Frequently Asked Questions
It’s important to ask questions! Below are answers to some of the questions frequently asked about Commencement.
Yes, personalized announcements may be ordered through our vendor, Jostens, by calling 1-800-854-7464 or by visiting their website: www.jostens.com/college.
Students will pick up their caps and gowns on Tuesday, April 19 from 10:30 - 2:30 p.m. in the Pierson Rooms inside the Mohr Student Center. If they are unable to attend cap and gown pick up, they may visit the Alumni Office between 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Wednesday, April 20 through Wednesday, May 4. The cost of the cap and gown is included in senior dues.
Students who are members of College-recognized national academic honor societies or approved fraternity and sorority organizations are permitted to wear an appropriate stole or cord during the Commencement ceremony. The cord or stole must be sanctioned by the national office of the society or organization. Members of the Senior 25 may wear a College-approved stole. Kente stoles and serapes have also been approved for wear.
4. When should we plan to arrive in Lake Forest?
The main festivities will begin on Friday, May 6 and will continue through Saturday afternoon, May 7. Some families will choose to arrive early and enjoy campus one last time; others will prefer to attend only the Commencement ceremony on Saturday morning.
Immediate family members are invited to the following events:
Friday, May 6: Senior Brunch, Senior Honors Convocation
Saturday, May 7: Commencement
Reservations for accommodations and dining out should be made as soon as possible. Be sure to mention that you’re attending the College’s Commencement ceremony! Our preferred hotels offer a reduced rate for College guests.
Lake Forest College’s Commencement will be held at Ravinia Festival Park, a covered, open-air facility some 11 miles south of the campus in Highland Park, Illinois. Commencement begins at 10:15 a.m. and ends at approximately 12:30 p.m.
The College does not provide transportation to Ravinia, but train service for the 15-minute ride from Lake Forest to the Braeside stop near Ravinia is available through the Metra Union Pacific North Line. Please visit www.metrarail.com for more information.
The Pavilion at Ravinia Festival Park will accommodate 3,300 participants and their guests. Tickets will be mandatory. Graduates will receive 7 tickets, which will be distributed at cap and gown pick up on Tuesday, April 19. Space permitting, individuals without tickets will be admitted to the Park to fill any remaining seats. The College cannot offer a guarantee that all of these guests will be seated for the ceremony.
Graduates are encouraged to offer tickets they don’t need to fellow grads who need additional tickets. Students can check in at cap and gown pick up to see if extra tickets are available.
Guests without tickets are welcome to line up outside the Tyler (West) Gate as ticketed guests are admitted to the Park. Once the academic procession has been completed, guests without tickets will be admitted to the Park to fill any remaining seats. The College cannot offer a guarantee that all of these guests will be seated for the ceremony.
Small children who can sit in the lap of an accompanying adult for the ceremony will not require a ticket. Please note that the Pavilion is approximately a two block walk from the parking lot. Should you plan to use a stroller for your child, it must collapse and fit under the seats in the Pavilion. (Strollers can not be parked in the aisles due to fire code regulations.) In keeping with the College’s agreement with Ravinia Festival Park, children will not be allowed to run around the facility.
The outdoor pavilion at Ravinia has a concrete floor that typically keeps temperatures ten degrees cooler than outside the shelter. Combined with the wind off of Lake Michigan, the result is a very cold environment. Warm clothing and shoes, winter coats, hats, and gloves, and blankets are recommended for guest comfort, especially for children and grandparents. Blankets will be available for purchase at Ravinia by GradFlowers (they’ll have flowers, too!).
Guests are welcome to enter the Tyler (West) Gate at Ravinia beginning at 9:15 a.m. Ravinia Festival Park has several parking lots, we’re only using the one at 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, Illinois 60035. Please plug this address into your GPS when driving to Commencement for precise directions to the general parking lot.
If you need handicap accessible parking and seating, please contact Suzanne Nyren in the Office of Alumni at 847-735-6015 or email@example.com. A valid handicap parking permit or license plate is required for admission to the accessible parking lot adjacent to the Tyler (West) Gate. Ravinia Festival Park does not provide wheelchairs.
There will be two designated areas for families wishing to photograph graduates. Individuals taking pictures at the ceremony are asked to be respectful of those around them and to promptly return to their seats after taking pictures. Aisles must remain clear at Ravinia Festival Park in accordance with fire code regulations.
Families can purchase photos taken by GradImages online.
The deadline for graduates to have moved out of the residence halls is noon on Sunday, May 8.