The Lawrence-owned house on Union Street that was to be restored and used as a home for the provost and dean of faculty will instead be torn down due to damage from a fire a year ago.
The house, owned by Lawrence since 1928, has great historic significance. But efforts to restore it following the fire have proven not to be viable. Construction Project Manager Joseph King said the announcement comes with much “sadness.”
The following letter from King is being sent to City Park Historic District neighbors and local community leaders regarding plans to demolish the property at 229 N. Union Street:
We write today with the announcement that we’ve made a very difficult decision regarding the Lawrence-owned property at 229 N. Union St. The home, which suffered extensive damage in an October 2018 fire, will be torn down in the coming days, and the property will be returned to green space.
The decision to demolish the home follows a year of study by architects, engineers, and City of Appleton inspectors. We explored an assortment of options for renovating or restoring the home. In the end, the fire damage was too extensive to make the house viable. It is with great sadness that we have made the necessary arrangements to have the home demolished.
We are notifying the Lawrence community and neighbors because we understand and appreciate the historical significance of this home. It was built in 1901 and has been owned by Lawrence since 1928, serving a variety of purposes through the years. Perhaps most noteworthy, Attic Theatre was founded in this home. We celebrated that history a little more than two years ago when we had the 2,700-square-foot home moved a block down Union Street.
Unfortunately, the damage from the fire last fall was too much to overcome. The fire occurred while a contractor was working on renovations. The contractor’s insurance is covering the loss and the demolition. At the time of the fire, Lawrence was preparing the home to become the residence for the provost and dean of faculty. Alternative housing arrangements have been made.
A small slice of Appleton and Lawrence history will be lost with the demolition. For that, we are heartbroken and know that those who appreciate that history are feeling the same.
Nearly three years ago, in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, as the results of one of the most stunning election nights in U.S. history began to come into focus, Jerald Podair sent an urgent email to two fellow history scholars.
They were his co-authors on a book project, in its early
stages, about Spiro Agnew, the oft-dismissed former vice president who they believe
served as a harbinger for the modern Republican party.
“Our book just became very, very relevant,” Podair wrote in
that email as the clock ticked past 3 a.m. and it became clear that Donald
Trump would become the nation’s 45th president.
Three tumultuous years later, that book, Republican Populist: Spiro Agnew and the
Origins of Donald Trump’s America, has arrived, set to be published Oct. 18
by University of Virginia Press.
In the book, Podair, the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies and professor of history at Lawrence University, and co-authors Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College, and Charles J. Holden, professor of history at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, detail how the ascent of Trump and his populist base can be traced back to Agnew, whose political star burned bright briefly in the late 1960s and early 1970s before crashing hard.
Agnew was much maligned in his day and is often referenced
among the worst vice presidents in history. But Podair, Messitte, and Holden argue
that historians and political observers need to take a closer look. Agnew’s
populist “everyman” appeal, his very public disdain for political correctness
and the academic class, his depictions of the media as the enemy, and his
ability to rally supporters by railing against uncomfortable cultural change
woke up a political base that would eventually lead the Republican party into
the era of Trump.
Agnew was considered a joke by many political pundits of the
day when Richard Nixon surprisingly tabbed him as his running mate in 1968. Time magazine called him “a narrow and dangerous man with a genuine capacity
“That’s how he was viewed,” Podair said. “Just like Donald
Trump is viewed in many ways today. But, like Trump, Agnew had much more
substance to him and really had a powerful populist message that resonated very
deeply with middle Americans at the time — the Trump voters we’d call them today
— and may very well have swung the 1968 election to Nixon.”
Interest in the book is already ramping up. An op-ed about Agnew written by the three co-authors appeared in the Baltimore Sun in late September and has since been picked up by numerous other media outlets across the country. A book event featuring Podair, Messitte, and Holden is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Oct. 28 in the Warch Campus Center Cinema at Lawrence.
The timing of the book’s release, just weeks after Democrats
in the House launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump, should give it
prime exposure. It wasn’t necessarily planned that way.
Podair, Messitte, and Holden began conversing about the
Agnew book before Trump even declared his bid for the presidency. Its focus was
more about Agnew’s role in the transition of the Republican party from one focused
on economics and the business elite to one focused on cultural unease and an angry
Messitte and Holden have long studied the political waters of Maryland, from whence Agnew emerged. And Podair is well-versed in the politics and cultural dynamics of the 1960s and the various arcs and swings of politics through the 20th century.
