” to get a break from studying during the dark days of Winter Term. I personally enjoy seeing my fellow Lawrentians participate in games on Ormsby Lake, some just trying to run or walk across the ice without falling.
Red, yellow, green, and purple: the class colors originate from a Milwaukee-Downer College tradition. Class colors at Milwaukee-Downer were given to each class to provide them a sense of unity, a tradition Lawrence would eventually embrace. The first colors at Lawrence were assigned in 1988, 24 years after the 1964 merger. It is cherished to this day. Each new class inherits the color of the newly graduated class, presented during Welcome Week in Memorial Chapel. Every new first-year class holds the flag in the class photo at the beginning of the year. My class color is purple, and at the beginning of my freshman year each student was given a purple T-shirt decorated with our graduation year.
Weekends at Björklunden
Going to Björklunden for a weekend during a rigorous term of studying is a breath of fresh air all Lawrentians enjoy. Located in Door County, on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, Björklunden is a Swedish-inspired lodge long popular among alumni and students. Whether it’s classes, clubs, organizations, or residence halls making the trip, it’s going to be both a learning and relaxing experience. Visiting “Björk,” as students call it, is always an honor because no other college I have heard of has a lodge on a 425-acre estate that students are free to go to on the weekends. When I have gone to Björk, I usually study by the fire, or go for walks by the lake, even in the cold of winter. It’s a treasured tradition.
The Honor Code
On each paper or project a Lawrentian submits, you can see “IHRTLUHC” adorning the cover, which stands for “I hereby reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code.” Upon their arrival to campus, each student commits themselves to the Honor Code: “No Lawrence student will unfairly advance their own academic performance or in any way limit or impede the academic pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.” This code is what binds Lawrentians together academically and prompts social responsibility in all aspects of life. At the beginning of freshman year, every student is required to sign the Honor Code, which ties them to the Lawrence community through a fundamental social promise that shows they not only take their own development seriously but the development of their peers as well.
The Viking Room
Founded in 1969 as a bar, the Viking Room (fondly referred to as the VR) is one of the campus’ eclectic, prime hang-out spots for students ages 21+. Located in the basement of Memorial Hall, the VR is managed, tended, and stocked by students who are looking for a fun service experience on campus. Although it first became a bar in 1969, the VR served as a popular lounge on campus for many years prior to that. It has carved out a rich history—literally. Just look for yourself! Climb into the booths or sit at the wooden tables and you can see the surfaces are covered in scratched signatures and carvings from students throughout Lawrence’s history.
The Great Midwest Trivia Contest
Established in 1966, this tradition is fully student run, but teams from all around the world participate annually. Broadcast online from Lawrence’s WLFM radio station in the Music-Drama Center, the Great Midwest Trivia Contest is a weekend-long event that is not for the weak of heart. Running around the clock and overseen by a team of dedicated trivia masters, it’s an annual frenzy of bizarre and off-the-beaten-path trivia. It remains a great connector with Lawrence alumni who return to the game year after year. Sleep is optional.
Allison Boshell ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.