Four students received their master’s of liberal studies this past weekend. As the four students talked about their journey through the program, the diversity of the group became apparent.
Ty Harris (’14) took classes in the MLS program at the same time his daughter was taking classes towards her bachelor’s degree. Both finished their programs this year and participated in the Commencement ceremony this past weekend. Carol Gayle says it is the first time in the history of the MLS program that a parent has received an MLS degree at the same time that his child received a BA degree. Ty recalls his first introduction to Lake Forest College through his mother, who lived in Waukegan and worked as a housekeeper in Lake Forest. She told him about “this beautiful college in Lake Forest.” In the same breath she would stress to her children the importance of getting an education so they wouldn’t have to do the type of work she was doing. Ty told us, “I’m sure my Mother [was] smiling in heaven on graduation day.”
With a degree in business and work experience as a Realtor, Patti Edwards (’14) decided to challenge herself by returning to school to explore the Liberal Arts and Humanities. She enrolled in the Master of Liberal Studies program, hoping to broaden and enrich her life experiences. Patti says, “It has been a personal goal of mine to continue my formal education and to earn an advanced degree. I found the Master of Liberal Studies program to be flexible while maintaining rigor. The lectures were very interesting and the class discussions engaging. What made it fun were the exchange of ideas and the camaraderie of the group. I chose to take elective courses in a few areas of interest and that added greatly to my experience. Along the way, I met some really wonderful people.”
Shanara Bruso (’14) had attended nursing school, but was looking for something different when she moved with her husband to the Great Lakes naval base. “I found the MLS program at a time when I felt there were gaps in my education,” says Shanara. She credits the MLS program with expanding her thinking and furthering her research capabilities, while allowing her the freedom to explore her creative writing interests. “The staff and professors are all supportive, to the point where instructors sometimes spend countless hours outside of the classroom, ensuring the student feels comfortable with an assignment. I feel like I am leaving Lake Forest College with all of the tools I need to enhance my future and succeed in whatever field I choose.”
On Saturday, Sam Schuring (’14) participated in her second commencement march at Lake Forest College within a year. Last May she received her bachelor’s degree in history, and this year she received her Master of Liberal Studies degree. Sam is the first student in the MLS program to complete the requirements in one year. Most students in the program take one or two classes a semester, but because Sam enrolled in three classes each semester and chose to complete a thesis, she was able to finish the requirements at an accelerated pace. Sam has been a member of the Lake Forest College women’s basketball team, and was happy to return to the court this year to play her last year of eligibility while continuing her education. Sam says, “I was unsure about what I wanted to do for my future career and I thought that getting my master’s degree would help give me more time in deciding as well as becoming more marketable in the job field. I had a wonderful experience in the program, I met some great people, and I learned how to challenge myself academically. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone.”
Congratulations to all of our graduates!