Elizabeth Nerland Anderson '10

Liz Anderson profile pic with dog husband and daughter

From the time I was a young child, I was hearing stories about the wonders of Lawrence. My grandmother attended LU in the 1950s, used her degree in organ performance in her role as church organist, and served on the LUAA later in life. In addition to being told about the delights of a liberal arts education, she also shared stories of her sorority sisters, the fantastic musicians she counted as peers and the classes she had so clearly enjoyed. Her passion for the school was contagious, and after a tour and overnight on campus, I decided it felt like the right place for me as well. I had a bumpy first year at Lawrence – while I was prepared for the rigorous academics, I was dealing with some learning disorders that slowed me down and made me question my abilities. After working with Lawrence staff and getting support on campus, I felt more prepared to conquer the courses ahead. Each time I think of my experience at Lawrence, I think of the professors who pushed me, sometimes unknowingly, outside of my comfort zone. A quiet Minnesota kid, I've never been the person to speak up first in a classroom, but eventually learned how to feel confident in doing so. There were one or two professors in particular who picked up on my interests and nudged me to push my boundaries when I asked them for guidance. This advice led to an internship at the Museum at the Castle, then at the British Museum in London, and ultimately to graduate school. My professors dared me to explore and find the things that fascinated me, and being surrounded by interested and interesting peers energized me. In the years since Lawrence, I have been grateful for my liberal arts education too many times to count. I've been trained to ask the hard questions, be self-aware, and think creatively. I seek out the creators and doers – the people who, like Lawrentians, aren't happy with the status quo but who want to push just a little bit further to get to something more interesting. Lawrence is where I encountered some of my hardest struggles, but also where I had some of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. As I work to pursue a personal and professional life filled with interest and passion, I work hard to ensure I remain authentic and keep the light gained from my experiences at LU bright.