Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Next Thursday, July 1, 2021, will be the 20th anniversary of my arrival at Lake Forest College. I am very grateful to all of you for giving me the privilege to serve as the College’s president.
Two decades is a considerable period for anyone, and I informed the Board of Trustees this morning that the academic year ahead will be my final one as president. I am confident that the right time has come for this transition. The pandemic is largely behind us, and the College is in strong shape for the future. The biggest entering class in our history will arrive this August, Brown Hall is nearly finished, the new Health Professions Program is rapidly advancing, we completed a $140 million campaign last autumn, and our diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are making meaningful progress.
The three officers of the Board of Trustees and I have discussed this over the past several weeks. As Board Chair David F. Gorter ’80 will relate in a separate campus message today, the Board will form a search committee of trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni later this summer, and will also select a highly regarded professional search firm. By the beginning of September, the search committee will open a national search for the College’s next president, who will begin work next summer.
For the six months from July through December 2022, at the Board’s request, I will work as president emeritus to complete several key fundraising projects. Thereafter, from January through June 2023, I will take my first-ever sabbatical before moving on to my next chapter.
Throughout the academic year ahead, of course, I will continue to work full tilt. I can’t wait to see everyone return to campus this fall, after all of the past year’s challenges and isolation. I also look forward to the long-term planning process beginning this summer, which will produce inspiring new directions for the College by next spring.
I feel very fortunate to have played a role in the life and progress of the College. Together we have launched thriving new academic programs, increased enrollment, improved our campus, connected with Chicago, formed valuable partnerships, and reached many other goals that make me proud. What matters still more is the life-changing education that thousands of students have experienced and continue to experience here every year. To our faculty and staff who provide that education with such talent and commitment, and to our students who seize their opportunities here in such inspiring ways, I thank you from my heart.
Stephen D. Schutt
Lake Forest College