Surely most, if not all, of the Lawrence University community has been made aware of the recent changes to the Senior Class Program. When these changes were first announced, many students and alumni took issue with these recommendations for a number of reasons. The most consistent criticism was that the decision-making process was flawed since it absolutely did not take into account any input from members of the student body. Fortunately, students were eventually given an opportunity to offer modified versions of the recommendations as well as offer any new recommendations that they deemed appropriate. Several weeks ago, a carefully selected group of five students met with a similarly composed group of university administrators. Along with suggesting improved and refined programming ideas, and requesting an increased budget to host the Senior Dinner at the Radisson Paper Valley, the student committee discussed using the Viking Room as the venue for an after dinner reception open to all faculty and staff, and seniors attending the Senior Dinner. By serving on this committee, committee members Larissa Forde, Jacques Hacquebord, Nick Heuer, Janie Ondracek, and Melisha Taylor devoted a considerable amount of their waking hours to this cause for some three weeks. They met with classmates, professors, administrators and underclassmen to discuss ideas and suggestions brainstormed during our student meetings. This was of the outmost importance to ensure the recommendations put forth were well-thought out and took into consideration the perspectives of as broad a pool of individuals as possible.
The student committee also received tremendous support from many other students, including members of the Senior Programming Committee, the Senior Class Officers, and members of the Lawrentian staff, most notably Ray Feller, Kim Dunlap and Jesse Augustyn. The experience of witnessing the innate abilities and talents of these individuals was inspiring and reaffirmed my enthusiasm for the incredible potential of students at Lawrence.
Having said this, I would like to express my appreciation to these students for their unselfish dedication, commitment and passion for their fellow students and this University. Their collective efforts and personal achievements are a true testament of what a may be born out of the education offered by a small liberal arts school.