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Master of Liberal Studies

The 2017 MLS Graduates

This year, seven students will receive their Master of Liberal Studies degree.  The first graduate, William (Liam) Connell, shares his story.

Liam Connell

Liam Connell enrolled in the Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program in his late 40’s because he wanted to challenge himself. “I always loved reading, but taking classes, writing papers that will be graded, and participating in class is more active and stimulating than just reading.”

This Saturday, Liam, along with six of his classmates, will graduate with his MLS degree. With a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and a master’s degree in Management Science under his belt already, he did not intend to get another degree when he came to Lake Forest College. “When I started the program, it was simply to take college classes, not to get another degree. But now that I am graduating I do feel a sense of accomplishment. I have two projects I am pursuing that have been enriched by classes that I have taken at Lake Forest College. I attended both MLS seminar classes and undergraduate classes. I enjoyed sharing the class experience with mature students and undergraduates. I studied everything from advanced statistics to Spanish cinema (en español), political science to philosophy of the mind. I plan on continuing to take classes. The faculty are the jewel of the College.”

Liam wrote a thesis, which is optional under the MLS degree requirements. He admits it was the hardest thing he did while in the program. “I had been half-heartedly trying to write a book about the history of a family. I decided to do it as my final thesis. The deadline forced me to get it done, after talking about it for years. Carol Gayle helped me enormously with my writing. I had thought I was a good writer until I started the thesis. I learned so much in the process, including some humility. It is one of the things I am most proud of accomplishing in the last few years. The program has enriched my life, and I highly recommend it to anyone.”