Lawrence on display for celebratory weekend

Doris Kim

Lawrence University celebrated the installation of our 15th president this past weekend with an open house of events titled under “A Celebration of the Arts and Liberal Learning.” Alumni, trustees, faculty, and other guests hailed from all over the country to experience Lawrence at its best, shining culturally, musically, artistically, theatrically, and academically in every discipline.
The events available ranged in topic and medium, but all represent Lawrence’s unique and diverse intellectual curiosity. Each demonstrated the variety in opportunities available on campus and how much learning is sought for and celebrated, in both the arts and academics. Several of them were designed or performed by students themselves. Many presentations impressively integrated forces to create presentations of interest to a wide range of people.
In combining efforts in neuroscience, biology, and music, distinguished professor Dr. Wienberger from the University of California-Irvine explored the affect of music on brain function. The chemistry department examined the physiological affects of singing by studying the changes in enzymes in saliva. Other science departments offered tours of laboratories and exhibits of student projects.
The Spanish department also offered many engaging presentations. The student organization ­VIVA! performed traditional Latin American and Spanish dances in the Wriston Amphitheater. Later, students recited poems from Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, both in Spanish and in English. Students also read and commented upon “Don Quixote,” to commemorate its 400th anniversary.
Members of Professor Barrett’s creative writing class gave readings on their own work, which included prose and poetry. This particular event brought an assorted crowd, from freshmen to late graduates, as well as several faculty members.
The entire campus had sprinkles of art and throughout the day art exhibits of student and alumni art was available for viewing. Some of the most interesting exhibits were hosted by ArtsBridge, an outreach program founded by Beck. The quilt project was a collaboration of nearly 100 students from four nearby elementary schools. Picturing Peace was an exhibit of poetry and photography from students of 5th and 6th grade. For this project, ArtsBridge provided nearby Appleton students with free digital cameras to take pictures and write poetry while deliberating on the theme of peace.
One of the most highly anticipated events of the weekend was the Inaugural Celebratory Concert, featuring performances from our highly esteemed music faculty. The concert featured 10 music professors of different instruments and genres of music. Some pieces were solos while others were played in duets and trios, but all were incredibly impressive, displaying an amazing caliber of talent.
These and many other events held this past weekend brought Lawrence together under one theme, and brought in a fresh and exciting tone for the formal inauguration of our new president and her years to come here.