The Warch Years: Timeline: 2.5 Decades

Lawrence Today magazine, Spring 2004

Richard Warch, vice president for academic affairs at Lawrence University, becomes the college’s 14th president. A formal installation takes place on November 29, with University of Chicago President Hanna Holborn Gray, L.H.D. ’74, as the principal speaker. The $1.4 million renovation of Main Hall is completed, and the building is re-dedicated.

The inaugural year of Björklunden Summer Seminars is judged a success, with 48 participants ranging in age from 25 to 80 taking part in week-long seminars on topics ranging from Viking sagas to jazz in the ’70s.

The Alumni Association creates local clubs in nine areas: Milwaukee, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., New York, Boston, and the Fox Valley.

Commencement 1982 marks the beginning of a new Lawrence tradition. Instead of a single main speaker, recipients of honorary degrees are each asked to give brief “charges” to the graduates.

The Buchanan Kiewit Recreation Center is dedicated.

President Warch is elected to the board of directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and also is named one of the 100 most effective college presidents in a study funded by the Exxon Education Foundation. His proposal to eliminate financial incentives associated with college athletics draws national media attention. The Lawrence Ahead fund-raising campaign is declared successfully concluded, exceeding its original five-year $35 million goal by more than $7 million.

The faculty approves creation of a new academic department and major in East Asian languages and cultures. The new art center is dedicated to former president Henry Merritt Wriston and his wife, Ruth Bigelow Wriston. Dedicatory ceremonies include unveiling of the La Vera Pohl Collection of German Expressionist Art.

McGeorge Bundy, national security advisor to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, is Lawrence’s first Stephen Edward Scarff Memorial Visiting Professor. President Warch travels to Prague to confer the honorary degree Doctor of Laws on President Václav Havel of the Czech Republic. President George H. W. Bush names Lawrence At-Risk Youth (LARY) the 312th of his 1,000 points of light.

The Ruth Harwood Shattuck Hall of Music is dedicated. The 40,000-square-foot building connects the Music-Drama Center to Memorial Chapel.

President Warch takes a one-term sabbatical, during which Professor Mojmir Povolny serves as acting president.

Takakazu Kuriyama, Japanese ambassador to the United States, who attended Lawrence during the 1954-55 academic year, receives the honorary degree Doctor of Laws during a special convocation. A fire seriously damages the Björklunden lodge, central building on Lawrence’s northern campus in Door County.

Professor Emeritus of History Charles Breunig’s book, A Great and Good Work: A History of Lawrence University, 1847 to 1964, is published.

The first comprehensive showing of the Ottilia Buerger [’38] Collection of Ancient and Byzantine Coins is held. The collection, widely utilized by faculty and students in art history, classics, and other disciplines, comes to the college as a bequest following Miss Buerger’s death in 2001. Opus 33, a 41-stop mechanical-action organ built by John Brombaugh of Eugene, Oregon, is installed in Memorial Chapel.

A new 17,000-square-foot main building is completed at Björklunden, replacing the lodge that was destroyed by fire in 1993. The summer series of Björklunden Seminars resumes, and a new program of weekend student seminars is inaugurated.

The Class of 1997, 150 days before its graduation, sponsors a campus-wide sesquicentennial gala, and Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson speaks at a special convocation, declaring January 15, 1997, to be Lawrence University Sesquicentennial Day. William A. Chaney, the George McKendree Steele Professor of History, becomes the longest-serving full-time member of the Lawrence faculty, having joined its ranks in 1952. Lawrence 150: A Campaign for the New Century is completed on schedule, after raising $6.3 million more than its $60 million goal. Lucia R. Briggs Hall of Mathematics and the Social Sciences, a $7.7 million, 55,400-square-foot academic building overlooking the Fox River, is completed in the sesquicentennial year.

The Board of Trustees initiates “a broad review of residential life at Lawrence,” to be carried out by a task force of trustees, alumni, students, and faculty.

President Warch is appointed to the executive committee of the Annapolis Group, an association of 110 of America’s leading liberal arts colleges.

The faculty approves new General Education Requirements, the first major revision since 1985. Dedication ceremonies are held in October for Science Hall, a 78,000-square-foot facility built on the site of the former Stephenson Hall.

Youngchild Hall of Science, now linked to Science Hall by a glass atrium, re-opens after a year-long total renovation. Alumnae of Milwaukee-Downer College gather for a Sesquicentennial Reunion Weekend that includes dedication of a Milwaukee-Downer Room in the Seeley G. Mudd Library.

Tokyo’s Waseda University selects Lawrence as the site of a new program that will bring Japanese students to the college each year for a liberal arts experience. President Warch joins the presidents and chancellors of 26 other Wisconsin public, private, and technical colleges as a founding member of the newly formed Wisconsin Campus Compact.

Upper class students move into Hiett Hall, a new $15.5 million, 79,000-square-foot residence located south of Ormsby Hall