Lawrence University
MottoLight More Light!
Veritas est lux
Motto in EnglishTruth is Light
TypePrivate - Liberal Arts
Endowment$180.2 million[1]
PresidentJill Beck
Admin. staff156 faculty[1]
Students1,566 undergraduates
(fall 2010)[1]
LocationAppleton, Wisconsin, United States
CampusUrban - 84 acres (34 ha)
Björklunden - 425 acres (172 ha)
Former namesLawrence College - (1913-64)
Lawrence Institute - (1847-49)
AthleticsDivision III (NCAA)
23 varsity teams
AffiliationsAssociated Colleges of the Midwest

Lawrence University is a nationally recognized liberal arts college and conservatory of music in Appleton, Wisconsin. Founded in 1847, the first classes were held on November 12, 1849. Lawrence was the second college in the United States to be founded as a coeducational institution. The school is a member of the Colleges That Change Lives and one of the Great Books Colleges.

Campus Edit

The 84-acre (34 ha) campus is located in downtown Appleton, divided into two parts by the Fox River. The academic campus is on the north shore of Fox River, and the major athletic facilities (including the 5000-seat Banta Bowl) are on the northeast shore. Lawrence also has a 425-acre (172 ha) northern estate called Björklunden (full name: Björklunden vid sjön), which serves as a site for retreats, seminars, concerts, and theatrical performances. It contains a chapel for weddings. Donald and Winifred Boynton of Highland Park, Illinois, donated the property in Door County to Lawrence in 1963.

In the mid-1980s the physics department built a $330,000 small laser laboratory (known as the "laser palace"), which includes 800 5 mW small lasers and more than 500 mirrors.

Razed buildingsEdit

The college has a long history of razing buildings on its campus, because of the limited land available for constructing new buildings. Many buildings on campus are built on the site of former buildings. Some razed buildings include:

  • Peabody Hall of Music (20th century)
  • Hamar Union (1960)
  • Underwood Observatory (1962)
  • Alexander Gym I (1962)
  • Carnegie Library (1964)
  • Worcester Art Center (1987)
  • Stephenson Hall of Science (1998)
  • Hulbert House (2004)


Lawrence's first president, William Harkness Sampson, founded the school with Henry R. Colman, using $10,000 provided by philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence, and matched by the Methodist church. Both founders were ordained Methodist ministers, but Lawrence was Episcopalian. The school was originally named Lawrence Institute of Wisconsin in its 1847 charter from the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, but the name was changed to Lawrence University before classes began in November 1849.[2] [3] Its oldest extant building, Main Hall, was built in 1853.[4] Lawrence University was Wisconsin’s first co-educational university.[citation needed]

Lawrence's first period of major growth came during the tenure of alumnus Samuel G. Plantz as president. From 1894 to 1924, when Plantz presided over the school, its student body grew from 200 to 800.

From 1913 until 1964, the school was named Lawrence College, to emphasize its small size and liberal arts education focus. The name was changed to Lawrence University when it merged with Milwaukee-Downer College. The state of Wisconsin then purchased the Milwaukee-Downer property and buildings to expand the campus of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Initially, the university designated two entities: Lawrence College for Men and Downer College for Women. This separation has not lasted in any material form, though degrees are still conferred "on the recommendation of the Faculty of Lawrence and Downer Colleges" and the university by-laws still make the distinction.

During World War II, Lawrence College was one of 131 colleges and universities in the nation that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[5]

The Lawrence Conservatory of Music, usually referred to as "the Con", was founded in 1874. The university confers a Bachelor of Music degree and offers a five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in addition to the music degree.

Freshman Studies at Lawrence is a mandatory two-term class, in which all students study the same selected 11 classic works of literature, art, and music. President Nathan M. Pusey is credited with initiating the program in 1945, although Professor Waples chaired the Freshman Studies Committee and was responsible for implementing the program. The program continues to this day, despite being temporarily suspended in 1974.[citation needed]

In 2005 Lawrence University initiated a capital campaign called "More Light!", which aimed at raising $150 million. By October 2011 the college has raised $160,272,839, with the conclusion event held on October 28, 2011.[6]

Lawrence University is part of the Oberlin Group, a consortium of liberal arts college libraries.

