Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, has announced a $1 million gift from the Suzanne & Richard Pieper Family Foundation in Mequon, Wisconsin, to establish an endowed professorship for the purpose of fostering and promoting the concept of altruistic leadership at the school.
The Pieper Family Servant-Leader Professorship will support and expand existing courses and help develop new courses with an integrated academic and community approach to learning. In addition, the gift will provide funding for an extensive assessment plan, including the collection of baseline data and longitudinal studies.
The principles behind "servant-leadership" were articulated by the late Robert K. Greenleaf, a former AT&T executive, teacher, consultant, and essayist who endorsed a practical philosophy that encourages collaboration in decision making, promotes trust and ethical use of power and empowerment, and emphasizes a holistic approach to work and human relations. Richard Pieper, founder and executive director of the foundation, cited the university's student honor code, which is overseen entirely by students to ensure academic integrity, as a building block for educating honorable individuals and molding citizens capable of honorable conduct in broader society.
Effective July 1, 2007, mathematics and computer science professor Alan Parks will become the first Pieper Family Servant-Leader Professor. "Professor Parks will bring energy, thoughtfulness, and wisdom to the important goal of helping our students develop as citizen-leaders," said university president Jill Beck. "He will help [them] connect their learning in the classroom, laboratory, and studio with a commitment to use that learning effectively and responsibly in the contemporary world."