Thus, they agreed to team up on a book project that they
believed was important, whether Trump was in play or not.
“We divided the book into sections,” Podair said. “My
portion was to explain how the Republican party changed from the 1930s, when it
was viewed as the party of the economic elite, to the 1960s, the late ’60s,
when it began to be viewed as the party of the average man, the working man.
Not necessarily economically populist, but certainly culturally populist.”
The Democratic party, meanwhile, had seen its own role
reversal, becoming the party of “cultural elitism” in the 1960s as the country navigated
race riots, student rebellions and an anti-war movement that divided much of
the country, Podair said.
“Spiro Agnew was uniquely positioned to take advantage of
that,” he said.
Agnew would become Nixon’s “point of the spear,” Podair
said, ridiculing protesters in often crude and seemingly mean-spirited ways,
all the while working up what was a growing base of resentment against the
cultural transformations that were taking place in the U.S.
“That flies in the face of the traditional view of Agnew as
some bumbling, inarticulate clown,” Podair said. “He did say some things that
were gaffes. But there was much more to him than these gaffes, which is what
the media focused on. He was able to bring a culturally populist message to the
American people and get people who had normally voted for Democrats their whole
lives — the New Deal Democrats — and get them to vote for Republicans. And
that’s the way I think he shifted the political ground.”
If that sounds very much like 2016, Podair said you are not
wrong, and that’s why historians and others who are studying the unfolding
drama that is the Trump presidency would do well to zero in on Agnew, from the
time he first garnered attention as a national political figure in the late
1960s to his resignation from the vice presidency in late 1973 amid revelations
that he committed income tax fraud while governor of Maryland.
“When Trump took the escalator ride and started speaking the
way he did, he was really tapping into a welter of cultural resentments,”
Podair said. “Whatever you want to call his typical voter — blue collar white
voter or alienated working class voter — well, he was tapping into a welter of
cultural resentment that Agnew had definitely tapped into. And I would argue
that if you took the name off of Agnew’s speeches and updated it a little —
obviously there was no Twitter in those days and the media that Agnew was railing
against was the three networks, that’s it — these are words that Donald Trump
could have spoken.”
All the more reason for historians to take a deeper dive
into the makings of Agnew, Podair said. With an impeachment inquiry under way,
a 2020 election campaign heating up, and emotions running high, Trump is a daily
fixation, for better or worse. Republican
Populist may provide a little context as to how we got here.
“Our general thesis is, if you want to understand where Donald Trump came from, he didn’t come out of nowhere,” Podair said. “He has, in fact, deep roots in the changes in the Republican party that go back more than 50 years. If you want to understand Donald Trump, you’ve got to understand Spiro Agnew. He is actually a pivotal figure, and, I think, a very understudied and underrated political figure.”
Book event: A book discussion featuring Podair, Messitte, and Holden will be held at Lawrence University on Oct. 28. The Main Hall Forum begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center Cinema. It is free and open to the public.
Lawrence University saw a huge outpouring of support Thursday as alumni, faculty, staff, students and other supporters contributed more than $1.94 million on the school’s annual Giving Day, the most ever in the event’s six-year history.
Giving Day was highlighted with a one-hour live webcast on Thursday evening, hosted by Terry Moran ’82, a national correspondent for ABC News and the parent of a 2018 Lawrence graduate.
The $1,940,586 in contributions that arrived over the course
of the day came from more than 3,100 donors. Records were set in the amount
raised, the number of overall donors and the number of participating faculty
“Wow, what a day for Lawrence,” President Mark Burstein said. “The funds we raised will support our students in countless essential ways. Thank you to the Lawrence community for your investments in the university. Our game changers, the Classes of 2003 to 2023, and faculty and staff blew the roof off.”
Giving Day drew attention to the myriad of ways financial contributions
support Lawrence students, among them campus improvements, enhanced
study-abroad opportunities, burgeoning sustainability efforts, new and diverse
classroom and research innovations, music and other arts activities, and
Faculty, staff, and students pitched in over the course of the day, holding engagement events on campus and reaching out to alumni around the world, capped by the evening webcast that featured videos on campus construction projects, the school’s Full Speed to Full Need initiative, the Conservatory of Music’s Presto! tour, and the athletic department’s camaraderie and enthusiasm. Burstein, faculty and students joined Moran as guests to talk about the many ways in which the funding supports the liberal arts experience for today’s students.
