In the past 166 years Rockford University has undergone many changes. We have grown from a small Women's Seminary on the banks of the Rock River to a coeducational, multinational, Liberal Arts University at the center of Rockford. RU is a place full of history and traditions, and as with most things that are good in this world, they fade over time.
The Office of Alumni Development has undertaken the daunting task of bringing the history and traditions of Rockford University to life. As a way to preserve our history, we have begun to digitize our archive materials so that they can be utilized by students and alumni. Our vast collection of archive materials includes photographs, drawings, programs, crowns from past May Queens, articles worn by Anna Peck Sill and much more!
We have plans to make these artifacts available for our students and alumni in digital form in the coming year. There are many exciting pieces we plan to add in addition to the digitization of documents and photographs. In addition to the audio recording of Blance Walker Burpee, contained in the web player, we will soon add video of oral histories provided by some of our alumni. Below the audio player are samples of some of the archive materials.
Audio Guide Contained in the player below is an audio recording of Alumna, Blanche Walker Burpee. The recording was made in August of 1966, a full 71 years after her graduation from the seminary in 1895. The university's student center is named after Mrs. Burpee.The recording contains vivid descriptions of life at the seminary toward the end of the 19th Century. A key element of the recording is her description of how the land on which the Rockford University campus currently sits was purchased. You will need to click on each track individually, in sequence, in order to listen to the entire recording.