That was one of the messages Paul Creatura ’87, Alumni Board president, had for the Class of 2016 on Saturday, August 25 during a 50-minute panel discussion. It was one of 80 orientation activities planned for first-year students in the week before the first day of class.
The panelists sat on the alter in Lily Reid Holt Memorial Chapel as moderator Franco La Marca ’00 asked them questions about life as a Forester. They passed the microphone down the line, each offering a few words on topics such as ways to get help with a class, where the best parties take place, and why it’s important to stay connected with the College after graduation.
“It’s a gift to be part of a community such as Lake Forest College and important to stay engaged with both alumni and current students. That camaraderie is special,” La Marca said. “Connecting with the College through financial giving, or through volunteering, makes it a better institution. Through that engagement, the College produces better alumni whose successes are a reflection of the efforts of the many Foresters who came before them.”
La Marca started each of the four rounds of the panel with an icebreaker in which he asked students to meet someone new, sit down, and talk for a few minutes. The students were not shy.
Later, they had the chance to ask their own questions to the panelists, who also included Doug Adolph ’07, Geoff Curtis ’97, Charle Fern ’94, Jessica Gardner ’93, Shep Washburn ’07, and Elizabeth West ’07.
The Alumni Board hosted a Red and Black Dinner in Hart Dining Hall that evening – another chance for first-year students to learn about alumni experiences and their lives after Lake Forest College.
Kay Smith Severns ’59 grabbed the hands of as many members of the Class of 2016 as possible while they waited in line to eat. She asked them where they came from, listened to their stories, and shared some of her own Forester tales from 57 years ago.
“I always enjoy getting to know the great students that attend Lake Forest,” Severns said. “One of the students thanked me for coming out to meet them. That is one of the reasons I think alumni-student interactions are important.”