“We are beyond excited and grateful that the whole Lawrence community came together to break records,” said Amber Nelson, associate director of Annual Giving and a key organizer of Giving Day. “It is always impressive seeing so many people rally around Giving Day. From alumni reaching out to their classmates, encouraging them to give, to staff answering phones, to students running events on campus, to countless other ways people showed their support, it really takes so many different people coming together to make this day so special for Lawrence.”
The Giving Day success is the continuation of momentum that
has been building since the $220 million Be
the Light! Campaign first launched, quietly in January 2014 and then
publicly in November 2018. Last month, Lawrence
landed at No. 26 on Forbes magazine’s 2019 edition of the Grateful Graduates
Index, which follows the money in terms of alumni giving at private,
not-for-profit colleges. Lawrence was the only Wisconsin school to place in the
top 70, one more sign of the enduring bonds between the school and its alumni.
Most of the monies raised Thursday will go to the Lawrence
Fund, which is used to support the day-to-day operations of the campus and the
student experience. The Lawrence Fund is one of the pillars of the Be the Light! Campaign.
Monies donated Thursday were matched by supporters who agreed to be “game changers” in the Giving Day campaign. For contributions from the Classes of 2003 through 2023, they matched $500 for every contribution, no matter the amount. For all other contributions, they matched dollar for dollar.
Lawrence’s 2018-19 fiscal report showed support topping $24.4 million, the fourth highest year to date. The Be the Light! Campaign has surpassed $185 million to date in gifts and pledges.
The Be the Light! Campaign includes the Lawrence Fund as one
of its four cornerstones, along with the Full Speed to Full Need initiative
to make Lawrence accessible and affordable to all academically qualifying
students, the Student Journey, which has
welcomed numerous endowed positions aimed at supporting cutting edge programs
and course offerings, and Campus Renewal, targeting
facility and infrastructure upgrade projects on campus.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: email@example.com
When they began gathering in preparation for their Spring
Term abroad in Dakar, Senegal, they were acquaintances at best — fellow Lawrence
students, yes, but close friends, no.
Ten weeks in Senegal changed that in ways that Bronwyn Earthman ’21, Tamima Tabishat ’20, Miriam Thew Forrester ’20, and Greta Wilkening ’21 never saw coming. The study abroad experience, a full immersion in Senegalese life and culture and French and Wolof languages, created deep bonds that continue now that they’re back on campus in Appleton, dramatically altering post-Lawrence plans for at least one of them, maybe more.
“We bonded,” Tabishat said. “We moved as a unit; we checked in on each other. … When one of us wasn’t there, it was like incomplete. It’s crazy because even at Lawrence now, we all do our own thing but when we see each other there’s just this connection.”
Learn more about Lawrence’s biennial study abroad program in Senegal here
That connection has led to something that Dominica Chang, the Margaret Banta Humleker Professor of French Cultural Studies and an associate professor of French, has never seen in her time leading the Lawrence immersion program in the West African country. Friendships blossom all the time during study abroad experiences. But this was different. Consider that all four of these students are now taking an independent study course with Chang during Fall Term to continue their studies in the Wolof language. That has never happened before.
“I reached out to Dominica about doing a Wolof tutorial just
to continue learning Wolof,” Earthman said. “I mentioned it in a group chat,
and then within a day everyone was like, ‘Yes, let’s do it.’”
Wolof is one of a dozen indigenous languages in Senegal, a
francophone country with deep ties to France. While French is the dominant
language, Wolof is spoken by many of the locals in Dakar, where the students
were living and learning during their time abroad.
For the four students, the draw to continue with Wolof lessons
this term comes from a place of shared passion, deeper than any of them would
have anticipated when they set out on their study abroad excursion in late
March. The time in Senegal created intellectual and emotional connections with
the place and the people of Dakar, and all four said they wanted to embrace and
build on that. And to do it together in Appleton, as a group, or unit.
“When Bronwyn proposed the Wolof thing, I was like, well, I already have 18 credits,” Tabishat said. “And they’re all saying, ‘I’m doing it,’ ‘I’m doing it,’ ‘I’m doing it.’ So, I adjusted my schedule because we don’t do anything with just three of us. I can’t just not. I had to justify that to my advisors. I said, ‘The other girls are doing it, and I don’t want to miss out because it’s just as important to me.’”
