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Leonard Bernstein Inspires Paul Laird

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Paul Laird

KU Musicologist Paul Laird has devoted much of his career to studying conductor and composer  Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).   During the past year, he has given numerous presentations on Bernstein and his work as the world celebrates the 100th birthday of this extraordinary talent.  

Laird admires Bernstein’s “absolute musicality,” his knowledge of musical styles, his fabulous ear, and his extraordinary charisma.  

Laird has written five books about Bernstein, among them Leonard Bernstein: a Guide to Research. The book begins with an essay on the composer’s achievements and continues with annotations on Bernstein’s writings, performances, and educational work.  

When asked, Laird declares that “West Side Story” is his favorite of Bernstein’s works.

Celebrating the History of the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum

In early 2000 Rotary International challenged every club to have a project to celebrate the Rotary Centennial in 2005. Two local Rotarians, who were also avid and master gardeners, reached out to the City of Lawrence to develop what is now the Lawrence Rotary Arboretum. 

Raising the $60,000 of needed funds for the Arboretum become a project for all three local Rotary Clubs. The Arboretum covers an area of 14 acres. The initial plot was mostly cleared land with very few native trees. Since then over 2,000 trees have been planted, in addition to adding a gazebo and pergola. 

Fundraising has been made possible through the sale of tree markers. There are currently over 200 markers on trees, as well as others waiting to get a tree. 

The group has also successfully raised $21,000 from the three local Rotary clubs to develop an event pavilion on the edge of the smaller pond. Plans are underway for the pavilion ribbon cutting. The space will be able to hold a group of 75 to 80 at picnic tables or 75 to 100 in chairs. With Lawrence Parks and Recreation committing to set up permanent bathrooms, the pavilion is expected to be an excellent venue for weddings and other events. 

To continue to support the Arboretum, individuals, businesses, and families are invited to  sponsor a tree: $100 for Rotary members and $125 for non-Rotarians. 

Music Filled the Room

Excaliber, a choir of seventh and eighth graders from Central Memorial Middle School, performed for Rotarians and their guests at the annual holiday luncheon.  

Marchiony Shares Update on KU Athletics

Jim Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs

Jim Marchiony has watched men’s basketball grow from being locally televised to being available  everywhere, even on your phone.

Marchiony, KU Associate Athletics Director, Public Affairs, came to Lawrence in 2003. Prior to that he worked for the NCAA for 18 years, the last five of which he was media coordinator for the NCAA Division 1 men’s basketball tournament.

This isn’t Marchiony’s first time living in the Sunflower State. A native-New Yorker, Marchiony and his wife, also from New York, lived in Shawnee Mission prior to joining the NCAA. “We like to say we’re the only two New Yorkers who have moved to Kansas twice!”

Marchiony is proud to work for one of only 60 higher education institutions that are part of the Association of American Universities, which combined award 50 percent of all doctorate degrees nationally.

 “A University of this caliber deserves a successful athletic performance.”

Marchiony said that the priorities of his department are clear: the health, safety and well-being of the athletes, and education. “Even students with a professional future, we owe it to them to help keep them on track so if they don’t make it or after they make it they have something to fall back on.”

To that end, KU will cover tuition for any student that leaves early for a professional career and comes back later to finish their degree.

“Why is it important to have a good athletic department? Athletics can serve as a window to the university. We’d love it if 50,000 people crammed a stadium to listen to a lecture. With the society we live in, this is not going to happen. Athletics can draw people in and increase the pool of future students who come here.”

Marchiony said the department needs a significant increase in donations, especially for the football program. “Athletics funds itself. We have 5,000 to 6,000 donors right now and we need over 10,000.” In comparison to other Division 1 schools, KU has 10-12 fewer staff in football. “We are decades behind and it shows in our record.”

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Just a reminder we are not meeting this Wednesday, November 21st, 2018.

Below is the link for our annual wreath sale! Please forward to family and friends, 20% of sales come back to our club to help fund the community projects we do as a club.

The link to order this year is:

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