165th Celebration

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Special 165th Video: 165 Years in 165 seconds


On February 29, 2012, Rockford University celebrated 165 years in grand fashion.  In keeping with tradition, a Charter Day convocation was held on campus and featured Alumnus Sunil Puri ('82), Rockford businessman and philanthropist, as featured speaker. Puri addressed a crowd of more than 450 and credited Rockford University for taking a chance on the youngest boy of six from a traditional Hindu family and never giving up on him.

Following Convocation, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends were invited to celebrate the 165th anniversary of the charter in Regents Hall in birthday party style - complete with party hats, favors and, of course, cake!  The event was a night to remember as Rockford University's Charter Day was not only being celebrated on campus, but from coast to coast and around the world.

Charter Day Alumni Gatherings took place simultaneously in Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA and Kobe, Japan and were interactively broadcasted to Regents Hall via Skype.  Alumni in Rockford were able to connect to those thousands of miles away and celebrate the legacy of Rockford University together.

Please enjoy pictures of both the Charter Day Convocation and the After Hours Celebrations below!

To view photos full screen or download an individual photo, please click on the slide show.




In 1847, during one of the great college-building eras in American history, Rockford Female Seminary was chartered by the Illinois legislature. The citizens of Rockford (population 2,500) pledged $3,500 to erect a building for the ambitious enterprise. The first classes were held in the old downtown courthouse. Soon, however, the seminary moved to its own campus between the Rock River and Seminary Street. More than a century later, in the mid-1960s, the college moved to its present location at the eastern edge of the city.

Rockford University was an educational pioneer from the very beginning. In the 1840s, when Americans still doubted the value of educating women, the decision to make the curriculum at Rockford Female Seminary as demanding as that of a men's college was a bold one. In 1882, Rockford Female Seminary granted its first bachelor's degrees including that of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Addams. In 1892, Rockford Female Seminary became Rockford Unviersity. The university was involved early in the development of adult education, offering the first such courses in 1919. In 1952, responding to a need in the community, the university opened its Learning Resources Center to help young people and adults improve their academic skills. Men were first admitted to classes during World War II, when Rockford University offered cooperative educational programs with the Illinois Institute of Technology. Rockford University became fully coeducational in 1958.

For 165 years Rockford University has built and maintained its excellence. Our faculty is among the best, brightest and engaged. Our students excel and achieve their dreams. Our alumni are exemplary leaders and shapers of the communities in which they live.

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