Hamline News

Fall 2012 Happenings on Hewitt


National Recognition

In April the Hamline community celebrated the placement of Hamline Church on the National Register of Historic Places. The church was founded when Hamline University moved from Red Wing to Saint Paul in 1880. The university donated money to the construction of the church, and the building commemorates the Hamline faculty with four stained glass windows depicting the life of Christ by artist Andreas Ruud Larsen.

New Faces on Campus

Please join Hamline in welcoming several new people to leadership positions on campus:  

As university provost, Eric Jensen is responsible for the university’s academic priorities, its libraries and international and diversity programs, and for attending to the needs of the university as a whole. Jensen comes to Hamline from the College of William and Mary, where he spent 22 years as a professor of economics and public policy and, more recently, eight years as director of that institution’s Thomas Jefferson Program in Public Policy. 

Jeffrey Rich serves as Hamline’s vice president of marketing and enrollment. With extensive advertising agency experience, Rich intends to lead the university in a new, strategic direction in the face of challenging economic times and increased competition from for-profit universities. His immediate initiatives include, online and experiential learning opportunities and advanced digital marketing strategies.

Hamline School of Education is thrilled to have Nancy Sorenson fill the role of dean. Sorenson has a wealth of experience in academic leadership positions. She hails most recently from Saint Mary’s College of California, where she served for 10 years as dean of the School of Education. Prior to that, she spent six years at College of Charleston as dean of its School of Education. She also served four years as interim and associate dean of the College of Education at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse.

New athletic director Jason Verdugo (who formerly served as Hamline’s head baseball coach), sets the direction for the athletic departments 19 Division III sports teams, recruits coaches, manages the athletic budget, oversees management for sporting events, and coordinates communication with the MIAC conference office. Read more about Verdugo in our coverage of Hamline athletics on page 10. 

Toon Town

Hamline writers are clamoring for a chance to work with The Creative Writing Program’s newest faculty member: acclaimed graphic novelist and cartoonist Gene Yang. Yang will work with students in the MFA in writing for children and young adults program, which has expanded to include genres in graphic novels and comics. 

Yang’s most recent novels are Prime Baby (first serialized in The New York Times Magazine), Animal Crackers, and Level Up. Dark Horse Comics will release his book, Avatar: The Last Airbender–The Promise, later this year. 

We all Scream for Ice Cream

How does a hockey player earn money? By sticking to what she knows best—ice. Hamline hockey player Breanna Simon ’15 earned her keep over the summer by launching her own ice cream truck. 

Simon’s venture, “Bee’s Ice Cream,” is run out of a FedEx truck decorated like an old-fashioned ice cream shop. Her hometown of New Richmond, Wisconsin, proved profitable last summer. She drove around neighborhoods each day and also set up shop at local sports tournaments, family reunions, and birthday parties. “It went really well,” says the pre-med major. “People liked it. Even adults jumped up and down and waved their arms as I drove by.” 

The Business of Lawyering

Many lawyers enter law school with visions of courtroom drama and poignant closing speeches. But that’s the Hollywood version. With more lawyers opening their own firms, the real work of lawyering includes small business basics: timekeeping, billing and collection, staffing, marketing, and client relations.

In an effort to better prepare students to open solo practices, the School of Law offers “The Business of Lawyering,” a class developed and taught by Dean Donald Lewis that covers the essentials of running a private practice. “It was the most useful class of my law school career,” says Mark Miller JD ’12. “It went beyond lawyering to provide an introduction to business fundamentals. It made me think about things I had never before considered, such as the need for business insurance.”

Lewis co-founded the prominent Minneapolis law firm Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson (now Nilan Johnson Lewis where he remains of counsel), which gave him valuable insight into launching and building a successful law practice. He teaches the course in partnership with adjunct professors Carol Cummins and Judy Norberg—both law firm management veterans.

Together the three ensure that students are prepared to devise a basic business plan for establishing a solo or small firm, to understand how technological developments and changing economic conditions can affect a law practice, to develop interpersonal skills and workplace strategies for upholding performance levels, and to realize the role of marketing and client service and satisfaction to a firm’s success. “Students need to be aware of how the field is changing,” says Lewis. “Our students have bright futures, but they need to be nimble and prepared.”

Ask the Expert:

VP for Development and Alumni Relations Tony Grundhauser on fundraising

The Hamline community is well known for its generosity and commitment to service. Many alumni contribute to and raise money for their favorite causes. However, tough economic times have made it more difficult for schools, nonprofit organizations, and other charities to raise money. Tony Grundhauser, VP for development and alumni relations has 17 years of experience in the field of fundraising. He led Hamline’s Anderson Center campaign, which raised more than $20 million in the past three years.

One question I often get is how I handle rejection. People are terrified of being told “no.” Just remember that donors say no for a lot of reasons and it’s OK. It doesn’t mean they don’t care or they don’t want to help—they may contribute in another way. Baseball provides an apt metaphor. Successful major league hitters are considered superb if they can hit a ball three out of ten times at bat. It’s the same with fundraising: just be sure you have a large enough pool of donors to get some hits.

What are some strategies for raising money in a downturned economy

Interestingly, the data tells us that people aren’t giving less money in the down economy, but they are giving to fewer organizations. Five years ago, someone’s charity list may have included 10 organizations. These days it’s more likely three to five.

How do you stay on a donor’s top five list?

  • Remember why you’re asking: you believe in the project. Show enthusiasm! Donors will join you.
  • Thank donors for their gifts immediately and continually. You can never thank them enough.
  • Be transparent. Send donors information about how you’re using their funds.
  • Show results. People want to see the outcome of their donation.

Leading the Way in Experiential Learning

Fortunately, what happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas. Kate Kruse, a leader in clinical legal education from the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, recently joined the Hamline School of Law faculty as a professor of law and director of clinics—an essential role that provides students with real-world training. “I’m looking forward to working with my Hamline colleagues to build on the law school’s impressive experiential learning program,” says Kruse.

Under the Minnesota Certified Student Practice Rule, Hamline law students have the opportunity to represent actual clients in clinics around such topics as child advocacy, education law, employment discrimination, mediation representation, health law, and other areas. In-house attorneys or adjunct faculty members and practitioners supervise the students, and cases are chosen to maximize student interaction with clients and foster students’ control and responsibility for every aspect of case management. 

“Hamline has had success in building and leveraging relationships in the legal community, and I will work hard to continue that,” says Kruse. 

“I want to build bridges between book learning and actual practice and to work closely with Hamline’s career services to ensure that students graduate with a portfolio of experience to present to potential employers.” 

Dance, Dance Revolution

The elephant in the room is, in fact, quite graceful. Last May, the Hamline Dance Ensemble, performed “Elephant in the Room,” a piece originally choreographed by Hamline adjunct professor Crystal Runk, at the famed Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The performance was part of the National College Dance Festival. 

The troupe’s artistic director, Kaori Kenmotsu, felt honored to fulfill her students’ goal of dancing on the nation’s premier stage. “Many of these dancers had no formal training before working with me,” she says. “They were actors who had a strong understanding of performance and movement, but not dance. This was a huge accomplishment.” 

Did you know? 

Hamline was n med to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Role, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its dedication to civic engagement, service-learning, and community service. This is the sixth time Hamline has received the honor.