Contribute to the MLS Program

The MLS Endowment serves the educational needs of the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies. These needs include scholarships for school teachers, supporting the participation of guest professors in graduate seminars, and other activities which foster interdisciplinary studies at the graduate level at Lake Forest College. The endowment merges funds and continues the mission of the original MLS Endowment, begun in 1985, and the Zilversmit-Gayle Fund that began in 2003.

The MLS Endowment honors the work of Carol Gayle, Rosemary Cowler, and Arthur Zilversmit.

Carol Gayle presenting a diploma to an MLS graduateCarol Gayle is an Associate Professor of History Emerita and was the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Liberal Studies from 2003-2024. She served as an advisor to MLS students from their first inquiry about the program through their graduation. Professor Gayle studied at Swarthmore College and Columbia University. Originally a specialist in Russian and European history, she has recently developed an interest in architectural history and in 1998 published a biography of James Bogardus, a pioneer of cast-iron architecture in America.

Rosemary Cowler (1925-2011) , Hotchkiss Presidential Professor of English, Emerita, was Director of the Graduate Program from 1990 until 2003.  She joined the Lake Forest College faculty in 1955, after completing her doctorate at Yale University.  She was Chair of the English Department from 1976 to 1985 and the College Marshal from 1974 to 1995, when she retired from full-time teaching.  In 1987 the British Academy awarded her the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize for her work on the Prose Work of Alexander Pope. 

Arthur Zilversmit (1932-2005) founded the MLS program in the mid-1970’s, at a time when only a handful of graduate liberal studies programs were in existence, including those at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins. In 1994 he won the first Joseph Katz Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Practice and Discourse of General and Liberal Education given by the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. Professor Zilversmit, an American intellectual historian with a special interest in the history of education, held degrees from Cornell University, Harvard University, and the University of California (Berkeley).