Sarah Lawrence College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Sarah Lawrence College
SLCSeal.JPG
MottoWisdom with understanding
Established1926
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Endowment$75.4 million(2013)[1]
PresidentKaren R. Lawrence
Undergraduates1,471
LocationYonkers, New York, USA
CampusSuburban, 44 acres
Address1 Mead Way
Bronxville/Yonkers, NY 10708[2]
ColorsGreen and White
AthleticsNCAA Division III
Skyline Conference
MascotGryphons
AffiliationsAnnapolis Group
Oberlin Group
Websiteslc.edu
 
  (Redirected from Sarah Lawrence)
Jump to: navigation, search
"Sarah Lawrence" redirects here. For other uses, see Sarah Lawrence (disambiguation).
Sarah Lawrence College
SLCSeal.JPG
MottoWisdom with understanding
Established1926
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Endowment$75.4 million(2013)[1]
PresidentKaren R. Lawrence
Undergraduates1,471
LocationYonkers, New York, USA
CampusSuburban, 44 acres
Address1 Mead Way
Bronxville/Yonkers, NY 10708[2]
ColorsGreen and White
AthleticsNCAA Division III
Skyline Conference
MascotGryphons
AffiliationsAnnapolis Group
Oberlin Group
Websiteslc.edu

Sarah Lawrence College is a private liberal arts college in the United States. It is located in southern Westchester County, New York, in the city of Yonkers, 15 miles (24 km) north of Manhattan.[3][4]

The college is known for its rigorous academic standards,[5] low student-to-faculty ratio, and highly individualized course of study.[6] The school models its approach to education after the Oxford/Cambridge system of one-on-one student-faculty tutorials, which are a key component in all areas of study. Sarah Lawrence emphasizes scholarship, particularly in the humanities, performing arts, and writing, and places a high value on independent study. Sarah Lawrence College is ranked 59th among National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report and among the America's Top 100 Colleges List conducted by Forbes.

History[edit]

William Van Duzer Lawrence


Sarah Lawrence College was established by real-estate mogul William Van Duzer Lawrence, 1842-1927, on the grounds of his estate in Westchester County and was named in honor of his wife, Sarah Bates Lawrence, 1846-1926. The College was originally intended to provide instruction in the arts and humanities for women. A major component of the College's early curriculum was "productive leisure," wherein students were required to work for eight hours weekly in such fields as modeling, shorthand, typewriting, applying makeup, and gardening.[7] Its pedagogy, modeled on the tutorial system of Oxford University, combined independent research projects, individually supervised by the teaching faculty, and seminars with low student-to-faculty ratio—a credo it retains to the present, despite its cost. Sarah Lawrence was the first liberal arts college in the United States to incorporate a rigorous approach to the arts with the principles of progressive education, focusing on the primacy of teaching and the concentration of curricular efforts on individual needs.[7]

Sarah Lawrence

In addition to founding Sarah Lawrence College, William Lawrence played a critical role in the development of the neighboring community of Bronxville, New York. His name can be found on the affluent Lawrence Park and Lawrence Park West neighborhoods, the Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate Corporation, and on Lawrence Hospital in downtown Bronxville, an institution that was created when Lawrence’s son, Dudley, nearly died en route to a hospital in neighboring New York City. Lawrence embodied ideas from the Progressivist movement of the 1890s, especially his view that the arts were a crucial element in the social evolution of individuals and families, in developing both private and public sensibilities, and in creating equal relations between men and women.

Harold Taylor, President of Sarah Lawrence College from 1945 to 1959, greatly influenced the college. Taylor, elected president at age 30, maintained a friendship with educational philosopher John Dewey, and worked to employ the Dewey method at Sarah Lawrence. Taylor spent much of his career calling for educational reform in the United States, using the success of his own College as an example of the possibilities of a personalized, modern, and rigorous approach to higher education.

Sarah Lawrence became a coeducational institution in 1968. Prior to this transition, there were discussions about relocating the school and merging with Princeton University, but the administration opted to remain independent.

