A student meets with alumni during a gathering in Warch Campus Center during Forever a Lawrentian weekend.
Forever a Lawrentian brought students into conversation with alumni at events held across campus. (Photos by Danny Damiani)

Forever a Lawrentian, a new program connecting Lawrence students with alumni, debuted on campus over the weekend with a series of in-person interactions aimed at building lasting bonds.

The launch of Forever a Lawrentian coincided with members of the Lawrence University Alumni Association (LUAA) Board being on campus for spring meetings. It included one-on-one conversations between students and alumni, a networking lunch, an alumni panel discussion, and a series of casual events—with giveaways of Lawrence gear—spread over two days.

The program is looking to spur ongoing conversations between LUAA members and current students, shining a light on the value that comes when Lawrentians remain connected.

Sophomore Bruna Velez holds a Forever a Lawrentian sign as games are held on campus to win prizes.
Sophomore Bruna Velez takes part in outdoor games that brought together students and alumni and provided opportunities to win Lawrence gear.

“The events of the past weekend were a tremendous success, connecting over 200 students with members of the alumni community,” said Matt Baumler, associate vice president of Alumni and Community Engagement. “They started what I am hopeful will become a new tradition and state of mind—regardless of your status as a student or an alum, you are forever a Lawrentian. That is a bond that unites us all.”

The in-person interactions of the Forever a Lawrentian program builds on other student-to-alumni connections—Viking Connect and the Alumni Board Directory, both of which digitally connect students with alumni in their fields of interest. Future Forever a Lawrentian events are being planned.

"Forever a Lawrentian reaches far beyond a weekend of networking events,” said LUAA President Matt Murphy ’06. “It's a reminder to all Lawrentians—students and alumni alike—of the power of a Lawrence education, and of the lifelong support of the more than 22,000 members of our worldwide community. Remember, when people ask you where you went to college, don't just say it, celebrate it: ‘I am forever a Lawrentian.'"  

Sophomore Bruna Velez, an international relations major from Staten Island, New York, helped organize many of the weekend events as an intern in the Office of Advancement. She was thrilled to see her fellow students connect with alumni in both casual settings and more formal gatherings.

“These events have given students, no matter the class or career interest, the opportunity to hear and learn from our alumni’s stories,” Velez said. “It is these connections that allow Lawrence to be the special place it is.” 

See a photo gallery from Forever a Lawrentian weekend

Ellie Fiorini, a first-year student, met with alumni during one-on-one sessions held in Warch Campus Center.
Ellie Fiorini, a first-year student, was among the Lawrence students meeting with alumni during one-on-one sessions as part of Forever a Lawrentian weekend. 

First-year student Ellie Fiorini, an English-creative writing major from Elmhurst, Illinois, said she was excited to connect with alumni who are taking an interest in her path through Lawrence.

"Forever a Lawrentian was a fun event," she said. "It gave students like me the opportunity to connect with alumni and get good advice as we move forward in our college careers. As a creative writing major, I personally benefited as I was able to make connections with people who will look out for my work and possibly lead me on the track to publishing."

"Forever a Lawrentian was an amazing event where I got to meet and learn from alumni,” added Whitney Zeitchick, a first-year student from St. Paul, Minnesota. “It showed me that others have been in my position as a student ... and that it's OK to ask for help." 

Brienne Colston ’15, who joined a panel discussion virtually, said she’s motivated to stay connected to students because of the opportunities her Lawrence experience provided her.

“Lawrence has prepared me for an emergent life—a life filled with transformation and nuance,” Colston said. “It was through my organizing at Lawrence that I developed the growth mindset of what it means to always approach life with a healthy curiosity, while also leaning into calculated risks when necessary.”

While additional Forever a Lawrentian events are being planned for Welcome Week, Blue & White Homecoming Weekend, and throughout the year, students are encouraged to grow their Lawrentian community now. Online tools like Viking Connect and the Alumni Board Directory can help facilitate student-alumni connections now.