They now meet with Chang weekly for Wolof lessons in an independent study program designed to pick up where they left off when they departed Dakar in early June. Chang had accompanied the foursome to Senegal, teaching in the Baobab Center while there.
Celebrating the Wolof language was one of the students’ big
takeaways from their time in Dakar. For 10 weeks, they met every day with
instructors at the Baobab Center, learning terms and phrases and proper usage.
They did their best to speak Wolof when greeting people at the market or in
their neighborhoods, where they were living with host families.
“It’s something we all value a lot and something we want to continue,” Wilkening said of the new studies with Chang. “For us, we learned it there and lived it there. It’s not just a language but more about how we communicated with our friends who we became so close to while we were there.”
The students gained the respect of Dakar residents because
they made the effort to learn and use Wolof. Friendships grew from there.
“There’s that point of preserving something you started,”
Tabishat said of her motivation to sign up for the independent study this term.
“I think it’s partially academic but also emotional because we communicated
with people who couldn’t speak French, which is the colonial language, so you
had to use Wolof, and that’s such a deeper connection. In the market and other
places, the reaction people have when you are able to speak Wolof is crazy.
They are shocked, which is insane to me because French people have been there
forever and yet they’re still shocked when you speak Wolof. It’s something we
value because we value those people so much.”
The four students — they dub themselves the SeneGals on
Instagram — come from different disciplines. Earthman is studying biology, Tabishat
is in global studies, Thew Forrester has a double major in government and
English, and Wilkening is in environmental studies. Each dived deep into an
academic service project that related to their majors while in Senegal.
For Thew Forrester, that service project involved studying
artistic identity and how government, politics, and language in Senegal interact
with the pursuit of art and personal expression. That will now become a key
focus of her graduate school studies, and she plans to return to Senegal to
pick up on what she started.
The idea of going back wasn’t on Thew Forrester’s radar when
she first arrived in Dakar. Not even close. She was more than a little anxious
about the 10-week commitment, she said, having signed up only because she
thought the immersion in the French language would help her in pursuit of a
“I almost didn’t go,” she said. “I think now about what I
would be doing, where I’d be if I hadn’t gone there and had that experience.”
Her SeneGals nod in agreement.
“I think all of us have a dream of going back at some
point,” Tabishat said. “If possible, maybe together.”
Want to hear more from Earthman, Tabishat, Thew Forrester, and
Wilkening? Tune in to the live Lawrence
University Giving Day webcast at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10. The four students
will be talking with host Terry Moran ’82 about their Senegal experience.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get your gear
ready, Lawrentians, because Blue & White Weekend is fast approaching.
What was formerly known as Fall Festival has been transformed into a weekend that celebrates all things Lawrence, with tons of fun things to do on campus — from a Friday night comedy show to a campus-wide tailgate party before Saturday’s football game to a Silent Disco Party.
celebration starts on Friday (Oct. 4).
When there is a lot going on it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, so I have compiled a list highlighting five key things to look forward to this Blue & White Weekend.
1) Intercollegiate Athletics Viking Hall of Fame Dinner, reception at 6 p.m., ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at Warch Campus Center:
A tradition that was once part of the Fall Festival is continuing into Blue & White Weekend. The dinner is a way to celebrate those being inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
into the Lawrence University Hall of Fame is the highest athletics honor that
Lawrence can bestow upon an individual,” Athletic Director Christyn Abaray said. “It is a marker signifying that the inductee was
and will always be the cream of the crop in how they represented Lawrence on
the field of play with distinct recognition at the conference and national
look at those in the Hall of Fame as the beacons for Lawrence University
athletics and inspirations for our current and future Lawrentian Vikings.”
information on ticket availability, call the Office of Alumni and Constituency
Engagement at 920-832-7019.
2) Comedian Mandal, 8 p.m. Friday in Warch Campus Center:
S.O.U.P. is known for bringing great acts to campus throughout the year. They are continuing that mission this Blue & White Weekend by bringing in Atlanta-based stand-up comedian Mandal, known for energetic performances and wacky humor.
3) All-Campus Tailgate Party, 11 a.m. Saturday at Banta Bowl:
Let’s go, Vikes! This is the second annual Blue &
White Weekend tailgate party! It leads into the 1 p.m. football game. Food and
camaraderie will be available. Grab something to eat, jump around in the bouncy
house and enjoy the music provided by DJ King SZN.