Academics[edit]

At the undergraduate level, Sarah Lawrence offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts where, instead of traditional majors, students pursue a wide variety of courses in four different curricular distributions: the Creative Arts (writing, music, dance, theatre, film, and the plastic arts, such as painting, printmaking, drawing and sculpture); history and the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology); the humanities (e.g., Asian studies, art history, film studies, languages, literature, philosophy, and religion); and natural science and mathematics (biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, and mathematics). Classes are structured around a seminar-conference system through which students learn in small, highly interactive classes and in private tutorials with professors. Each student is assigned to a faculty advisor, known as a "don," to plan a course of study and provide ongoing academic guidance. Most courses, apart from those in the performing arts, consist of two parts: the seminar, limited to 15 students, and the conference, a private, fortnightly meeting with a seminar professor. In these conferences, students develop individual projects that extend the course material and link it to their personal interests. Sarah Lawrence has no required courses and traditional examinations have largely been replaced with writing final research papers and essays. Additionally, grades are recorded only for transcript purposes—academic evaluations are given in lieu of grades.[8] The College sponsors international programs in Florence, at Wadham College, Oxford, at Reid Hall in Paris, and at the British American Drama Academy in London. Sarah Lawrence is one of the only American colleges operating an international program in Cuba.

Sarah Lawrence also offers Master's-level programs in Writing, the Art of Teaching, Child Development, Theatre, and Dance, and is home to the nation's oldest graduate program in Women's History and the nation's first master's degree programs in Human Genetics and Health Advocacy.

Sarah Lawrence offers a program for adults wishing to seek a B.A. or a Master's and have been out of school for any period of time.

Exchange programs[edit]

International programs[edit]

The College has a number of international programs in four countries. Sarah Lawrence makes all practical efforts to preserve its most characteristic elements, such as one-on-one interaction with professors, small classes, and an emphasis on qualitative comprehension, in its programs overseas.

Graduate programs[edit]

Sarah Lawrence offers eight graduate programs, each of which confers the Master of Arts or Master of Science degree upon its graduates. In contrast to highly specialized, research-oriented doctoral study, these programs reflect the emphasis on interdisciplinary studies and the close student-teacher relationship that have come to be characteristic of the College's undergraduate program. Intensive work with faculty members, small seminars, and one-on-one conferences form the foundation of the curricular model. According to their own literature, the programs make an effort to balance the "theoretical (usually discussed in seminars and conferences) with the practical (in the form of fieldwork, practicums, research or creative work). This experiential work is most often conducted not in isolation, but in the midst of a community. Interdisciplinary work and ideas are encouraged, as is an ethic of social responsibility." There are approximately 340 graduate students currently enrolled in the following programs:

Art of Teaching[edit]

The Sarah Lawrence College Art of Teaching Program offers training in education in both degree-track and continuing education formats. One component of the program is the Empowering Teachers Program, which was established in 1989 as a forum for the support of teachers and educational administrators, and has since expanded into a resource and network for more than 250 beginning and experienced professionals from 25 school districts in Westchester County and adjacent areas of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

SAT and academic ranking[edit]

In 2007, some educators in the United States began to question the impact of rankings on the college admissions process, due in part to the 11 March 2007 The Washington Post article "The Cost of Bucking College Rankings" by Dr. Michele Tolela Myers, the former president of Sarah Lawrence College. As Sarah Lawrence College dropped its SAT test score submission requirement for its undergraduate applicants in 2003,[9] thus joining the SAT optional movement for undergraduate admission, SLC does not have SAT data to send to U.S. News for its national survey. Of this decision, Myers states, "We are a writing-intensive school, and the information produced by SAT scores added little to our ability to predict how a student would do at our college; it did, however, do much to bias admission in favor of those who could afford expensive coaching sessions."[10] At present, Sarah Lawrence is the only American college that completely disregards SAT scores in its admission process.[11] As a result of this policy, in the same The Washington Post article, Dr. Myers stated that she was informed by the U.S. News & World Report that if no SAT scores were submitted, U.S. News would "make up a number" to use in its magazines. She further argues that if SLC were to decide to stop sending all data to U.S. News & World Report, their ranking would be artificially decreased.[10][12] U.S. News & World Report issued a response to this article on 12 March 2007 which stated that the evaluation of Sarah Lawrence is currently under review.[11] The 2008 issue of the U.S. News & World Report rankings put Sarah Lawrence among the "unranked" institutions, colleges and universities that for a variety of reasons do not adhere to the magazine's guidelines.

