Visibility campaign begins in Chicago

Dorothy Wickens

Alumni relations, public affairs, and admissions are currently working on a new project to increase Lawrence University’s visibility and presence in Chicago. Called the “Chicago Initiative,” the project includes several events that will be taking place in the city during the next few months.
According to Jan Quinlan, director of alumni relations, administrators decided to take on the project because there is a high concentration of Lawrence alumni and prospective students in Chicago, as well as strong relationships with corporations, foundations and educational institutions in the area.
The first event, an art exhibit, opened last weekend at the Jane Addams Hull House Center for Arts and Culture. The exhibit is called “Picturing Peace,” a collection of photographs taken mostly by children portraying their ideas of peace.
The exhibit also includes pictures from this year’s Trivia Weekend. Contestants took pictures of their ideas of peace for an action question and Jill and Robert Beck chose the top three for the display.
On March 4, a “Picturing Peace” reception will be held for Lawrence alumni, parents and friends. The Becks will be in attendance to discuss and answer questions about the exhibit, which runs through March 25.
Running concurrently with the Chicago exhibit is the Online Exhibition of Peace Photography, which is intended to be an annual feature. This can be viewed at and is open for anyone to submit their photographs of peace.
There will also be musical performances by Lawrence students and faculty. On March 26, the Concert Choir will be performing at morning worship services. In the afternoon, the choir will perform twice more, first singing sacred scriptures in the Baha’i House of Worship and later performing a full concert.
The Lawrence Chamber Players will also have a recital at the Merit School of Music on May 20. According to Quinlan, Merit provides tuition-free musical training for economically challenged students from fourth through 12th grade. Lawrence has several ties with the school, including the executive director, Duffie Adelson, who is a Lawrence graduate.
The Newberry Library in Chicago will host “Freshman Studies Revisited: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice” on April 18. This Freshman Studies style discussion will be led by Professor Timothy Spurgin, and alumni will be invited to discuss the book.
A community service project, organized by Students’ War Against Hunger and Poverty, will be held May 6. Local alumni and prospective students, as well as members of local high school chapters of the National Honor Society, will be invited to participate in the project. The nature of the project itself is yet to be decided.
In addition to these events, an advertisement showing the profile of a Lawrence alumnus will appear in regional editions of Time magazine during the weeks of March 13 and April 10.
Steve Blodgett, director of public affairs, says that this is a pilot project to see how things work. If they find it to be a success, they will think about expanding it to include other major cities, such as Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Further details about any of these events can be found on the university Web site at