Chuck Erickson ’02

Chuck Erickson

As the child of a Lawrence alumna, I always knew I wanted to go to Lawrence University. As a prospective student, I visited the campus five times during my high school years, and the Admissions office and several faculty learned my name before I was an official student. In fact, I mailed my enrollment deposit the same day I received my acceptance letter, literally chasing down the mailman to ensure my spot would be secure. 

I arrived in the fall of 1997 as a double-degree student ready to heed the words of President Richard Warch, “Your business here is to learn.” Yet, my first year was a bit of a disaster. Lawrence was very different from my small, rural high school, and I was unprepared academically or socially for the Lawrence bubble. I was a rural kid that got a huge wake-up call. Thankfully, I joined Phi Kappa Tau and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, which changed my life forever. My social and academic calendars were full, and my educational journey transformed me during my five and a half years as a student. I worked two summers at Björklunden, one summer in Admissions, studied abroad in Seville, Spain, served in leadership roles in both of my fraternities, and realized for myself that I was not heteronormative. Looking back, my campus jobs as a lunch host, overnight host, and tour guide launched my career in higher education by helping students navigate the college search and application process. By graduation, I realized that the quote from President Warch wasn’t just about learning specific facts in the classroom. The Lawrence experience is learning to understand and appreciate yourself and others while growing your talents and skills. Upon graduation, I wanted other high school students to have a similar experience, so I worked in the Admissions office at Lawrence University for over ten years. 

Reflecting on my time as a Lawrentian, I can’t help but think about the thousands of other Lawrentians I have met through my work in the Admissions office. These connections broadened my understanding of life at Lawrence from many viewpoints. I am incredibly blessed and thankful because I have learned so much from these interactions and friendships. In 2015, I left the Lawrence bubble to help other students as an Independent Educational Consultant. Every day, I utilize my liberal arts experience to help high school students expand their minds to explore the world of higher education. I went to college to become a high school Spanish and music teacher, and Lawrence taught me how to be an educator, college counselor, and a life-long learner. Now, I am excited to give back to the Lawrence campus through my role on the Board of Directors of the LUAA.