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History

As the collective memory of society, history informs us of the intense human struggles that shaped our past and thereby enriches our understanding of the present. History also reveals a diversity of human experience that is worth pondering for its own sake. 

Students in history build a strong foundation in global history and also study in depth particular historical periods from ancient to modern times. In many classes students draw upon historical resources available in Chicago, including the Field Museum and the Chicago History Museum, among others.

History majors have gone on to complete graduate programs at several institutions, including Yale University, New York University, Brandeis University, Northwestern University, Tufts University, Loyola University Chicago, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and the University of Virginia.

Our alumni have pursued careers in teaching, government, business and much more.

Department News

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  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/252-benjamin-mason-01"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg" alt="Benjamin Mason ’01" title="Benjamin Mason ’01" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1650" data-max-h="1559"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The strong communication skills I gained through the History major assist and enhance my everyday interactions with the general public and external stakeholders, such as builders and developers.  Additionally, the History major trained me to see present-day projects through the lens of history…”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/252-benjamin-mason-01">Benjamin Mason ’01 has a career in urban planning</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/247-amy-badertscher-85"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg" alt="Amy Badertscher ’85" title="Amy Badertscher ’85" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1320" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I think your college experience should expand your mind beyond the goal of a paycheck. I have a wonderful, valuable, complex position as a library director. I doubt my career path would have been nearly as interesting without my history experience at Lake Forest College.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/247-amy-badertscher-85">Amy Badertscher ’85 is the Director of Library Services at Kenyon</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/260-genevieve-misfeldt-sonty-04"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23619_headshot_3.rev.1415902186.jpg" alt="Genevieve Misfeldt Sonty ’04" title="Genevieve Misfeldt Sonty ’04" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="308" data-max-h="338"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “As a history major I gained the ability to write well. As a teacher of history, I am also a teacher of writing. I apply the lessons I learned in Young Hall everyday (no joke!) as I help my students grow in their ability to express an argument cogently.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/260-genevieve-misfeldt-sonty-04">Genevieve Sonty ’04 is a social studies teacher</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/256-kristopher-fador-04"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23647_fador.rev.1416256039.jpg" alt="Kristopher Fador ’04" title="Kristopher Fador ’04" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23647_fador.rev.1416256039.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23647_fador.rev.1416256039.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1257" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The wave of the future will continue to be innovation, and the corner stone of innovation is critical thinking – a liberal arts college first and foremost teaches critical thinking.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/256-kristopher-fador-04">Kristopher Fador ’04 is now a senior vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2055-kimiko-fujioka-guillermo-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,614,720/32624_screen_shot_2016-07-07_at_1.16.43_pm.rev.1467915510.png" alt="Kimiko Fujioka Guillermo ’16" title="Kimiko Fujioka Guillermo ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,614,720/32624_screen_shot_2016-07-07_at_1.16.43_pm.rev.1467915510.png 2x" data-max-w="614" data-max-h="720"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I realized that I am effective in an office environment, and that work culture includes collaboration.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2055-kimiko-fujioka-guillermo-16">Kimiko Guillermo ’16 found an internship site that allowed her to grow at World Bicycle Relief.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/310-emily-blegen-07"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg" alt="Emily Blegen ’07" title="Emily Blegen ’07" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg 3x" data-max-w="1200" data-max-h="1200"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “A history degree provides a plethora of skills:  the ability to conduct research, write without bias, critically think, understand the world’s historical roots, and present a persuasive argument.  I felt these skills would be generalizable and ultimately allow me to go into a number of directions.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/310-emily-blegen-07">Emily Blegen ’07 is a graduate psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Sioux Falls, VA</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2053-elizabeth-lakeman-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,576,720/32596_lakeman_3.rev.1467135848.jpg" alt="Elizabeth Lakeman ’16" title="Elizabeth Lakeman ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,576,720/32596_lakeman_3.rev.1467135848.jpg 2x" data-max-w="576" data-max-h="720"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “What made my internship special is I was able to enjoy working with people while also learning a lot about history and other areas of the humanities I am interested in.