I hope you're doing well. By now you have heard the exciting news announced on March 2 that longtime faculty member Christopher O. Tennyson has been named the 31st Head of School at Lake Forest Academy. Read more below about this leadership transition from José M. De Jesús to Chris, which will take place on July 1, 2022. Chris holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the College of the Holy Cross and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Scranton. Chris will be the featured speaker at LFA's Minneapolis-St. Paul Alumni & Friends Reception hosted by John Dawson '92 on May 19, and will be in attendance at this summer's Young Alumni Happy Hour in Chicago on July 21.
In other big news from campus, our Inspire & Invest Initiative, which supports student scholarships and the recruitment and retention of faculty, has concluded; we are happy to report that we surpassed our $20 million fundraising goal. While we will continue to raise funds for scholarships, endowed chairs, and faculty professional development, this Initiative was a spectacular investment in the people of LFA. It was led, in part, by two alumnae and three alumni, along with hundreds of generous donors.
Another significant campus project is now afoot: the construction of a new Health Center. We need YOUR support to help underwrite this project. Many of you remember "Hutch" (the former dining hall in the lower level of New Hall). Hutch will be re-purposed as the new Health Center, home to both physical and psychological health services. Our April 30 Gala will benefit the Center; naming opportunities are available. At the Gala, we will feature a live auction with items such as a spectacular one-of-a-kind Bahamas vacation package. Absentee bidding is also welcome.
Finally, thank you for responding to our partner company PCI about our alumni directory. We want the directory to be as accurate and robust as possible. Your input will help! Read more below about this project.
The Board of Trustees of Lake Forest Academy is delighted to announce that Christopher O. Tennyson has been named the thirty-first Head of School, effective July 1, 2022. The Board of Trustees’ vote was unanimous.
Chris has been a member of the LFA community for more than two decades. He arrived in the summer of 1999 as a Mathematics teacher and has served the Academy in almost every way possible. Since 2018, Chris has served in the Head of School Office as Assistant Head of School and, for the last two years, as Associate Head of School in addition to Dean of Students and a member of the Mathematics faculty. Read more on the LFA website.
Academy to Construct New Health Center
Student health will get a shot in the arm with the planned construction of a new Health Center on campus. This $1.4 million project will bring physical and psychological health together under one roof and create new and updated spaces for our health services team to care for our students, faculty, and staff.
Fundraising for the Center is underway and includes naming opportunities, payable over five years, for donors. The Health Center is also the focus of Gala 2022, which takes place at LFA on Sat., April 30 at 6 p.m., and is co-chaired by alumnus David Keller '91, P'25. Read details about the project here. We'd love to talk with you about how you can support student health. Please contact a member of the Advancement team.
“I remember the difficulties that high school presented, and oftentimes our mental health was not taken into consideration. As we now know, mental health is an extremely important part of our lives and one that needs to be nurtured and prioritized. During high school years, we are being molded into the wonderful people we will eventually become, and during such turbulent times as the COVID-19 pandemic, so many people’s mental health is suffering. So why wouldn’t we want to provide services for our children? The LFA Health Center will do just that. It will break the mold of “just burying it” or “sweeping it under the rug” and put mental and physical health at the forefront, improving the lives of the next generation for years to come.” Harrison P. Crown '07, LCSW, LAC, Denver, CO
Live Auction: Luxurious Bahamas Vacation Package
Our curated live auction at Gala 2022 offers several exclusive items to bid on. One of our packages is a luxury vacation at exclusive Kamalame Cay in the Bahamas, donated by LFA Trustee Karin Fink and her husband, Nick P'22, '23. Watch your email for more details about this spectacular package in paradise, which includes accommodation in a 2,700 square-foot villa that sleeps 8; private seaplane transportation to/from Nassau; an off-island excursion; and all-inclusive food/beverage. (Absentee bids welcome.)
Congratulations to longtime LFA French teacher Steve Ryder P'15, '17 on his retirement from LFA this June. Read more here about Steve and his impressive 37-year career at the Academy. Note that Steve's final Co-ax concert will take place on Sat., May 21 at 3 p.m. in the Cressey Center on campus. The concert will follow the Ra Weekend festivities. We hope to see you there!
Josh Rothstein Young Alumni-Student Networking Night
We would like to extend an enormous thank you to our nine alumni representatives who engaged with students in all grades at the 8th annual networking night on March 9. A record 68 students joined alumni in Reid Hall for conversation about college, choosing majors, finding internships, and selecting a career path. We are grateful to our alumni for assisting students and providing valuable career advice. A very special thank you to Nancy Rothstein P'05, mother of Josh '05 (for whom this event is named), and Josh's sister Natalie, who joined us. Read background about the event hereand view photoshere.
caption for photo below: front row, l to r: Natalie Rothstein, Nancy Rothstein P'05, Dr. Beverly Onyekwuluje '11, Whitney Wright '13, Olesya Salnikova Gilmore '04, Ariana Bhatia '12, Peter Graham '08, Head of School Jose De Jesus P'22; back row, l to r: Jonathan Calfee '02, Alex Kirshenbaum '13, Sean Gilmore '04, Justin Haines '07
Thank you to alumni Dr. Bancroft O'Quinn '72 and Richard Young '04 who zoomed in from the Nashville, Tenn., area and NYC respectively, on Feb. 23 to talk with students in the Black Student Union (BSU) as part of the club's Black History Month celebrations.
