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Campus News / News

Rockford University President’s Opening Convocation Kicks off 2023-2024 Academic Year

08/28/2023 3:36 pm

By Sara Myers, Digital Media & Communications Specialist 

Rockford University hosted Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, the President’s Opening Convocation in the Maddox Theatre in the Clark Arts building.

Opening Convocation is a longstanding tradition at Rockford University. The ceremony was initiated in 1851, four years after RU’s founding, and is attended by faculty, staff and students. 

The ceremony is the symbolic beginning of another school year and a tradition that reinforces our identity as a University. 

The first principal of Rockford Female Seminary, Anna Peck Sill (1852-1884), would ring her “bell” at the start of each school day. This tradition carries on at convocation where the bell is run by our president. This year President Patricia Lynott rang the 171- year-old bell.

This event on Friday included a Prelude and Academic Procession by Pianist Lisa Miller followed by an Invocation by Elaine M. Sharpe ‘75, Associate Professor of Psychology and Faculty Chair. The Rockford University Board of Trustees Chair, Rebecca Epperson, gave the Welcome. 

President Lynott gave the Address on “Unlocking Futures: The Enduring Value of a College Education.” Students who attended Friday’s President’s Opening Convocation had a chance to win free books for a semester (up to $500) sponsored by President Lynott. The two book scholarship winners are Owen Dunseth and Katelyn Paredes.

President Lynott rings the Rockford University bell