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When I was a student at Lake Forest College, Barbara Reedy Hughes, LFC ’68, said to me that the friends I make while I am at Lake Forest would be life long treasures. She was right. Today, among my closest friends, the persons I truly can count on to have my back, to serve it to me straight no chaser, are persons I met at LFC. Lest I run the risk of allowing benign senescence a seat at the table, for this writing, they shall go nameless. You and I know who you are. Thank you!
It is not surprising that when I as a young executive and producer for RCA Records was sent on the road to various parts of the country, I went armed with my LFC student directories. In those pre-cellphone days, I with a call to their last listed LFC telephone number managed to stay in touch with many Foresters. Often I’d invite them to a concert, listening party or dinner.
In addition, some of my post-LFC professional associations and colleagues including Nina Simone and Weldon Irvine, co-writers of “Young, Gifted and Black;” Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, award winning actors, Eleo Pomare, choreographer, the Rev. Jessie L. Jackson, civil rights activist and U. S. presidential candidate, Ruth LaRedo, concert pianist, are people I first met at Lake Forest. Nina, Weldon, Ossie, Rubie and Eleo I met during Soul Week ’68: An Exploration into Afro-American Culture, January 24-28, 1968, for which LFC ’69 classmate, Bill Burgess, provided the publicity artwork.
As a musical artist, I frequently stayed on the road. This allowed me a first hand view of places and things I learned about at LFC, e. g, the Louvre in Paris, the Coliseum in Rome, Kölner Dom in Cologne. One of my favorite memories is my surprising a gathering of artists at a reception near Dusseldorf with my recitation of “The Earl King” in German because I had studied the Schubert song setting in Prof. Ann Bowen’s music appreciation class and thanks to Prof. Ingrid Henkels Speros had learned the German text.
Throughout my life, my LFC education has been a valuable tool in both financial enrichment as well as personal enrichment. I am eternally grateful for my liberal arts, art for arts sake education I gained at Lake Forest College. I am especially appreciative of the skills I learned as one of the original 25 students of Program II, the 4 year independent study experiment. The program certainly equipped me with the ability to work independent of traditional structures as well as develop independent thinking combined with critical analysis. My 1965-1969 time at LFC remains in the top echelon of my life experiences.