Dr. Bancroft O'Quinn, a new trustee at LFA, is an otolaryngologist, who earned his degrees at Princeton University and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Richard Young is Managing Director - Investor Relations for State Street in New York City. He is a graduate of Howard University and Harvard Law School.
The alumni talked with the students about their pathways to LFA and to their current careers, and shared advice with students as they navigate high school and life post LFA. Thank you, Bancroft and Richard, for engaging with our students and for being such wonderful role models for our student community!
Thank you to Beijing-based alumna Jennifer Runchu Ma '15, who assisted the LFA Admission Department by speaking with prospective Chinese parents during an informational session via Zoom on Feb. 26. Jennifer earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and works as a software engineer with GE Healthcare in Beijing. Thank you, Jennifer, for all you do in support of LFA!
Caption: (top) Adam Gerber, Senior Associate Dean of Admission | Director of International Admission; Joy Zhou, Senior Assistant Dean of Admission | Director of Chinese Parent Development, and (bottom) Jennifer Ma '15
Back to Class with Alumnus Entrepreneur
On March 11, businessman Henry Cowie '08 spoke with students in the entrepreneurship class at LFA about his work with Chicago-based startup Bartesian, where he is Head of Commercial Partnerships. Henry earned his bachelor's degree at Vanderbilt and his MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Thank you, Henry, for sharing your background and professional experiences with our students.
caption: Social science teacher Matt Vaughn (left) with Henry Cowie '08
Thank you, Peter!
Life Trustee Peter Hall ’53 recently documented his estate plans with LFA and took advantage of the Caxy Legacy Challenge. Like all members of the Richards & Tremain Society, which recognizes members of the LFA community who include the school in their estate plans, Peter is enhancing the student experience at LFA both now and in the future. Click on the Caxy Legacy Challenge link or visit the Richards & Tremain Society page to learn more, and look for more of Peter’s story in the upcoming issue of The Bell, gift planning news for the LFA community.
Tell Us What You Think! Alumni Weekend & Reunion 2022
Plans for Alumni Weekend & Reunion (Sept. 23-24) are underway – and we want your feedback on events! Especially those in the milestone classes ending in 2s and 7s, are you looking forward to socializing or learning? Do you prefer to interact with current faculty or current students?
If you have questions related to Alumni Weekend & Reunion or want to assist with your milestone gathering, contact Hannah Shallenberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are You in VC?
We have a significant number of alumni who work in the field of venture capital. We are considering hosting a panel discussion on the topic via Zoom. Would you be interested in attending something like that? Please let me know and indicate if you work in the field, or if you're someone who is simply interested in the topic and would hop on a Zoom call. Thank you. email@example.com
Save the Date: Alumni Reception in Phoenix
Please mark May 12 on your calendars and plan to join LFA in Phoenix for an alumni gathering. Watch your email and mail for details.
Save the Date: Alumni Reception in Minneapolis/St. Paul
Please mark Thurs., May 19 on your calendars and plan to join LFA in Minneapolis at The Minikahda Club for an evening reception with Head of School-Elect Chris Tennyson, VP of Advancement Rob Buckla, and Director of Alumni Engagement Ruth Keyso.
Thank you to the following alumni for serving on the Host Committee for the event:
We're counting down the days already! Chicago-area alumni from the classes of 2000-2018: Mark your calendars and plan to join LFA for a happy hour IN PERSON at Happy Camper in Wrigleyville on Thursday, July 21, 2022! Enjoy pizza, apps, drinks, and socializing with former classmates and teachers, including Head of School-Elect Chris Tennyson. (Watch your email and LFA's social media in the months to come for more info.)
Alumni Directory Project: 1,500 Respondents So Far!
Thank you for your assistance as we update our alumni contact info for the alumni directory project.
Our partner company PCI is in its final months of data collection before the directory is printed. Thank you to the nearly 1,500 LFA and Ferry Hall alumni/ae who have connected with PCI.
Please note that while you will be offered to purchase the directory and LFA-branded apparel when you speak with PCI, you ARE NOT OBLIGATEDTO PURCHASE ANYTHING. Simply by confirming your data and filling in information gaps, you are helping us immeasurably. (And if you do not want to be listed in the directory, that's perfectly fine. Please note that when you speak with PCI.)
Here is a link to some FAQ about the directory project.