Rockford.edu / News
08/03/2017 3:34 pm
As I reflect back on the last academic year, the first of my presidency, several words come to mind—words that you will see woven throughout this issue of the Catalyst. Words such as longevity, service, opportunity, and success. I trust that you will be impressed, as I am, by the individuals, events, and programs that are highlighted in the following pages.
Longevity and Service
On the evening before Commencement, we gathered to recognize our employees who had reached service milestones. In all, we celebrated 38 employees who had contributed 445 years of collective service to Rockford University. Some who reached significant milestones included Jeanne Grey, director of the center for learning strategies, with 35 years of service and Professor of Political Science Dr. Jules Gleicher with 40 years! We also took time to recognize our retirees, including the four retiring faculty who are featured in this edition of Catalyst. They have impacted generations of Rockford University alumni and prepared them well for the world beyond Rockford. These four retiring faculty, along with retiring staff member Sallyann Roberts, served a total of 160 years, 47 of which can be attributed to one person – Professor Emeritus Dr. Don Martin. We also bid farewell to two trustees who have served the university for many years, Don Patrick ’72 and Jim Whitehead. One anecdote about Jim Whitehead is the amazing record of Board service by his family, beginning with his greatgrandmother, Blanche Walker Burpee. Between Mrs. Burpee and her direct descendants, a member of that one family has served on the Board without interruption for 99 years. This is an astounding commitment to the life of our institution.
When I think about our students, I think about the opportunities that we provide to them for learning in and out of the classroom. You’ll read about students Andie Bent and Zach Wallace who have taken full advantage of the opportunities that were presented to them at Rockford University. You’ll also see the wonderful cultural opportunities that we will provide to our community in the coming year through our Forum Series and the Performing Arts Department.
There are lots of references to success throughout this edition of Catalyst. Our Commencement ceremony is all about success—a day to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our students. We also have highlighted a number of our fundraising successes over the last several months, including a wonderful Gala event that will provide enhancements to the dance studio, a Day of Giving that raised more than $50,000 for scholarships, completion of the Starr Endowment fund, and great progress on our Rock Solid and Ready Campaign that includes renovations to Starr Science that are underway as I write. We could not do what we do without the wonderful support of our alumni and friends. The opportunities that we provide and the successes that have been achieved are due, in large measure, to you. Thank you.
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