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MLK Holiday Closure

Monday, January 20, 2020 Rockford University offices are closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

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There is still time to enroll for spring courses at Rockford University. Traditional undergraduate classes begin Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Additional start dates are available for Master’s level courses in Business and Education as well as the Management Studies bachelor’s completion program, which features multiple start dates of Jan. 6, Feb. 8 and March 6.

Rockford University is a four-year, co-educational institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in traditional liberal arts and professional fields. The University offers approximately 80 areas of study and provides diverse programming for students in all levels of education including undergraduate (bachelor’s degree), graduate (master’s level business and education), transfer students and adult bachelor’s degree completion in management studies (BSMS). Rockford University is also a participant in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program for veterans.

The MAT program offers several licensure plans and endorsements in areas like special education, reading specialist, elementary education, secondary education, and bi-lingual education. There are also a variety of options available to degreed professionals who may wish to enter the teaching profession. Online bilingual and ESL endorsements are offered within the new Master of Education (MEd) programming.

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program offers students the ability to further customize their degree with concentrations in finance, healthcare administration and project management. Interested students may also take up to four courses before formally enrolling in the program.

For Traditional Undergraduate Information: Contact the Rockford University Office of Admission at 815-226-4050 for more information about applying for undergraduate classes. You may also learn more or apply online by visiting

For Adult and Graduate Programs: Contact Adult and Graduate Studies Office 815-226-4040 or visit or

Rockford University will hold a groundbreaking celebration to mark the official start of construction on the 3,800 square foot addition to the Seaver Physical Education Center on Wednesday, November 6, 2019, at 11 a.m. Designed by local architecture firm Larson & Darby Group, this expansion will be an essential venue for student learning and physical activity. The University has contracted with Rockford-based construction company Scandroli Construction Co. The project is expected to be completed by the start of the 2020 academic year.

This $3.5 million project, funded by the Rock Solid and Ready Campaign, will include an enhanced weight and fitness space and will add more classroom space for the rapidly growing physical education and exercise science programs. Also included in the renovation and addition is a redesigned heating and cooling system that will provide for the entire building to be fully air-conditioned along with a more energy-efficient heating system.

Refreshments will be served following the groundbreaking in the Seaver Center lobby. Rockford University is located at 5050 East State Street, Rockford.  

Seaver Addition Night View

Rockford University’s Puri School of Business is hosting two upcoming Adult and Graduate Education information sessions for individuals interested in learning more about adult degree options within the bachelor’s and master’s programs. The first session, focusing on bachelor’s degree completion, will take place at Rock Valley College’s Woodward Technology Center on Thursday, October 24. The second session, focusing on the Master’s in Business Administration program, will be held on Rockford University’s campus in the Puri School of Business on Thursday, November 7. 


Degree Completion: Bachelor’s in Business Management Information Session
Thursday, October 24, 2019
5:30 – 7 p.m.

Woodward Technology Center Lobby
Rock Valley College’s campus
3301 Mulford Rd, Rockford

Anyone interested in learning more about earning a Business Management bachelor’s degree is encouraged to attend. This program provides a flexible option for individuals who may already have an A.A.S, A.A., or A.S. degree.  Attendees will be provided an in-depth look at how the program helps advance career opportunities, including details on program and admission requirements. Hear from a panel of current and former students who will provide insight on their experiences with the program. Guests also will be able to speak one-on-one with program advisors and faculty. The $35 application fee will be waived for anyone who registers during the event.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested. To learn more about the Business Management information session and to register, call 815-226-4040 or visit to reserve a spot.


MBA Program Information Session
Thursday, November 7, 2019
5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Puri School of Business (located near the East State Street entrance)
5050 E. State Street, Rockford

Anyone interested in learning more about Rockford University’s MBA program, which offers customized concentrations in Finance, Healthcare Administration, and Project Management is encouraged to attend. During the session, attendees will be provided an in-depth look at how the program helps develop critical management skills and a deeper understanding of the business field. A panel of current and former students will provide insight into their experiences with the program. Guests also will be able to speak one-on-one with program advisors and faculty, as well as review admission requirements. The $50 application fee will be waived for anyone who registers during the event.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested. To learn more about the MBA information session and to register, call 815-226-4040 or visit to reserve a spot.

photo of m=Michael Perry Provost & Vice President for Academic AffairsRockford University President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., announces the appointment of Michael A. Perry, Ph.D., as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective immediately. Dr. Perry has served as interim provost and vice president since August 2018.