The Lawrence University Vikings will be competing against Illinois College.
This will be their second home game of the season. Lawrence has not played
against Illinois College since 2016, so be sure to go out and support our
5) Silent Disco Party, 8 p.m. Saturday in Warch Campus Center:
This party is new to Blue & White Weekend, hosted by S.O.U.P., and promises to be loads of fun. Silent Discos are headphone parties, giving party-goers the opportunity to choose from three music options to rock out to. The music is controlled by DJs who will be in the room, and one of the DJs will be our very own DJ King SZN!
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
The Viking Room, a cherished on-campus hangout for generations of students, is carved deeply into the history of Lawrence University.
The names of students past and present cover the tables and booths, carved with affection, a metaphor of sorts for the deep bonds that alumni have with the place best known as the VR. Tucked in the lower level of Memorial Hall, it has served as a gathering place for students of drinking age — and faculty and staff — for five decades.
The VR is celebrating its 50th year as a bar. It
had long existed as an on-campus lounge, but it didn’t serve alcohol until the
first beer was tapped on March 7, 1969.
Mark Catron ’69 remembers it well. He was one of the original student bartenders, pouring beers during his senior year while “Bad Moon Rising” and “Sugar, Sugar” blasted from the speakers.
“The response was overwhelming. It was terrific,” said
Catron, who visited the VR in early June while back on campus for his 50th
class reunion. “People would come in after their afternoon classes and sit
around and talk and have a beer or study.
“Fridays and Saturdays were very, very popular. There would be dances and a lot of music.”
The times they are a-changin’
When Lawrence successfully sought a city liquor license and
remade the VR into a bar, it was new territory. Not many college campuses
featured their own bar. The drinking age was 18 at the time, which meant most
every student was a potential customer.
It arrived at a time when college campuses were hotbeds for
social change and political demonstrations. There was no shortage of talking
points in the spring of ’69 as students gathered in the VR.
“The four years I was here, there were terrific changes in
powers, dormitory living and arrangements,” Catron said. “And clearly, this was
part of the liberalization of the campus. Between the time we came and the time
we left, there was a lot of turmoil, a lot of change going on, a lot of people
questioning the way things had always been.”
Introducing a bar on campus amid all that, well, that was
either going to prove to be genius or crazy, Catron said.
“From the administration point, maybe it was a sort of
experiment to see if the students were capable of handling it in a responsible
way,” he said. “I never had the impression there was ever any doubt about that.
But I’m sure there had to be some questions among the adults in the room.
“This was the same time we were occupying the dean’s office.
Lots of challenges were going on from a social standpoint. … The campus was
different when we left from when we arrived, and the bar was just part of that
Susan Jasin ’69 was another of the original student
bartenders. When she went to Appleton City Hall to get her bartender’s license,
she said the workers there told her she was the first woman in the city to be
licensed as a bartender.
“I kind of got a giggle out of that at the time,” she said.
“It was fun to do because it was different and nobody else
was doing it. I was just me. I was just Susan. I was doing it because it was
A new dynamic
While the VR remains a big part of campus life 50 years
later, much has changed from its heyday in those early years. When Wisconsin’s
drinking age increased to 19 in 1984 and then 21 in 1986, the dynamic in the VR
changed, with much of the student body no longer old enough to legally drink.
The VR managers began to more actively market the bar to
faculty and staff. A 1988 memo from the then-managers of the VR implored
faculty and staff to increase their use of the bar, either as their own hangout
or as an alternative classroom space.
“Keep in mind that the room is large, we play tapes upon
request, and that our stereo does have a volume control if the music proves to
be too loud,” the memo read. “Simply put, we would enjoy seeing more faculty
and administrators using the VR on a regular basis, whether you choose to drink
Thirty years on, some faculty and staff continue to heed
those words. And some jump in as guest bartenders, a long VR tradition.
The VR has gone through numerous changes in its management
structure over the years. Presently, the bar is again managed by students, with
oversight from Greg Griffin, director of the Warch Campus Center.
Jake Yingling ’20 frequents the VR with friends, and works
bartending shifts as a student worker. While he understands the crowds in the
VR may be smaller now than in the ’70s and ’80s, there are still nights when
the place is hopping. And he appreciates it being on campus.
“The busier nights are the better nights,” he said.
