Lake Forest College students having fun Foresters harness their leadership skills into valuable positions on campus -- and the world.

Today’s world needs people with the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances and to draw connections between different bodies of knowledge. In this ever-changing, competitive, global and economic world, the Gates Center gives students the edge by providing a chance to learn leadership and life skills that would take years to learn in the work setting.

Foresters harness their leadership skills into valuable positions on campus—and the world.

Below are a few of the ways we support your leadership development:

Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society

Lake Forest College is honored to have a circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society. With only 300 circles nationwide, this prestigious organization recognizes sopmore, junior, and senior year student leaders who have excelled both academically and within campus life. 

Students must rank in the top 35 percent of their class and have shown leadership in one or more of the five major phases of campus life:

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Journalism, speech and the mass media
  • Creative and performing arts
  • Campus or community service, social or religious activities and campus governance

Students are inducted into the circle each year and join a network of over 300,000 members, some of whom include George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Peyton Manning and Sheryl Crow. For more information on Omicron Delta Kappa, contact the Gates Center. 

Speakers and Workshops

Each year, the Gates Center welcomes speakers to campus to discuss leadership-related topics. Some of our past speakers have included:

  • Fred Bahnson, agriculturalist and author of Making Peace with the Land
  • Bill Curtis, legendary journalist, news anchor and producer
  • Mike Dilbeck, co-founder of the Everyday Hero Campaign and the RESPONSEability Project
  • Megan Gebhart, social blogger and creator of the 52 Cups of Coffee movement
  • Roy Germano, filmmaker and director of the film, The Other Side of Immigration
  • Chris Kennedy, Kennedy family member, past President of the Merchandise Mart, Chicago philanthropist and founder of the non-profit Top Box Foods
  • Amy Lando, administrator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
  • Matt Mattson, co-founder and President of Phired Up Productions
  • Pete Schaefer, former McDonald’s executive and current President and CEO of the Northern Illinois Food Bank
  • Marcy Shankman, Presidential Fellow at Case Western Reserve University and author of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership for Students.

Along with leadership speakers, the Gates Center staff regularly facilitates small group workshops on topics such as communication style, conflict management approach, listening skills, delegation, teamwork, and leadership style. 

Leadership Library

The Gates Center hosts a library of leadership-related books, articles, assessment and teambuilders. All materials are available for check-out for individual students or student groups. Some of the more favorite titles are:

  • Exploring Leadership by Susan Komives, Nance Lucas and Timothy McMahon
  • Leadership for a Better World by Susan Komives and Wendy Wagner
  • Deeper Learning in Leadership by Dennis Roberts
  • Emotionally Intelligent Leadership (book, student workbook, development guide and facilitation and activity guide) by Marcy Shankman and Scott Allen
  • Servant Leadership by Robert Greenleaf
  • Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinke
  • The Handbook of Student Leadership Development by Susan Komives
  • The Secrets of Top Students by Stefanie Weisman
  • Building Effective Communities by Sue Cain and Allison Lizzardo
  • Living College in the Front Row by Jon Vromen
  • Motivating the Middle: Fighting Apathy in Student Organizations by T.J. Sullivan
  • Assessing Student Organizations (guide and handbook) by Tricia Nolfi and Brent Ruben
  • 10 Things Employers Want you to Learn in College by Bill Copen
  • Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak
  • The Start-Up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
  • How to Succeed in College while Really Trying by Jon Gould

Feel free to stop in and browse the entire collection. If you are looking for a resource on a particular topic, please let us know and we can help you locate articles or books related to that topic.