Groner Foundation

Who was Grace Elizabeth Groner?

No one could have predicted that the birth of twin girls in 1909 in a small town in Lake County, Illinois, would have launched a legacy.  One hundred years later, having just outlived her sister, Gladys, Grace Groner established the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation, a 501(c)3 which she endowed with over seven million dollars.  Grace’s stated intent directed the Foundation to provide financial support for qualified service-oriented Lake Forest College students.  This support enables students to pursue service-learning opportunities, enhancing their liberal arts education.  Grace’s legacy consists of far more than just money: Grace lived humbly and kept her wealth a secret, leading a modest life dedicated to service.  In the spirit of her belief in young people, the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation, (GEGF) encourages real-world service-learning opportunities, which invite students to partake in the joys of serving others in the community, nationally, and internationally.

Orphaned at age twelve, Grace and Gladys Groner were taken in by George Anderson, a resident of Lake Forest, and a friend of Grace’s parents.  The Andersons loved Grace and Gladys as if they were family, and they paid for the girls to attend boarding school and Lake Forest College. 

After Grace graduated from Lake Forest College in 1931, she began working as a secretary at Abbott Laboratories, where she remained for more than four decades.  It was during her early years at Abbott that Grace purchased three shares of Abbott stock for $180.  This purchase would later fund the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation. 

During the Great Depression, Grace learned to live frugally, and for the rest of her life she continued to live humbly.  She lived in a small one-bedroom house.  After her car was stolen, Grace walked instead of buying another car.  And even during old age, with walker in hand, she would do her yard work.  Because of her lifestyle, Grace’s fortune came as a surprise to nearly all who knew her, a surprise that now promises to change the lives of many Lake Forest College students. 

Grace’s greatest passion was service.  Grace never forgot the gift of education given to her by Mr. Anderson, and she often donated anonymously to those in need.  She also volunteered as a secretary at Barat College in Lake Forest and the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest. 

Today, Grace Groner’s legacy lives on through Lake Forest College students who honorably represent Ms. Groner.

 