“Now being 21, I can come here to do work, I can hang out
with friends. It’s a good place to kind of hang out and relax.”
Five decades worth of alumni would raise a glass to that.
How do you
get Lawrence students out in the community while also promoting the health of
children in the Appleton area? Little Vikes has it figured out.
The club, founded by two Lawrence University men’s hockey players, provides opportunities for athletics and general wellness education to children in the Fox Cities through mentoring and support from Lawrence students. The Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) approved Little Vikes as an official club last spring, making it a new addition to the school’s repertoire of more than 100 student organizations.
’21 and Jordan Boehlke ’20 founded Little Vikes in the summer of 2018. The club
isn’t Toycen’s first experience with volunteer work. When he was a junior
hockey player in La Crosse, he connected with his community as a peer mentor for
little kids and youth hockey players into the locker room,” Toycen recalls,
“and they’d give us a pep talk or we’d give them fist bumps and stuff like
that. They loved it.”
assisted Coulee Region Sled Hockey in La Crosse, where individuals with
disabilities that prevent them from skating can navigate the ice on sleds. He
was moved by seeing people overcome obstacles to be active and have fun playing
the sport they love.
these experiences with him to Appleton, where he saw a need for mentors for
children needing wellness education.
“Getting to do stuff like that is what I really loved,” Toycen says. “I just wanted to do something like that here at Lawrence.”
Thus, Little Vikes was born. It’s still in its infancy, but Toycen and Boehlke say they hope it’ll grow well beyond its dozen members and will establish itself as an active student program that will live on at Lawrence long after they’ve graduated.
The mission is simple, yet has the potential for high impact in the lives it touches.
“We’re trying to promote an active and healthy lifestyle, while still putting an emphasis on education and things like that,” Toycen says. “We want the kids being active, learning sportsmanship and being on a team. Things that come from being an athlete I’ll definitely take into any job or career I choose to follow.”
becoming an official club, Little Vikes has been able to plot a clearer course
for community outreach. The most recent development is a budding partnership
with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley. The club plans to host weekly
activities and events at the nonprofit youth organization’s local facilities.
Toycen also is
setting his sights on working with SOAR Fox Cities, a local nonprofit and
Special Olympics agency that provides a range of programs for disabled
In the meantime, the club’s activities are geared toward connecting with kids in the Fox Cities and spreading the word about its mission. In November, Little Vikes will hold its second annual Toy Drive for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. The group also will visit classrooms at Horizon Elementary School in Appleton in February to make valentines.
These activities have something to offer the kids involved. And Toycen says Lawrentians need the community exposure that Little Vikes provides.
good to help and serve your community in whatever way you can,” he says.
“Especially people coming from out of state and out of the country, for them to
get a real feel for the Midwest and the Wisconsin lifestyle.”
Despite the focus on athletics, the Little Vikes club is open to anyone on campus dedicated to supporting wellness in Fox Cities youth. The organizers are setting their sights on growth.
“I want to
see the club grow,” Toycen says simply. “Part of the reason we went through
LUCC is to make sure it stays here. I feel like there’s a need for it. I want
to see that need be served each year well after both of us move on.”
Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
Lawrence University President Mark Burstein, speaking
Thursday at the Matriculation Convocation to launch the school’s 2019-20
academic year, encouraged members of the Lawrence community to provide constructive
leadership on the growing global climate crisis, and to bridge political
differences along the way.
Burstein called the climate crisis “the central challenge facing society today,” and said it is the university’s responsibility to teach climate science to its students, to raise awareness of the issues and challenges and to converse respectfully with people who dismiss the science.
“It is crucial that we engage with those who dismiss the findings of 97% of climate scientists who now confirm that a climate crisis has begun, and that human activity is a root cause,” Burstein said as he addressed faculty, students and staff in Memorial Chapel on the fourth day of the fall term. “We need to continue to broaden the learning opportunities we offer and to avoid partisan framing of the climate crisis if we aim to reach all of our students, faculty, and staff. Thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the Environmental Studies program, we offer a wide array of learning opportunities for students to consider how human activity impacts the natural world.”
The convocation, the first of three to be held during the academic year, included the traditional march of faculty, adorned in their academic dress, and music from students of the entering class. But it was Burstein’s call for climate crisis leadership that took center stage.
He encouraged those in attendance to draw on their own
experiences with nature, to consider deeply how human activity is affecting
resources we interact with close to home and on our travels.
