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Spring 2013 Forum Series events announced

Friday, January 04, 2013  
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For immediate release – 1/4/13
Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford College is pleased to announced its Spring 2013 Forum Series schedule. The College will host eight events this spring that span a wide variety of topics and interests. The public is invited and encouraged to attend as many events as desired. With the exception of the theatre productions, forum events are offered at no charge. All lectures and performances take place on the Rockford College campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required for all events. Please contact the Rockford College Box Office at 815-226-4100 or to reserve your tickets or for more information..

Douglas Wilson, Ph.D.
Character and Calculation: Examining Abraham Lincoln
Friday, January 25
4 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Professor Emeritus of English and co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, Dr. Wilson has written several books on our 16th president and has twice won the prestigious Lincoln Prize. Lincoln’s renowned reputation is by now as familiar and full-blown as to be legendary. Yet, if we wish to better understand the man behind the legend, Wilson argues that we must be willing to ask hard questions and scrutinize the extent to which things like calculation tempered his character and guided his behavior.

Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D.
The Organic City: Urbanism Redefined
Monday, February 4
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Soft cars, jet packs, and houses made of meat are all in a day's work for urban designer, architect and TED Fellow Dr. Mitchell Joachim [jo-ak-um]. As an urban designer, Dr. Joachim presents his vision for sustainable, organic architecture: eco-friendly abodes grown from plants and even meat.

Dr. Joachim is the founding Co-President of Terreform ONE. He is an Associate Professor at NYU and EGS in Switzerland. His project, Fab Tree Hab, has been exhibited at MoMA and widely published. He is also a Partner at Planetary ONE and chosen by Wired magazine for "The 2008 Smart List: 15 People the Next President Should Listen To." Rolling Stone magazine honored Joachim in "The 100 People Who Are Changing America." In 2009 he was interviewed on the Colbert Report.

Trojan Women
Rockford College Performing Arts Department
February 28 - March 3
Cheek Theatre
Thursday – Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday - 2 p.m.

Euripides’s play follows the fates of the women of Troy after their city has been sacked, their husbands killed, and as their remaining families are about to be taken away as slaves. However, it begins with the gods Athena and Poseidon discussing ways to punish the Greek armies because they condoned Ajax the Lesser for dragging Cassandra away from Apollo’s temple. What follows shows how much the Trojan women have suffered as their grief is compounded when the Greeks dole out additional deaths and divide their share of women.

For tickets and more information, contact the Box Office at 815-226-4100. Adults $10, Seniors $7, Students $7. Group rates are available.


Charter Day
Guest speaker Marc Pfeffer, ’69, Ph.D., MD
Wednesday, March 6,
4 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Dr. Marc A. Pfeffer, graduated from Rockford College in 1969. He went on to receive both his doctorate in physiology and biophysics and his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City. He completed his internship, residency and clinical fellowship at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, and is currently the Dzau Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and physician in the Cardiology Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Dr. Pfeffer has distinguished himself as a translational investigator. Along with his late wife, Dr. Janice Pfeffer ’69, and Eugene Braunwald, M.D., their studies in an experimental model of myocardial infarction first introduced the concept of an insidious deleterious structural remodeling of the impaired ventricle. Pfeffer led the first definitive clinical trial demonstrating that a certain structural remodeling could prolong survival and prevent the development of heart failure, which has improved the prognosis of untold numbers of survivors of myocardial infarction.


Robert Walker, ’73, JD
The World at Seven Billion
Tuesday, March 19
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Robert Walker is the President of the Population Institute, where he directs the organization's advocacy and public education activities, including its work on issues related to health, economic development, sustainability and the environment. Previously, he served for three years as President of Handgun Control, Inc. and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and four years as legislative director at Handgun Control, where he led the lobbying campaigns that led to the successful passage of the Brady Law and the federal assault weapons ban.

Mr. Walker received his B.A. in Economics from Rockford College and his J.D. from the University Of Illinois School Of Law. He attended the University of Sydney in Australia under a Rotary graduate fellowship.

Mr. Walker’s presentation will examine what projected population growth means for people, posterity, and the planet. He will discuss how rapid population growth in the least developed countries is frustrating efforts to eliminate hunger and abolish severe poverty. He will talk about the impact that climate change, water scarcity, and the rising costs of food and energy are likely to have on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and future development prospects. He will also emphasize that the UN population projections, though widely accepted, are not written in stone, and that even small changes in fertility rates could dramatically affect future population projections.


Randi Belisomo
Phi Beta Kappa Lecture
Liberal Arts Education, Journalism and New Media
Thursday, March 21
4 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Randi Belisomo, speaking on behalf of Phi Beta Kappa, is an accomplished multimedia journalist currently serving as a general assignment reporter at WGN-TV in Chicago and as a contributor to Chicago Public Radio, WBEZ 91.5 FM. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Notre Dame. She is an Emmy Nominee and a 2012 Peter Lisagor Award winner for best in-depth series, "Journey to Haiti."
Randi will speak about her work as a journalist, how a liberal arts education enhances her career, and where she sees media and journalism going in the future.

Theodore Goodson III, Ph.D.
Sigma Xi Speaker
Approaches to Energy Harvesting and Energy Storage with Organic Materials
Monday, March 25
4 p.m., Peterson Auditorium, Scarborough Hall
Dr. Goodson is the Richard Barry Bernstein Collegiate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, College of Engineering. Dr. Goodson completed his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska as well as postdoctoral work at University of Chicago and Oxford University.
Sigma Xi has identified Dr. Goodson as an outstanding scientist whose work is at the leading edge of science. As a member of the Distinguished Lecturer Program at Sigma Xi, Ted will have an opportunity to communicate his insights and excitement to a broad range of scholars and to the community at large.


Old River Tales
A play depicting Rockford History, Co-written by Rockford College
Faculty Emeritus Rufus Cadigan
Friday, May 3
7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Old River Tales is a performance you won’t want to miss! Actors will sing and act their way into your hearts with true stories about what it was like to live in Rockford during the 1800s. Local historian Sue Crandall and Rockford College Faculty Emeritus playwright Rufus Cadigan have put together a musical drama filled with stories about the historical figures and immigrants of Rockford’s first community. You’ll meet Abe Lincoln, Native American Hononegah and her boyfriend explorer Stephen Mack, mighty Chief Black Hawk, Jane Addams, the scandalous minister Jacob Schweinfurth and many more interesting characters. Enjoy some string pickin' fun with the multi-talented professional cast of musicians and actors, Carolyn Cadigan, Sue Crandall, David Causey, Rockford College student Andrew Harth, Betsy Kaske, and Jenniel Wright. This group promises to entertain with a stirring musical about our ancestors who risked everything to make the hard journey to the Rock River Valley. You’ll hear beautifully melodic songs from the era as you watch the dramatic story of European immigrants and post-Civil War freed slaves finding their homes in Rockford.

About the Rockford College Forum Series:
Each semester, the Rockford College Forum Series presents speakers from a variety of disciplines and performers of stature in the arts. The series is designed to deepen and broaden students’ education at Rockford College. All full-time undergraduate students are required to attend a minimum of two Forum Series events each semester. The series has hosted many notable presenters like Oscar Arias, the Tibetan Lamas of Drepung Loseling monastery, Benazir Bhutto, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Naomi Tutu, and Twyla Tharpe.


Rockford College announced on October 2, 2012 that it will officially change to Rockford University effective July 1, 2013. For more information on the College’s transition, visit:

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