Lake Forest Graduate School of Management Celebrates 2017 Graduation

LFGSM Marketing

Monday, July 10, 2017

On Sunday, June 25, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) celebrated its 71st Commencement with the graduating class of 2017.

Graduation was held close to the Lake Forest Campus at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. It was a day filled with excitement for the 134 graduates who successfully completed their MBA degrees, their family, and friends.

LFGSM President and CEO Jeff Anderson congratulated the graduating class on their accomplishments and unique paths to graduation day. Jeff encouraged the graduates to “Reflect deeply on what you have accomplished, give a hug to those who are important to you, thank those who were there for you when you needed it most, don’t be afraid to smile as you walk across this stage, and drink up every minute of this special day. You’ve earned it.”

2017 Valedictorians

Dr. Cheryl Boncuore, Dean of Faculty and Degree Programs, recognized the 14 graduates who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their time at LFGSM.

Graduation Speaker and Hotchkiss Scholar – Rebecca James


Rebecca James, 2017 Hotchkiss Scholar

This year’s Graduation Speaker was the Hotchkiss Scholar awardee, Rebecca James. Rebecca has demonstrated her commitment to lifelong learning and the ability to use what she learned at Lake Forest to have a significant business impact. Rebecca received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University. She began her MBA while working at Abbott Laboratories in numerous roles offering international regulatory and quality support for multiple divisions.

After spending several years at Abbott, Rebecca transitioned into consulting, and currently works for KPMG, specializing in regulatory affairs for life sciences companies. Shortly after her transition to consulting, she was promoted into a management role. Her work takes her traveling both inside the U.S. and internationally, building new business opportunities.

Rebecca talked about the graduates’ shared MBA journey. She remembered the fun – and sometimes arduous – exercises they undertook to prepare them to be Broad Thinkers and Strong Leaders. Rebecca concluded that through their diligent work they had blossomed: “The seeds we planted when we started this program have made it through the late winter and early spring and have grown into fragrant flowers and big, strong, green trees on this beautiful summer day. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. My hope for us all is that the growth never stops.”

Distinguished Executive Award (DEA): Angela Lane

The 2017 DEA was given to Angela Lane in recognition of her exceptional business leadership ability and commitment of service to the community at large.


Angela Lane, 2017 Distinguished Executive Award Honoree

With a twenty-five year career that has spanned organizations and continents, Angela is currently Vice President of Talent and Development for AbbVie. Angela has a track record of bringing talent solutions to large corporations with diverse needs, global operations, and demanding customers. From Heinz in her home country of Australia, Sara Lee in Europe, and Avon and AbbVie stateside, Angela has led teams at billion dollar companies employing ten thousand or more associates.

Angela sets an exceptional example for the people she leads and recruits. After first earning her MBA in Australia, she learned she was only a handful of credits away from a U.S. degree. She chose to complete her U.S. MBA degree at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and we are proud to count her as an alumna.

Angela shared the opportunities and challenges that led her to an international career in human resources. She most wanted to share what she learned from the leaders she has worked with. She recognized three qualities in them that the LFGSM graduates also displayed. Angela said, “At this personal and professional inflection point, I feel so excited for you. Why? You have already demonstrated these three [leadership] qualities. You set a goal. It got you here today.  You took a risk and have been rewarded. You have demonstrated the humility of a life-long learner.”

Distinguished Faculty Award (DFA): Sue Granquist


Sue Granquist, 2017 Distinguished Faculty Award Honoree

Sue Granquist received this year’s DFA in recognition of her commitment to academic excellence, passion for teaching, and the connection she builds with her students. Sue is an invaluable member of the Business Leader Faculty®, where she focuses on her area of expertise: project management.

Sue is currently the Director of Project Management for CDW, with over 20 years of experience in medium to large companies, managing both U.S.-based and global project teams ranging in size from 3 to 72 professionals for industries such as healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products, and supply chain.

As part of our Business Leader Faculty® since 2014, Sue teaches Project Management and Executive Success Skills. But she gives back to LFGSM in many other ways, including as part of the Faculty Senate, leading the Communications Academic Discipline Community, developing new courses, and refreshing existing courses. Sue is also a graduate of Lake Forest Graduate School with an MBA in 2009 and returned to earn her Master’s Certificate in Marketing in 2013. Prior to this, she had earned her Master of Program Management from George Washington University in 2003 as well as her Project Management Professional certification.

Sue shared comments and advice from LFGSM students. Then, she offered her own guidance for the graduates, “…let the pursuit of this MBA be just one in a long list of risks that you take pursuing your dreams both personally as well as professionally. You now suddenly find yourselves with a whole lot of extra time in your week right? Do something fabulous, creative and unexpected with it as you strive to continue to be Broad Thinkers and Strong Leaders.”

Congratulations to the LFGSM Class of 2017 and welcome to our alumni community! Our 20,000+ students, alumni, business leader faculty and corporate partners are an active professional network you rely on your entire career.

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos from the event.


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