Milwaukee-Downer traditionsEdit

File:Lawrence University.jpg

The traditions and heritage of Milwaukee-Downer are woven into the Appleton campus, from the grove of hawthorn trees (called Hawthornden) between Brokaw and Colman halls, to the sundial on the back of Main Hall, to the bestowing upon each class a class color and banner.

The Lawrence Dean of Women was referred to as the "Dean of Downer", but when the offices of Dean of Men and Dean of Women were merged to form the Dean of Students, the substantive duties of the "Dean of Downer" came to an end; the title is still borne by a senior female professor, but her only duty is to carry the Downer Mace in academic processions. For many years the women's choir was called the Downer Chorus. At one time the BA was conferred upon women in the name of "Downer College of Lawrence University" and upon men in the name of "Lawrence College of Lawrence University"; now all B.A. degrees are conferred in the name of "Lawrence & Downer Colleges of Lawrence University." (The B.Mus. degree is from "the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.)



Lawrence University operates on a trimester calendar. The academic year runs from mid-September to mid-June.

The student/faculty ratio at Lawrence is 9:1.[7]

Lawrence grants Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, with a double degree possible. Lawrence offers a number of cooperative degree programs in areas such as engineering, health sciences and environmental studies.

The college offers majors in most of the liberal arts. The school also offers the option of interdisciplinary areas of study and allows students to design their own majors. All students are required to take Freshman Studies, which introduces students to broad areas of study and provides a common academic experience for the college. Lawrence’s freshman studies program focuses on a mixture of Great Books and more contemporary, influential works. For example, the 2011-2012 list includes Plato's Republic and Stephen Jay Gould's Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History.

The school has an independent study option that allows students to design their own courses. This allows students to explore academic interests not covered by Lawrence’s classes or to explore topics more deeply. Over 90% of the students take advantage of the independent study program.[citation needed]

In 2005, Lawrence University began the Lawrence Fellows Program, initially selecting eight recent Ph.D.s to teach and carry out research at Lawrence for a period of two to three years. This program seeks to develop the liberal arts faculty of the future.

Conservatory of MusicEdit

The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music was founded in 1874 and has been a part of Lawrence University ever since. The Conservatory offers Bachelor of Music degrees in Performance, Theory/Composition, Music Education, and a five-year double degree option that grants both a BM degree from the Conservatory and a BA degree from the College. Approximately 25% of the Lawrence student body, or 350 students, is in the Conservatory. The Conservatory has three choirs, two bands, two jazz ensembles, a symphony orchestra, an improvisation collective, five world music ensembles, and numerous chamber music groups.

Recognition Edit

In 2011 Newsweek named Lawrence University the 18th most rigorous U.S. college.[8] In 2012, it was ranked by Forbes as the top college in Wisconsin.[9] In 2011, Forbes ranked Lawrence 63rd on the list of America's (600) Best Colleges, which combined national research universities, liberal arts colleges, and military academies in a single survey.[10] Lawrence was ranked 56th on the 2013 U.S. News: List of Best U.S. National Liberal Arts Colleges.[11] Lawrence was included in Loren Pope's 1996 book, Colleges That Change Lives. InsideCollege lists Lawrence University as a college of distinction. [12][13]

Student bodyEdit

Lawrence enrolls about 1,500 students who hail from nearly every U.S. state. The total enrollment in academic year 2010-2011 was 1,566 students,[1] the largest student body in Lawrence University's history. Over 75% of the students identify as white.[1] About 12% are international students. [7] About 25% of students study in the conservatory of music.

Media Edit

The student newspaper, The Lawrentian, has been published for over a century. Lawrence University hosts the Great Midwest Trivia Contest, webcast every January over the college radio station, WLFM.


