The students of Graceland’s Honors Program went on the annual trip to Chicago during the weekend of October 4-6.
After meeting behind the Commons in the early morning hours, Graceland students traveled across the Mississippi and into Illinois, settling in at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Chicago’s neighborhood of Hyde Park.
The first day’s activities culminated in a performance of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.
Saturday included a trip into downtown Chicago, during which time students toured the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and wandered the city. Some students took the opportunity to browse ritzy shops on Michigan Avenue, and others simply chose to take an avenue up to Lake Michigan.
Later that evening, the group went to see the touring performance of the controversial winner of 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical, The Book of Mormon. Mormon is the Broadway debut of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of Comedy Central’s iconic (and also controversial) South Park.
The Chicago trip, dubbed Chicago Cum Laude, is a great opportunity for students to get to know one another better, helping to solidify the community for which the Honors Program, as well as Graceland at large, strives.
According to fourth-year student Antonia Davidson, “One of my favorite parts of the trip… is always the opportunity to explore a new environment with other Honors students. We don’t really get… situations where fourth-year students and first-year students alike spend a lot of time together.”
First-year Bryn Nilsen feels similarly, saying that the weekend “was great for turning acquaintances into friends. ”
The Chicago trip is very popular among students. “If you are in the Honors Program, and you don’t have another commitment, then there is no reason that you shouldn’t go to Chicago. Lamoni can wait; you only get one weekend in Chicago,” says Nilsen.
The Chicago Cum Laude trip is made possible each year by the generous gifts of Graceland donors.