On Tuesday, June 19, 2007, following a meeting of the Annapolis Group, which represents over 100 liberal arts colleges, Sarah Lawrence announced that it would join others who had previously signed the letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the U.S. News and World Report survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking). Myers commented on this in a 20 June 2007 article for The New York Times by stating, "they will do what they will do, […] we will do what we will do. And we want to do it in a principled way."[13] Myers also indicated in a press release for Sarah Lawrence that the college will be involved in developing the new database of colleges discussed in the Annapolis Group statement as they "believe in accountability and openness, and that the public has a right to solid and reliable information about the important decisions involved in choosing a college." The press release also indicated that Sarah Lawrence "plans not to participate in the peer reputational survey or data collection for U.S. News and World Report’s rankings" as, according to Myers, "by submitting data and the peer reputation survey we have tacitly been endorsing these rankings […] all the information we have provided to U.S. News in the past will be available to the public through other channels."[14]

In The Best College for You, a 2000 co-publication of Time magazine and The Princeton Review, Sarah Lawrence was named the liberal arts "College of the Year", citing the school's strong emphasis on writing across the curriculum.[15]

In 2014, Forbes rated it 99th of America's Best Colleges.[16]

In 2011, The Princeton Review ranked Sarah Lawrence first in its top ten list of colleges with the best class discussions.[17]

In 2012, The Princeton Review ranked Sarah Lawrence first in its top ten list of colleges with the best professors.

Political involvement and activism[edit]

Political activism has played a crucial role in forming the spirit of the Sarah Lawrence community since the early years of the College. As early as 1938, students were volunteering in working-class sections of Yonkers, New York to help bring equality and educational opportunities to poor and minority citizens, and the Sarah Lawrence College War Board, organized by students in the fall of 1942, sought to aid troops fighting in World War II. During a time when the College's enrollment consisted of only 293 students, 204 signed up as volunteers during the first week of the War Board.[18] During the so-called McCarthy Years, a number of Sarah Lawrence's faculty members were accused by the American Legion of being sympathetic to the Communist Party, and were called before the Jenner Committee.[19] Since that time, activism has played a central role in student life, with movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and for student and faculty diversity in the 1980s. Also in the 1960s, students established an Upward Bound program for students from lower-income and poverty areas to prepare for college.[20] Theatre Outreach, the Child Development Institute, the Empowering Teachers Program, the Community Writers program, the Office of Community Partnership, and the Fulbright High School Writers Program are among the many programs founded since the 1970s to provide services to the larger community. In the late 1980s, students occupied Westlands, the main administrative building for the campus, in a sit-in for wider diversity. Students have remained active in recent years, with numerous organizations and movements sprouting in response to the Iraq War. For many years, the College has been considered as being at the vanguard of the sexual rights movement.

Campus[edit]

Westlands House

The site of 41-acre (17 ha) Sarah Lawrence campus is located atop a promontory above the banks of the Bronx River. Much of the campus was originally a part of the estate of the College's founder, William Van Duzer Lawrence, though the College has more than doubled its geographical size since Lawrence bequeathed his estate to the College in 1926. The terrain of the campus is characterized by dramatic outcroppings of exposed bedrock shaded by large oak and elm trees. Much of the older architecture on the campus follows the Tudor style that was popular in the area during the early 20th century, and many of the College's newer buildings attempt to achieve an updated interpretation of the same architectural style. The campus is divided into two distinctive sections: the "Old Campus" and the "New Campus," wherein the former is roughly contained within the boundaries of the erstwhile Lawrence estate, and the latter is that which was obtained some time after the College's earliest years.

The area outside the original Lawrence estate is home to the College's more cutting-edge facilities. A number of stately, century-old Tudor-style mansions will be found among these newer additions, including Andrews, Tweed, Lynd, Marshall Field, and Slonim House. Each was once a private estate, purchased by the college during periods of growth and expansion. The more modest Tudor houses along Mead Way, which were also once private residences, now serve as dorms for Sarah Lawrence students. "Slonim Woods" is a group of newer, townhouse-style dorms, built on the grounds of Slonim House.