In this role, Dr. Perry is responsible for the integrity and implementation of all academic priorities for the University. Dr. Perry will also work closely with the University’s three college deans, department heads, faculty, and staff to ensure that the University’s educational programs align with the institutional mission and strategic priorities and are delivered with the highest possible quality.

Dr. Perry states, “I am excited to have the distinct honor to not only build upon the work done by my predecessors but also to continue work on initiatives started while serving as interim. I have been part of Rockford University for more than a decade, and I continue to be amazed at the good, hard work done by students, faculty, and staff. Moreover, I have grown to love Rockford and the greater Rockford area. I see the limitless possibilities and potential for the University as we seek more innovative and concrete ways to partner with our community and move forward together. We do this while at once honoring the legacy of alumna Jane Addams, as well as recognizing and supporting the talent and energy of our youth who are growing up in our region today.”

President Fulcomer adds, “It is clear to me that Michael has garnered much support over his decade-plus of service to Rockford University from faculty and staff, and the students to whom he is so dedicated. I appreciate the significant body of work he has undertaken as Interim Provost, including overseeing the restructuring of the Center for Learning strategies as well as laying the groundwork for a comprehensive academic assessment plan. Mike has similarly demonstrated valuable leadership in his work with the Executive Council. I look forward to having him continue to lead academic affairs as we implement the strategic plan and move Rockford University forward.”

Perry began his tenure at Rockford University in 2008 upon completing his Ph.D. at Arizona State University. He previously served as an Associate Professor of English; Chair of the English Department; Dean, College of Arts & Humanities; and as the NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative before beginning his appointment as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in the fall of 2018. His interests in teaching and research include African American literature, popular culture, and creative writing. He spearheaded an annual “Read Aloud of Black American Voices” in honor of Black History Month. Michael regularly presents at the Popular Culture and American Culture Association National Conference. In addition to presenting in areas as wide-ranging as black culture, horror, and rhetoric, he also chaired a panel of three Rockford University undergraduate students who presented work that stemmed from his class in graphic novels and the literary tradition.

Before obtaining his doctorate of philosophy in English from Arizona State, where he also taught as a teaching associate for five years, Perry taught for two years in the Minnesota community college system in a variety of settings, including the prison system. Michael obtained his master of arts in English from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and his bachelor of arts in English with minors in math and classics from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. Perry lives in Loves Park with his wife, Karen, who is a registered nurse, and three children: Caleb, Julian, and Zoey.

Rockford University has named Stephen Kull as its next vice president for advancement, President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., announced today. Kull will start in his new role at Rockford University on August 5. He is currently serving as Associate Vice President for Advancement at Central Michigan University, located in Mount Pleasant, Mich. Kull will serve as Rockford University’s senior development officer and strategist for the Advancement Division, and as chief development adviser to the President, the Trustees, and other University officials on all matters involving current or potential philanthropic support.

“Stephen’s impressive background in all areas of donor engagement and development, specifically within higher education, will be of tremendous benefit to Rockford University,” said Fulcomer. “His proven experience in growing and deepening relationships with alumni, outside donors and the greater community will enhance the University’s ability to provide additional resources that support a stronger educational experience for our students. I am extremely pleased to welcome Stephen to our leadership team and look forward to working with him in growing our philanthropic efforts.”

As Vice President for Advancement, Kull will oversee all areas of Advancement which includes Alumni Relations, Planned Giving, Major Gifts, Corporate and Foundation Gifts, Data and Gift Management, Prospect and Grant Research, and Marketing & Communications. He brings nearly 15-years of higher education experience to his new role. At Central Michigan, he successfully managed fundraising efforts for the “Fire up for Excellence” $100 million campaign, the largest in the institution’s history. Kull previously served director of development – gift planning, senior director of development and interim assistant vice president for advancement at Eastern Illinois University, as well as in other development roles at Blackburn College and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.

“I immediately related to President Fulcomer’s focus on the importance of supporting students’ success inside and outside of the classroom,” Kull said. “Employers today are not just looking for academically prepared graduates, but more importantly those graduates who represent character and the culture of their organizations. The University has an impressive and engaged alumni base from all corners of the globe and I look forward to working closely with them, along with parents and friends, to foster Rockford University’s remarkable legacy so that we can continue to change lives today and for years to come.”

A native of Texas, Kull earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University and has completed several advanced leadership and management certifications from University of Notre Dame, University of Michigan, Purdue University and Texas A& M University. He and his wife, Angela, have four young children and look forward to relocating to the Rockford area.

eSports generic news imageRockford University will be one of the first colleges in the area to offer a competitive eSports team beginning with the start of the 2019-2020 academic year. According to NCSA (Next College Student Athlete) there are currently only 12 colleges and Universities in Illinois offering eSports teams.

