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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. We visit our favorite professor, or we show our partners and children and grandchildren where we spent some of the best times of our lives. Maybe our purple alumni travel mug has sprung a leak, so 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 the building as the Lion’s Den). Those who cannot make the trip to Rockford, attend by phone or video conference where 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 members in and around Rockford. We represent a diversity of majors and careers, and we attended the University during different points in time. We are faithfully supported by caring RU staff and participate in events such as the Day of Giving and the fall Reunion Weekend. 

During our meetings, we strategize ways to engage current students and 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 recently shared some of our favorite memories of our years at Rockford, and would like to share some with you. 

Thomas Lifvendahl’s ’70 fondest memories include feeling accepted and developing friendships. “I was the sole USMC Vietnam Combat veteran on campus, and I deeply valued the fact that I was welcomed enough to be elected VP of the Class of 1970,” Lifvendahl said, “I also met and married the mother of my children, one of whom is an RU graduate.” Alumni Association President Damir Urtzan ’11, has fond memories of his work in the admissions office. Anthony Scandroli ’02, and Matt Szytz ’14, recalled the friendships and opportunities to travel from their days as student-athletes. “I connected with so many amazing people and felt the beautiful feeling of physically contributing to someone else’s dream come true!” Sara Hall ’09 recalled about her Alternative Spring Break trip. Courtney Geiger ’02, remembers camping out on campus during October Weekend. 

For myself, my fondest memory of many is 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 still remains 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