Lawrence University

Template:Infobox University2

Lawrence University, located in Appleton, Wisconsin, is a private undergraduate college founded in 1847. The first classes were held on November 12, 1849. Lawrence was the second college in the United States to be founded coeducational.

Lawrence's first president, William Harkness Sampson founded the school with Henry R. Colman, using $10,000 provided by famed philanthropist Amos Lawrence and matched by the Methodist church, of which both founders both were ordained ministers. Originally the school was named Lawrence Institute, documented in its 1847 charter from the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature.

Lawrence's first period of major growth came during the tenure of alumnus Samuel G. Plantz as president. From 1894 until 1924, Plantz presided over the school and led its student body to grow from 200 to 800.

From 1913 until 1964, the school was named Lawrence College, to emphasize its small size and liberal arts education focus. The name was changed back to Lawrence University when it joined with Milwaukee-Downer College for Women, symbolizing the two schools united as one. Initially, the university designated two entities: Lawrence College for Men and Downer College for Women. This separation has not lasted in any material form, though degrees are still conferred "on the recommedation of the Faculty of Lawrence and Downer Colleges" and the university by-laws still make the distinction. To this day, the traditions and heritage of Milwaukee-Downer are woven into the Appleton campus, from the grove of hawthorn trees (called Hawthornden) between Brokaw and Colman halls, to the sundial on the back of Main Hall, to the bestowing upon each class year a class color and banner. Milwaukee-Downer alumni are generous both financially and spiritually to Lawrence University, attending yearly reunions and other events there, and contributing to the school's endowment.

The Lawrence Conservatory of Music was founded in 1894. The university confers a Bachelor of Music degree and also offers a five-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in addition to the music degree.

Lawrence University is distinguished by originating the idea of freshman studies. Freshman studies at Lawrence is a mandatory two trimester class that panoptically exposes students to notable literature from many fields. President Nathan M. Pusey is credited with initiating the program in 1945, although Professor Waples chaired the Freshman Studies Committee and was responsible for actually getting the program off the ground. The program has continued to this today, despite being suspended in 1974, and has been adapted by many liberal arts colleges.

Although the names are similar, Lawrence University is not related to Sarah Lawrence College or St. Lawrence University.

Lawrence University is also known by many for the Great Midwest Trivia Contest broadcast every January over the college radio station WLFM.

Distinguished alumni

Past Lawrence presidents

External links


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