175 Years of Rockford University

On February 25, 1847, the charter was signed for Rockford Female Seminary, the predecessor to Rockford College, and today’s Rockford University. A women-only institution, Rockford Female Seminary was the companion school to Beloit College, which had been established for men in 1846.

Fast forward to February 25, 2022, and Rockford University commemorates 175 years of educational excellence, influencing the lives of tens of thousands of both men and women.

In January, we kicked off a year-long celebration of all things RU. Watch our website, social media channels, and newsletters for announcements over the coming months for how you can get involved and join the festivities.

175th Anniversary Celebration Events


  • Gala 2022: A Celebration of Campuses and Communities
    • Regents Hall, Burpee Student Center | 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour | 7:00 p.m. dinner
    • The university will host its annual gala, this year entitled Rockford University: Celebrating 175 Years of Campuses & Communities. In this black-tie optional fete—the first of many exciting anniversary events—we will celebrate the people and places that have made Rockford home for generations of students.
    • Register today at https://www.rockford.edu/gala/.


  • Charter Day Convocation
    • Maddox Theatre, 4-5 p.m.
    • This annual event commemorating the signing of the university’s charter includes an academic procession and special guest speakers. A light reception will follow.


  • 175th Anniversary Historical Exhibition
    • Rockford University Art Gallery, Clark Arts Center, Evening 5- 7 p.m.
    • An array of historical artifacts from the university’s archives will be on display in this unique and engaging exhibit, which will run for two weeks. Join us for an evening cocktail reception to open the exhibit and immerse yourself in the little-seen relics of our past.

FALL 2022

  • Rockford University Ramble 5K
    • Rockford University, October 1, 2022 
    • Sign up to run (or walk) in a 5K race that will have you winding through our tree-lined campus just as the leaves are starting to turn. Taking place during Homecoming and Reunion weekend, the Ramble is the perfect way to warm up before cheering our football team on to victory.  
  •  Reunion 2022
    • Rockford University, Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2, 2022
    • Come back to celebrate with us again! If you’d like to help make reunion a fun-filled time for your class, please contact us at alumni@rockford.edu.

175 Faces of Rockford University

As this institution celebrates the 175th anniversary of our original charter, it seems like an ideal time to celebrate 175 Faces of Rockford University. This celebration will include a social media campaign commemorating 175 alums, founders, presidents, professors, and other notable people who positively affected the history of Rockford University or provided service to the broader community. Each person recognized must have a special connection to Rockford Female Seminary, Rockford College, or Rockford University. Not all nominations will be included.

175 Faces Nomination Form

On February 25, 2022, Rockford University marked 175 years since the charter’s signing to create our resilient institution that many people know and love. Watch the Charter Day Convocation Ceremony below.

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5050 E. State Street Rockford, IL 61108