The Campbell Sports Center was constructed in 1998 in response to an increased focus on physical fitness and sports. This state-of-the-art facility includes an indoor pool, gymnasium, track, squash courts, and weightrooms.

In 2004, the College completed construction of a state-of-the-art visual arts facility, the Monika A. and Charles A. Heimbold Visual Arts Center, the sleek architecture and environmentally friendly aspects of which earned the College national press attention. Just down the road is Hill House, a seven-story apartment building purchased by the College in the late 1990s that now houses student residences. Across the street from Hill House is the large Wrexham house, also in the Tudor style, that was purchased by Sarah Lawrence in 2004 from the government of Rwanda. This building, which once housed the Rwandan consul, has been renovated and is used by the College for various graduate studies programs. On the opposite end of the campus stands the Science and Mathematics Center, completed in 1994.

Buildings[edit]

Campus Buildings

Bates
The Esther Raushenbush Library
Heimbold Visual Arts Center
Siegel Student Center
Westlands
Tweed House
Slonim House
North Lawn and old dorms
Marshall Field
The Tea Haus
Center campus
New Dorms
Mead Way Houses

Academic facilities[edit]

Administration buildings[edit]

Housing[edit]

"Old Dorms"[edit]

The "Old Dorms" refer to four original purpose-built student housing structures to the immediate north of Westlands in what is frequently referred to as the "central campus". Dudley Lawrence, one of the sons of William and Sarah Lawrence, achieved the remarkable feat of constructing three of these buildings in one year (1926–1927). The halls were designed by William Augustus Bates, who repeated the Neo-Tudor style of Westlands through the use of stone and timber materials, and mansard roofs. The interiors are also in keeping with the English Tudor architectural style found on most of the older buildings in the area, with thick plaster walls, hardwood floors, and leaded windows (since replaced with more energy-efficient double-pane windows). MacCracken, built a few years later than the other three, is situated to the south of Dudley Lawrence. The original elegant living rooms that were found in each building, excepting MacCracken, are now used as classrooms.[35]

"New Dorms"[edit]

Designed by the renowned architect Philip Johnson in the sparse modernist style of the time, the "New Dorms" were completed in 1960. The architectural style of the buildings is meant to be a modernist reflection of the three older dorms (Gilbert, Titsworth, and Dudley Lawrence) that stand on the opposite side of the North Lawn. The three buildings that comprise the New Dorms are connected by two glass atria in which the buildings' primary stairwells are found. With the exception of the large apartments in Rothschild, these dorms typically house first-year students.

The Mead Way Houses[edit]

The Mead Way Houses are the eight former private homes that stand along the steep hill of Mead Way on the College's eastern end. The two southernmost houses, Robinson and Swinford, are occupied by administrative offices and the office of the campus internet radio station, and the northernmost six houses, listed below, are reserved for student living spaces. The northern houses include:

Presidents[edit]

SLC Presidents Mansion

The first president was Marion Coats from 1924 to 1929. She was a friend of Vassar College President Henry McCracken and of Sarah Lawrence founder William Van Duzer Lawrence. Coats had traditional views of women's role in society that were at odds with her progressive approach to women's education.

Karen R. Lawrence, a scholar of James Joyce with a Ph.D. in literature from Columbia University, was installed as president in 2007. [1]

Notable people[edit]

Athletics[edit]

Sarah Lawrence College Gryphons logo.gif

Sarah Lawrence College is the member of Skyline Conference of NCAA Division III. The College sponsors intercollegiate teams in crew (aka rowing), men's and women's cross country, equestrian, men's basketball, men's and women’s tennis, men's and women’s volleyball, women’s softball, and men's and women's swimming. In March 2011 the College announced that it would seek membership as a Division III member of the NCAA.[37] The earliest the College could compete as a full member of Division III would be the 2016–17 academic year as a four-year 'provisional' period is required. However the college will apply for a one year waive which will make the transition by 2015-16 season.

In May 2013, Sarah Lawrence announced that it would join Skyline Conference beginning 2014-15 season. The college will quit the current Hudson Valley conference after the 2013-14 season. The Skyline Conference contains several schools including SUNY Purchase and Yeshiva University which plays Sarah Lawrence regularly for the past years.