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  • Ally Bain, ‘12, pursued a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Justice.  Ally Bain, ‘12, pursued a summer internship with the U.S. Department of Justice. 
  • Anhar Mohamed conducted summer research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.   Anhar Mohamed conducted summer research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.  
  • Amber Green, ‘12, volunteered her time at Lake Forest College’s Career Advancement Center as a Student Ambassador. Amber Green, ‘12, volunteered her time at Lake Forest College’s Career Advancement Center as a Student Ambassador.
  • Akua Agyei, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research for Andean Aid. Akua Agyei, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research for Andean Aid.
  • Abby Brownell, ‘15, spent her summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica where she was responsible for collecting data on saplings.   Abby Brownell, ‘15, spent her summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica where she was responsible for collecting data on saplings.  
  • Agnes Dadej, ‘13, pursued an internship at the Gorton’s Drop-in Center.  She was responsible for lesson planning and implementing.   Agnes Dadej, ‘13, pursued an internship at the Gorton’s Drop-in Center.  She was responsible for lesson planning and implementing.  
  • Agnes Dadej, ‘13, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Agnes was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School. Agnes Dadej, ‘13, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Agnes was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School.
  • Allison Hamel, ‘12, volunteered her time at Lake Forest College’s Career Advancement Center as a Student Ambassador. Allison Hamel, ‘12, volunteered her time at Lake Forest College’s Career Advancement Center as a Student Ambassador.
  • Ally Bain, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier Center for the Constitution where she was responsible for many marketing tasks, and organized We the People, a civic education program about the U.S. Constitution.  Ally Bain, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier Center for the Constitution where she was responsible for many marketing tasks, and organized We the People, a civic education program about the U.S. Constitution. 
  • Amy Gonzalez, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Amy was invited to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School. Amy Gonzalez, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Amy was invited to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School.
  • Agnes Dadej, ‘13, pursued an internship for her Education major, at Gorton’s Drop-in Center where she was a teacher’s assistant.   Agnes Dadej, ‘13, pursued an internship for her Education major, at Gorton’s Drop-in Center where she was a teacher’s assistant.  
  • Aidan Price, ‘13, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Aidan was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School. Aidan Price, ‘13, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Aidan was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School.
  • Allie Urbanik, ‘13, pursued a volunteer project at Colonial Williamsburg with the Rare Breeds and Coach and Livestock Departments.  Allie was responsible for caring for animal breeds that were prevalent in the colonial era.  Allie Urbanik, ‘13, pursued a volunteer project at Colonial Williamsburg with the Rare Breeds and Coach and Livestock Departments.  Allie was responsible for caring for animal breeds that were prevalent in the colonial era. 
  • Allie Urbanik, ‘13, returned for a second summer at Colonial Williamsburg where she worked in the Rare Breeds department.   Allie Urbanik, ‘13, returned for a second summer at Colonial Williamsburg where she worked in the Rare Breeds department.  
  • Ashley Gora, ‘14, spent her summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica working as a community outreaching intern.   Ashley Gora, ‘14, spent her summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica working as a community outreaching intern.  
  • Abby Brownell, ‘15, coordinates a conservation seminar for Groner Recipients.  Abby Brownell, ‘15, coordinates a conservation seminar for Groner Recipients. 
  • Ryan Drake, ‘15, spent his summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica, working on data collection for saplings planted in an effort to restore vegetation. Ryan Drake, ‘15, spent his summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica, working on data collection for saplings planted in an effort to restore vegetation.
  • Ariane Uwambe, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research of Bright Hope. Ariane Uwambe, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research of Bright Hope.
  • Ariana Rincon Dacal, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research for Andean Aid.  Ariana Rincon Dacal, ‘15, spent her summer conducting micro-finance research for Andean Aid. 
  • Candice Konsake, ‘14, has worked to develop a website for the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation.  Candice Konsake, ‘14, has worked to develop a website for the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation. 
  • Camila Quinteros, ‘14, volunteered her summer at Colonial Williamsburg where she worked in the architecture department. Camila Quinteros, ‘14, volunteered her summer at Colonial Williamsburg where she worked in the architecture department.
  • Hanna Morrison, ‘13, interned at Equestrian Connection under the supervision of the Occupation Therapist.   Hanna Morrison, ‘13, interned at Equestrian Connection under the supervision of the Occupation Therapist.  
  • Gabe Trujillo, ‘15, spent his summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica where he was responsible for ensuring the successful growth of young saplings. Gabe Trujillo, ‘15, spent his summer at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica where he was responsible for ensuring the successful growth of young saplings.
  • Camila Quinteros, ‘14, created a mural for the heritage renewal organization for which she was volunteering in London. Camila Quinteros, ‘14, created a mural for the heritage renewal organization for which she was volunteering in London.
  • Emily Hampden-Smith,’13, worked for weeks over the summer with Azafady, an organization in Madagascar trying to study the effects of habitat lost on the behavior of lemurs and geckos. Emily Hampden-Smith,’13, worked for weeks over the summer with Azafady, an organization in Madagascar trying to study the effects of habitat lost on the behavior of lemurs and geckos.
  • Hanna Morrison, ‘13, pursued an internship in Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Art Therapy at Misericordia:Heart of Mercy.   Hanna Morrison, ‘13, pursued an internship in Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Art Therapy at Misericordia:Heart of Mercy.  
  • Barbara Wye, ‘14, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School and volunteered her time as a photographer for the Montpelier Foundation. Barbara Wye, ‘14, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School and volunteered her time as a photographer for the Montpelier Foundation.
  • Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Jimena was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School. Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, Jimena was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School.
