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Campus News / News

Rockford University 165th Commencement Ceremony is May 19, 2019

05/08/2019 3:51 pm

Rockford University’s will hold its 165th commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St. in downtown Rockford. Approximately 350 students from 22 states and 12 countries will be awarded degrees and recognized for their significant achievements.

Speaker update:


The University is pleased to welcome Bern Sundstedt, alumnus from the class of 1977, former Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Rockford University to address the 2019 class of graduates. Through his more than four decades relationship with the University, Sundstedt has been an integral connector to individuals who represent 11 decades of University life.

Sundstedt holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in acting from Rockford University and went on to attend Yale University’s Drama School, from which he graduated in 1981 with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Upon graduation he set off on a national tour of Othello which culminated in a four month run on Broadway. The years following, led to stints off-off-Broadway and in regional theatre and television.

Returning to Rockford in the early 90s, Sundstedt joined his alma mater in 1994 as Director of Grants, while also periodically teaching the advanced acting sequence as an adjunct instructor. Having taken on positions of increasing responsibility in Alumni and Development he served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and most recently as Senior Project Specialist. In this, his 25th year working at the University, he is retiring in June.

Due to an unforeseen and unavoidable scheduling conflict, originally scheduled speaker Heather Nauert is no longer able to attend.

Honorary Degree Recipient:

Dr. Eugene Braunwald Honorary Doctorate_2019Rockford University will also award world-renowned cardiologist, pioneer in the pathophysiology of heart failure, and special friend of the University, Eugene Braunwald, M.D., with an Honorary Doctor of Science. Dr. Braunwald is the distinguished Hersey Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the founding Chair of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction Study Group (TIMI) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Braunwald trained at New York University School of Medicine. At the age of 25 he gained recognition through his published works; six years later he was named Chief of Cardiology and Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He soon became founding Chair of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. From 1972 to 1996 he was Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

As chairman of TIMI, Dr. Braunwald joined with Rockford University alumni from the class of 1969, Drs. Marc and Janice Pfeffer to provide significant insight into the treatment of patients who suffer from acute myocardial infarction and unstable angina.

Tickets are required to attend the ceremony and are limited to degree candidates and their guests. Tickets must be secured in advance are not be available at the door of the Coronado.