To support the new team, a dedicated eSports arena will be located in the center of the Burpee Student Center.  The arena will feature 16 dedicated gaming consoles powered by popular and well-known gaming system company MSI.

According to Vice President for Student Life, Dr. Randy Worden, “Completive eSports gaming is growing exponentially in our region and the across the country.  Many area high-schools have teams and the local school district is considering the creation of a joint gaming center where their students can train and compete.  Prospective and current students have shown substantial interest in being able to compete at the collegiate level. We’re incredibly excited to add eSports to our campus and provide yet another way for students to have access to diverse opportunities that enhance their overall collegiate experience.”

Rockford University plans to establish and maintain collegiate level competitive teams across a variety of games. eSports at Rockford University will compete initially in the CS Starleague. This is the premier platform for collegiate level League of Legends competition. As the program continues grow, the University is committed to developing additional teams for other competitive eSports (i.e. Rocket League, Overwatch, Counter-Strike). eSports teams and players at Rockford University will have the opportunity to stream gameplay, compete inter-collegiately, and play against athletes from across the world, all under the official banner of the Rockford University eSports team.

For more information about eSports at Rockford University, contact eSports Coordinator Clay Duffy, 815-394-4287.

Rockford University’s will hold its 165th commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St. in downtown Rockford. Approximately 350 students from 22 states and 12 countries will be awarded degrees and recognized for their significant achievements.

Speaker update:


The University is pleased to welcome Bern Sundstedt, alumnus from the class of 1977, former Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Rockford University to address the 2019 class of graduates. Through his more than four decades relationship with the University, Sundstedt has been an integral connector to individuals who represent 11 decades of University life.

Sundstedt holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting from Rockford University and went on to attend Yale University’s Drama School, from which he graduated in 1981 with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Upon graduation he set off on a national tour of Othello which culminated in a four month run on Broadway. The years following, led to stints off-off-Broadway and in regional theatre and television.

Returning to Rockford in the early 90s, Sundstedt joined his alma mater in 1994 as Director of Grants, while also periodically teaching the advanced acting sequence as an adjunct instructor. Having taken on positions of increasing responsibility in Alumni and Development he served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and most recently as Senior Project Specialist. In this, his 25th year working at the University, he is retiring in June.

Due to an unforeseen and unavoidable scheduling conflict, originally scheduled speaker Heather Nauert is no longer able to attend.

Honorary Degree Recipient:

Dr. Eugene Braunwald Honorary Doctorate_2019Rockford University will also award world-renowned cardiologist, pioneer in the pathophysiology of heart failure, and special friend of the University, Eugene Braunwald, M.D., with an Honorary Doctor of Science. Dr. Braunwald is the distinguished Hersey Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the founding Chair of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Study Group (TIMI) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Braunwald trained at New York University School of Medicine. At the age of 25 he gained recognition through his published works; six years later he was named Chief of Cardiology and Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He soon became founding Chair of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. From 1972 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

As chairman of TIMI, Dr. Braunwald joined with Rockford University alumni from the class of 1969, Drs. Marc and Janice Pfeffer to provide significant insight into the treatment of patients who suffer from acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina.

Tickets are required to attend the ceremony and are limited to degree candidates and their guests. Tickets must be secured in advance are not be available at the door of the Coronado.

Fulcomer_Eric 4x5_2016President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D., will be attending the second U.S.-Mexico Higher Education Summit in Chicago, Ill., on April 24–27. The summit is hosted by the Council of Independent Colleges in collaboration with the Mexican Federation of Private Higher Education Institutions (FIMPES) and Santander Universidades and Universia. A delegation of 23 Mexican rectors and senior campus colleagues will participate, as will 31 college presidents and senior leaders from 23 CIC member colleges and universities. The summit will emphasize the importance of international exchange in today’s “America First” political climate.

Summit events will take place at five CIC member institutions in the Chicago area: DePaul University, Dominican University, North Central College, North Park University and Rockford University. Rockford University will host summit participants for a campus visit on Saturday, April 27.

CIC President Richard Ekman noted, “In the current climate of constrained international cooperation, CIC reaffirms the importance of international exchange for the preparation of informed citizens and responsible global participants. Our Mexican neighbors have a special relationship to colleges in the U.S.”

The Summit follows five years during which delegations of Mexican rectors participated in CIC’s annual Presidents Institute, the largest annual gathering of college and university presidents in the U.S., and an inaugural Summit held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2017. Roberta S. Jacobson, former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico; Antonio Cuesta, acting consul general of Mexico in Chicago; Margaret B. Hug, director of regional education initiatives for the U.S. Department of State; and Rebeca Vargas, president and CEO of U.S.-Mexico Leaders Network, are expected to address the summit.

