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Weekly Update

Tuesday, July 07, 2009  
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Increased alumni support highlights FY 2009

During the summer, members of the Executive Council will alternate writing the President’s column.  Today, we hear from John McNamara, vice president for college development.

June 30 marked the end of Fiscal Year 2009 for Rockford College.  And, what an end it was.  Alumni participation in our Charter Fund campaign not only increased from last year’s total of 1,254 donors, but we exceeded our goal to increase participation by 5 percent, by gaining support from 1,324 alumni donors.  This marks the first time since FY 2004 that we ended the year with greater alumni participation in our Charter Fund campaign than the previous year. While the total dollars given were less, which is most understanding in this year’s challenging financial times, the increased level of participation is very rewarding.

Within this number are embedded some interesting and very encouraging subsets, all of which point to a growing and more healthy annual giving program.

  • For the first time since FY04 we enjoyed the support of more new and reactivated donors (308) compared to those who did not renew their support for FY09 (227).

  • RC enjoys an 80 percent alumni donor retention rate year-over-year (national median 71%).

  • 283 alumni whose last gift to RC was FY07 or before, gave to RC in FY09 (compared to 222 in FY08 whose last gift was in FY06 or before).

  • 44 alumni made their first gift to RC in FY09, compared to 20 in FY08.

  • Of the 20 who gave for the first time in FY08, 12 of them renewed their giving in FY09, exceeding the national average of 35 percent retention.

  • In FY09 - 87 alumni made gifts whose last contributions were at least five fiscal years ago or more ago (compared to FY08 when 42 alumni made similar donations).

Our best wishes and gratitude to all who participated; and our understanding to those who were not able to do so.  

There is also good news to report on the financial support at the federal and state levels.  Thanks to the great support of Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Don Manzullo, for the second consecutive year we received a federal earmark for classroom upgrades in equipment and technology.  Additionally, our membership in the Library of Congress program, Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS), was renewed and the funding level was doubled!  Sen. Durbin was one of the first to promote this program and we are grateful to him for securing our participation in this extraordinary program for our Education Department.

At the state level, for the first time, private colleges and universities are included in the proposed Capital Plan. As of now the capital plan is stalled in the budget gridlock in Springfield; but once that is settled, and we are confident it will be, Rockford College will benefit handsomely through this program.  And, for that, we thank our legislative team for their bi-partisan support of the plan.

On a sobering note, the state’s financial crises and ongoing political gridlock puts key funds for higher education in jeopardy.  The MAP awards, financial aid for students, are extremely vulnerable. Always important to students (and colleges), these funds are critical in these economic times.  When the Legislature reconvenes on July 14 we hope this will be resolved quickly so that students will be able to attend classes this fall as planned.

We thank everyone for a very successful year.  Special thanks to our alumni and friends for their strong support of the college in these very difficult times for all.  We pledge to be good stewards of your philanthropic dollars!

Have a great week!

John McNamara, Vice President for College Development

NICNE director to co-host seminar
A Rockford College staffer will co-host a “teleseminar” July 16 focusing on partnerships between non-profit agencies and businesses.  Pam Clark-Reidenbach, director of NICNE, will serve as the local facilitator for the seminar, featuring Frank Martinelli from the Center for Public Skills Training. She will be joined by Angela Larson of Act2 Strategists. 

Forward-looking businesses and nonprofits are using partnerships and collaborations to advance their missions, energize their workforces and revitalize their communities. The seminar will provide proven partnership models that others can emulate.

The seminar, entitled “Strengthen Your Organization through Business and Nonprofit Organizations” runs from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and can be accessed from your own computer. Free registration is through the Rockford Chamber of Commerce at

Number of RC student-athletes doubles from 2007-08
RC’s athletic department is pleased to announce the 2008-09 Northern Athletic Conference (NAC) Scholar-Athlete recipients.  The NAC Scholar-Athlete Award is awarded to all full time student-athletes competing in the NAC, maintaining a grade point average of 3.25 or higher for the current academic year. Each academic year stands by itself for determination of this award.

The following 54 Rockford College student-athletes have shown great determination in the classroom over the past academic year while contributing to their respective teams.  Since last year (2007-08), the number of RC student-athletes receiving this honor has doubled.  This is a great credit to the student-athletes below. On behalf of the student-athletes and the athletic department, we would like to thank all of the campus community that aids and contributes to the academic success of our students.

Please make sure you recognize these students when you see them in the fall!

