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 engagemnet efforts.
During this past academic year, until it was unfortunately cut short in March due to the global pandemic, Gummere Fellows participated in Development & Alumni Relations events, interfacing with key alumni and fostering alumni engagement. Such events included:
- Homecoming & Reunion Weekend
Gummere Fellows welcomed and visited with alumni and friends at events throughout the weekend, such as the 50th Reunion Dinner and the 1857 Society Luncheon. “We invited several Gummere Fellows to the 1857 Society Luncheon and asked them to talk about their Lake Forest experience. Their academic achievements, community involvement, personality and overall leadership personify the mission and goals of Lake Forest College. Gummere Fellows represent the best of the present as students, as well as the promise of the future as alumni,” shared Dave Wilber ’68, Senior Director of Planned Giving.
- Philanthropy Awareness Week (P.A.W.)
Gummere Fellows worked with Development staff to encourage current students to be contributing alumni upon graduation. Fellows participated in tabling events during the lunch hours of one week in November to educate current students about the importance of giving back.
- Forester Day 2020
A highly anticipated event on the Gummere Fellows’ calendar, Fellows represented the College at gatherings in Boston, Denver, New York City, Washington, DC, as well as Chicago. The students traveled alone to their assigned city to attend an event with alumni, friends and families. They were responsible for keeping a reasonable budget, presenting themselves professionally, discussing their student experience, explaining their role as a Gummere Fellow, giving general campus updates, and highlighting the Spike Initiative. The Forester Day events were well attended and the Fellows were very well received.
Fellow Hannah Gurholt ’21 (front) at the Washington, DC Forester Day gathering
In addition to Development & Alumni Relations initiatives, the Fellows also assisted with Admissions events, on and off-campus, serving as “co-hosts” with Admissions staff. Seven of the 13 Fellows also served as Admissions Office Ambassadors. Significant Admissions activity included:
- On-Campus Events
Gummere Fellows served on student panels discussing student life, academics and support. They mingled with visitors, answered questions and directed them accordingly to get the most out of their time on campus.
- Virtual Recruitment
Gummere Fellows conducted outreach to prospective and admitted students to assist with yield efforts, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic halted visits to campus. They were instrumental in giving admitted students a sense of the campus community.
- Admissions Receptions
Shortly after Forester Day, Gummere Fellows accompanied Admissions staff members to overnight, out-of-state receptions in Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado. They interfaced with admitted students, answering questions about deciding to attend Lake Forest College, and sharing their experiences at the College.
With three seniors graduating, over 30 students applied for only three openings in the 2020-21 Gummere Fellows class. All involved with the creation of the Gummere Fellows Program are heartened by the success it has enjoyed. Spike is equally pleased and it is no exaggeration to say he is thrilled. He has written, “I confess to being very proud of the Program and the significant contributions it has made to Admissions, Development, and Alumni outreach endeavors. It has also been rewarding and fun to have the opportunity to meet and get to know the individual Fellows. They are impressive individually and collectively.”