Alumi association

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Did you know that Rockford University has had an Alumni Association for nearly 150 years?

The Association is led by a board whose mission is ‘to connect and engage current and future alumni for the advancement of Rockford University.’ We take our responsibilities seriously and want to serve you effectively. Please send any questions/comments/suggestions to alumni@rockford.edu.

Executive Committee

President
Lori Jennings Walsh ’99
Rockford, IL
Retired Teacher, Keith Country Day School

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I am honored to serve with a talented and diverse group of individuals, each of whom desires to strengthen Rockford University. I love supporting an institution that values the individual student and holds an important place in the Rockford community.”

Vice President
Matt Szytz ’14/’16
Rockford, IL
Director of Marketing & Communications, Huntley Park District

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“Rockford Unversity provided me with 6 complete years of valuable life experiences. The best way I feel I can give back to the University that gave so much to me, is to help reach out and bring together former, current, and future Regents.”

Immediate Past President
Jim Reynolds ‘ 95
Belvidere, IL
Vice President – Business Banking, Blackhawk Bank

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“Continuing connection with graduates of Rockford University and potential to further the mission of the school.”

Alumni Trustee
Dawn Niehaus Gile ’02
Severna Park, MD
Partner, MacDonald Law Group, LLC

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“Rockford University has always had a special place in my heart. My first experience with RU was in the “GEMS” (Girls Exploring Math & Science) Program as a middle schooler. I loved the campus and it drove me to apply to RU. As a presidential scholar, I very much appreciated the education I received at RU, and I especially valued the time and attention the professors took to foster my growth and education. Many friendships from RU have carried through my lifetime.”

Secretary
Danica Gray Keeton ’22
Rockton, IL
Director of Development & Community Relations
Community Health Systems, Inc.
Wedding Planner/Coordinator
Weddings by Danica

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“My time at RU in the MBA Program inspired me to give back to RU! Every single member of the faculty, staff, and student body cares so much about our amazing school, it made it easy to say yes to joining the Alumni Board. Since graduating in December ’21, RU has helped open so many doors, build connections, and led me to my current job – along with helping to recruit my own family to enroll in the MBA program. I am grateful to my journey at RU and all the connections made along the way!”

 

Members

Ryan Bell ’10
South Beloit, IL
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Lakeview Hospital

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I was a non-traditional student and was older when I went to Rockford College (University). The university is fantastic! The professors, the campus, and the students all compliment each other in their own way, supporting one other to attain a quality education.”

Kerstin Grey Butler ’03/’11
Rochelle, IL
Director of Marketing and Business Development, Tyson and Billy Architects

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I literally grew up on the campus and participated in pre-school programs through graduate classes. I think the programs pushed me to think critically and out of the box, which has helped me greatly with career. It is a great to be able to give back and help support not only the university, but students and future alumni as well. I think there is a great opportunity to make the university better.”

Sara Soeprasetyo Hall ’09/’11
Watertown, CT
World Language Teacher, Fraser Woods Montessori School and Southern CT State University

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I enjoyed my time as a Regent and was supported by so many RU faculty and staff through my journey. I am grateful for the experience and loved it so much that I returned for my MAT. Serving as an ambassador through the RU Alumni Board is the very least I can do to give back to the community that shaped me into who I am today.”

Jamie Jones ’01
Chicago, IL
HR Director, Hogsalt

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“The faculty and staff created a family experience for me. Everyone was always available and provided support and guidance when needed. This nurturing environment contributed to my success at Rockford and then gave me the confidence to take the leap to attend a graduate program at UIC in Chicago, IL. Without the RU experience, I would not have been empowered to take those next steps and build my career.”

Aaron Kelly ’04
Hampshire, IL
Director, Product Marketing, Salesforce

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I came to Rockford having never been east of Arizona before. My family, friends, and everything I knew was in Southern California. When I got to Rockford I was away from home, alone, and on my own for the first time in my life. It was terrifying and fantastic all at the same time. The community at Rockford gave me opportunities, experiences, and a lifetime of memories that changed who I was and how I saw the world. It’s important to me to give back to a community that was such a large part of my life, then, and now.”

Tom Lifvendahl ’70
Milwaukee, WI
Consultant, Lifvendahl and Associates

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I am good at organizing. I was able to design and implement a process for Award Nomination that seems to be appreciated by the Board. During the years I taught on a undergraduate/graduate level and acted as an administrator, I always used RU as a mental benchmark for an ideal liberal arts college, now University. PS…I also make a great Santa Claus for my 5 grandaughters!”

Kirk Mueller ’91
Tampa, FL

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I want the message to get out to future students that RU is the BEST school out there for a great education & social experience which builds your foundation for a future of excellence!”

Kelly Serge Novotny ’00
Cypress, TX
Operations Manager, AtWork Personnel Services

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I realized that Rockford University isn’t just in Rockford but randomly in places across the US.  My goal is to help connect our Alumni in those outside cities.  Being a part of the Rockford Alumni Board is helping to build that bridge for our fellow Regents no matter how far I am from our Alma Matter. “

Bettyann Pappenfus ’81
St. Paul, MN
Consultant – Senior Analyst, Haigh, Todd & Associates, Inc. 

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I’ve given back to RU in several unique ways since I graduated in 1981. It’s important that students on campus have visibility to alumni connections and the drive we have to support RU. It’s important that alumni look for ways to grow the stduent/alumni population through incoming student recruitment.”

Anthony Scandroli ’02
Rockford, IL
Vice President of Operations, Scandroli Construction

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“I’ve found that we have a jewel here in Rockford, and a lot of things have a hard time surviving. This school is phenomenal in its programs and I want to make sure that it is here to stay forever. I want to do my part to keep it “Rock Solid.”

Melissa Murray Thompson ’02
Purvis, MS
Professor, University of Southern Mississippi

What drives you to serve as an ambassador for RU through your role with the Alumni board?

“The opportunities at a small university for a student to grow and learn and become are incredible! Not every student can thrive in a large university. RU is a gem that sits in a foundation of service. It’s an amazing place that produces citizens who can make difference.”

 

Interested in joining the Alumni Association Board? Fill out our application today!

Office of Advancement & Alumni
Nelson Hall, 2nd Floor
5050 E. State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
Toll Free: 877-273-4368
Direct: 815-226-3370

alumni@rockford.edu

Hours:
Mon-Fri - 8:30 am to 5:00 pm