By Anastasia Skliarova
The Lawrence Fund’s Student Ambassador Program (SAP) hosted a concert in recognition of donors’ effects on Lawrence lives on Sunday, Nov. 2 in the Mead-Witter Room of the Warch Campus Center. By choosing campus bands to perform in this concert, SAP kept their appreciative event within the cycle of the Lawrence community.
According to a handy leaflet distributed at the concert, the Lawrence Fund is “Lawrence University’s annual fund, which bridges the gap between what students pay and the actual cost of attending the college.” A Student Ambassador is “a representative of the college, raising awareness among students about the Lawrence Fund.”
The Lawrence Fund helps provide for campus necessities and amenities, including electricity, light bulbs (hence the concert title), building maintenance, residence life, Björklunden, research, study abroad, scholarships, books, music and scores—the list goes on.
These campus bands can perform, in part, because of donations that keep our university functional, so what better way to thank donors than to have students use a major campus building for a public performance?
The 90-minute concert included performances from Wild Firth, Broken Mandolins, Where’s Neel?, and Luis and Whose Army. The Campus Center setting allowed for a very laid back atmosphere on the Sunday night before the beginning of eighth week. Most of the audience got to enjoy the couch and armchair seating—some might have even referred to it as “chill.”
Wild Firth, comprised of juniors Will Fraser on guitar and lead vocals, Michael Felzan on drums, sophomore Ridley Tankersley and senior Alexander Babbitt, opened the concert. The good rapport between the band members was clear from their smiles, and their indie energy made for a pleasant, introductory vibe.
Broken Mandolins played next and their acoustic folk offered a calmer contrast to the other bands, which heavily used electric guitar and bass. Sophomore Ben Hanson was not present at the concert, but is a member and usually performs vocals and plays their broken mandolin, hence the unique band name.
Their other members include sophomores Nick Nootenboom on guitar and lead vocals, Raleigh Heath on bass and vocals, Allison Brooks-Conrad on cello and junior Isabel Dammann on violin and vocals.
Next in the lineup was Where’s Neel?, which is comprised of seniors Adam Eno on lead vocals, Pat Coyne on guitar, Pat Mangan on drums and junior Michael Fezlan—this time on bass instead of drums, what a multi-talented musician! This band stuck to high-energy rock and a super entertaining cover of Tenacious D’s “The Best Song in the World.”
Last in the concert was Luis and Whose Army, who came equipped with goofy energy and a comedy routine to boot. They introduced their songs with little jokes that featured the next song title and their performance was a fun way to round out the evening. This band featured sophomores Luis Gonzalez on guitar, Miles Allen on drums, Alex Kurki on bass and vocals and senior Greyson Stuczko on guitar and vocals.
When asked about the program that hosted this concert, co-president and senior Melina Jaharis said, “SAP is a student group that educates fellow students about the importance of philanthropic giving. We build professional skills through a number of networking opportunities with alumni, board members and donors.”
Jaharis went on to say that, “Personally, I do this because of the amazing opportunities that we have due to donors and how important it is to understand this.” Jaharis added that this concert “was a way to expose our group to campus so that we could spread the word about the importance of philanthropic giving.”
SAP and Lawrence’s Development Office will host more events that will help remind us of the impact that these donations have. The next upcoming event is Giving Day on Tuesday, Nov. 11. “On this day,” Jaharis said, “alumni will give and students tweet. The tweets are ways to talk about why we love Lawrence and show alumni the great things about campus right now.”
Their biggest event of the year is the Gratitude Gathering, which will happen in the springtime. At this particular event, “we write thank you notes to donors and learn about various things that the Lawrence Fund private donations pay for,” Jaharis said.
There is so much generosity and care that go on behind-the-scenes at Lawrence, so events like this concert and all other manner of gratitude demonstrations are reminders of how lucky we are to receive so much support in so many different areas of campus.