“Experiences can sensitize us to the deep and far-reaching
effect that the climate crisis will have,” Burstein said. “My year as a farmer
during a break between high school and college changed my views and established
conservation as central to my personal values. Living directly in the cycle of
a dairy farm significantly influenced the way I thought about the natural
“I’m sure you have your own connections to nature. Could we
find ways to encourage all of us to explore the rich natural resources of
northeastern Wisconsin and Door County? Could this be a way to reach students
who might otherwise avoid enrolling in an Environmental Studies course or
joining an environmental organization? Are there ways we can more closely tie
the prodigious natural world that surrounds us into our curriculum?”
Burstein highlighted the fires that are threatening the
Amazon, the extreme conditions affecting areas from Alaska and the Arctic to
the Canary Islands and California, and the increasingly extreme weather
patterns being experienced here in the Midwest.
He noted statistics from the World Bank that show an average
of 24 million people per year since 2008 being displaced by weather events, and
projections that those numbers will rise dramatically.
Lawrence has initiatives in place and established programs available to teach about environmental issues, be it from economic, policy, cultural, biological, chemical, or geoscience perspectives. Impressive gains in recent years have been guided by faculty members such as Jeff Clark, Marcia Bjornerud, and David Gerard, and sustainability coordinator Kelsey McCormick. But, Burstein said, there’s more work to be done all across campus to better inform and engage on the challenges we face now and those we’ll be handing off to future generations.
He pointed to the polarizing effect politics is having on
the climate crisis debate, and implored those in the Lawrence community to stay
attentive no matter how frustrating it might get.
“Even those who agree that a climate crisis is real approach
the issue now with an incapacitating fatigue,” Burstein said.
“No amount of improved communication seems to weaken the feeling that this crisis is inevitable, that nothing we do can change the course of this unfolding natural disaster,” he added. “This attitude prevents important interventions.”
Protecting the environment and prepping the Earth for future
generations hasn’t always been embedded in a political chasm. When the leaders
of 12 national environmental organizations were asked to rank the “greenest”
U.S. presidents, they chose Teddy Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and
Barack Obama, in that order, Burstein said.
“Two Republicans and two Democrats,” he said. “Conservation
was central to Teddy Roosevelt’s vision for America’s future. He preserved land
and natural beauty at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and hundreds of other
locations across the country. Richard Nixon founded the Environmental
Protection Agency, banned DDT, and created the regulatory infrastructure that
continues to this day. But this public consensus is disappearing.”
It’s time to reclaim the conversation, Burstein said, challenging college campuses to lead the way, to infuse climate science across the curriculum and to foster intelligent and productive conversation, all the while prepping tomorrow’s leaders to be environmentally astute and informed no matter their political affiliations.
“For us, now, to engage our entire community, we must
provide a learning environment in which we can all participate without
criticism or rejection,” Burstein said.
“I hope you will commit yourselves, with me, to making sure
that this generation of Lawrentians will graduate with the knowledge, the
tools, and the energy to provide leadership on the most important challenge
that faces all of us in this century.”
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: email@example.com
involved in the Appleton community can sometimes be imposing for
students new to Lawrence. Volunteering just might be the path you’re
The school’s Center for Community Engagement and Social Change (CCE) notes in its recently released annual report that 782 students contributed 6,659 hours of volunteer service during the 2018-19 academic year, and 75 percent of the graduating seniors said they had volunteered during their time at Lawrence.
The CCE, now working within the Center for Career Life and Community Engagement (CLC), is looking to keep that momentum going in the new academic year, making it as easy as possible for students to get involved and to follow their passions.
center, located in the Seeley G. Mudd Library, was previously known as
Volunteer and Community Service Center. It rebranded itself to better reflect
the wide array of service opportunities available on and off campus.
wanted to be more true to
our mission, which is not just volunteering,” said Kristi
Hill, director of the CCE. “We’re really trying to educate
Lawrentians on their civic responsibility as citizens of this world. And to not
just serve, but to inform them on social justice issues that could be of
importance to them. So, the name better reflects what we do.”
part of the retooled and reenergized CLC also provides new paths, as well as
better efficiency in connecting service work with resume building.
benefits have been, we’re now with a department that is really focused on the
experiential education or journey of Lawrence students,” said Hill. “Focused on
volunteerism and internships and networking and creating your own community,
those are kind of like-minded
things our office shares with the CLC.”