Lawrence Vikings
University Lawrence University
Conference(s) Midwest Conference
NCAA Division III
Athletics director Mike Szkodzinski
Location Appleton, WI
Varsity teams 23
Football stadium Banta Bowl - (5,255)
natural grass
Basketball arena Alexander Gymnasium
Baseball stadium Whiting Field[14]
Nickname Vikings - (1926)[15]
Fight song "Go, Lawrence, Go"[16]
Colors Blue and White


Homepage LU athletics

Lawrence College teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Vikings are a member of the Midwest Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, fencing, football, golf, ice hockey, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, fencing, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball.

In 2005-06, the Lawrence men's basketball team was ranked number one in NCAA Division III for much of the season, after starting the season unranked. The team was the only undefeated team in all divisions of college basketball for the last six weeks of the season, ending with a record of 25-1. Star forward Chris Braier won the Josten's Award as the top player in the country for both playing ability and community service.[citation needed] Coach John Tharp was named Division III Midwest Coach of the Year.[citation needed] Following their win of the Midwest Conference Tournament in 2009, the Vikings have qualified for the NCAA Division III National Tournament in five of the last six years.[when?] Their best finish was in 2004 when they lost in the Elite 8 to eventual national champion University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point 82-81 in overtime at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.

In 2011 Lawrence's men's cross country team won the Midwest Conference championships for the first time since 1985, beating Grinnell College and ending its 14-year winning streak.

University presidentsEdit

Presidents of Milwaukee-Downer CollegeEdit

Notable facultyEdit

Notable alumniEdit


See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 As of Fall 2010. "2010 Profile" (PDF). Lawrence University. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  3. See also Charles Breunig’s book, A Great and Good Work: A History of Lawrence University, 1847-1964.
  4. Council of Independent Colleges, "Main Hall", Historic Campus Architecture Project.
  5. "Call to Duty, Lawrence University's V-12 Program". Outagamie County Historical Society (OCHS). 2002. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  6. "Photos From the More Light! Finale Celebration « More Light Finale". 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "International Resources - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  8. "College Rankings 2011". Daily Beast. Retrieved May, 20, 2012.
  9. "Lawrence Named Top College in Wisconsin". Fox 11. 2 August 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
  10. "Americas Top Colleges". Forbes.
  11. "US News Best Colleges Rankings".
  12. Pope, Loren (1996, ed. 2006). College That Change Lives. New York: Penguin Books. pp. 214-221. ISBN 0-14-303736-6.
  13. "US News College Rankings and Reviews".
  14. - accessed 2010-03-26
  15. - accessed 2010-03-26
  16. - accessed 2010-03-26
  19. "BALDWIN, Melvin Riley - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  20. "Myrt Basing NFL Football Statistics". 1957-04-29. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  21. "Whoops! - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  22. "University of Southern California Official Athletic Site - Athletics News". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  23. "Whoops! - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  24. "Whoops! - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  25. "Champ Boettcher, FB at". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  26. "BROWN, Webster Everett - Biographical Information". 1929-12-14. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 27.5 27.6 "Life after Lawrence - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  28. "Paul Driessen". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  29. "Siri Engberg". Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  30. "Alumni Authors - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  31. "WER: Edna Ferber / Writing Under Difficulties". 1998-01-01. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  33. "Lawrence University Alumnus, Poet William Fuller Gives Reading". Lawrence University News Blog. February 16, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2010.
  34. :
  35. "GAMBLE, John Rankin - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  36. "GAMBLE, Robert Jackson - Biographical Information". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  37. 37.00 37.01 37.02 37.03 37.04 37.05 37.06 37.07 37.08 37.09 37.10 37.11 37.12 37.13
  38. "Whoops! - Lawrence University". Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  39. "Ed Glick NFL Football Statistics". 1976-08-13. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
  45. 45.0 45.1
  46. Alumni Authors – Harry Maclean ’64 – – Retrieved November 23, 2009
  51. 51.0 51.1
  52. "RIDDICK, Carl Wood, (1872 - 1960)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012.

External linksEdit

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