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Rockford College Board of Trustees commits to University status

Tuesday, October 02, 2012  
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For immediate release – October 2, 2012
Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill., –Rockford College Board of Trustees Chair Charles Colman, and Rockford College President Robert L. Head, Ph.D., announced today that in a strategic move designed to accurately reflect the College’s long established and increasingly diverse offerings, while also clearly defining its status within the Rockford and world communities, the Rockford College Board of Trustees unanimously voted for Rockford College to take as its legal name, Rockford University, effective July 1, 2013.

Mr. Colman states, "By officially becoming Rockford University, we are able to better define our standing in the marketplace and the world. For 165 years, Rockford College has been a stalwart example of what a small institution of higher learning can achieve for its students, its alumni and its community. There is no doubt that as Rockford University, we will continue to grow our tradition of excellence in transforming lives through an education grounded in liberal arts learning.”

Furthermore, the trustees agree with the prevailing sentiment of alumni, faculty and other stakeholders that this is a unique opportunity to openly champion the importance of liberal arts learning, and protect the institution’s historical commitment to that mission. As proof of that obligation, a special committee to include faculty, staff and trustees will be appointed by President Head and charged with fully examining the structure and governance of the College under the university umbrella. The committee’s priority will be to ensure the retention of a liberal arts curriculum throughout the university in its undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, and professional programs.

"If you look back to our very beginnings in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary, the College has always led and evolved with the times. We first granted baccalaureate degrees to women in 1882. In 1892 the name was changed to Rockford College to better reflect the degrees and programming that had been in place for decades. In 1958 the College became co-educational and in 1919 we became a pioneer in offering programming for adult learners, and so on. Institutions of higher learning should not remain static or rigid. Our change now to university is a natural progression of our mission to educate and prepare men and women for fulfilling lives, careers and participation in an ever-changing global society. This change in status serves to reinforce and better define the maturity of the College’s current structure and in no way changes our core mission and identity,” states President Robert L. Head.

Rockford’s current student body of more than 1,250 students is already an example of what a university setting includes with populations of traditional undergraduate, adult undergraduate and graduate students. Undergraduate programs at the College include the traditional liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional programs. The college currently has two graduate programs with master’s degrees and certifications in business and education. Rockford also serves the area’s adult undergraduate population with the growing adult accelerated degree completion program where students are able to earn a bachelor’s of science in management studies (BSMS).

The official transition to Rockford University will not take place until the start of the fiscal year 2014 beginning on July 1, 2013. For more information and to follow updates on Rockford College’s transition to Rockford University,visit or contact the Office of Communications at 815-226-3374.

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