The Gummere Fellows Program is made up of a talented and diverse group of students, selected annually to represent the College as ambassadors, that play pivotal roles in both enrollment and alumni engagement efforts.
Annual Report 2021–2022
For the 2021–22 academic year, there were thirteen Gummere Fellows. Returning Fellows were Gabe Anzeze ’23 (Nairobi, Kenya), Carlson Ayanlaja ’22 (Chicago, IL), Margaret Blackstone ’22, (Roseville, MN) Mark Bogley ’22 (Walla Walla, WA), Bob McKeon ’22 (Frisco, TX), Jamari Tansmore ’22 (Chandler, AZ) and Clara Thompson ’22 (Marquette, MI). New Fellows were Angela Addante ’22 (Addison, IL), Nafissa Bounia Yahaya ’23 (Niamey, Niger), Katelyn Holstein ’23 (Moore, OK), Alec Macartney ’24 (Bentonville, AR), Sara Martinez Guzman ’23 (San Jose, Costa Rica), and Hannah Steffey ’23 (Sewickley, PA).
Twenty-nine students applied for the Program. The application consisted of biographical information and questions regarding an individual’s reasons for applying, activities on campus and perspective on their experience at the College. Current Fellows and Admissions and Advancement staff reduced the group to thirteen for interviews. The final decisions were difficult as the candidates were impressive in terms of their involvement, enthusiasm, and excitement at the prospect of being a Gummere Fellow. By way of example, comments prospective Fellows wrote in their applications follow:
“I believe my own individual actions have been significant in our community. I have strived to excel but branch out from my niche as an athlete. I have understood that as an athlete it comes with a large amount of scrutiny and too often stereotyping. I believe the way in which I have carried myself and made an effort to branch out has had some positive impact. In the best case it has contributed to a better of understanding of athletes and at worst that I am more than my label. In either case I believe it demonstrates the essence of a liberal arts education. You can be more than one definition or label.”
“I have been very fortunate to develop relationships with outstanding students, faculty, and staff. I hope I will be remembered as someone who excelled in the classroom, supported others, led by example, and put forth my best effort in every situation. I intend to do the same as a Gummere Fellow.”
“Being a Gummere Fellow would allow me to share with both future and former Foresters my passion for Lake Forest College. It means being proud of the accomplishments of students and faculty and reflecting to anyone with whom I have contact my belief in the College as a vibrant and unique community.”
The COVID-19 pandemic restrictions played a major role in reducing the number of in-person events and travel for Fellows. The College was unable to host off-campus Forester Day receptions for alumni and receptions for admitted students. Additionally, admitted students could not arrange overnight visits.
Nonetheless, Fellows supported the following events this academic year: Homecoming, Virtual Forester Day, Commencement, on campus Future Forester Days, and on campus Future Scholars Weekends. Fellows took every opportunity possible to represent the College with some expanding their commitment by joining the ambassador program to assist campus recruitment efforts including the following:
A select number of students, including members of the Gummere Fellows group, expressed a desire to provide campus tours to visiting families. These students were trained in safety protocols as well as modified tour routes to provide the best and safest possible visit experience for prospective students. Simply put, student-led tours during the pandemic would not have been possible without the Gummere Fellows.
Gummere Fellows conducted extensive outreach to prospective and admitted students to assist with yield efforts. Events included workshops, student panels, region-specific events, individual chats, and virtual tours. The Fellows were essential in providing student-to-student connection at a time when prospective students and families were seeking a sense of normalcy.
Admitted Student Programming
The Fellows also dedicated significant time on five separate weekend programs in the spring designed for admitted students. They participated in three Forester Scholars Weekend scholarship competitions and two Future Forester Day programs as student life panelists, tour guides, and lunch hosts. The interactions the Fellows had with a significant number of admitted students and their families unquestionably contributed to enrolling the largest incoming class in the history of the College. Their commitment is palpable and their enthusiasm infectious.
One of the benefits provided to graduating Fellows in their senior year is they may apply for a professional development stipend of $500. The senior Fellows provided proposals for the dispersal of senior grants. They included: travel to a professional summit, professional clothing, Law School SAT prep course, and expenses involved with graduate and professional school applications.
All Fellows also enjoyed virtual conversations with Bruce Taylor ’79, who has professional experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and Amy Budde ’19, a Gummere Fellow alumna, who worked abroad in Finland. Their discussions were well received.
All involved with the creation of the Gummere Fellows Program continue to be delighted by the success it has enjoyed. Spike is equally pleased, and it is no exaggeration to say he is thrilled. He wrote “It has been rewarding and fun to have the opportunity to meet and get to know the individual Fellows. They are impressive individually and collectively. I confess to being very proud of the Program and the significant contributions it has made to Admissions and Alumni outreach endeavors. Indeed, I’ve never been prouder. The dedication and commitment from leadership, faculty, coaches, and staff in dealing with the challenges COVID presented has been remarkable. And the commitment of the Fellows has been equally impressive.”
- Richard Bartolozzi ’86 | Advancement
- Franklin Gaglione | Admissions
- Vicki Gerentes ’14 | Advancement
- Annie Keller ’20 | Admissions
- Alexis Nogulich ’19 | Admissions