2016–17 Convocation Series

Convocations are held in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel and are free and open to the public.


Matriculation Convocation
Thursday, September 15, 2016
11:10 a.m

"Together, Against the Current"
President Mark Burstein

A native of Cedar Grove, N.J., Burstein is in his third year as Lawrence's 16th president. He previously spent nine years as executive vice president at Princeton University and 10 years at Columbia University as a vice president working in human resources, student services and facilities management.

Burstein earned a bachelor’s degree in history and independent studies from Vassar College and a master of business administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
11:10 a.m.

"The Muse of History: On Poetry and Social Justice"
Natasha Trethewey

Trethewey has combined her mixed-race background and profound writing skills to convey the plight of the southern black woman. Her first collection of poems, "Domestic Work" (2000), detailed working-class lives and jobs and won the Cave Canem Prize for a first book by an African American poet. In 2007, Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for "Native Guard" (2006), an exploration of death and war. Other acclaimed works include "Bellocq’s Ophelia" (2002), a fictional narrative of prostitution in 1900s New Orleans; "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi" (2010), a non-fiction collection; and "Thrall" (2012), an examination mixed-race fathers and children.

In 2012, Trethewey was named the 19th U.S. Poet Laureate. She is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing at Emory University and also has held teaching positions at Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Yale University.

Trethewey earned a bachelor's degree in English at the University of Georgia, a master's degree in English and creative writing from Hollins University and a master of fine arts degree in poetry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Special Faculty Convocation

Friday, January 6, 2017

7 p.m.

"Adventures in Music Making: 20 Years of Cross-cultural Exchange in Haiti”

Janet Anthony

George and Marjorie Olsen Chandler Professorship in Music Janet Anthony joined the Lawrence faculty in 1984. As a cellist, Anthony has played all over the world, a tradition that began with her education at Vienna Hochschüle für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. She has performed or taught in Haiti, Argentina, Venezuela, Curacao, Vietnam, Japan, China, France, England, the U.S., Italy, Bosnia and Canada.

Anthony’s playing can frequently be heard on Wisconsin Public Radio. She has previously held positions at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the International School of Musical Arts in Ontario, Canada.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

11:10 a.m.

"Far From the Tree: How Difference Unites Us"

Andrew Solomon

A writer, lecturer and activist in psychology, LGBT rights, and the arts, Andrew Solomon won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction for "The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" (2001). This book received much acclaim and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. A second edition was published in June 2015. More recently, Solomon's "Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity" (2012), also was an acclaimed best-seller, winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. He has contributed to the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker in the past.


Solomon received a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and a master’s degree in English from Jesus College, Cambridge. He earned a Ph.D. degree in psychology by Jesus College, Cambridge. President of PEN American Center, he is currently a professor of clinical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and a lecturer in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College.


Honors Convocation

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
11:10 a.m.

"Presidential Manhood: Masculinity and American Politics in the age of Mass Media.”

Paul Cohen

Professor of History and Patricia Hamar Boldt Professor of Liberal Studies Paul Cohen joined the Lawrence faculty in 1985. He exhibited patience and tact as history department chair (2000-2005) and director of the Lawrence freshman program (1996-98), therefore receiving the Freshman Studies Teaching award (1999) and the Lawrence University Excellence in Teaching award (2008). His academic focuses include masculinity and film in postwar Hollywood, history and film, intellectual history, and modern France. He previously held positions at the University of Chicago and the American College in Paris.


Cohen earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Clark University and a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago. He also holds a Ph.D in history from the University of Chicago.























Main Hall Forum

Main Hall Forum presents a wide range of lectures by Lawrence faculty and distinguished guest speakers on historical and contemporary issues and recent scholarship in the humanities.

Economics Colloquium

The Economics Colloquium began in 2010 and features talks from visiting scholars, distinguished alumni and guests, and Lawrence faculty.  Topics run the gamut from hardcore economic theory (presented in an audience-friendly  fashion, of course) to social science and policy issues more generally.  The Colloquium typically features an author of the Senior Experience work in economics.

Science Hall Colloquium

The Science Hall Colloquium presents a series of cross-disciplinary lectures that address research developments in diverse areas of the natural, physical and social sciences.

Fine Arts Colloquium

The Fine Arts Colloquium presents several occasional lectures during the academic year that touch on topics related to art, art history, and theatre.

The Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies

Established in 1987 and named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.

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