Shirley Lawrence Retires After 34 Years at Wesleyan

From left, Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, director of the East Asian Studies Program and professor of history, share stories about Shirley Lawrence, third from left, who is retiring as program coordinator of the East Asian Studies Program. Lawrence is pictured with her husband, Ted.

From left, Wesleyan President Michael Roth and Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, director of the East Asian Studies Program and professor of history, share stories about Shirley Lawrence, third from left, who is retiring as program coordinator of the East Asian Studies Program. Lawrence is pictured with her husband, Ted.

Shirley Lawrence celebrated her 34 years at Wesleyan with a retirement party Dec. 14 in the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. Lawrence began her Wesleyan career in a part-time position the Mathematics Department where she remained until 1977. Lawrence moved to the Center of Humanities where she worked until 1985, and she worked in Alumni Programs until 1987 when the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies officially opened on Washington Terrace. She is retiring as a program coordinator.

Over the years Lawrence has coordinated such events as tours of the Freeman Family Japanese Garden, lectures on U.S.-Japan security relations, presentations on America’s relations with Vietnam and the traditional drumming and dance of Korean p’ungmulnori by members of the Wesleyan Korean Drumming ensemble.

In addition to handling logistical issues with the speakers and performers, Lawrence wrote press releases, maintained the center’s mailing list, managed the program’s budget, arranged accommodations and oversaw the center’s Outreach Program, which provides hands-on cultural activities for school-aged children.

Lawrence was profiled in The Wesleyan Connection in 2005.