Brighter Together (August 30, 2021)

Dear Lawrentians,

With the arrival of our fall athletes and Summer Institute participants, there is a renewed sense of energy and excitement on campus. This excitement and energy will grow when our international students arrive in early September, followed shortly after by our new and returning students. And with the majority of faculty and staff now working back on campus, the Lawrence community will soon be reunited for the first time in nearly 18 months.

I often say that I was drawn to the light of Lawrence—the light of knowledge, the light of truth, and the light each member of our community brings to campus. The points at which light intersect are always brighter than any individual light, and our strength as a community shines when we engage in challenging endeavors, share our talents, pursue our passions, and enjoy all that this rich and vibrant community has to offer.

We are brighter together. 

As the start of the academic year approaches, you’ll see and hear this phrase—Brighter Together—more frequently. In fact, I think of it as an anthem for this moment in Lawrence’s history and a reminder of our strength as a community. The strength has supported this university for the last 174 years, bolstered us during our current pandemic, and will propel us as we look to this coming year and beyond.

We will all adjust to new ways of engaging with each other as we navigate the ongoing pandemic. As I’ve heard many times over the last year, we can’t look to what we knew but, instead, must look to what is new as we live and learn together. We will continue to Honor the Pledge and adjust our lives to protect the health and safety of our community. 

Just last week, we announced the need to postpone the presidential inauguration planned for October to a time when we can more safely gather together as a community. I was truly looking forward to the inauguration and to celebrating Lawrence’s bright future, as well as meeting Lawrentians from near and far. Yet many opportunities still remain to celebrate our community, including the start of the academic year.

In honor of this historic return to campus, I ask that we show the world how bright Lawrence can shine.

  • Let’s welcome our newest Lawrentians as they arrive on campus on September 8 and 9 by helping our Student Life colleagues greet them upon their arrival.
  • Let’s gather together as a community to celebrate the start of their Lawrence experience at the annual President’s Welcome. The President’s Welcome will be hosted on Main Hall Green this year, and there’s plenty of room for all members of our community to join the festivities. Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 9 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Let’s showcase how proud we are of our university by wearing Brighter Together t-shirts (we have one for every member of our community—staff, faculty, and students) during New Student Orientation.
  • Let’s join together on Friday, September 17, as I deliver my first Matriculation Convocation in Memorial Chapel.

Vice President for Student Life, Christopher Card, will provide more information on ways you can help welcome our newest Lawrentians later this week, and the LU Insider will include additional information about opportunities to gather. I encourage you to share your warmth with our new and returning students.

We are Brighter Together, and I look forward to seeing us shine.



Laurie A. Carter

President, Lawrence University