Woodlands Academy students join in-depth conversation with CEO of Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart recently hosted a public forum aimed at motivating girls to explore high-level business executive roles. The April 24 program was part of Woodlands’ annual “Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite” series, in which leading female executives share stories and insights from their professional experiences during presentations to students at the all-girls college-preparatory high school in Lake Forest. 

Girls from some area schools joined the Woodlands Academy community to hear from Chevy Humphrey, CEO of Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. In January 2021, Humphrey became the first woman and Black American to head a science center in the United States. Humphrey shared the adventures and challenges she faced as she navigated her way to becoming the leader of one of our country's most renowned and respected institutions, including instances of prejudice against her background. 

Humphrey shared with her mostly adolescent audience the need to stay curious, find your “truth-tellers,” foster innovation and create a strategic plan for your life.  

“Failing is not bad — it’s the first attempt at learning,” Humphrey told her Woodlands Academy audience. “You learn more from your failures than your successes. That’s what innovation is all about.” 

Prior to joining MSI, Humphrey had been president and CEO of Arizona Science Center since 2005.  

The interview with Humphrey was moderated by Woodlands alumna Catherine Dorman '13, a Museum Content Developer for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, D.C. 

"Woodlands is the place for you to take risks, to try new things, to fail and be curious," said alumna Dorman. "Trust me - it pays off in the long run.” 

Before the April 24 event, Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite sessions for Woodlands Academy students this school year featured Christine Montenegro McGrath, Mondelez International's Chief Sustainability, Well-being, Public & Government Affairs Officer. The series has also featured Mary Callahan Erdoes, Chief Executive Officer of J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, a Woodlands graduate, and other prominent professionals.  

“Imagine Yourself in the C-Suite was created to help young women hear the stories of female leadership from women in underrepresented fields and their paths to success,” said Head of School Susan Tyree Dempf, Ph.D. “The cumulative effect of students’ hearing from various speakers across four years is powerful and necessary to help girls aspire to the highest levels of leadership.” 

Watch the recording