Our History

Chicagoland MBA Excellence Since 1946

At Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM), our sole mission since 1946 has been to provide business education from business leaders. Our single purpose is to create more effective business leaders through our campus-based and online Leadership MBA program, and our corporate business leadership development programs.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) was created to respond to a business need. The post World War II economy was growing rapidly, but a shortage of management talent left local industry in need of leadership. 

To address the issue, three companies, Abbott Laboratories, Fansteel Metallurgical Corporation, and Johns-Manville Products Corporation joined with Lake Forest College to form the Lake Forest College Industrial Management Institute (IMI) in 1946. IMI provided management training for returning veterans to help them transition into and succeed in business. This turned out to be a win-win proposition as area business and local veterans benefited from this new partnership. 

Since then, LFGSM amicably separated from Lake Forest College, changed its name to Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and established itself as a leading provider of both degree and non-degree business management education in the Chicagoland area. LFGSM operates as an independent, private, not-for-profit organization.

As a graduate school of business, we run ourselves as a business. We pride ourselves on our high-performance, employee-centric culture and our unwavering commitment to the customer intimacy model that sets us apart from other business schools in the Chicagoland area.

As an independent, not-for-profit enterprise, we put your educational interests first. Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, LFGSM is authorized to grant Master’s degrees by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Strictly Business - Right From the Start

A pioneer of the practical business education model, LFGSM was originally founded through a partnership of leading Chicago area businesses. 

Since our founding we have strengthened and expanded our ties to the business community through affiliations with such leading companies as Abbott Laboratories, Ace Hardware Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, Brunswick Corporation, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Grainger, Hospira, HSBC, Komatsu America Corporation, Kraft Foods Inc., Motorola, Inc., Simonton Windows, True Value Company, Walgreens, and WMS Gaming – to name just a few.

If you’re looking for a serious Chicago MBA program, you’ve come to the right place. To this day, providing graduate business education is all we do. So meeting your educational needs has our full attention.