Read the governance documents below to gain insight into the operations of Lawrence University.

The Lawrence University Charter



AN ACT to incorporate Lawrence Institute of Wisconsin.
Be it enacted by the Council and House of Representatives of the Territory of Wisconsin:

Section 1. That Rev. Reeder Smith, Henry R. Coleman, William H. Sampson, Gov. Henry Dodge, Hon. Mason C. Darling, Hon. Morgan L. martin, Hon. Nathaniel P. Tallmadge, Henry S. Baird, Esq., Prof. DeWitt C. Vosburg, Jacob L. Bean, Esq., William Dutcher, Esq., George E. H. Day, Esq., and Loyal H. Jones, and their successors, be, and they are hereby created a body politic and corporate, to be styled the board of trustees of Lawrence Institute of Wisconsin, and shall be trustees of said corporation, for the purpose of further establishing, maintaining, and conducting the institution of learning, for the education of youth generally, and by the aforesaid corporate name to remain in perpetual succession, with full power to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded, to acquire, hold and convey property, real and personal, provided, always, that the annual income shall not exceed ten thousand dollars; to have and use a common seal, to alter and renew the same at pleasure, to make and alter from time to time such by-laws as they may deem necessary for the government of said institution, its officers and servants: Provided, such by-laws are not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the United States, or of this territory; also, to have power to confer on those whom they may deem worth, all such honors and degrees as are usually conferred in colleges and like institutions in the United States.
Sec. 2. There shall be all times, thirteen trustees of said corporation, a majority of whom shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. No religious tenets or opinions shall be requisite as a qualification for the office of trustee, except for a full belief in divine revelation; nor of any students, shall any religious tenet be required to entitle them to all the privileges of the institution; and no particular tenets, distinguishing between the different Christian denominations, shall be required as a qualification for professors in said institution, and no student shall be required to attend religious worship with an specific denomination, except as specified by the student himself, his parent or guardians.
Sec. 3. That the institute shall be located on Fox River, between Little Kaukalau and the foot of Winnebago Lake, at such place as the trustees shall select, and shall be erected on a plan sufficiently extensive to afford ample facilities to perfect the scholar, it being understood that at no time are they required to exceed the means under their control.
Sec. 4. That the board of trustees shall hold their first meeting at Fond du Lac, within six month after the passage of this act: Provided, a majority should fail of meeting, the minority shall have authority to organize and adjourn to such a place, and time or times as they may judge proper to secure a majority of the board, who shall have power to elect a president, two vice-presidents, secretary and treasurer, who shall be termed the executive committee of said board, and have power to execute all business of the corporation, committed to them by the by-laws of the institute.
Sec. 5. The board of trustees shall at their first business meeting, be divided into three classes, four in the first, four in the second, and five in the third. They shall appoint at their first business meeting, an annual meeting, to be held within one year thereafter, at which time, the office of the first class shall expire, and in one year from that time, the second class, and the third class in one year therefrom, and the office of one class of trustees to expire annually thereafter, in rotation. The board shall have authority to appoint all officers, teachers and agents of the institution, except the president, who shall be elected by ballot, by the annual conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Wisconsin, which conference shall elect also annual, by ballot, a visiting committee, consisting of nine, whose duty is shall be to attend all examinations of the institution,  and look into its condition generally and report thereon, and at the annual meeting of the board of trustees, they shall be, ex-officio members, and shall form a joint board, with the trustees, who shall have power to fill all vacancies in their board, occurring by expiration of office, death, or otherwise.
Sec. 6. Said board of trustees may meet on their own adjournment, and the president, with the concurrence of two trustees, or any four trustees may call special meeting of the board, by giving notice to them in writing, or otherwise, at least ten days before the time of such meeting; and any trustee may be removed for neglect of duty, for more than one year.
Sec. 7. That the board of trustees shall faithfully apply all funds by them collected or received, according to their best judgment in erecting suitable buildings, supporting the necessary officers, instructors and servants, in procuring books and apparatus necessary to the success of the institution: Provided, nevertheless, that in case any donation or bequests be made for particular purposes which accord with the designs of the institution, the corporation shall receive and accept the same. Every donation or bequest made shall be applied in conformity to the conditions or designs expressed by the donor.
Sec. 8. This act may at any time be altered or amended by the legislature.

Speaker of the House of Representatives,


Stewarding Lawrence University

The trustees of Lawrence University are responsible for the stewardship and wellbeing of the institution Amos Lawrence called "a great and good work."

Additional Documents