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Regent Weekly

Tuesday, September 07, 2010  
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All about RC: From Tinker to Sill to Addams
Occasionally, members of the college’s executive council share messages with the college in this space. Today, we hear from John McNamara, vice president for college development.

Dear students, faculty and staff:

This is the year of many anniversaries for Rockford College. It is Jane Addams’ 150th birthday (yesterday, September 6, 1860), the 50th anniversary of our presence on State Street and the 25th anniversary of the Music Academy of Rockford College.

Today the campus is celebrating Jane’s birthday with a party at the Lion’s Den from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, some of us will travel to Chicago and join Mayor Daley for Chicago’s celebration of our most famous alumna. Dr. Head will share the podium with the mayor to say a few words about Jane and Rockford College.

Saturday evening we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our presence on State Street. Regents Ball will be held in the Burpee Center beginning at 6 p.m. This year, the black tie gala will benefit our performing arts department. Last minute reservations are possible for today and tomorrow only, and you can purchase 50/50 raffle tickets right up to the event. Contact Janice Holton, development office, at It will be a delightful evening with old friends and new!

In the midst of all these activities, an e-mail came to me last week that was particularly interesting as it relates to the city, and additional connections to Rockford College. Putting on my hat of the person responsible for community relations, I want to share this with you.

Tinker Swiss Cottage is a landmark house museum in Rockford. It is the home of our first mayor, Robert Tinker. The writer informed me that among Robert Tinker’s best friends was Anna Peck Sill, founder and first president of Rockford Female Seminary, later to become Rockford College. Anna’s name appears frequently in Tinker’s diaries and it is reputed that Mr. Tinker used his considerable landscape expertise to lay out portions of our old campus downtown.

Tinker Cottage is one of Rockford’s treasures. It is a unique house museum in that all the furnishings, clothes, furniture, china, etc. are all original Tinker family possessions. It is as if the family went away for a few days and never returned. This treasure needs some "treasure,” as many museums do today. We have the opportunity to help the museum win $25,000 by voting to name Tinker the best historic site in the "This Place Matters” Community Challenge. I am attaching the link in hopes that we can all help this remarkable city museum. The connections to our past still hold true today as both the museum and Rockford College are still thriving after more than 160 years. Vote today – early and often at: This Place Matters Community Challenge.

Have a wonderful week.

John McNamara
Vice President for College Development

Parties planned for Jane Addams 150th birthday

Jane Addams, a pivotal force for social reform in Chicago and the rest of the U.S., will be remembered on her 150th birthday at a celebration September 14, 11 a.m. to noon at the Belvidere oasis on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Rockford College, where Addams graduated in 1882 as the class valedictorian, and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum in Chicago, site of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of new immigrants in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It will feature a birthday cake for attendees, free food and beverages, singing of happy birthday led by the Rockford College Vocal Collective, informational displays, and local Jane Addams re-enactor Amy Nyman. There will also be remarks from Rockford College President Robert L. Head and representatives from the Jane Adams Hull-House Museum and Illinois Tollway Authority

Addams won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 for her work to promote world peace, primarily as president and founder of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was the first woman to be so recognized and the only Rockford College graduate so honored.

As a social reformer, Jane Addams was a force to be reckoned with. Her efforts led to Illinois’ first child labor law; the first eight-hour work day law for women; the first public kindergarten; the first playground; and the first juvenile court. As a suffragette, she championed women’s right to vote. As a humanitarian, she devoted her life to the causes of peace, freedom and justice.

Other celebrations of Jane Addams 150th birthday are also planned. Today, Rockford College students hosts a birthday party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the college’s Lion’s Den.

Fans of Jane Addams will also throw a birthday party with a gigantic cake at noon on tomorrow (Sept. 8) at Daley Plaza in Chicago. That will be followed by a "People’s Block Party” sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull-House Association and the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the University of Illinois-Chicago. 

3 RC profs publish book on women in WWII

Three Rockford College professors have published a book that significantly honors women and the legacy of Rockford College.

Professors Catherine Forslund, history; and Dr. Mary Weaks-Baxter, English, along with professor emerita Christine Bruun psychology, have completed their work, "We Are a College at War: Women Working for Victory in World War II.” The book was recently released by Southern Illinois University Press and will be available this Wednesday in the Rockford College bookstore.

"The book argues that a women’s movement based on the political concept of care and rooted in Rockford alumna Jane Addams’ legacy persisted through the war period and beyond,” says Weaks-Baxter. "While highlighting voices from the Rockford College community, the book weaves together letters, speeches, newspaper stories and ads, personal recollections, and photographs with national historical context and analysis to show more generally the ways in which young American women and college students were involved in the war effort.”

A book signing with the authors is set for late September and will be announced in advance. Also, in a fitting tie-in, the three profs will take part in a panel discussion with author Emily Yellin and WWII-era Rockford College alumnae October 14, 7:30 p.m. Yellin is author of "Our Mother’s War” about American women at home and at the front. She will speak October 14, 4 p.m. in the Maddox Theatre.

One more bit of information regarding the book "We Are A College At War.” There is now a website available that provides supplemental materials for the book. For anyone interested, the site is located at

Artist Kathleen O’Connell exhibits her work

An art show featuring the work of Kathleen O’Connell is on exhibit in the Rockford College Art Gallery until October 3. The show, entitled "Observations from the New World” is free and open to the public.

