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Rockford Mayor Talk, RSO Collaboration Highlights of RU’s Spring 2018 Forum Series

01/11/2018 2:29 pm

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Rockford University’s Spring 2018 Forum Series kicks off its first of nearly a dozen events later this month with a concert by RU’s own Orchesis Dance Company. This semester’s highlights include lessons on forgiveness from a Holocaust survivor, an appearance by Rockford’s new mayor, a visit from a New York City-based jazz pianist and a musical presented in collaboration with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra.

Forums are open to the public and, with the exception of Performing Arts events, are free of charge. Lectures and performances will take place on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required and can be obtained by contacting the Box Office at 815-226-4100 or boxoffice@rockford.edu.

Spring 2018 Lineup

Rockford University Orchesis Dance Company in Concert
Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 25-27, 7:30 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
In their annual concert, Rockford University’s resident dance company will share modern, ballet, tap, and jazz dances ranging from ‘40s big band style to contemporary techniques and themes. This year’s concert will include original choreography by Profs. Amy A. Wright and Mitchell Stolberg, and guest artist Penna Broman.

 

Nurse Practitioner Katie Duke
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 7 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Nurse practitioner, media consultant, and social media influencer Katie Duke illustrates how we can turn bad decisions into success, losses into lessons, and be proud of our path. Don’t miss one of the most prominent public figures in nursing as she shares her own story of personal and professional journey.

 

Not Your Typical Sex talk: Justine Shuey
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 3 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
Dr. Justine Marie Shuey of Philadelphia shares a hilarious, honest, no-holds-barred approach to sexuality education that uses puppets, props, interactive activities and audience participation to address misinformation head-on while enhancing sexual awareness. You will leave educated, informed, and empowered to take charge of your sexuality in safe, appropriate ways. Dr. Shuey has a Ph.D. in human sexuality and is working on a second doctorate degree.

 

The Surprising Effect of Stories on Sane (and Crazy) People: Jacquelyn Mitchard, ’73
Thursday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m.
Severson Auditorium, Scarborough Hall
The thing that authors want most is connection, which is the whole reason they write stories. The New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard recounts some of the most moving, and scary, stories about the way readers feel about her stories. A Chicago native and graduate of Rockford College (now Rockford University), Mitchard is a professor of creative writing in Miami University of Ohio’s low-residency Masters of Fine Arts program, and lives on Cape Cod with her husband and their nine children. She was the first author to be featured in Oprah’s Book Club.

 

Play: Richard III
Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 22-24, 7:30 p.m.,
and Sunday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
King Edward is on the throne, England is at peace, and all is well. But don’t worry – it won’t be that way for long because Richard is “discontented.” Gripping and outrageous, Shakespeare’s Richard III is the tale of a ruthless, power-crazed Machiavellian who lies and cheats his way to the highest seat in the land through charm, deception, and force of presence.

 

Charter Day
Monday, Feb. 26, 4 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
This year’s Charter Day welcomes Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara as special speaker and commemorates the 171st anniversary of the signing of the charter for Rockford University. The annual event typically includes an academic procession of faculty in traditional robes depicting their rank, with stoles representing their respective alma maters and degrees.

 

Fascinating Algorithms: Pianist Dan Tepfer
Tuesday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
New York City-based jazz pianist Dan Tepfer will discuss the intersection of science and art in music, in particular the balance of intuition and emotion with the mathematical and algorithmic. At a more personal level, he will talk about how, as a performer and composer, he has opened up new avenues of creativity in his work by integrating mathematical structures, from simple processes to fractals, into his music.

 

Transgender and Immigrant Rights in the Fight for Liberations: Jennicet Gutiérrez
Wednesday, March 21, 3 p.m.
Regents Hall, Burpee Student Center
Jennicet Gutiérrez, best known for shedding light on the plight of transgender women in immigration detention centers through her organization FAMILIA: TQLM (Trans Queer Liberation Movement), is a transgender activist from México who resides in Los Angeles. She burst onto the national scene in the summer of 2015, when she interrupted President Obama during a speech in honor of Pride month to call attention to the struggles of transgender immigrant women. Gutiérrez believes in the importance of uplifting and centering the voices of trans women of color in all racial justice work.

 

Holocaust Survivor Eva Kor
Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m.
Fisher Memorial Chapel
Recipient of the 2017 Sachem award, the highest honor in the state of Indiana, Eva Mozes Kor is a survivor of the Holocaust, a forgiveness advocate, and a revered public speaker. With the driving message of “never give up” in mind, she has emerged through a life filled with trauma as a brilliant example of the power of the human spirit to overcome. Kor’s account illustrates the dangers of hate and the consequences of allowing prejudice to persist, unchecked, in others.

 

Musical: Candide
Thursday-Saturday, April 19-21, 7:30 p.m.,
and Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m.
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the renowned American composer Leonard Bernstein, the Performing Arts Department and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra will partner to present the musical Candide. The satirical novella was written by Voltaire, a philosopher of the Age of Enlightenment, and tells a comic tale of a young man’s journey from idealism to wisdom.

 

Bringing Civic Engagement into the Science Classroom: Karen Kashmanian Oates
Tuesday, April 24, 12 p.m.
Fisher Memorial Chapel
Nationally recognized consultant, scientist, science educator, and higher education leader Dr. Karen Kashmanian Oates discusses how the power of science for our democracy has required us to shift from an inert learning environment to one that actively engages students.