Student Traditions
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Rockford University was founded over a century ago and throughout its distinguished history, the University has been steeped in traditions that remain vital, important, and fun for today's students. These traditions are what shape the atmosphere of Rockford University. Traditions establish a sense of community that lasts beyond the confines of the 4-year university experience.

It is the spirit that makes Rockford University a great place to be!
For the first four days of each new school year, first year students are welcomed to Rockford University by current students, faculty and staff for our Orientation program, "Making Connections."  First year students are paired with mentor groups consisting of an orientation leader, resident assistant and faculty member. Throughout this time students are able to discuss the upcoming year and learn about everything Rockford University can offer them. Students also engage in many fun activities to help meet their new classmates. The end of Orientation signifies the start of "Welcome Week" which is filled with lots of campus activities for all Rockford University students to enjoy!

The Plunge
There is no better or more practical way to realize the values of service and activism than to actually help others. The Rockford University Plunge is a long standing tradition where students spend a morning working in small groups to make a difference in the lives of others. In collaboration with faculty and staff, students do things such as paint homes for Habitat for Humanity, clean creeks for the Rockford Park District, and set-up playground equipment for the Discovery Center. "Act Now" is the motto for The Plunge and these projects are a great way to promote one of the greatest goals of Rockford University, to be the Jane Addams University of the 21st Century.

Homecoming is a fall celebration that connects current students and alumni together to celebrate Rockford University! It is a week-long celebration that consists of athletic games, the annual banner competition, entertainment, games, a tailgating competition, and lots of fun! Traditionally, Homecoming is concluded with a Homecoming Dance in Regent's Hall where the Homecoming King and Queen are announced.

Chili Cook Off
Watch's about to be a brawl. Who has the best chili? Each October, students, faculty, and staff come together for the Annual Chili Cook-off to see who makes the best chili. The best part about this event is if you do not know how to make chili, you can still participate by tasting all the other chilies and voting for the best. You'll be sure to find one that drives your taste buds crazy with all the selection to choose from!

Pumpkin Carving
Each year around Halloween, senior students gather to create the scariest, funniest and sometimes the weirdest jack O lanterns. They then place them all over campus in odd locations, such as roof tops, in windows, and really anywhere they can climb.  Traditionally, this event is kept secret and done in the evening so the next morning the campus wakes up to "Pumpkin Day"! Underclassmen compete to see who can find the most pumpkins. It's a treat of Halloween spirit.

Senior Prank
Watch never know what they'll pull! The senior class comes together each year to pull a prank on students, faculty, and staff. This tradition has been with the University since its beginning days.

April Weekend
Each year the third week in April is selected for April Weekend. April Weekend is a spring celebration that brings students, faculty, and staff together to welcome spring and celebrate the end of the year. This weekend also signifies the seniors' last big event before graduation. Traditionally, April Weekend consists of tournaments, a Casino Night, a Foam Party, inflatable games, and lots of fun!

Senior Skip Day
This day is set by seniors near the end of spring semester. It gives students a day to relax, catch up on any homework they have been putting off, and have fun! The senior class picks an activity for the entire campus to enjoy on their "day off."

This day is the greatest of Rockford University's traditions. The day is started with a ceremony at Fisher Chapel. Students join friends and family in remembering the days that they have spent at Rockford University. Everyone gathers together to honor the graduates as they march into their futures at the commencement ceremony. After the announcements, graduated students gather for pictures, hugs, and tears of joy. Its sure to be a day full of many emotions and a day that no one is sure to forget. This tradition signifies the end of their university experience at Rockford University and the start of their lives as alumni members!
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