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Master of Liberal Studies

Graduates Reflect on MLS program

As Jolene Riordan and Bruce Campbell finished their final classes in the MLS program, both shared what drew them to the MLS program and what they felt they received from the courses they took.

“I have never been one to learn linearly, and I am rarely satisfied with reading only one book or following one single area of study at a time.  There is almost always more than one way to look at anything.  A book by Dostoyevsky, for example is a masterpiece in itself, but it did not appear out of thin air.  He was inspired by something, and I want to know what that is.  He is a product of not only his time but of what came before.  I want to know what was important to him, be it scientifically, ideologically, politically, or some combination.  I want to know the environment he was living in when he created the masterpiece he wrote.  That is what drew me to the MLS program:  there are multiple ways to look at  everything and I want to be as fully informed as I possibly can be.” Jolene further went on to say that the co-instruction format and classroom conversations in each seminar provided that multi-faceted exploration of topics that she desired, and her conversations, both personal and professional, have been enriched through participation in the MLS program.

Bruce received his bachelor’s degree from Lake Forest College in 1969, and as an alum, learned about the MLS program through various college publications.  His desire to return to Lake Forest College came after retiring from a full career in hospital administration.  In his application he wrote, “The Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program is my opportunity to plan for the next thirty years.”   Today Bruce remembers, “Fifty years ago, I enrolled at LFC and sat in the back of the class wearing the bill of my baseball hat facing backwards.  Thanks to a solicitous faculty and a merciful administration, I graduated.  For the past few years, the MLS program has provided me another chance to learn with scholarly faculty and motivated students.  The program has enhanced my ability to interpret original works, debate concepts and theories, conduct individualized research, share perspectives, and formulate new ideas.  A liberal arts education is ageless, and I am ready to be turned loose – let the fourth quarter begin!”

Congratulations to both graduates who are indeed life-long learners!