Whether you’re celebrating an achievement, reminiscing on your college days, or visiting campus for the first time, capturing an iconic photo is a must-do before leaving campus. These are the photos that will grace the walls of your parents’ hallways, become your phone wallpaper, and serve as your most-liked Instagram posts. 

That’s why we put together this list of the nine best places to snap a photo on campus, so you can capture and share the joy you feel on our gorgeous campus.

Memorial Chapel

1. Memorial Chapel (Google Map)

Starting with the obvious, the stairs of Memorial Chapel serve as an excellent location for capturing cherished memories. Built in 1918, the building has hosted many events including concerts by classic artists such as Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald (find a Spotify playlist here featuring some of the songs performed on the Chapel stage) and speakers like Maya Angelou. 

Photo tip: The steps make for an especially good option for group shots and jumping pictures. For a stunning close-up, have the subject stand on the grass in front of the Chapel and take a photo from the sidewalk to get the full Chapel in the background. 


Main Hall

2. Main Hall (Google Map)

Constructed in 1853, Main Hall is the oldest standing building on campus, and therefore, the most iconic. On the street-facing side of the building, you’ll find the official seals of Lawrence College, Milwaukee-Downer College, and Lawrence University. Snap a picture here in front of the iconic Main Hall pillars to honor the history of Lawrence and the Lawrentians who’ve called it home.

The Sundial

3. Main Hall - Sundial (Google Map)

On the other side of Main Hall, you’ll find a sundial adorning the building above the stairs. The Merrill Hall Sundial was transferred to Lawrence as a gift of the Milwaukee-Downer class of 1932 in 1973, and was formally installed and dedicated on the south face of Main Hall in 1975. Not only does it tell time, but it also offers a unique backdrop for your photos with a built-in timestamp.

Warch Campus Center stairs and sculpture

4. Warch Campus Center stairs (Google Maps)

Named for the 42nd president of Lawrence University—Rick Warch—the Warch Campus Center opened in the Fall of 2009 and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified building. The stairs are the primary path from the main entrance of Warch to Andrew Commons. If you brought a telephoto lens, you can get a great shot of a student standing on the stairs that includes a suspended sculpture. 

Students walking through arch

5. Lawrence University Arch (Google Map)

The Lawrence University Arch on the corner of Drew St. and College Ave. offers one of the only photo opportunities that includes the name of the University. The Arch was revealed in the Fall of 2022 and is the feature of two knew Lawrence traditions: Incoming Class and Graduating Class Processions. When you gram that perfect picture, don’t forget to tag @LawrenceUni or hashtag #LarryU so we can see your masterpiece.

Conservatory walkway

6. Conservatory walkway (Google Map)

There’s something inviting about the way the glass opens up at the top of the stairs. Snap a picture here to celebrate the omnipresent musicality so essential to the Lawrence experience. For a shot with Main Hall in the background, take a picture through the walkway with the camera pointed south. If you’re feeling extra edgy, you can try to capture a reflection photo off the glass.

Aerial landscape sculpture

7. Aerial landscape sculpture (Google Map)

By the late Rolf Westphal, Lawrence’s first Frederick R. Layton Distinguished Visiting Professor in Studio Art, “Aerial Landscape” can be found outside the Wriston Art Center. Originally installed in 1988, this bright trio of yellow arched structures have become a recognizable landmark on campus. Stand or sit under the arches for this beautiful shot.

Sculpture on Lawrence campus

8. Otāēciah (Crane) sculpture (Google Map)

Otāēciah, Menominee for "Crane," was installed on Lawrence's Kaeyes Mamaceqtawuk Plaza in 2021 the sculpture was funded by a gift from Robert ’64 and Patricia Anker. The sculpture was designed by a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and newly named chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of New Mexico, Chris T. Cornelius. While this sculpture has particular meaning to Native Americans, it is meant to be enjoyed by all. 

The Rock

9. The Rock (Google Map)

Often freshly painted for upcoming events, The Rock has been a Lawrence icon, above and below ground, for over 100 years. Brought to campus as a hiking souvenir by seniors in 1895 and buried by the Class of 1967 for 19 years, The Rock went missing from 1998 to 2018. A podcast, “No Stone Unturned” by Sarah Axtell ’17 and Jon Hanrahan ’16, documents their search for The Rock. (**Spoiler Alert: They found it.**) With a storied history such as this, The Rock not only makes for an interesting photo, but comes with tons of caption potential.

Word to the Wise: You never do know how fresh the paint may be, so be careful when taking a seat on The Rock.

The Clock

10. The Clock (Google Map)

A gift from the Class of 1995, this clock is a beloved and recognized spot on campus by the many Lawrentians who passed it daily on the way to class. The platform offers the chance to get off the ground and take a photo with either the library or Steitz/Youngchild in the background. 

Other Cool Places for Photo Ops (if they are open)

Have other favorite places to snap photos on/near campus? Let us know in the social media comments. Regardless of where you take your iconic Lawrence photos, please tag @lawrenceuni or #LarryU when you post them so we can marvel at (and maybe even repost) your dazzling pictures!

In 2021 a student writer offered a list of 10 fun photo ops on campus.