Session topics include innovation in internationalization, the status of student and faculty exchange programs, cross-border articulation agreements, the nature of global leadership and the situation of undocumented students. Participants will also explore joint summer programs and other forms of educational and scholarly partnership and possibilities for association-to-association partnerships. As a result of the summit, participants intend to provide enhanced exchange opportunities for students and faculty members in both countries; provide students with increased access to internships in Mexico and the United States; and allow faculty members and students to collaborate in shared research projects and development programs.

Anissa KuharRockford University is pleased to announce the appointment of Anissa Kuhar of Rockford, Ill., as Director of Adult & Graduate Admission, effective March 6, 2019. This is a new position for the University created to provide leadership and management for a newly formed department responsible for the recruitment of students to existing and future adult accelerated and graduate degree programs across the University. Kuhar will focus on developing and executing recruitment and marketing strategies designed to attract graduate-level and adult degree completion program students, as well as working to grow existing and new relationships with corporations, community organizations and governmental agencies.  

Kuhar has served Northern Illinois University for 24-years, most recently as Assistant Director for the Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development. She has a strong background in project management, communications, marketing, strategy development and community outreach. Previously, she served Rock Valley College as an instructor teaching on–site classes at United Parcel Service’s Air Hub location.

Active in the region, Kuhar serves on the Alignment Rockford Operating Board, where she evaluated projects that fulfill high-priority strategic needs in the RPS system. She also serves as coordinator for the Parents of Gifted Education’s Auburn High School Power Professional Speakers Forum. Kuhar earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Illinois State University and a master’s in business administration from Northern Illinois University. 

New York City based musical theater songwriting team Sam Carner and Derek Gregor have chosen Rockford University and its students to workshop a brand new musical. Carner and Gregor are in residence here through the end of February to bring their musical comedy “Techies” to life. The debut of this new production will run February 21 – 23 in Maddox Theatre, before heading to the Duplex Theater in New York City in March with students from Rockford University. This presents a unique opportunity for performing arts students to work with professionals in the industry and to learn more about the process of how a new production moves from concept to reality. It also presents a unique opportunity for the community to be able to see and participate in a brand new musical production.

Techies rehearsal

“Techies” is described as a fourth-wall shattering pop-rock musical comedy about being weird and fighting for respect in one of the most judgmental places on earth – high school. The show opens on Thursday February 21 and runs through Saturday, February 23. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Single ticket admission for adults $12, seniors age 55 and up, and students $9 unless otherwise noted. Group rates are available. For tickets, contact the Box Office at 815-226-4100 or Visit for more about Techies and the University’s performing arts season.

What it means to “workshop” a show: When playwrights and songwriters/composers of musicals create new work, it is very important to give the play a voice (other than the creators’ own voices) in order to see what works and what doesn’t. This happens with virtually every composed theater piece that exists. The process usually begins with a “reading,” in which actors are chosen just to sit around in a group, perhaps with an audience or maybe not, to read the play or musical. The next level is often a “stage reading” in which the actors have actually rehearsed with the script, and perhaps there’s a director that guides the performance. There may be some simple blocking and movement, but usually the actors stand behind a music stand or read it with script in hand. Eventually a new work is given a “workshop,” in which the actors have spent several weeks rehearsing, memorizing, and staging the new work. In all of these iterations, the work is discussed at length by actors and audience alike, and many edits are made to the work. When it gets to the workshopping stage, there are often several performances so the creators can get a lot of needed feedback.

Techies_Sam CarnerPerforming Arts Chair and Professor of Performing Arts Deborah Mogford explains, “The production of Carner & Gregor’s Techies is part staged reading, part workshop. The performances in Rockford will be ‘lightly staged,’ and the performances in NYC will truly be a staged reading. The joy of this process is the special collaboration that goes into creating a work of art in the theater. Sam and Derek have trusted Rockford University Performing Arts students with their newest work, and the two of them have been amazingly gracious in their desire for feedback and collaboration with our department.”

More about the writers as noted on their website – Sam Carner and Derek Gregor, among’s 12 Contemporary Musical Theatre Songwriters You Should Know, won the Richard Rodgers Award and the John Wallowitch Award for songwriters under 40, and Sam won the Kleban Prize for “Most Promising Librettist.” Their songs, which have garnered 11

Techies_ Derek GregorMAC nominations for “Best Song” / “Best Comedic Song” with one win, are performed in hundreds of venues around the world every year and have been sung on all seven continents (including Antarctica).

“Techies” cast list