Lake Forest College

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Lake Forest College
File:Lake Forest College logo.svg
Motto Et veritas liberabit vos (Latin)
Motto in English
And the truth shall set you free[1] (John 8:32)
Established 1857
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation Nonsectarian
Presbyterian (historically)
Endowment $89.1 million[2]
President Stephen D. Schutt
Provost Michael T. Orr
Academic staff
Students 1,592[3]
Location Lake Forest, Illinois, United States
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Campus Suburban, 107 acres (43 ha)
Colors Red and black          [4]
Athletics NCAA Division III
Midwest, NCHA
Nickname Foresters
Mascot Boomer the Bear
Affiliations ACM
Annapolis Group
Oberlin Group

Lake Forest College is a four-year coeducational private liberal arts college in Lake Forest, Illinois, on Chicago's North Shore. Founded in 1857 as Lind University by Presbyterian ministers, the college has been coeducational since 1876 and an undergraduate-focused liberal arts institution since 1903.[5] Lake Forest enrolls approximately 1,600 students representing 47 states and 81 countries. Lake Forest offers 30 undergraduate major and minor programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, and features programs of study in pre-law, pre-medicine, communication, business, finance, and computer science.[3] The majority of students live on the college's wooded 107-acre campus, which is located a half-mile from the Lake Michigan shore.

Lake Forest is affiliated with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. The college has 19 varsity teams, which compete in the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference.


File:Young Hall.jpg
Young Hall, the tallest building in the city of Lake Forest, houses most of the humanities departments on campus

Lake Forest College was founded in 1857 by Reverend Robert W. Patterson as a Presbyterian alternative to the Methodist Northwestern University in Evanston. It was originally named Lind University after Sylvester Lind, who had given $80,000 to launch the school.[5] Patterson and his fellow Chicago Presbyterians established the town of Lake Forest and the university roughly halfway between Evanston and Waukegan two years after the Chicago and Milwaukee Railway began service from Chicago. They hired St. Louis landscape architect Almerin Hotchkiss to design the town of Lake Forest with a university park at its center. Hotchkiss used the area's wooded ravines and forest as guidelines to plat a park-like, curvilinear layout for the town.

Lake Forest Academy, a boys' preparatory school and the first project of the university, began offering classes in 1858; collegiate-level courses began in 1860. By the mid-1860s, a small New England-style village had been established with an academy building, a Presbyterian church and several homes. The school had a medical college from 1859–1863, which later split off and eventually merged with Northwestern University, the predecessor of the Feinberg School of Medicine.

In 1865, the name became Lake Forest University. In 1869 Ferry Hall, a girls' preparatory school and junior college, opened as a division of the university.[6] It later merged with Lake Forest Academy in 1974.

In 1876 Mary Eveline Smith Farwell started Lake Forest College, a coeducational division of the university, under the leadership of the Reverend Patterson. In 1878, College Hall (now Young Hall) was built following a fire that destroyed the former hotel being used for classes.

The Reverend James Gore King McClure arrived in Lake Forest in 1881 as the pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Under his influence over the next 50 years, the college experienced a large transition "from a pluralistic graduate and professional emphasis to a singular undergraduate liberal arts focus," says Lake Forest College archivist Art Miller, who co-wrote 30 Miles North: A History of Lake Forest College, Its Town, and Its City of Chicago.[7] During this time, the college's theater group, the Garrick Players, the yearbook, and student newspaper, The Stentor, were all formed.

In 1890 Lake Forest established a relationship with the Chicago College of Dental Surgery, Chicago's first dental school, to serve as its dental department. This affiliation ended in 1902.

The Lake Forest School of Music opened as a division of the university in 1916, incorporating and extending the courses in music hitherto given in other departments. A summer school of landscape architecture was instituted in 1916.[6]

By 1925, Lake Forest College split from Lake Forest Academy, and the school's only focus was on undergraduate liberal arts. Following World War II, the college experienced further growth, taking control of what is now South Campus and constructing the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

In 1960, William Graham Cole, from Williams College, took over as president and brought with him Eastern faculty and students, further diversifying the campus. During his time as president, in 1965, the school's name was officially changed to Lake Forest College.[5] In March 2010, the college received $7 million from alumna Grace Groner.[8]


The teaching faculty consists of 178 members. Lake Forest has a student-to-professor ratio of 13:1, and the average class size is 19. No classes at Lake Forest are taught by teaching assistants. All faculty hold a doctorate or equivalent degree.[9] See list of Lake Forest College people for notable faculty. Lake Forest professors regularly include undergraduates in their primary research and supervise independent research projects.

Faculty members receive fellowships and grants from such notable organizations as the Fulbright Program, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, Freeman Foundation, Mellon Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Getty Trust, Goldsmith Foundation, and Kemper Foundation.


