Together LFC: COVID-19 Relief Initiative

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Foresters, we need you. 

Like so many around the world, the Lake Forest College community is facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in over 160 years, the College did not welcome students back to campus this fall. Ever since the students were sent home in March, President Schutt and Dean of the Faculty Davis Schneiderman worked with faculty and the Board of Trustees to develop viable plans for an on-campus fall semester. Students were scheduled to arrive in late August; however, the spread of the COVID-19 virus required a shift to exclusively online learning. 

During these trying times, the College is working hard to help students wherever possible: career counselling for seniors and new graduates, help in securing internships, and increased financial aid options. Students have faced myriad challenges, including loss of family income and income from summer jobs, uncertainty over taking a semester or year off, transferring to a less costly community college, or dropping out and going to work. 

Every student is important to the College. They are the heart of our community, providing the leadership, academic achievement, energy, and enthusiasm that defines our campus. Recognizing this, the Board of Trustees created and funded an emergency fund to provide additional student financial aid, among other things. However, with the shift to online learning, even more is needed to hold on to our best student leaders and scholars.

More than ever your gift will help us continue to provide an amazing education for our students during these tumultuous times. 

For more information on Lake Forest College's response to coronavirus and plans for return to campus, visit

Since 1857, Foresters have come together in times of need. And now, we need you more than ever. #ForestersEverywhere

Important Update About Fall Semester Plan

July 29, 2020

Dear Forester Community, 

In the College’s planning process for the fall semester, the goals we all shared were to maintain our educational mission and protect the health and safety of our community during the coronavirus pandemic. Our Fall Semester Plan, published July 1, detailed strategies to accomplish those goals: reducing density on campus, implementing vital health and safety measures, and sustaining our academic program through in-person and remote teaching modes. Groups that helped prepare the Plan – the Crisis Management Team, Transition Support Team, COVID-19 Academic Task Force, Campus Spaces Team, and Campus Community Team – continued to work this past month on steps to implement the Plan.  

Importantly and unavoidably, the Plan called upon the College to continue monitoring the pandemic and to change direction if necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, and staff. After many recent consultations, we write now to say that such a change is unfortunately required.  

The background for this change is clear. The pandemic is rapidly, broadly spreading, contrary to our hopes a month ago. Positive cases and deaths are tragically rising in much of the country, including many of our students’ home locations. The number of COVID-19 patients in American hospitals has never been higher. Numerous state and local governments have imposed quarantines, including Chicago and Cook County, and our own Lake County recommends that people traveling here should self-quarantine for two weeks. Scientists have recently confirmed that 40% of infected people are asymptomatic, that the virus can spread indoors through aerosolized transmission, and that transmission can also occur outdoors through prolonged physical contact. This last fact has led many athletic conferences to cancel fall sports seasons, including our own Midwest Conference this week.  

For these regrettable reasons, the College must pivot to a non-residential fall semester in which students stay home, faculty teach all courses remotely, and non-essential staff continue to work from home. The Board of Trustees confirmed this decision yesterday in a unanimous vote.

We know this news is very disappointing. The College’s greatest responsibility, however, is to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Given the relentless progression of the virus, this change to a non-residential fall semester and remote instruction is the only way the College can fulfill that responsibility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued clear guidance in this regard: the safest way for a college to reopen, as the pandemic continues to rage, is to switch to a non-residential semester.  

Many colleges, universities, and high schools have already made this decision. Grinnell, Dickinson, Lafayette, Pomona, and Occidental Colleges are five examples among many nationwide. Loyola University in Chicago is another, as are Stevenson, Evanston, and Oak Park High Schools in our area. 

We realize this change will greatly affect our community. For students eager to come to campus, in particular, we deeply regret this disappointment. Rest assured that our faculty will provide exceptional remote instruction in your courses, and we will also launch several exciting new programs and activities to help you have fun and stay connected to other students throughout the fall.  The Office of Student Affairs, the Career Advancement Center, and the Athletic Department are all at work on these programs and activities, and more details will be published next week. 

Because we understand the financial impact of the coronavirus on many families, the College will also provide students with either a reduction in fall semester charges or a free one-credit course or internship in January or summer terms.  The free courses are valued at $3300 apiece; more details are provided at through FAQs at this link, where you can also find more information on academics, athletics, campus facilities, information technology, and other topics.  The College plans to hold virtual town hall meetings about the fall semester with students and parents in the next two weeks: dates, times, and Zoom sign-ups will be announced very soon. Finally, please feel free to direct follow-up questions to these email addresses:  

The coronavirus is challenging the world – and our College – in unprecedented ways.  We deeply regret that the virus is compelling the College to pivot to a non-residential semester with remote instruction.  That pivot is required, however, to protect the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.  Although the fall semester will clearly differ from our original expectations, we are convinced it will be vibrant, rewarding and fun, and we are committed to making it so.  With our faculty and staff colleagues, we look forward to matriculating the Lake Forest College Class of 2024 in a few short weeks, and we can’t wait to see everyone back on campus for the spring semester. 

Stephen D. Schutt, President   
Andrea Conner, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students   
Chris Ellertson, Vice President for Enrollment   
Sean Riedel, Chief Information Officer   
Davis Schneiderman, Krebs Provost and Dean of the Faculty   
Jackie Slaats, Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics   
Lori Sundberg, Vice President for Finance and Planning; Treasurer

92 days ago by Sarah Stoklosa
Lake Forest College Plan For Fall 2020 Semester In Response To Coronavirus

July 1, 2020

Dear Forester Community, 

Click here to read the College’s plan for the fall semester. Several campus committees have worked diligently to produce the plan, and it is also informed by recent helpful comments from numerous students, parents, and health officials. The plan is comprehensive, but it cannot yet answer all questions, and the College will provide supplemental information as soon as it becomes available. The College will also be prepared to adjust the plan and quickly change direction, if the coronavirus requires us to do so. I am grateful to everyone involved in helping our campus community advance to the level of preparation embodied in this plan. Thanks and best wishes.

Stephen D. Schutt
Lake Forest College

141 days ago by Sarah Stoklosa

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