News and Events

Congratulations to the Class of 2024

graduates in caps and gowns
May 14, 2024
Linda Blaser

The Lake Forest College Class of 2024 Commencement ceremony took place under sunny skies at Ravinia Festival Park on the morning of Saturday, May 11.

There are 442 new graduates: 16 adults who earned their master’s degrees and another 426 who earned their bachelor’s degrees.

In her opening address, President Baren welcomed the graduates and guests acknowledging the transformational experience the new grads underwent during their time at Lake Forest College.

“Most of you came to campus as recently graduated high school teens who endured a world-wide pandemic that likely precluded your in-person participation in a graduation ceremony; today you leave as young adults who now hold a college degree. Your accomplishments as college students have been many, and your growth and development over the years has been nothing short of remarkable,” President Baren said. 

Native American students at graduation podiumIn the middle of her remarks, President Baren called to the podium five students who are also members of Native American communities to share a traditional homeland history of the land upon which Lake Forest College stands and the land on which the Commencement ceremony took place. Nenna Rouse ’24, Annie Ahern ’24, and Kianoa Dompe ’24 read a passage honoring the traditional homelands of the Potawatomi and more than a dozen Native nations. 

“Our institution takes seriously the stewardship of this ecologically and culturally significant land and our role in ongoing and perpetual education as we continue to reckon with this legacy,” Dompe read.

Following her remarks, President Baren introduced three honorary degree recipients: Peter A. Kadens, a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Marsha Oberrieder, past-President of of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, who both received honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees, and Commencement speaker Andrea Sáenz, president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, who was bestowed an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. 

During her Commencement address, Sáenz encouraged the Class of 2024 to recognize that there is more than one path to choose in their lives.  

“Your possibilities are boundless,” Sáenz said. “The most important thing is deciding what’s most important to you. As you move through life, you should continuously ask: ‘What most fulfills me?’ Define that early for yourself and then stay aware as it changes and eveolves along the way.”

Senior class speaker Maria Petrova ’24 addressed the Class of 2024 to rounds of applause. Board of Trustee Chairman Bill Lowry ’84 awarded the graduate and undergraduate degrees. Following an acknowledgment of the graduates by Interim Vice Preident of Student Affairs and dean of Students Edward G. Whipple,  Kathia Torres ’24 sang the alma mater, a benediction was given before the graduates recessed out of the ceremony. 

View and download photos from the ceremony.

grad hugging guest outside commencement