Home | Biography | Courses | Publications | Theses Directed | Recommended Readings | Links | Image Library | McRAH


Michael H. Ebner is the James D. Vail III Professor of History at Lake Forest College, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1974. He also has been a visiting professor at The University of Chicago. He received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Toledo and his advanced degrees in American history at the University of Virginia.

Professor Ebner has written widely on aspects of American history for learned publications in North America, England, Germany, and Israel. He is best known as the author of the prize-winning book entitled Creating Chicago's North Shore, A Suburban History (University of Chicago Press, 1988). He is currently a member of the editorial board of Planning Perspectives (UK); he also is the founder and co-chair of the Urban History Seminar of The Chicago Historical Society, established in 1983. He has held numerous research awards, including designation as a fellow of The National Endowment for the Humanities. From 1988 until 1999 Ebner served as the executive secretary-treasurer of The Urban History Association, an international learned society with nearly 450 members. During 1987, underwritten by the Hewlett-Mellon Presidential Discretionary Fund at Lake Forest College, he led a faculty field study visiting universities in Japan and China. He also served as chair of the Academic Innovations Group at Lake Forest College during 1997-98. He chaired the program committee for the Organization of American Historians, a professional association with 10,000 members, for its annual meeting in April of 2001 in Los Angeles. He also participates in the OAH’s Distinguished Lecturer Series. He served (2001-2004) as Academic Director for a US Department of Education Grant, based at Lake Forest College, in the "Teaching American History" initiative.

The American Historical Association recognized Professor Ebner with its Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award (1994) and the Chicago Tribune (1994) named him to its all-star team of college professors. Lake Forest College has recognized him with its Charlotte Simmons Prize for distinguished public service (1998), with its annual Trustee Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership (1998), with its Senior Class Award (2000) as the Great Teacher, and its Bird Award for Intellectual Contributions (2004).

His current research project is entitled “Changing Places: Rapid Suburban Growth on the Metropolitan Edge.” This comparative study examines locales which exemplify the nation’s fastest growing suburbs, situated some 30 to 40 miles distant from their urban cores, whose scale and form are recasting our large-scale metropolitan systems. His case studies include four locales scattered across the United States: Gwinnett County, GA; Irvine, CA, Naperville, IL; and Princeton, NJ. Two broad questions, imbued with considerations both urban and suburban, comprise the heart of each case study: (a) how do individuals and groups establish and redefine their sense of place within the metropolis; (b) what is the significance of local heritage as people in a specific place construct their personal and collective identities? This project has been supported by research awards from the American Association for State and Local History, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Michael Ebner is a resident of Lake Forest, IL. He has chaired the city’s Building Review Board and its Historic Preservation Commission. Since 1991, he has been a trustee of The Chicago Historical Society. He also is a member of The Society of Midland Authors. Currently he is Vice President of Congregation Solel in Highland Park, IL.

Home | Biography | Courses | Publications | Theses Directed | Recommended Readings | Links | Image Library | McRAH
Back to Top
Site Created By Rebecca Roberts '06, July 2003 Last Updated: July 27, 2006 by Kalani Man '09 Contributors: Rebecca Miller, Amanda MacKinnon '03, Aayush Sakya '06, and Kalani Man '09.