NAC Scholar-Athlete List 2008-09 (Rockford)
Amanda Austin    Volleyball
Matt Brynteson    Men's Soccer, Men's Tennis
Angie Butler    Volleyball
Audra Carlson    Women's Cross Country
Mike Catalano    Baseball
Hannah Church    Women's Cross Country
Vanja Cosic    Women's Soccer
Shaun Dascher    Baseball
Curt Daughenbaugh    Baseball
Jimmy Dercks    Baseball
Haley Emford    Volleyball
Amber  Eshleman    Women's Soccer
Rob Fry    Men's Cross Country
Ricky Gonzalez    Men's Soccer, Men's Tennis
Tony Hardin    Men's Cross Country, Track
Sarah Harkness    Women's Soccer
Andrea Hundertmark    Softball
Andrew Insko    Men's Golf
Anna Jacobs    Women's Tennis
Alan Jankowski    Baseball
Christina    Koblosh    Women's Soccer, Softball
Ben Korth    Baseball
Kelly Madison    Women's Soccer
Goran Mamic    Men's Soccer
Travis Mohr    Baseball
Sarah Mueller    Volleyball, Women's Soccer
Nathan Murdent    Football
Kevin Patterson    Baseball
Brad Pemberton    Football, Men's Tennis
Aaron Powers    Men's Soccer
Ben Powers    Football
Kyle Saunders    Baseball
Emilia Sawras    Women's Tennis
Brandon Scheffler    Baseball
Stephanie Schmidt    Women's Soccer
Chris Scott    Football
Jordan Shaver    Baseball
David Smith    Men's Soccer
Phil Smith    Baseball
Cayla Solsberg    Women's Soccer
Jessica Starr    Softball
Hannah Stravers    Women's Cross Country
Kaitlyn Sullivan    Women's Basketball
Melissa Swaziek    Volleyball, Women's Basketball
Tanner Taylor    Men's Soccer
Danielle Townsend    Women's Basketball
Tori Turman    Women's Basketball, Softball
Emilie Viaud    Women's Tennis
Carolyn  Warner    Women's Soccer
Jenna Warren    Women's Tennis
Clara Wiersma    Volleyball, Softball
Rob Wiest    Baseball
Mayra Yanez    Women's Cross Country
Chad Zeman    Men's Golf

RC faculty member serving as museum docent guide this summer
Jayne Higgins, an instructor in the English department, is having fun this summer, but also performing an important service at the same time. She is a volunteer docent guide at the Sycamore Historical Museum which currently hosts a Smithsonian exhibit called “Journey Stories.” For more on Jane and the exhibit you can read the story at

And the winner is…the Pug!
Congratulations to Kelly Olson, Student Life, and her dog Maddison, who won the pet photo contest last week. The peppy pug beat out a dozen other contestants to take the crown. Hats off to the CARE Committee for organizing this fun event.  You can see photos of all the adorable pets on display near the mail desk in Burpee.

Students present papers in Vegas
Recently we told you about four RC students who presented papers at the 2009 International Conference on the Global Financial Crises held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, June 4-6.  The papers were a product of the research they did during their HR Management course last semester. Goal of the research was to examine the impact of the current global financial crisis on human resource management. Topics and presenters included:

  • “The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on the Provision of Equal Employment Opportunity and a Safe Workplace” by Amber Bianchi & Jenifer Ylvisaker.
  • “Has the Global Economic Crisis Influenced Trends in Human Resource Management?” by Ryan J. Bell.
  • “The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Separating and Retaining Employees” by Garrett Staniec.

Congratulations to these students and thanks to JJ Asongu, assistant professor of business, for passing this information along.  For a full copy of the conference program, see

Get to Know Me: Erin Connor, administrative assistant  

Hometown:     Fresno, Calif.

Mother and father are both librarians in California; A sister earning a Ph.D. at Harvard, younger sister attends Linfield College, younger brother still in high school in Fresno. Live in Rockford with two cats, Pickle and Olive.

Earned my Bachelor of Arts at Rockford College in Music with an emphasis in Vocal Performance. Currently study Voice with Prof. Timm Adams. Also work as the Choir Director for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and as a professional section leader for the Elgin Choral Union.

I love Harry Potter and Severus Snape is my favorite character, which surprises most people because he isn’t exactly nice. I also am a huge Jane Austen fan and went on a Jane Austen Book Tour when I studied at Regents College.

I love the relationships I have with my co-workers. I also really enjoy working with the students and helping them succeed. I love having the perspective of both a student and an employee; it makes me passionate about my job.

Music (I’m involved in two choirs), theatre, reading, watching crime TV shows, such as Bones and Law and Order: SVU, cooking, and being at home with my cats.

RC in the news

  • Dr. Robert L. Head, college president, had a column in the Rockford Register Star yesterday entitled: “For Rockford College, it’s been a year of distinction.”  ….more
  • Michelle Griggs, Kobe-Regents Center, and student Khetsiwe Dlamini were pictured in the Register Star last week presenting a check for $500 to Kids Around the World. The money, from the Multicultural Club, was raised from the group’s International Food Fair. 

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Student Music Recital

EDP: Seminar #6 - Conflict Management and Resolution

NICNE Customer Service Workshop

FORUM: Sports Management Symposium

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