A New Era: Lawrence's Investment in Athletics



This truly is an exciting time for Lawrence University Athletics. 

... a time in which Athletics has been deemed a strategic priority of the university. 

... a time in which our college’s leadership has guided us into a new era of targeted, deliberate investment in the Athletics Department. 

... a time in which we lay the building blocks for a winning culture, own our story, and harness our mission of preparing leaders through the combination of a first-rate rigorous liberal arts education and an NCAA Division III Athletics experience.


Why Athletics? Why now?

As our programs experience renewal in various phases, we are excited to share our story and vision for the future. We in Athletics partner with the rest of the Lawrence community in carrying out our university’s overall mission - developing young people to be the future leaders in our world through education and experience of the whole person. We are thrilled to be in a position to illustrate how we serve this mission in very effective and deliberate ways. 

We are the “sweatiest of the liberal arts,” a title affectionately coined by President Mark Burstein, and we subscribe to the pursuit of excellence in everything we field.  Each and every day, our student-athletes are learning about teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, handling conflict, respecting authority, commitment to a craft, and working with others to achieve a common goal. They learn what success is and how to handle it. They learn how to fail, and in the same breath, they learn how to show up the next play and rebound from failure. They learn how to persevere.

Our student-athletes do all of this in our classrooms for learning and achievement: the gym, the trail, the track, the field, the ice rink, the pool, the diamond, and the court.  While academic homework might look a bit different than practice or film study of an opponent, they accomplish the same objective. And yes, our Vikings’ exams may appear different thanks to the crowds who often watch them compete against our opponents, but our games and competitions share that same powerful common goal with academia. They do all of this in a competitive environment with a real-time measurement tool that lets us know where we succeeded and where we need to be better – the scoreboard. It is in this marriage of academics and athletics that we want to be the best. We believe that the pairing of a Vikings Athletics career with a liberal arts education is one of the best simulations, trainings, and overall educations for a meaningful, successful life after Lawrence.


How has the college invested?

The evidence of a new era and renewed level of investment in Vikings Athletics is all around us. The following list represents an array of facilities upgrades, personnel expansions, and other investments that have occurred in Vikings Athletics since President Mark Burstein’s arrival at Lawrence in 2013:


  • Full-Time Director of Athletics, who serves on the President’s Cabinet and reports directly to the President
  • Addition of 22nd Varsity Sport (Women's Ice Hockey) and Full-Time Head Coach for the Program
  • Full-Time Athletics Performance Coach
  • Full-Time Frontline Fundraiser for Athletics
  • Full-Time Assistant Track and Field Coach
  • Full-Time Head Fencing Coach
  • Expansion of Full-Time Football Coaching Staff from 3 to 4 Positions
  • Expansion of Full-Time Athletic Training Staff
  • An Award-Winning, $5 Million Renovation to the Banta Bowl
  • New Windscreens for Baseball and Softball Programs
  • New Athletics Website and Online Presence
  • Renovated Football Offices and Locker Room Spaces in Alexander Gymnasium
  • Completely Resurfaced Alexander Gymnasium Parking Lot With New Lighting


Will you join us?

It is in this theme of investment that we ask for your help.  We all share a common goal of advancing Athletics at Lawrence. Therefore, we invite you to join the team and be a part of the community of donors, volunteers, and advocates working hard to elevate Vikings Athletics. We can only do this with your help. It is the story of education, growth, togetherness, development, and achievement – all part of a college athletics experience at Lawrence – which we look forward to crafting and owning in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. We can only do this together. It is in that story of the immense lifelong power of a Lawrence degree combined with a Vikings Athletics experience that we have grounded ourselves, do now, and will continue to do so into the future.


How can you help?

Participate in the third annual Once a Viking, Always a Viking: The Crowdfund for LU Athletics from March 31 – April 7, 2020 by making a gift that enhances the Vikings student-athlete experience Invest in Vikings Athletics today!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks and months more information about how you can help.  We look forward to sending you more details on key events and initiatives that will truly serve as fundamental components of our continued work and partnership towards the common goal of advancing and elevating Vikings Athletics.


It’s a Great Day to Be a Viking!