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Many anniversaries for Rockford College this year

Friday, August 27, 2010  
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By Matt Williams
Posted Aug 27, 2010 @ 10:46 AM
Last update Aug 28, 2010 @ 05:58 PM

Donnita VerVers last stepped in a classroom 13 years ago as a senior in high school and resumed her education in Rockford College’s nursing program this week.

The 31-year-old Poplar Grove resident works at OSF Saint Anthony’s Medical Center as a Certified Nursing Assistant and decided it was time to continue her education.

"I just thought I would never have the opportunity to go to college, but now I am married and my husband and I decided it was time to come back,” VerVers said. "I have to take a couple of math refresher courses ... but other than that it has been good.”

VerVers was one of about 400 students and faculty to listen in as President Robert Head marked the new school year Friday with a convocation address at the school’s Maddox Theatre.

"This is an extremely nice time for us at Rockford College with our growth in enrollment and some of our new programs,” Head said. "It is very invigorating.”

Head said exact enrollment figures would not be known for a few weeks, but said the addition of new programs — acting, early childhood development and expansion of its nursing program — creates new opportunities for students.

Head is entering his third year as president of the school. which was adopted in 1847.

Part of his speech highlighted some key anniversaries for the college. It is the 150th anniversary of famed alumna Jane Addams’ birth; it is the 50th anniversary of the college being at its current location at 5050 E. State St.; and it is the 25th anniversary of the school’s music academy.

Kayla Veroni-Cygan, 23, of Rockford is starting her second semester in the nursing program. She took classes all summer and had time to fit in a wedding before starting fall classes.

"I just got back from my honeymoon 10 hours before classes started,” Veroni-Cygan said while waiting for the convocation speech to begin. "I have been crazy busy.”

This story appeared at on August 27, 2010.

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