Rik Warch served as Lawrence’s 14th president. His esteemed presidency began in 1979 and concluded in 2004. His career is marked by an improvement of Lawrence’s academic reputation, an emphasis on its liberal arts tradition and numerous building projects. In addition to being an academic and professor, Warch is an ordained minister who has presided over the nuptials of many Lawrentians. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Williams College, a bachelor’s degree in divinity from Yale Divinity School and a doctorate in American studies from Yale University. He began his career at Lawrence in 1977, teaching in the history department. Warch envisions the center named for him and his wife as a “true crossroads for the campus,” where “students can learn from one another.” He also looks forward to the building’s vistas overlooking the Fox River. Warch advises current and graduating Lawrentians to remain confident in “the long-term values of a liberal arts education,” especially in these difficult economic times. A Lawrence education is unique because it emphasizes “living a life” over “earning a living.” “Be confident in what you have achieved as a student at Lawrence University! These accomplishments will play out in ways you can’t even imagine,” Warch added. Rik and Margot Warch currently live in Ellison Bay, Wis., where they remain deeply involved with Bjrklunden.