The College's official mascot is a Gryphon by the name of Godric. It was chosen in the 1990s to represent the College's athletics teams after a long period of fielding sports teams without an official mascot. Unofficially the student body had long adopted the large resident population of 'Black Squirrels' as a de facto mascot to the college. The position of silent mascot that the 'Black Squirrel' occupied was financially endorsed by the college itself with the production of various Black Squirrel merchandise (including Sarah Lawrence clothing branded with the Black Squirrel image) and plush toys. It is only recently (post 2003) that efforts on the behalf of the college to establish the Gryphon as the icon of Sarah Lawrence have begun to take root.

In 2008/09, the school re-established the men's soccer team that plays in the Hudson Valley Men's Athletic Conference. In 2013, women's soccer was announced as the newest varsity program.[38] The college also adds women's golf and basketball as club sports at the same time.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2013. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2013 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2012 to FY 2013". National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.slc.edu/
  3. ^ Visit Sarah Lawrence College
  4. ^ The Village of Bronxville website. ("Although nearby Sarah Lawrence College, founded in 1926 by William Lawrence to honor his wife, has a Bronxville postal address, it is actually located in Yonkers.") Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  5. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/sarah-lawrence-college-2813
  6. ^ http://www.forbes.com/colleges/sarah-lawrence-college/
  7. ^ a b Kaplan, Barbara (29 January 2014). Becoming Sarah Lawrence. Sarah Lawrence College. 
  8. ^ "At a Glance: About SLC". Sarah Lawrence College. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ Gross, Jane (13 November 2003). "Sarah Lawrence College Drops SAT Requirement, Saying a New Writing Test Misses the Point". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Tolela Myers, Michele (11 March 2007). "The Cost of Bucking College Rankings". The Washington Post. 
  11. ^ a b "U.S. News Statement on College Rankings". U.S. News and World Report. 12 March 2007. 
  12. ^ Jaschik, Scott (12 March 2007). "Would U.S. News Make Up Fake Data?". Inside Higher Ed. 
  13. ^ Finder, Alan (20 June 2007). "Some Colleges to Drop Out of U.S. News Rankings". New York Times. 
  14. ^ "Sarah Lawrence College Endorses Annapolis Group Actions". Sarah Lawrence College. 2014-01-29. 
  15. ^ SLC honored for writing program that encourages students to write, think, communicate clearly
  16. ^ "America's Best Colleges". Forbes.com. July 2013. 
  17. ^ The 10 Colleges With the Best Discussions
  18. ^ Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz (1993). Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press. 
  19. ^ Fried, Richard M. (1990). Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  20. ^ United States. United States Congress. Joint Committee. A Directory of Urban Research Study Centers. Washington: United States Congress, 1977.
  21. ^ SLC Campus - Bates
  22. ^ a b Title=American Architecture - Westchester County, New York Colonial to Contemporary; Author=Frank Sanchis; Publisher=North River Press 1977; Page=426
  23. ^ SLC.edu - Library
  24. ^ SLC Campus - Science Center
  25. ^ SLC Campus - Marshall Field Building
  26. ^ SLC Campus - Visual Arts Center
  27. ^ Heimbold Center - Historic Campus Architecture Project
  28. ^ SLC Campus - Sports Center
  29. ^ Title=American Architecture - Westchester County, New York Colonial to Contemporary; Author=Frank Sanchis; Publisher=North River Press 1977; Page=358
  30. ^ SLC Campus - Performing Arts Center
  31. ^ SLC Campus - Siegel Center
  32. ^ Presidents House - Historic Campus Architecture Project
  33. ^ A Yonkers Locale, a Bronxville Pedigree, The New York Times
  34. ^ Westlands House - Historic Campus Architecture Project
  35. ^ Central Campus - "old dorms" - Historic Campus Architecture Project
  36. ^ Allmusic Yoko Ono Biography
  37. ^ SLC Registers as NCAA Exploratory Member
  38. ^ Women's Soccer Becomes 15th Varsity Sport

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°56′06″N 73°50′42″W / 40.935°N 73.845°W / 40.935; -73.845