Information for Parents and Families
We’re excited about celebrating this important milestone with graduates and their guests! We host an annual Commencement ceremony at Ravinia Festival Park in Highland Park for students who complete their degree during that academic year.
Get your tickets
You will receive 7 tickets to the Commencement ceremony in your cap and gown package. The Pavilion at Ravinia Festival Park will accommodate 3,300 participants and their guests. Tickets are mandatory.
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 guarantee that all of these guests will be seated for the ceremony.
Pick up your cap and gown
All graduates receive a black cap and gown (that you get to keep) at Cap and Gown Pick-Up on April 19 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. in the Pierson Rooms inside the Mohr Student Center. The ensemble includes a traditional tassel that should be worn on your cap at Commencement. Special cords, stoles, serapes and pins for College-recognized national academic honor societies or approved fraternity and sorority organizations are permitted to be worn during the Commencement ceremony. These items generally are not distributed at Cap and Gown Pick Up. Please check with your organization.
The cost of the cap and gown is included in senior dues. If you are unable to attend Cap and Gown Pick-Up, you may pick up your package at the Alumni Office between 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Wednesday, April 20 through Wednesday, May 4.
Record your name
No matter how easy you may think your name sounds, all graduates must record their names so the Dean says it correctly as you receive your diploma on stage. LIT will be at Cap and Gown Pick-Up with iPads to help you get it right.
If you are unable to attend Cap and Gown Pick-Up, you can record your own name pronunciation on your smart phone. Say your name as you wish it to be read at Commencement. Repeat your name twice. If you have an iPhone, you can use an app live Voice Memo or make a movie using the Camera. If you have an Android phone, the Camera will let you make a video. After you record yourself, email your recording to David Levinson at email@example.com in LIT.
Attend student loan exit counseling
Every graduating student who received federal student loans as part of their financial aid must attend a small group session where you’ll learn about repayment options. This session is one of your graduation requirements. This means if you choose not to attend, you will not receive your diploma and official transcript.
In order to complete the exit counseling session you will need your FSA ID (FSAID.ED.GOV), Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number (if you have one), and names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references. The first reference must be one of your parents; the other two a relative or friend. If you will be working after graduation, bring with you the name, address, and telephone number of your employer.
There are eight sessions, held in Library 203:
- Monday, April 18 12–1 p.m. and 4–5 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 19 12–1 p.m. and 4–5 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 20 12–1 p.m. and 4–5 p.m.
- Thursday, April 21 12 - 1 p.m. and 4–5 p.m.
Adriana Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Financial Aid will send you an email with scheduling instructions. If you have any questions or do not receive an email from her by April 13, please contact her directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Alumni Challenge
Participate in the Young Alumni Challenge in honor of the people who have shaped and influenced your experience the most. Your five-year commitment will be matched dollar for dollar by a Lake Forest College supporter for the next five years.
Make hotel reservations for visitors
If you’ve got family coming in from out of town, make sure they have a place to stay! Click here for a list of hotels close to campus (some with special rates for Lake Forest College guests).
Dress for cold weather
Commencement, which lasts over two hours, is held at scenic Ravinia Festival Park, an outdoor concert facility. No matter what the forecast, it is always cold! In recent years, the temperature during Commencement has been 40 degrees or cooler, with a wind off of Lake Michigan. There are no heated, indoor facilities in which to warm up at Ravinia. Don’t be afraid to dress for winter weather.
Getting to Ravinia
- Follow the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) west to the Edens Expressway (I-94) and U.S. Route 41. Exit at Lake Cook Road and travel 1 mile east to Green Bay Road. Make a left on Green Bay Road, and a right into the Ravinia parking lot.
- Alternate route: Follow the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) west to the Edens Expressway (I-94) and U.S. Route 41. Exit at Clavey Road and travel 1 mile east to Green Bay Road. Make a right on Green Bay Road, and a left into the Ravinia parking lot.
From Lake Forest College and the northern suburbs
- Head south on U.S. Route 41 or I-94. Exit at Lake Cook Road and travel east to Green Bay Road. Make a left on Green Bay Road, and a right into the Ravinia parking lot.
If using a GPS, please enter 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, Illinois 60035. Be sure to check local traffic and construction information the morning of Commencement to ensure that you arrive on time. We recommend checking the Illinois Department of Transportation site.
The Metra Union Pacific North Line with service from Chicago to Kenosha is highly recommended! Get off at the Braeside stop and walk north on St. John’s Ave. until you reach the park (about 5-10 minutes). Please visit Metrarail.com for complete schedules and information.
The main public lot is the West Lot, accessible from Green Bay Road. This lot opens at 8:30 a.m. The pavilion at Ravinia Festival Park is some distance from the parking lot. (Click here for a Park map.) Please allow extra time to walk to the pavilion. Ravinia does not provide wheelchairs.
If you need handicap accessible parking and seating, please contact Suzanne Nyren 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.
Please note: The parking lot closes at 2 p.m.
Bring your ID but nothing else
Graduates must report to the graduation checkpoint at the main
gate - with your College ID and cap and gown - starting at 9 a.m. You will not be admitted without your ID! Graduates need to be checked in by 9:30 a.m.
Before lining up, graduates should leave their personal items with guests; you can’t take them up on stage and you’ll return to a different seat after receiving your diploma.
Move out of your residence hall
If you live on campus, you’ll need to move out of your residence hall by noon on Sunday, May 8.