A Message From President Mark Burstein

Mark Burstein in Plaza

a letter from president mark burstein


The concept of light—truth, knowledge, progress—has guided Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer Colleges since our beginnings. Each year we set out to create a learning environment for 1,500 undergraduates that prepares them to lead—to be the light. 

To accomplish this tall task, we need to keep renewing the inclusive educational experience we offer. Our recent strategic plan, Veritas est Lux (Truth is Light, the motto on our shield), lays out a bold blueprint for Lawrence’s future. 

The Be the Light! Campaign can make this transformation possible. With your generous support, we are strategically moving Lawrence forward: strengthening the education we offer, making it more closely attuned to current societal needs.

Central to Be the Light! is the Lawrence Fund, which supports all aspects of our educational experience. This fund provides every member of our community the opportunity to participate in the campaign. It supports books for the Seeley G. Mudd Library, athletic gear, musical instruments, chemicals for the laboratories, and other essential needs.

We aspire to become a full need institution with the ability to provide sufficient financial support for all of our students and their families. Fewer than seventy colleges in the country offer this level of support. Full need financial aid will allow students to participate in all that is Lawrence. It will increase the likelihood that they will graduate on time. It will reduce graduate debt load.

We also seek to enhance the student experience. We are working to secure more resources for our faculty through endowed professorships and faculty development funds. We will continue to invest in areas that have always distinguished Lawrence such as the Conservatory of Music and Björklunden. We plan to enhance academic advising and student support; we expect to create new ways for students to transition to the world of work, including donor-funded internships.

We launch this public phase of Be the Light! with significant momentum. More than 7,800 Lawrentians have already participated with investments in programs like Innovation and Entrepreneurship, East Asian Studies, and Cognitive Neuroscience. Athletics has entered a new era, spurred by a renovated Banta Bowl, a new locker room for the hockey program, as well as funding to support athletic teams.

If you care about Lawrence, about our students, about the future leadership of our world, we invite you to join us in what Amos Lawrence called “A great and good work.” We invite you to Be the Light!


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