Aaron Lindberg '96

Aaron Lindberg '96 profile pic

During my sophomore year, our high school choral director asked me if I would be interested in participating in Lawrence University’s summer chorus program. I didn’t know anything about the school, but was intrigued by the idea of having to learn music by myself before the program began in late summer. At this point of my meager music education, I knew very little about Mendelssohn and certainly had never sung choruses from Elijah. I remember arriving on campus, seeing the construction of the Shattuck Hall of Music, and the beauty of the campus. However, the transformative part of the program was singing under the direction of Professor Rick Bjella, whose passion and endless energy inspired me – afterwards, I knew Lawrence was the place for me. Alas, there were obstacles in my way – I was not always the best high school student in terms of academics so being admitted to Lawrence was going to be a challenge. Affording college was also a serious concern because my parents had recently divorced and finances were precarious. I did my best to bring up my grades and started studying with a well-known voice teacher in Milwaukee. I figured everything out on my own because my parents did not attend college and were unfamiliar with the process. Obviously, I got admitted and the generosity of the Lawrence Fund made the financial burden easier, but there were still trials and tribulations along the way. I decided to come out to my entire floor of Ormsby Hall during the first day of move-in. Now, this was 1992 and society’s views on homosexuality were quite different – AIDS was ravaging the gay community and “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” was the official US policy on military service of non-heterosexual people. At Lawrence, I found my outlet through student activism and eventually became the president of the LGBT club. While I faced adversity, what I remember the most is LU’s strong sense of community with faculty and staff who truly care for students. Dean Marti Hemwall, Professor Tim Rodgers, Susan Dean and Linda Fuerst helped me navigate challenging academic and personal situations throughout my four years at Lawrence; I still think of them often. So, how did Lawrence shape my life? Gosh, in so many ways, including close friendships with LU alumni across multiple classes, my love of traveling (I participated in the London Centre program), and the desire for lifelong learning. I also developed resilience, self-confidence and a deep sense of grace and humility. Most of all, my LU experience influenced my career choice. In 1998, I began my career in higher education at Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI, where I researched international educational systems and documents for applicants seeking education or professional licensure in the US. Before California State University – Northridge (CSUN), I spent 12 years at San Diego State University in a variety of roles including domestic and international admissions, academic advising, and graduation advising. I joined the CSUN community in 2014 and currently serve as the Director of Admissions, where I see the transformative power of education at work every day. Without my Lawrence experience, I would not have a passion for higher education, a strong conviction for inclusive admissions practices and a devotion to student access and success.