Durand Art Institute on North Campus houses the departments of Art and Philosophy
Lake Forest College autumn


  • Lake Forest College is a member of The Princeton Review's 371 Best Colleges, appears on its Financial Aid Honor Roll (a list of the 13 schools that received a perfect Financial Aid rating) and Best Midwestern Colleges list.[10]
  • Lake Forest College is a Tier 1 school and was ranked as 95th in a list of the top liberal arts colleges in the country by US News & World Report for its America's Best Colleges 2010 Edition.
  •’s 2014 list of colleges with the best ROI named Lake Forest 11th in the nation among liberal arts colleges for the best return on investment. Lake Forest was ranked #1 among liberal arts colleges in Illinois and fourth in Illinois universities and colleges.[11]

Areas of study

The college has 30 majors, plus minors and special programs. Students can declare up to two majors and one minor, or one major and two minors.

Academic year

The year includes two 15-week semesters and two summer sessions.

Off-campus study options

Beijing, Border Studies (Mexico), Botswana, Costa Rica, Florence, Granada, Greece, India, Japan, London/Florence, New Zealand, Paris, Tanzania, Chicago (Chicago in the Loop, Urban Studies, Chicago Program in Business and Society, Newberry Library Program in the Humanities), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Tennessee), Washington Semester (American University).


Students pursue a wide range of internships in the Chicago area, nationwide, and abroad. In recent years, students have held internships with such organizations as the Alliance Française de Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, French Connections Films (Paris), International Herald Tribune (Paris), Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, NBC Chicago, Paine Webber, Second City, and the John G. Shedd Aquarium.

First-Year Studies Program

First-year students select one of more than twenty offerings for a first-semester course that serves as an introduction to the academic life at the college as part of the First-Year Studies Program (FIYS). The FIYS professors serve as students' advisors until students declare a major. Courses, covering topics including music, art, politics, neuroscience, terrorism and religion - often have a focus on Chicago. This allows students to become familiar with the educational, cultural and social resources available in the city.

Richter Scholar Program

In the fall semester a select number of admitted students are chosen to participate in the Richter Scholar Program, which allows them to work with a professor during the summer following their freshman year. During the summer, the students work directly with the professor in a variety of fields. Some recent projects included: "Experiments Illustrating How Lasers can be Used to Manipulate Small Objects," "Federal Housing Policy and Race," "Regulation of Cell Volume in Red Blood Cells," "Do crayfish have a memory?" and "Navy SEAL Selection, Naval Service Training Command."[12]

Accelerated programs

The college offers students the option to receive their bachelor's degrees in communication or philosophy in three years.

Pre-professional and dual-degree programs are available with Rosalind Franklin University in pharmacy, Rush University in nursing, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, John Marshall Law School, Loyola School of Law, and the Vermont Law School for an accelerated B.A./J.D. track, the Graduate School of International Policy & Management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for an accelerated master's degree, and Washington University in St. Louis for a dual bachelor's degree in engineering.[13]

Student Symposium

The Steven Galovich Student Symposium, held in April, is an annual event during the academic year showcasing students and their research. Each year, students give individual and group presentations, poster sessions, concerts and recitals showcasing their work. Classes are cancelled on that day so students can freely attend and participate in all the events. In 2007, the Student Symposium was designated as the Steven Galovich Memorial Student Symposium in memory of Steven Galovich, past Provost and Dean of Faculty at Lake Forest, who was instrumental in starting the Student Symposium in 1998. Schedule and abstracts are available since 2010 on the college's digital publications site.[14]


According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and U.S. News & World Report, Lake Forest is considered to be a "more selective" institution, with a lower rate of transfer-in students.[15][16]

Lake Forest College's admissions selectivity rank according to The Princeton Review is 88 out of 99.[17] This ranking is determined by several institutionally-reported factors, including: the class rank, average standardized test scores, and average high school GPA of entering freshmen; the percentage of students who come from out-of-state; and the percentage of applicants accepted.[18]

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2015 was 50% from a total applicant pool of 3,411, yielding a class of 406 students.[19]

Student life

Approximately 1,500 students attend the college, and about 86% live on campus.[20] Among the largest and most active student groups on campus are: the student radio station (WMXM), Student Government, PRIDE (LGBT), SPARK (organizes on-campus entertainment) and the Greek organizations.[21]

Located 30 miles north of Chicago, Lake Forest College is roughly an hour’s commute from the city. The Metra rail line, located in downtown Lake Forest, is a 15-minute walk from campus, where trains run approximately 25 times per day.[22]

Student population


  • 63% of students conduct off-campus research or internships in Chicago or elsewhere
  • 40% go on at least one off-campus study program to countries including Spain, France, Greece, and New Zealand
  • Each year, students are inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society
  • Students are recipients of national honors such as the Kemper Scholarship, Fulbright Scholarship, Davis