O’Connell combines the disciplines of printmaking and book arts in her show, a series of drawings, etchings, and artist’s books inspired by her relocation to Peru.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon – 3 p.m. and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. The gallery is closed Sundays and Mondays.

For more information on the Rockford College Art Gallery, call the college’s box office at 815-226-4100. Exhibitions in the gallery are made possible in part through the generosity of Lon and Richard Behr. For a complete list of art shows from now until December, see

RC rocks with its commitment to student success

The marketing department is running a campaign to remind the campus community and the public just how much Rockford College "Rocks.” We are all doing amazing work and the stories should be shared! Each week, look forward to a new letter of "R.O.C.K.S.” as it will represent an area in which we excel. Find out more at Should you have submissions, please contact Cassie Swanson at Here is this week's story:

C: Committed to Student Success.

The Office of Student Success and Retention is working hard each day making sure students feel comfortable in their classes and connected to campus. One of the excellent programs offered is RC Mentor Connections for first-year and new transfer students. This program allows students the chance to meet regularly with a small group of RC students and a faculty member to support one another, understand what campus resources are available, and make great new friends! Learn more at

Where's Robert?
A list of noteworthy events on President Head’s calendar.

September 7:               Rockford Area Realtors Annual Business Meeting

September 8:               Rockford Area Economic Development Council Education Committee meeting

September 8:               Jane Addams’ 150th Birthday Celebration – Chicago Daley Plaza

September 10 & 11:   Kobe College Corporation Japan Education Exchange annual meeting

September 11:             Regents Ball

September 12:             Music Academy’s Cellobration

This is only a test
Every first Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. Winnebago County tests its emergency siren system. We now have one of these sirens atop a pole behind Starr Science. The siren will be louder than it has been in the past. The siren here is one of a couple dozen set up around the county to better inform residents of severe weather and other emergencies. 

Author to present on sexuality and sexual health
An expert on sexuality, especially as it relates to young women, will give a free talk at Rockford College, September 9, 7 p.m. in the college’s Maddox Theatre.

Amber Madison is the author of "Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality,” a book for college and high school-aged women about sexual health, sexuality and relationships. Title of her talk is "Sexual and Relationship Health: Hooking Up and Beyond.”

Madison travels around the U.S. speaking with teens and adults about sex and relationships. In 2008, she won a sexual health communication award from Choice USA. Adams Media recently published her second book, "Talking Sex With Your Kids: Keeping Them Safe, and You Sane – by Knowing What They’re Really Thinking.”

She is frequently quoted in national publications and has appeared on the "Today” show, MTV News, National Public Radio, and dozens of local TV and radio broadcasts.

The talk is a kick-off to the college’s Forum Series, offering free lectures, discussions and performances throughout the school year. For a complete line-up of Forum events for 2010-2011, see

CEE presents Reading Group topics for the semester
Professors Matt Flamm and Shawn Klein, philosophy, are heading this fall’s Reading Group, which starts September 10. The meetings are open to all.

The first session this Friday serves as an introduction and overview. In 399 BCE, Athens executed Socrates for impiety and corrupting the youth. Plato immortalized the trial and death of Socrates in his dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. These are not merely historical dialogues, but philosophical treatises that examine the nature of piety, philosophy, justice, and death. The Reading Group will discuss each of these dialogues and the philosophical issues they raise.

Each meeting will take place at the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship office on the second floor of Burpee, from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. There will be light refreshments. A free copy of the book will be provided to participants.

Watch for these future topics:
September 17: Euthyphro
October 1: Apology
November 5: Crito
November 19: Phaedo

Join the French Club for fun and conversation
Come and join other French fans at the first French Club meeting of the semester, today at 4 p.m. in Lion’s Den. The group will discuss (in English) hot social news from France and will also plan club events for this year. Coffee and cookies will be served. 

Become a Conversation Partner
Kick off this new semester by doing something unique! Take 30 to 60 minutes of your week and talk to a student from another country: South Korea, China, Vietnam, Haiti, Mexico, Brazil, and more. Each month we get new students from around the world.

Become a Conversation Partner and allow these international students to practice their English as you learn about their cultures, traditions, foods and more.

Join us this fall and sit down for an exciting one-on-one conversation. You will also be invited to special events like picnics and outings with our students as they get to know more about Rockford and the Midwest.

Contact the English Language Institute via e-mail at, phone 815-226-4013. Starting is simple. Just give them some days and times you can be available and they’ll put you in touch with a student. Thanks for considering working with our ELI students!

Out and about
Events that may be of interest to the Rockford College community and their families.

September 8-9, 7:30 p.m. Special sneak preview of Artists’ Ensemble Theatre’s "The Underpants” in the Cheek Theatre. Free dress rehearsal for the Rockford College community. The actual show runs September 10 -- 26 in Cheek.

September 12, 4 p.m. Cellobration! Celebrate the cello with 10 local cellists performing pieces from Bach to the Beatles. Held in Maddox Theatre. Tickets are $10 and $15. For more information, call 815-226-4100.

RC in the news

The college received plenty of attention for its celebration of National Oatmeal Day last week. Stories were run in the Rockford Register Star, on Channel 23, and on WNTA radio. Food service chef Debbie Allen was the star of the show. The story was also picked up by a half-dozen nutrition websites.

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FORUM: Babes In Arms

FORUM: Babes In Arms

FORUM: Babes In Arms

Student Music Recital

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