Statements of Support & Welcome from the Presidential Search Committee
"Laurie Carter has the energy, experience, and perseverance to tackle juggling the many priorities leadership at Lawrence requires. She is a creative thinker and collaborative in her approach to problem solving. She is warm, welcoming, and approachable by students, faculty, and staff. Perhaps most importantly though, she has the vision to build upon our foundation of diversity, equity, and inclusion work at Lawrence and to keep pushing us towards being an antiracist institution. She is the right president for this time, and for us at this time."
— Jeffrey J. Clark, Professor of Geosciences and Special Assistant to the President
"I am thrilled that President Laurie Carter, our first female-identifying woman of color president, will lead Lawrence University as we fulfill our mission of providing the finest liberal arts and conservatory education in the nation. Throughout the search process, she emerged as a transformational leader with a deep understanding of the ways a liberal arts college must adapt to attract and retain 21st-century students. With her Consultation! Consultation! Consultation! mantra, she honors Lawrence University’s shared governance process in which all perspectives are considered across students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees.
I couldn’t be more excited about President Laurie Carter for our students of all backgrounds. At a time when Lawrence University celebrates great strides in diversity and inclusion, she brings a demonstrated success in promoting actively antiracist, diverse, and inclusive communities on and off campus. I foresee President Carter engaging openly and genuinely with students, staff, and faculty to create an environment where everyone can successfully live, study, work, and thrive."
— Carla N. Daughtry, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology
"I am so excited to welcome Laurie Carter as the 17th President of Lawrence! Lawrence University is such a special place that honors our diversity of thought, our vast creative interests, and our backgrounds. I know that President Carter will continue the positive momentum we have been gaining. She will lead by example that Lawrence is an institution where everyone is welcome, where all students belong, and everyone can thrive while being their best selves.
I believe that President Carter will help put Lawrence on the map and on the screens of those donors and prospective students who don't know all that we have to offer. With her leadership, I believe more high school seniors and transfer students from the Midwest and across the country will become more curious about Lawrence and ultimately choose us to pursue and complete their college degrees. I look forward to celebrating and supporting President Carter's arrival as she leads us in this new chapter of Lawrence University history."
— Shelley A. Davis ’92, Board of Trustees
"As a member of both this search committee and the last, I believe unequivocally, just as I did with Mark Burstein in 2013, that Laurie Carter is the right presidential choice for Lawrence today as we look to the future. Lawrence is on an amazing trajectory focused on academic excellence and rigor, innovation, heightened national recognition, financial stewardship, equity, and antiracism. Laurie shares our firm belief that a liberal arts education is the best preparation for career and life in the 21st century.
Her commitment to the academic program at Lawrence, to our students and their success, as well as to the value of our inclusive residential community, is palpable. Given the breadth of her administrative experience in both public and private institutions of diverse sizes and as a successful sitting college president, Laurie has developed a deep understanding of the financial, societal, and demographic stresses in higher education and their complex interconnectedness. She hones in on the right questions and how to ask them. At Shippensburg University, she has had tremendous success with her strategic vision and planning, as well as with its execution, showing an understanding of and respect for the importance of shared governance in the process.
I am delighted to join our community in welcoming Laurie Carter, the 17th president of Lawrence University."
— Susie Kane ’72, Ex officio and Past Chair, Board of Trustees
President Carter is committed to everyone feeling a sense of belonging. She will draw on her previous successes in diversity, inclusion, and antiracism work to further those efforts at Lawrence. Her thoughtful listening and insightful questions will extend a sense of community from campus to alumni and Appleton. We are very fortunate to find such a passionate and innovative leader who believes strongly in Lawrence’s core values and aspirations and who will inspire us to think in new ways about Lawrence’s future in higher education."
— Cheryl W. Kopecky ’72, Board of Trustees
"My biggest hope was that the next Lawrence University president would be someone who understands the value of a liberal arts education and the role of small liberal arts colleges in our nation, has deep respect for shared governance, and values that role in the transformational experience we offer students.
Someone who “gets” the Lawrence difference and the importance of our conservatory to the Lawrence experience and future. Who boasts demonstrable accomplishments in leading integration of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues into an institution’s structure and management. Who claims legitimate fluency in the financial management of the University and ability to hold together constituencies with competing priorities.
And who has none of the swagger of hubris. And we found her in Laurie Carter. A president ready to take us forward!"
— Barbara Lawton ’87, Board of Trustees
"Many of us have deep roots at Lawrence University, and we are thrilled to welcome Laurie Carter into our liberal arts and conservatory family! As a Native American professor and alumna of the university, I know her arrival, wisdom, creative innovation, and ability to create lasting systemic change as our first Black president will be a deeply felt moment in our history. I am especially excited knowing all students, and especially our Black, Brown, & Indigenous students of color, will have the opportunity to see parts of themselves reflected back in her leadership and inspire them in new ways to let their voices be heard. Traditional Native teachings often teach us to look back at the ancestors who walked this land before us, yet these lessons also remind us to look forward to the next seven generations to determine what is best for our children. I suspect Laurie’s depth of character, intellectual promise, and strong expertise in education will ignite a gigantic spark of hope in all of us and propel the university forward for a bright future!"
— Brigetta Miller ’89, Associate Professor of Music
The expectations that society is placing on universities are only increasing. Preparing today’s students to contribute and thrive in a fast-changing world requires an institution willing to embrace change while staying true to a legacy of excellence. Laurie Carter brings to Lawrence the right set of skills, insights, experiences, and passion to enable us to continue to lead this change. Her 25 years of experience at the world-class Juilliard School, as well as the breadth of expertise obtained leading change at large higher education institutions, provide her with the skills to lead Lawrence forward into a decade that will see ever-greater change in our students and our society. Her commitment to excellence in academic programs, her personal experiences, and her skills obtained helping organizations meet their strategic goals provide her with the right blend of talent to build off our more than 170 years of delivering excellence to our students."
— Scott Myers ’79, Board of Trustees
"What an exciting time for Lawrence University! Laurie Carter brings a breadth of experience and depth of understanding across a range of higher education institutions that position her well for openness to new ways of delivering value and for leading change that will be needed for the next decade and beyond.
Laurie has a wonderful combination of high intellect, deep reflection, focus on the future, respect for every person in every role, and eloquence in sharing with audiences of one to a thousand.
Her strong emphasis on students—their experience and their success—will be an asset for Lawrence and all its constituents by ensuring keen focus on its central mission.
Laurie is also keenly aware how important Lawrence is to the Fox Cities. I look forward to her continuing the University’s efforts in nurturing a strong, mutually beneficial relationship with the surrounding community."
— Jon Stellmacher, Board of Trustees
"I couldn’t be more excited to have Laurie Carter in the role of Lawrence University’s 17th president. Laurie has many relevant skills and experiences to bring to Lawrence as an institution as well as to its students, faculty, and staff. As sitting president of a university, she has proven successful in overcoming numerous challenges and establishing new initiatives that have made her campus more welcoming to all. Her lived experiences as a stellar student athlete, as staff at a premier music conservatory, and as an accomplished minority woman in higher education administration provide her with insights and vision that will be important as Laurie guides Lawrence through the upcoming challenges that we know are ahead. Her deep commitment to student success, as well as antiracism, will serve us well as she leads Lawrence University to the next level."
— Irene Strohbeen ’78, President, Lawrence University Alumni Association