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History

At Lake Forest, history majors work with professors who are both exceptional teachers and active scholars. Faculty members help students develop their skills and find success both in the classroom and after graduation. 

Explore Diverse Topics
As the collective memory of society, history informs us of the intense human struggles that shaped our past and thereby enriches our understanding of the present. History also reveals a diversity of human experience that is worth pondering for its own sake. Students in history build a strong foundation in global history and also study in depth particular historical periods from ancient to modern times. In many classes students draw upon historical resources available in Chicago, including the Field Museum and the Chicago History Museum, among others.
Great Career Opportunities

The Career Advancement Center assists in finding internships and transitioning to jobs. A history major offers a wide range of career choices after college, because it develops skills valued by employers in many sectors. 

History majors have the ability to do research, to comprehend and analyze evidence, and to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing. From warfare information officers and global compliance specialists to bibliographers and architects, our graduates find great jobs around the world.

Our alumni have pursued careers in teaching, government, business and much more.

 

Department News

  • The Clio Society Launch
    Students have launched a new group for those interested in history: The Clio Society, named after the Greek muse of history.
  • Joshua Bill

    As a longtime high school history teacher, Joshua Bill ’04 makes history come alive for his students. An award-winning teacher at Waukegan High School, the Lake Forest alumnus will be featured at the annual Lincoln Honor Roll Society reception at the Chicago History Museum on Tuesday, February 12.  

  • Inter-Text editors

    Students and professors from across campus came together to celebrate the inaugural launch of a new student-run journal called Inter-Text: An Undergraduate Journal for Social Sciences & Humanities on April 26.

