Registration is now open for the summer and fall 2023 seminars held at Björklunden, Lawrence University’s pristine Door County retreat. Björklunden seminars provide an opportunity to learn while enjoying the beauty of the 441-acre estate along the Lake Michigan shoreline, just south of Baileys Harbor.
Open to the public and led by Lawrence faculty, alumni, or friends, the adult-education seminars span a wide array of topics from politics to history, literature to the arts and sciences.
The seminars begin in mid-June and run through mid-October. New this year will be two online courses presented by emeritus history professor Paul Cohen. The courses will each run for five weeks beginning in late March.
“I’m very excited about the lineup,” said Thomas McKenzie, Björklunden director. “It’s going to be a brilliant summer and fall at Björklunden.”
Terry Moran '82, a longtime reporter and anchor with ABC News, returns to lead one of the seminars, After Trump?, an exploration of how Donald Trump changed American politics. Betsy Schlabach, associate professor of history, will lead a seminar on Wisconsin’s role in the Underground Railroad in the mid to late 19th century. Other topics range from boots-in-the-dirt explorations of Door County’s natural environment with noted naturalists, race and racism, insights to the night sky, media and technology, democracy and the arts, the building of the Boynton Chapel, and the history of the Green Bay Packers, among others.
“We were really intentional about offering a diverse array of options that would appeal to a range of participants,” McKenzie said.
Visitors to the annual seminars come from all walks of life. Some commute to the seminars. Others become Björklunden residents for the week, housed in the estate’s 37,000-square-foot lodge. Participants are able to explore the grounds and engage with the beauty and serenity of Door County.
Most seminars, which include meals prepared by Björklunden’s resident chef, Alex Reina, begin Sunday evening and end Friday afternoon. Classes meet weekday mornings and occasional evenings, with remaining time available to enjoy Björklunden’s mile-long shoreline and walking trails or to explore area cultural and recreational opportunities around Door County.
Lawrence has offered the Bjorklunden seminars every year since 1980, with the exception of 1993 when a fire destroyed the estate’s main lodge and the two years when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of Lawrence facilities to the public. Bjorklunden has been an important part of Lawrence since 1963, when Donald and Winifred Boynton bequeathed the property to the university.