  • 92% of the 2010 graduates have found post-graduation placement in jobs or graduate school
  • 95% of Education graduates are placed into education jobs
  • 90% of students who want to go to medical school are placed into medical school (the national average is 42%)


  • More than 50% are in varsity, intramural, or club athletics
  • Most are involved in one or more of 50-plus campus clubs and organizations
  • Nearly all are involved in community service projects
  • Students raise more money for Relay for Life than most other similarly sized colleges in the United States
  • About 80% of students stay on campus during the weekends


  • From 47 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and 78 countries
  • 38% are either ethnic minority or international students
  • More than 40 languages are spoken on campus
  • Greater student diversity than most other liberal arts colleges in the country[23]

Center for Chicago Programs

At the Center for Chicago Programs, students can learn about events in the city and surrounding suburbs, get guidance on transportation to the city, and suggestions of where to go when they get there. The Center also brings notable Chicago-area speakers, artists, and performers to campus.

Publications and media

There are six media organizations on campus:

  • The Stentor is the school-sponsored student-run newspaper
The Stentor is published weekly and has been in publication since 1886.[24] Online archives for twelve issues exist for the year 2011/2012.[25]
  • Tusitala, first printed in 1935, is the college's annual literary magazine
  • Collage is a magazine featuring works primarily written in foreign languages
  • Eukaryon is a life-science research journal publishing student work
  • WMXM is a student-run radio station providing an alternative to mainstream radio
  • Spectrum is a publication for faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends




Lake Forest competes in Division III (except handball) and offers 19 varsity sports, 10 women's (basketball, cross country, handball, ice hockey, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, golf, and volleyball) and 9 men's (basketball, cross country, football, handball, ice hockey, soccer, swimming and diving, golf and tennis). The handball teams have won 49 national championships and have received national media attention.[27] The handball team competes in Division I through USHA (not NCAA).

Lake Forest College has been a member of the Midwest Conference since 1974. It was a member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin from 1946-1963, and of the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference from 1919-1937.

The Sports Center, originally constructed in 1968, has long been home to Forester Athletics. But after the completion of a $17-million, 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) recreation and fitness addition, the building was renamed the Lake Forest College Sports and Recreation Center.

Notable people


  1. Schulze, Franz; Rosemary Cowler; Arthur H. Miller (2000). Thirty Miles North: A History of Lake Forest College, Its Town, and Its City of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-9638189-6-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. As of June 30, 2015."U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2015 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2014 to FY 2015" (PDF). 2015 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Facts and Figures, Lake Forest College". Lake Forest College. Retrieved 11 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "College Style Guide". Lake Forest College Office of Communications and Marketing. Retrieved 14 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "History of the College". Lake Forest College. Retrieved 14 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). [ "Lake Forest University" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopedia Americana.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. ISBN 978-0-9638189-6-6
  8. "A hidden millionaire's college gift". Los Angeles Times. 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2012-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Peterson's Four-Year Colleges 2008. Fern Oram, ed., Peterson's 2007, p. 1723. ISBN 978-0-7689-2400-8
  10. "College Rankings". Retrieved 2012-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Richter Scholar Program" accessed Sep. 7, 2011.
  15. "Carnegie Classifications | Institution Lookup". Carnegie Classifications | Institution Profile. the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Retrieved 2012-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Lake Forest College | Best College | US News". 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2012-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. The Princeton Review. [1]. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  18. The Princeton Review. [2]
  19. "At A Glance: Lake Forest College Class of 2015". Lake Forest College. Retrieved 2012-03-05.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Lake Forest College" on Princeton Review website
  21. "Clubs and Organizations on College's website accessed Sep. 7, 2011". Retrieved 2012-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Stentor". Lake Forest College. Retrieved 2013-05-19. The newspaper covers features, news, editorials, sports, and offers a voice to the students of the College.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "Lake Forest College news: The Stentor archives". Lake Forest College. Retrieved 2013-05-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Clubs and Organizations on College's website accessed Sep. 7, 2011". Retrieved 2012-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Conklin, Mike (2007-02-14). "''Little Lake Forest Goes Mano a Mano With the Big Guys,'' New York Times, Feb. 14, 2007. Accessed Jan. 2, 2008". Illinois: Retrieved 2012-01-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Ebner, Michael H. "North Shore Town and Gown," Chicago History, Summer 2007, pp. 4–29
  • Schultze, Frank; Cowler, Rosemary; Miller, Arthur H. Thirty Miles North: A History of Lake Forest College, Its Town, and Its City of Chicago. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-9638189-6-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Reed, Christopher and Arthur Miller. eds. Lake Forest College: A Guide to the Campus. Lake Forest College, 2007,

External links

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