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
All graduates will receive 7 tickets to the Commencement ceremony in their cap and gown package. The Pavilion at Ravinia Festival Park will accommodate 3,300 participants and their guests. Tickets will be mandatory. 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.
Pick up your cap and gown
All graduates receive a black cap and gown (that they get to keep) at Cap and Gown Pick Up on April 19. 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 wear during the Commencement ceremony, but are not necessarily distributed at Cap and Gown Pick Up.
The cost of the cap and gown is included in senior dues. If the graduate is 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.
Record your name pronunciation
No matter how easy you may think your name sounds, all graduates need to record their name pronunciation 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.
Young Alumni Challenge
Participate in the Young Alumni Challenge in honor of the people who have shaped and influence 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 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 in nearby Highland Park, Illinois. In recent years, the temperature during Commencement has been 40 degrees or cooler under the covered pavilion. Winds off of Lake Michigan contribute to a cold environment. There are no heated, indoor facilities in which to warm up at Ravinia.
It’s usually cold under the pavilion at Ravinia and we don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable. Don’t be afraid to bring a blanket and dress warmly. GradFlowers will be on hand to sell Lake Forest College blankets; a portion of the profit is donated to the class gift.
Before lining up, graduates should leave their personal items that need to be carried with guests; you can’t take them up on stage and you’ll return to a different seat after receiving your diploma.
Parking at the ceremony
Please enter ?200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, Illinois 60035 into your GPS when traveling to Ravinia for precise directions to the general parking lot. Your GPS will give you directions to our special accommodations parking lot.
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.
Check traffic and construction
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.
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.