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2053-elizabeth-lakeman-16">Elizabeth Lakeman ’16 found clarity about her future career path as an Events Intern at The Newberry Library.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2061-jerry-sproviero-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg" alt="Jerry Sproviero ’16" title="Jerry Sproviero ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I learned about the museum, library, and non-profit sectors. This gave me an idea of several positions that appeal to me in these sectors.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2061-jerry-sproviero-16">Jerry Sproviero ’16 was part of a team that worked with recorded interviews of U. S. Veterans during his internship at the Pritzker Military Museum.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/291-anne-morgan-03"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/24519_annemorgan.rev.1424459231.jpg" alt="Anne Morgan ’03" title="Anne Morgan ’03" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="248" data-max-h="219"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “A good Humanities major leaves college with the ability to look at things and see possibilities, not limits.  In many ways History, or any Humanities major, is preparing you for life because you will be able to look at any problem, any job, any project and say confidently:  I may not instantly know the answer, but I know something better, I know how to arrive at the answer.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/291-anne-morgan-03">Anne Morgan ’03 is working as the Interim Head Curator/Head Archivist at a museum in California.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/261-janet-m-evander-82"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17564_janet-evander.rev.1391118009.jpg" alt="Janet M. Evander ’82" title="Janet M. Evander ’82" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17564_janet-evander.rev.1391118009.jpg 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="538"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “My Lake Forest education taught me so much about serious research. That knowledge was invaluable as I moved into a field where it was important to understand the process and sources of scholarly research and the needs of those doing the work.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/261-janet-m-evander-82">Janet Evander ’82 went on to earn her a master’s degree in library science.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2054-rachel-collins-14"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg" alt="Rachel Collins ’14" title="Rachel Collins ’14" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “As a Development Intern, I found it very useful to learn the ins and outs of a non-profit organization.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2054-rachel-collins-14">Rachel Collins ’14 learned about local history through her internship at the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Historical Society.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/255-casey-reid-08"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23341_casey_reid.rev.1413311867.jpg" alt="Casey Reid ’08" title="Casey Reid ’08" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="276" data-max-h="276"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “A significant portion of my current role involves writing, which is something that I did a great deal of as a History student.  Often, I’m asked to develop fundraising materials by drawing from a range of sources with a very brief turnaround time.  This requires me to be able to read quickly and understand the key messages from the sources–another area where my History degree helps me.”</div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/255-casey-reid-08">Casey Reid ’08 leads the marketing team at the University of Chicago Booth School</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/257-josh-bill-04"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17339_bill.rev.1386278455.jpg" alt="Josh Bill ’04" title="Josh Bill ’04" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17339_bill.rev.1386278455.jpg 2x" data-max-w="960" data-max-h="640"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “Any recognition I receive as a teacher is a result of the preparation I received in the history department. I could not have taught my students to be historians if I hadn’t gone through the process myself.” </div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/257-josh-bill-04">Josh Bill ’04 is an award-winning history teacher</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1181-rory-oconnor-96"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg" alt="Rory O’Connor ’96" title="Rory O’Connor ’96" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1638" data-max-h="2048"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I was promoted to be the speechwriter for a two-star Admiral who oversaw the research, design, construction, and maintenance of all the Navy’s submarines and undersea weapons. I had never written a speech in my life and I knew next to nothing about submarines, but thanks in large part to skills I learned writing my thesis, I picked it up quickly.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/1181-rory-oconnor-96">Rory O’Connor ’96 found his history major instrumental in succeeding in his Navy career.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/614-ryan-dooley-05"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/27699_dooley.rev.1440708779.jpeg" alt="Ryan Dooley ’05" title="Ryan Dooley ’05" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/27699_dooley.rev.1440708779.jpeg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/27699_dooley.rev.1440708779.jpeg 3x" data-max-w="1786" data-max-h="2048"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I have always thought the act of doing History is the same as the act of doing architecture. You have to find an undefined problem, analyze it, understand it, and then articulate the solution.  The solution is just manifested differently.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/614-ryan-dooley-05">Ryan Dooley ’05 became an architect</a>