Craig Gagnon ’76 was hired as the new associate vice president of communications to help execute the Strategic Plan, a 10-year vision which includes enhancing the transformative nature of the liberal arts education and creating a stronger campus community.
During his four years at Lawrence, Gagnon worked as photo editor of The Lawrentian “back when it was in the basement of Main Hall” and hosted a radio show at WLFM. While these two extracurricular activities nurtured an interest in media, it was his two terms at the London Centre that allowed him to gain valuable experience in international business.
When he returned to the Appleton campus, he found fateful career advice at the Career Center. Gagnon cited the then-director of the Career Center as “instrumental in pointing [him] towards advertising.”
After graduating from Lawrence, Gagnon worked in an integrated marketing communications firm in Hong Kong for three years. Since then, his wanderlust résumé has included jobs at firms in Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Milwaukee.
President Jill Beck said, “Lawrence is fortunate to have such a seasoned professional joining us to direct communication efforts — one who understands LU so directly and so well.”
Though Lawrence does not offer a marketing major, Gagnon recommended that Lawrence students interested in marketing take classes from a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, art, film studies and statistics.
“I have never heard anybody rave about their statistics class, but I wished I had taken one,” said Gagnon.
Gagnon hopes to “focus on brand development and strategic development by sharply defining what Lawrence is for the world.” His aim is to reach not only Lawrence staff, faculty and students, but also parents, alumni, prospective students, donors and the Appleton community. Since Lawrence and Appleton grew up together, “[he] wants to make sure they are aware of Lawrence events because we have so much going on.”
Vice President for Alumni, Development and Communications Cal Husmann, who led the search for Gagnon’s position, described Gagnon as “essential to the future process of defining Lawrence regionally and internationally.”
In reference to his time at Lawrence, Gagnon said his Lawrence education “helped [him] adapt to change, which was certainly critical to marketing, but applicable everywhere else.”