with the rebranding, the CCE still serves as a resource on
campus for students who would like to volunteer. CCE staffers help students
with everything from getting connected with nonprofits they can volunteer with
to hosting volunteer opportunities on campus.
year, the CCE implemented a new program called Viking
Ambassadors in Service and Engagement (VASE), a program focused on first-year
students to help them make connections and learn about issues in the community. It
drew 33 first-year students, spread across five VASE programs — greater
access to the arts, supporting fair housing and hunger, advocating and care for
elders, protecting and sustaining the environment and allied health care.
programs are tailored to each service area,” said Papo Morales ’21 ,
equal access to education coordinator at the CCE. “Students, preferably
first-years, are really involved and engage in this one specific
service area. Last year, they did service trips, they did events, it
was an amazing thing.”
CCE will continue the VASE program this year, with increased funding that
will allow more opportunities.
Alongside the VASE program, the CCE provides Lawrence students with lots of opportunities to serve.
One program is Service Corps, run by students on the CCE staff. Each Service Corps enclave is geared toward addressing social justice issues in the Fox Cities. The student in charge of the group partners with community agencies. There are seven Service Corps groups: Access to Education, Child Advocacy, Elder Advocacy, Environment and Sustainability, Arts Advocacy, Fair Housing and Hunger, and, starting this year, Animal Welfare.
Tutoring in area schools has been a big draw for Lawrence students through the CCE’s Volunteers in Tutoring at Lawrence (VITAL) program. During the 2018-19 school year, the CCE was able to connect 41 Lawrence students with 83 Appleton school district students who requested tutoring.
programs were offered by the CCE to support environment and sustainability
needs. Overall, 62 volunteers served 1,134 hours toward those causes.
There were 19 programs geared toward
the support of elders at Brewster Village, the Retired and Senior Volunteer
Program (RSVP), and the Thompson Community Center on Lourdes. This allowed 57
Lawrence volunteers to serve 333 hours to support elder rights and care.
to individual service opportunities available to
students, the CCE offers assistance to Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) student organizations
that do volunteer work. Many of these organizations had CCE staff as advisors,
and all of them had access to the resources the CCE provides, including
the GivePulse software used by the CCE, financial support, and service
“The CCE really, really, really tries
to connect with our service organizations,” said Morales. “We support
them in any way that we can. If students are interested in starting a service
organization, we are more than happy to help them. Last year, some
athletes had come in and said, ‘Hey, we want to start a service
organization.’ They came in with just an idea and by the end of last
year, they were fund-raising for stuff. So, if you’re passionate about
starting a service organization, all you have to do is come in and we will
Morales even started a service
organization of his own through his connection with the CCE. It’s called Brother to Brother, a men-of-color
empowerment organization aimed at cultivating leadership and brotherhood and
providing service and advocacy in the community.
“I really wanted to have service be a
part of our messaging,” said Morales. “So, our pillars are brotherhood,
leadership, and service.”
Last year, Brother to Brother was able to serve a multitude of organizations, including Edison Elementary School. This gave the students in the organization the chance to explore parts of the Appleton community they were not familiar with.
“Things they wouldn’t do before, like
they wouldn’t know they loved working with kids,” said Morales. “And
when we took them to this recess, they fell in love.”
When students volunteer, it not only positively impacts the students they’re serving, but it also greatly benefits the organizations.
“The teachers there have shared,
there’s too much for them to do in the time they have provided,” said Hill.
“So, when Lawrence students can spend time with individual students who need
extra support, the teachers are relieved and able to focus on instruction and
looking for funding and other things to grow the school. They openly talk about
it, that Lawrence students allow them to do more. So that’s been a really cool
thing to see at Edison Elementary School.”
The CCE will continue to provide Lawrence students with resources as the school year ramps up.
“We really do encourage people to just walk in and say, ‘Hey, I want to volunteer,’” said Morales. “We have a revamped space, so we really encourage students to come in … someone is always on staff here to answer questions and to help you volunteer. But if you don’t have the time and your schedule is really busy, we encourage all student just to go to GivePulse. You can go on the Lawrence web site and type in GivePulse on the search bar. That is where we house all of our volunteer opportunities.”
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Saturday, Feb. 29, Warch
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
Saturday, April 11
and Sunday, April 12, Stansbury
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.
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.”
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.”
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.