  • Ashley Gora, ‘14, volunteered at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica for the summer.  Her tasks included overseeing the other Groner Recipients who also volunteered and conducted research at Monteverde. Ashley Gora, ‘14, volunteered at the Monteverde Institute in Costa Rica for the summer.  Her tasks included overseeing the other Groner Recipients who also volunteered and conducted research at Monteverde.
  • Camila Quinteros, ‘14, pursued an internship at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for various administrative tasks, including writing marketing materials, and worked on the digital design of the city vehicle sticker. Camila Quinteros, ‘14, pursued an internship at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for various administrative tasks, including writing marketing materials, and worked on the digital design of the city vehicle sticker.
  • Camila Quinteros, ‘14, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  Camila learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.  Camila Quinteros, ‘14, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  Camila learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. 
  • Barbara Wye, ‘14, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  Barbara learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.  Barbara Wye, ‘14, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  Barbara learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. 
  • Daniella Leonardo, ‘14, spent here summer volunteering at CROYA.  She was responsible for administrative tasks as well as leadership duties.  Daniella Leonardo, ‘14, spent here summer volunteering at CROYA.  She was responsible for administrative tasks as well as leadership duties. 
  • Cleo Hehn, ‘13, volunteered her time at the First Presbyterian Church, and assisted any groups needed help, including the choir. Cleo Hehn, ‘13, volunteered her time at the First Presbyterian Church, and assisted any groups needed help, including the choir.
  • Candice Kosanke, ‘14, volunteered her summer at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for designing and distributing marketing materials.  Candice Kosanke, ‘14, volunteered her summer at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for designing and distributing marketing materials. 
  • Candice Kosanke, ‘14, pursued an internship at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for public relations duties.  Candice Kosanke, ‘14, pursued an internship at Gorton Community Center where she was responsible for public relations duties. 
  • Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier in the archaeology department. Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier in the archaeology department.
  • Jerrold Rosema, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School as a teaching assistant this summer.  Jerrold learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Jerrold assisted leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. Jerrold Rosema, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School as a teaching assistant this summer.  Jerrold learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Jerrold assisted leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.
  • Jerrold Rosema, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School for the summer summer.  Jerrold learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. Jerrold Rosema, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School for the summer summer.  Jerrold learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.
  • James Dunningan, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School as a teaching assistant this summer.  James learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  James assisted leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.  James Dunningan, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School as a teaching assistant this summer.  James learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  James assisted leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. 
  • James Dunnigan, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  James learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors.  James Dunnigan, ‘12, attended the Falmouth Field School for a month this summer.  James learned about the archaeology, anthropology, and architecture of the area.  Leading archaeologists, and architects attended the Field School as instructors. 
  • James Dunnigan, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, James was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School. James Dunnigan, ‘12, attended the Montpelier Archaeology Field School.  After the 5-week Field School, James was chosen to stay at Montpelier as an intern and teach the second session of the Field School.
  • Heather Heitkotter, ‘16, conducted medical research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Heather Heitkotter, ‘16, conducted medical research at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.
  • Hanna Morrison, ‘13, volunteers at the Virginia Institute of Autism in the Occupational Therapy department. Hanna Morrison, ‘13, volunteers at the Virginia Institute of Autism in the Occupational Therapy department.
  • Julia French, ‘12, pursued a Communication and Marketing internship at the Gorton Community Center.  Julia French, ‘12, pursued a Communication and Marketing internship at the Gorton Community Center. 
  • Joseph Flores, ‘15, volunteers his time at ARAMARK learning about food preparation.  Joseph Flores, ‘15, volunteers his time at ARAMARK learning about food preparation. 
  • Jordyn Varga, ‘13, pursued an internship at Misericordia: Heart of Mercy with the Behavioral Modification program. Jordyn Varga, ‘13, pursued an internship at Misericordia: Heart of Mercy with the Behavioral Modification program.
  • Jordyn Varga, ‘13, pursues a fellowship at Misericordia: Heart of Mercy as a Behavioral Modification Support Professional.  Jordyn Varga, ‘13, pursues a fellowship at Misericordia: Heart of Mercy as a Behavioral Modification Support Professional. 
  • Jordyn Varga, ‘13, volunteers her time at Gorton’s Drop-in Center.  Jordyn Varga, ‘13, volunteers her time at Gorton’s Drop-in Center. 
  • Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier in the archaeology department. Jimena Resendiz, ‘12, pursued an internship at James Madison’s Montpelier in the archaeology department.

What is the Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation?

The Grace Elizabeth Groner Foundation was established and created by Miss Grace Groner, a 1931 graduate of Lake Forest College, who died in January 2010 at the age of 100.  The Foundation represents Grace’s belief in young people, her desire to enrich their education and future, and her interest in the students of Lake Forest College.

The Foundation offers unique opportunities to qualified Lake Forest College students and are unavailable to students at other colleges.  The GEGF’s mission is to preserve Grace Groner’s legacy by encouraging Lake Forest College students to prepare for their careers and lives of service to their community and alma mater.  The GEGF assists students in gaining meaningful experiences in the spirit of service to others.  The Groner Foundation believes that service to others is the fundamental basis of any community. 

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