Alumni Spotlight

Christopher Koon ’88 Delivers Inspiring 2024 Commencement Address

June 20, 2024

Christopher Koon, a graduate of the Class of 1988, delivered Forman School’s 2024 Commencement Address on June 1st. Koon is a distinguished figure in the financial services industry, having spent over 25 years at Northwestern Mutual. Additionally, he is a motivational speaker who inspires thousands yearly with his personal story.


“School is such a small segment in our life, but [it] has such a big impact on our life,” Koon said in his speech. “I can tell you that every single one of you is a special soul. You’re an amazing human being. You have gifts and talents you don’t even know you have. You have a family that loves you [and] supports you just to be here, to have this education.”


Koon also offered advice to the underclass students, encouraging them to cherish their time at Forman. “This time [at Forman] gave me a foundation that allowed me to go out into the world and change my life when I was ready to do that.”


He acknowledged the school's growth since his time as a student and what has continued over the years. “One of the things that has stayed the same is how special this place is and how much you’re going to miss [it],” Koon noted. 


He concluded with this message: “I love the life that I live, and I live the life that I love. Do what you love. Find your calling.  Find your passion. You look good, you feel good. You feel good, you play good, they pay good.” 


Notably, Koon is a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Round Table, has completed 19 marathons, including the Chicago and Boston marathons, and has broken the three-hour barrier twice. He also completed the 29029 Everest challenge, climbing 29029 vertical feet. Chris and his wife, Lisa Rose, have three children: Berkley, Ava, and Gunnar.

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