Commencement

Senior Information

Get ready to celebrate!Get ready to celebrate!

Congratulations! You’re almost done with your undergraduate career! We know there’s a lot of information on this page, so read carefully. It’s all important to help prepare you for graduation.

  • 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 or the Class of 2017 Facebook page to see if extra tickets are available.

  • 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 25 from 10:30 a.m. - 2:00 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 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 (3rd floor of North Hall) between 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. from Wednesday, April 26 through Wednesday, May 10.

  • 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 levinson@lakeforest.edu 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.

    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 6, please contact her directly by email at rodriguez@lakeforest.edu.

  • 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! 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, closed toe shoes, winter coats (under your robe), and gloves are recommended. Seriously.

  • Getting to Ravinia

    By Car

    From Chicago
    • 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.

    By Train

    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 minutes). Please visit Metrarail.com for complete schedules and information.

  • Parking

    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 nyren@lakeforest.edu. 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. and does not re-open until Monday morning. Please do not leave your car in the lot after the ceremony.

  • 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! 

    Before lining up, graduates should leave 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 14.