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  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/258-william-a-lowry-84"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg" alt="William A. Lowry ’84" title="William A. Lowry ’84" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1331,1650/23648_wal-a1.rev.1416256292.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1331" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “[When hiring], I look for traits in an individual which are often typified by liberal arts students. Such candidates are usually confident risk takers, analytical thinkers, creative problem solvers and generally well-rounded people, who walk the earth with a can-do attitude.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/258-william-a-lowry-84">Trustee Bill Lowry ’84 started a law firm with colleagues.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/262-robert-scherer-00"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23644_rob_sherer.rev.1416255091.jpg" alt="Robert Scherer ’00" title="Robert Scherer ’00" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="135" data-max-h="191"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The general skills you obtain by working with the humanities can be applied to a a wide range of more specific pursuits later in life, most notably strong writing skills.  As someone who routinely reviews applications, I can’t stress enough how valuable writing skills are.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/262-robert-scherer-00">Robert Scherer ’00 is an arts fundraiser</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2055-kimiko-fujioka-guillermo-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,614,720/32624_screen_shot_2016-07-07_at_1.16.43_pm.rev.1467915510.png" alt="Kimiko Fujioka Guillermo ’16" title="Kimiko Fujioka Guillermo ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,614,720/32624_screen_shot_2016-07-07_at_1.16.43_pm.rev.1467915510.png 2x" data-max-w="614" data-max-h="720"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I realized that I am effective in an office environment, and that work culture includes collaboration.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2055-kimiko-fujioka-guillermo-16">Kimiko Guillermo ’16 found an internship site that allowed her to grow at World Bicycle Relief.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/310-emily-blegen-07"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg" alt="Emily Blegen ’07" title="Emily Blegen ’07" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/25137_blegen.rev.1426609054.jpeg 3x" data-max-w="1200" data-max-h="1200"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “A history degree provides a plethora of skills:  the ability to conduct research, write without bias, critically think, understand the world’s historical roots, and present a persuasive argument.  I felt these skills would be generalizable and ultimately allow me to go into a number of directions.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/310-emily-blegen-07">Emily Blegen ’07 is a graduate psychologist at the Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Sioux Falls, VA</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2061-jerry-sproviero-16"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg" alt="Jerry Sproviero ’16" title="Jerry Sproviero ’16" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/352,188,1654,1490/32626_sproviero.rev.1467919097.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I learned about the museum, library, and non-profit sectors. This gave me an idea of several positions that appeal to me in these sectors.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2061-jerry-sproviero-16">Jerry Sproviero ’16 was part of a team that worked with recorded interviews of U. S. Veterans during his internship at the Pritzker Military Museum.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/291-anne-morgan-03"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/24519_annemorgan.rev.1424459231.jpg" alt="Anne Morgan ’03" title="Anne Morgan ’03" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="248" data-max-h="219"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “A good Humanities major leaves college with the ability to look at things and see possibilities, not limits.  In many ways History, or any Humanities major, is preparing you for life because you will be able to look at any problem, any job, any project and say confidently:  I may not instantly know the answer, but I know something better, I know how to arrive at the answer.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/291-anne-morgan-03">Anne Morgan ’03 is working as the Interim Head Curator/Head Archivist at a museum in California.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/247-amy-badertscher-85"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg" alt="Amy Badertscher ’85" title="Amy Badertscher ’85" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23351_amy-badertscher.rev.1413398284.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1320" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I think your college experience should expand your mind beyond the goal of a paycheck. I have a wonderful, valuable, complex position as a library director. I doubt my career path would have been nearly as interesting without my history experience at Lake Forest College.” </p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/247-amy-badertscher-85">Amy Badertscher ’85 is the Director of Library Services at Kenyon</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/261-janet-m-evander-82"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17564_janet-evander.rev.1391118009.jpg" alt="Janet M. Evander ’82" title="Janet M. Evander ’82" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17564_janet-evander.rev.1391118009.jpg 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="538"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “My Lake Forest education taught me so much about serious research. That knowledge was invaluable as I moved into a field where it was important to understand the process and sources of scholarly research and the needs of those doing the work.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/261-janet-m-evander-82">Janet Evander ’82 went on to earn her a master’s degree in library science.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1181-rory-oconnor-96"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg" alt="Rory O’Connor ’96" title="Rory O’Connor ’96" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1638,2048/30628_140603_e.rory-oconnor-portrait-hi-resolution.rev.1455560474.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1638" data-max-h="2048"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I was promoted to be the speechwriter for a two-star Admiral who oversaw the research, design, construction, and maintenance of all the Navy’s submarines and undersea weapons. I had never written a speech in my life and I knew next to nothing about submarines, but thanks in large part to skills I learned writing my thesis, I picked it up quickly.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/1181-rory-oconnor-96">Rory O’Connor ’96 found his history major instrumental in succeeding in his Navy career.</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/253-chai-reddy-01"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg" alt="Chai Reddy ’01" title="Chai Reddy ’01" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23593_chai_reddy.rev.1415295684.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1177" data-max-h="1650"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “I am thankful that I had the opportunity to find an academic interest, which provided me with the venue to develop skills in collaboration, investigation, negotiation, and professionalism.  But most importantly, I enjoyed what I was studying.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/253-chai-reddy-01">Chai Reddy ’01 teaches at an international school in Hawaii</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/255-casey-reid-08"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23341_casey_reid.rev.1413311867.jpg" alt="Casey Reid ’08" title="Casey Reid ’08" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="276" data-max-h="276"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “A significant portion of my current role involves writing, which is something that I did a great deal of as a History student.  Often, I’m asked to develop fundraising materials by drawing from a range of sources with a very brief turnaround time.  This requires me to be able to read quickly and understand the key messages from the sources–another area where my History degree helps me.”</div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/255-casey-reid-08">Casey Reid ’08 leads the marketing team at the University of Chicago Booth School</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/252-benjamin-mason-01"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg" alt="Benjamin Mason ’01" title="Benjamin Mason ’01" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23342_ben_mason.rev.1413311934.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1650" data-max-h="1559"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “The strong communication skills I gained through the History major assist and enhance my everyday interactions with the general public and external stakeholders, such as builders and developers.  Additionally, the History major trained me to see present-day projects through the lens of history…”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/252-benjamin-mason-01">Benjamin Mason ’01 has a career in urban planning</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/257-josh-bill-04"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17339_bill.rev.1386278455.jpg" alt="Josh Bill ’04" title="Josh Bill ’04" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/17339_bill.rev.1386278455.jpg 2x" data-max-w="960" data-max-h="640"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “Any recognition I receive as a teacher is a result of the preparation I received in the history department. I could not have taught my students to be historians if I hadn’t gone through the process myself.” </div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/257-josh-bill-04">Josh Bill ’04 is an award-winning history teacher</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/254-david-cantor-echols-07"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/23642_cantor-echols.rev.1416254637.jpg" alt="David Cantor-Echols ’07" title="David Cantor-Echols ’07" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" data-max-w="268" data-max-h="257"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><div class="excerpt"> “Strong critical thinking and communication skills are always going to be in high demand, and History majors are especially well positioned in this area.”</div></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/254-david-cantor-echols-07">David Cantor-Echols ’07 is working on his PhD in history</a>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2054-rachel-collins-14"><img src="/live/image/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg" alt="Rachel Collins ’14" title="Rachel Collins ’14" class="lw_image" width="242" height="242" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/41/width/242/height/242/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1536/32597_rachel_collins.rev.1467147568.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1536"/></a></span></span><div class="quote"><p> “As a Development Intern, I found it very useful to learn the ins and outs of a non-profit organization.”</p></div><a class="recruit-link" href="/live/profiles/2054-rachel-collins-14">Rachel Collins ’14 learned about local history through her internship at the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Historical Society.</a>