Welcome to Lawrence University
“Lawrence University was founded on the principle of providing an education to all—a tradition we proudly uphold today. A college of 1,500 students who hail from 44 states and 40 countries, we are dedicated to creating a community in which every member has a voice and all are challenged to explore their full potential.”—President Mark Burstein
Since becoming the 16th president of Lawrence University in 2013, Mark Burstein has worked with members of the Lawrence community to pursue his vision for Lawrence: to build on the unique intellectual strengths of the University, to ensure the affordability of a rigorous liberal arts and sciences education, and to provide social and academic support for students of all backgrounds.
His work is grounded in his dedication to:
Academic Innovation & Exploration
The ongoing creation and development of new courses and areas of study, led by creative and dedicated faculty, sustains Lawrence’s mission to provide a challenging and innovative educational program. Over the last six years, the University has introduced new areas of study, such as cognitive neuroscience, ethnic studies, film studies, and global and public health; introduced new majors in computer science and minors in creative writing; and added a new Conservatory degree program, the Bachelor of Musical Arts.
Our faculty are afforded additional support through the creation of endowed professorships that support their teaching and research. Recent professorships include the Dwight and Marjorie Peterson Professorship in Innovation, the J. Thomas Hurvis Professorship of Social and Organizational Psychology, and the Wendy and K.K. Tse Professor of East Asian Studies.
Affordability & Access
Lawrence’s historic and most successful capital campaign to date, Be the Light!, has raised more than $200 million for student scholarships, curricular and co-curricular experiences, and campus renewal in six years. One of the campaign’s key initiatives, Full Speed to Full Need, has raised more than $85 million to bring the University closer to meeting the demonstrated financial need of every student. More than 300 students have received full-need scholarships to date. The average debt of Lawrence’s graduating seniors has declined by $5,000 since the campaign began, bucking national trends.
In addition to fundraising initiatives, Lawrence works to eliminate barriers to access by not charging an application fee, and the University has a partnership agreement with University of Wisconsin colleges to assist transfer students in continuing their educational journey at Lawrence.
Diversity & Inclusion
Enriching the student experience and ensuring the Lawrence community is a place where all students can thrive is one of President Burstein’s primary goals for the institution. He has worked with colleagues across the institution to expand the campus resources available to students to further develop their own unique identity and welcome peer discourse. In 2016, Lawrence added its first Office and Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Dean for Spiritual and Religious Life to guide students on their journey to lives of fulfillment and understanding.
In October 2018, the University adopted a land acknowledgement that joins hundreds of organizations in this country and around the globe that acknowledges people who come before us. Lawrence’s statement is read at the start of official University ceremonies, events, performances or in documentation and signage. Most recently, President Burstein and his senior leadership committed the University to make real progress in its efforts to become an antiracist institution in response to the renewed national call to battle system racism.
The Student Experience
Supporting students inside and outside the classroom builds a strong foundation for life after Lawrence. Under President Burstein’s leadership, initiatives to increase accessibility to study abroad opportunities and transform the career center into a vital campus resources that takes a holistic view to students’ lives after Lawrence.
Over the last seven years, renovations of high impact spaces where students build community have changed the everyday feel of the University’s Appleton campus. Renovations include the Diversity & Intercultural Center; Banta Bowl, which recognized with a “distinguished facility” award from the American Sports Builders Association; and Memorial Hall.
Lawrence is passionate about its local community and committed to sustainability. In 2018, President Burstein commissioned a first-time study from economic consulting firm Appleseed to examine the University’s annual impact on Appleton and the greater Fox Cities. Members of the community can also attend events, rent facilities, or utilize a variety of campus resources, such as the Lawrence Community School of Music or Mudd Library. Lawrence is also proud to lead the Music Education Team at Appleton’s annual Mile of Music festival.
Lawrence’s ongoing commitment to sustainability was recognized in 2019 with an upgraded silver rating by the Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). A grant from the Cargill Foundation has supported ongoing sustainability efforts on campus over the last three years, and most recently, Lawrence partnered with the Door County Land Trust to protect 305 acres of natural landscape at Bjorklunden, the University’s northern campus, from future development.