LFA News

Three Faculty Named to Endowed Chairs at Celebration of Philanthropy and Service

Head of School Chris Tennyson and Dean of Faculty Tom Johnson are pleased to announce the appointment of three faculty members to endowed chairs at Lake Forest Academy. The honorees were recognized on November 4 during the Celebration of Philanthropy and Service event in Reid Hall.

In addition to the appointment of the three endowed chairs, the Celebration of Philanthropy and Service recognized the support of LFA from donors and volunteers.
The Dr. John & Mrs. Loring Strudwick Endowed Chair
Funded by generous benefactors through the Academy’s recent Inspire & Invest Initiative that saw significant investment in students and faculty, the Strudwick Chair honors the careers of an extraordinary couple— lifelong educators who gave their all to LFA over their heralded 18 years service on this campus.

Chris Dozois ’84 received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and then his master’s in education from National Louis University. He returned to his alma mater in 1989 as a member of the History and Social Sciences Department. In additon to teaching, Chris has coaching stints including both boys and girls cross country and track, football, golf and boys basketball. He also lives on campus, sponsors LFA’s model United Nations and teaches World History One and Advanced Placement U.S. History.

“I feel blessed every day to work at Lake Forest Academy. When I graduated in 1984, I had a goal/dream of getting to come back to work here. Ever since I came back in 1989, it has been better than I imagined,” said Dozois. “Getting to live, teach and coach at LFA means getting to be a part of a larger community of student and faculty learners. Being able to raise my family here, and seeing both my daughters graduate from LFA has been incomparable, and I feel very lucky. Being honored with the Dr. John and Mrs. Loring Strudwick Endowed Chair was totally unexpected and humbling, as our school is full of worthy recipients. Seeing the commitment John and Loring had to independent school education in their time here was a model for me, and one I hope to live up to as the inaugural receipt of this chair.”

The Harold H. Corbin, Jr. Endowed Chair
The Harold H. Corbin, Jr. Chair was established in 1969 by a group of former students to honor LFA’s head of school from 1951 to 1969. The Corbin chair holder is challenged to advance his or her understanding of science with the charge to inject that knowledge into the LFA curriculum.

Dr. Kerry Cedergren earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Michigan State University. She embarked on a successful career as a senior research scientist at Abbott Labs where she served in the diagnostics division, developing several different blood tests. Kerry joined the LFA science department in 2001 and has taught all levels of chemistry, currently teaching AP Chemistry and the Biochemistry Research class. Outside of the classroom, she supervises independent studies with students as they work on diverse projects, including finding more environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastics, such as seaweed. This is the intersection of your personal passion for sustainability, expertise, and commitment to enhancing student learning. She is also a class advisor and served on many committees across LFA and currently, she is the head coach of the Science Olympiad team as well as the coach of the girls cross country team.

“Caring for the environment has been a passion of mine for years, and I am honored to be named the Corbin Environmental Chair,” said Cedergren. “Everyday I try to set good examples of how to lead an environmentally friendly life, and as the advisor of the Sustainability Initiative, I have the pleasure of teaching the students how to make changes in their everyday lives that can benefit the environment and the community.”

The Edmund J. Rendtorff Endowed Chair in Science
The Rendtorff Chair was established in 2005 in honor of 44-year LFA science faculty member Edmund J. Rendtorff. Mr. Rendtorff’s granddaughter, Donna Lindgren, attended the event to represent the family and its history with LFA. Born in 1873, “Sned” Rendtorff received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in electrical engineering and physics from the University of Wisconsin. He taught one year at a high school in Iowa before completing a year of graduate studies in 1898 at Northwestern University and then a served a year as a fellow in physics at the University of Nebraska. He arrived at LFA in 1899 as a science teacher and taught physics and chemistry at LFA until his retirement in 1943.

Mathias Kerr continues the legacy of Rendtorff as he has since his arrival at LFA in the spring of 2007. He teaches both Biology I and Anatomy & Physiology and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University where he also worked in an immunobiology research lab. During his time at LFA, Mathias has coached football, wrestling, girls ice hockey, girls swimming and boys soccer while also and advising the competitive sailing club. He has traveled with students around the nation and around the globe and as a chaperone on multiple school trips. In 2019, he was the recipient of a Mints Endowment Grant and traveled to the Galapagos Islands with the 5 Gyres Organization to observe and discuss ways to address the rising issue of plastic pollution in the environment. He has also served 10 years as a dorm parent in Warner House, four of those as dorm head, and currently as a dorm parent in Atlass Hall.

“As a member of the community and teaching faculty who has engaged with the students in the classroom, through athletics, in the dormitories, and through clubs, it means a great deal to be named to an endowed chair,” said Kerr. “I have had the opportunity to work with amazing, curious minds, and to help to cultivate and navigate that curiosity has been a delightful challenge. While this opportunity has brought with it countless moments of gratification with the students, it has not been without a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Receiving the recognition of an endowed chair validates that effort and I am honored to be associated with other dedicated educators of dear old LFA.”

The three new chairs joined three other faculty members who hold endowed chairs:

  • The Sidney E. Ainsworth Chair in Mathematics Paul Makovec
  • The John Huss Jr. ’58 & Ruth S. Huss Chair in Humanities Yue Chen
  • The Ned & Lynn Jessen Chair in Humanities Matt Vaughn