None of us who have actually experienced Lawrence as students could ever have cared for the college more lovingly or creatively or fruitfully – or lastingly – than this person who embraced Lawrence as his own 27 years ago and has been embraced by Lawrentians ever since. Rik has cared for the people who are Lawrence past and present, and for the college’s buildings and grounds down to the last scrap of paper on the lawn. In national forums he has been a prominent and essential articulator of the value of a liberal arts education – a message that gets lost if people are not constantly reminded.Until a year and a half ago, when I moved to Appleton, I commuted to Lawrence from Washington, D.C., for trustees’ meetings. Washington is heavily populated by Lawrentians, and rarely did I run into one who didn’t ask with great interest and concern, “How’s Rik?” I’m sure that sense of connection continues today. In all those years I also was Rik and Margot’s houseguest when I came here for meetings (they said I had a permanent invitation and early on I began to believe them), and thus our long friendship began and flourished. That friendship is the greatest treasure, to me, of Rik and Margot’s association with Lawrence.
Perhaps my last thought here really should have appeared first. The presence, both thoughtful and effervescent, of Margot Warch in the college’s life is one very large part of what Rik has lent to Lawrence that all of us have appreciated deeply but expressed too rarely. She has brought great intelligence and sparkle and affection to Lawrence and Lawrentians of all generations. What a gift!