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Campus News / News

Once a Regent, Always a Regent

03/30/2020 4:35 pm

Author: Elizabeth Mundy-Hemmerich ’05

For many Rockford University alumni, graduation isn’t the final good-bye to campus. We may visit our favorite professor, or we may want to show our partners and our children and grandchildren where we spent some of the best times of our lives. Maybe our purple alumni travel mug has sprung a leak and we visit the college bookstore. Perhaps we get tickets to a play at Clark Arts, or attend a wedding in Fisher Chapel. 

Four times a year, a group of alumni gather in the Johnson Alumni Center – some of us knew this building as the Lion’s Den. Those who cannot make the trip to Rockford attend by phone or video conference, and we discuss what’s happening at our alma mater and how we can continue to support the University, future alumni, and each other. 

Currently, the Alumni Association has 21 members from around the country, with a handful of folks in and around Rockford. We represent a diversity of majors and careers, and we attended Rockford University during different points in time. We are faithfully supported by caring RU staff, and participate in events such as the upcoming Day of Giving and the fall Reunion Weekend (save the date – October 2 & 3!). 

Our meetings are all business – we strategize ways to engage current students and further connect current alumni, we think about our own networks in terms of recruiting prospective students, and we thoughtfully consider how to give back to the University that shaped us. We also recently shared some of our favorite memories of our years at Rockford, and would like to share some with you. 

Thomas Lifvendahl (‘70) shared that his fondest memories of Rockford University include feeling accepted and developing friendships. He said, “I was the sole USMC Vietnam Combat veteran on campus. I deeply valued the fact that I welcomed enough to be elected VP of the Class of 1970. I met and married the mother of my children (one an RU graduate).” Bettyann Pappenfus (‘81) names the friends she met as a student at RU as her lifelong best friends. 

Alumni Association President Damir Urtzan (‘11) has fond memories of his work in the admissions office. Anthony Scandroli (‘02) and Matt Szytz (‘14) recall the friendships and opportunities to travel from their days as student athletes. Sara Hall (‘09) says over her Alternative Spring Break trip, “I connected with so many amazing people and felt the beautiful feeling of physically contributing to someone else’s dream come true!” Courtney Geiger (‘02) remembers camping out on campus during October Weekend. 

I have many fond memories from my time at Rockford University, but the fondest come from my study abroad at Regent’s College in London. Exploring this city, visiting new countries, and meeting people from all over the world with my dearest college friends by my side made me the person I am today. Learning about new cultures and traveling to new places are still very close to my heart. 

The Alumni Association is interested in continuing to make memories for alumni through social and networking events, traditions such as Reunion, and by providing support to each other and to Rockford University. The Alumni Association would love to hear from you about your favorite Rockford University memories! Please share your favorite moments by emailing