In 1847, during one of the great college-building eras in American history, Rockford Female Seminary was chartered by the Illinois legislature. The citizens of Rockford (population 2,500) pledged $3,500 to erect a building for the ambitious enterprise.
The first classes were held in the old downtown courthouse. Soon, however, the seminary moved to its own campus between the Rock River and Seminary Street. More than a century later, in the mid-1960s, the College moved to its present location at the eastern edge of the city.
The University has been an educational pioneer from the very beginning. In the 1840s, when Americans still doubted the value of educating women, the decision to make the curriculum at Rockford Female Seminary as demanding as that of a men’s college was a bold one. In 1882, Rockford Female Seminary granted its first bachelor’s degrees including that of Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Addams. In 1892, Rockford Female Seminary became Rockford College®. In 2013, Rockford College® became Rockford University.
The University was involved early in the development of adult education, offering the first such courses in 1919. In 1952, responding to a need in the community, the Center for Learning Strategies opened its doors to help young people and adults improve their academic skills. Men were first admitted to classes during World War II, when Rockford College® offered cooperative educational programs with the Illinois Institute of Technology. The institution became fully coeducational in 1958.
List of Rockford University Presidents – 1847 to present.
Rockford’s Daughter – The life of American social reformer Ellen Gates Starr topic of Oct. 29 Forum at Rockford University
Rockford University welcomes noted scholar and Professor Annie Storr, Ph.D., on Monday, October 29, 7 p.m., in the Fisher Memorial Chapel located on Rockford University’s Campus. The lecture is part of the University’s Fall Forum Series. Dr. Storr will present...read more
ROCKFORD, Ill., – Rockford University President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., announces the appointment of Randy Worden, D.Min., as Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. Dr. Worden is an experienced administrator with an extensive background in...read more
Rockford University has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation of Northern Illinois with seven 2018 American Advertising (ADDY) Awards for advertising creative excellence.read more
“I felt like I mattered on this university’s campus. Everyone here feels like they have a place”read more