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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/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/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/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/258-william-a-lowry-84"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg" alt="William A. Lowry ’84" title="William A. Lowry ’84" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1331" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “[When hiring], I look for traits in an individual which are often typified by liberal arts students. Such candidates are usually confident risk takers, analytical thinkers, creative problem solvers and generally well-rounded people, who walk the earth with a can-do attitude.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/258-william-a-lowry-84">Trustee Bill Lowry ’84 started a law firm with colleagues.</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/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>
  • <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/253-chai-reddy-01"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg" alt="Chai Reddy ’01" title="Chai Reddy ’01" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1177" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I am thankful that I had the opportunity to find an academic interest, which provided me with the venue to develop skills in collaboration, investigation, negotiation, and professionalism.  But most importantly, I enjoyed what I was studying.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/253-chai-reddy-01">Chai Reddy ’01 teaches at an international school in Hawaii</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/262-robert-scherer-00"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23644_rob_sherer.rev.1416255091.jpg" alt="Robert Scherer ’00" title="Robert Scherer ’00" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="135" data-max-h="191"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The general skills you obtain by working with the humanities can be applied to a a wide range of more specific pursuits later in life, most notably strong writing skills.  As someone who routinely reviews applications, I can’t stress enough how valuable writing skills are.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/262-robert-scherer-00">Robert Scherer ’00 is an arts fundraiser</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/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/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/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/254-david-cantor-echols-07"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23642_cantor-echols.rev.1416254637.jpg" alt="David Cantor-Echols ’07" title="David Cantor-Echols ’07" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="268" data-max-h="257"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “Strong critical thinking and communication skills are always going to be in high demand, and History majors are especially well positioned in this area.”</div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/254-david-cantor-echols-07">David Cantor-Echols ’07 is working on his PhD in history</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>