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Campus News / News

Rockford University Spring 2016 Forum Series

01/19/2016 11:53 am

Media Contact: Director of Communications Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill. — The Rockford University Spring 2016 Forum Series will begin Thursday, January 28. Ten events will be held during the spring that span a wide variety of topics and interests. All events are open to the public and, with the exception of theatre events, are offered at no charge. All lectures and performances will take place on the Rockford University campus, 5050 East State Street, Rockford. Tickets are required for all events and can be obtained by contacting the Rockford University Box Office at 815-226-4100 or

RUDANCE-Mar252015-117-X2-150x100‌‌The Orchesis Student Dance Company presents “Body Language”
Thursday, January 28 – Saturday, January 30
7:30 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

“Body Language” is a mixed repertory dance concert featuring the Rockford University Orchesis Dance Company. Students in the company will perform in new ballet, modern, jazz, and tap works by RU dance faculty and guest artists. Dancers from Rockford Dance Company II will also perform excerpts from their upcoming ballet, “The Ugly Duckling.”


BarrelhouseChuck_501-125x125Barrelhouse Chuck and the Blue Lights Blues Band
Friday, February 5
3 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Barrelhouse Chuck (real name Harvey Goering) has been a blues artist since hearing his first Muddy Waters record as a teenager. Shortly after forming his own band he began opening for Willie Dixon, B.B. King, and later Muddy Waters. In 1979, after relocating to Chicago, Chuck met musician Sunnyland Slim and eventually became close friends with piano legend Little Brother Montgomery. In February 2008 he was asked to participate in recording the soundtrack for the movie ‘Cadillac Records’. For the last 11 years, he has been a member of The Kim Wilson Blues All-stars. Barrelhouse Chuck is a Grammy Award and Pinetop Perkins Piano Player of the Year nominee and a 3 time Blues Music Award Winner. In 2014, his album ‘Drifting from Town to Town’ was nominated for a Blues Music Award.

Barrelhouse Chuck and The Blue Lights Band will be performing at 7:30 p.m. in Fisher Memorial Chapel following the Forum event.

‌‌ScottDikkersHeadshot-125x125“The funny story behind the funny stories”
Scott Dikkers, found of The Onion
Monday, February 8
7 p.m., Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Scott Dikkers will tell the tale of his beginnings in comedy and getting The Onion started, while sharing funny stories about how he struggled in the early years. As a starry eyed farm boy with no education who loved reading Mad Magazine he dreamt of one day getting his work published. He went on to start the world’s first humor website and the longest surviving humor publication.

yergeau-125x188“Digital Autistry”
Melanie Yergeau, Ph.D.
Thursday, February 18
4 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Dr. Melanie Yergeau is an assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan, where she teaches classes in writing, digital rhetoric, and disability studies. Active in the neurodiversity and disability rights movements, she has served on the boards of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and the Autism National Committee (AutCom), as well as the Autism NOW Center’s national advisory committee. Her talk will explore some of autism’s many representations in digital and mediated spaces. It will also draw attention to emerging autism rights movements and the ways in which autistic people work to defy some of the most trenchant stereotypes about autism.

Salgado2-125x188José Francisco Salgado, Ph.D.
Astronomer and Visual Artist
Friday, February 19
7 p.m., Severson Auditorium

Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado is an Emmy-nominated astronomer, photographer, visual artist, and public speaker who uses art as a vehicle to communicate science in non-traditional venues. He will talk about how he collaborates with orchestras, composers, and chamber musicians to present his “Science and Symphony” films to provoke curiosity and a sense of wonder about the Earth and the Universe. He has given presentations about science and art in all seven continents and has contributed visuals to documentaries produced for the History, Discovery, BBC, and National Geographic channels.

Thurs., February 25- Sun., February 28
7:30 p.m., Thurs.-Sat.; 2 p.m., Sun.
Cheek Theatre, Clark Arts Center

Antigone, defying her Uncle Creon’s decree that her brother should remain unburied, challenges the morality of man’s law overruling the laws of the gods. The clash between her and Creon with its tragic consequences have inspired continual reinterpretation.

PaulaCarynski-125x83Rockford University Charter Day
Paula Carynski ’87
President, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center

The 169th anniversary of the signing of the charter for Rockford University includes an academic procession of faculty in traditional robes depicting their rank, with stoles representing their respective alma maters and degrees. This year’s speaker will be Paula Carynski ’87, President of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center.

wimbushphoto-125x188“Scripturalization: A theory of the politics of language”
Vincent Wimbush, Ph.D., Phi Beta Kappa Speaker
Thursday, March 24
4 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Dr. Vincent Wimbush is an internationally recognized scholar of religion, intellectual leader, and academic gadfly, with more than thirty years of advanced graduate-level teaching and research experience. He is the author/editor of more than 12 books and numerous articles and essays. His general teaching and research interests focus on the trans-disciplinary and comparative study of “scriptures” as sharp wedge for critical research and theorizing in the politics of language, social formation, consciousness, and orientation.

Krause1365Ot2014-125x120“Saving our common wealth”
Scott Russell Sanders, Ph.D.
Monday, April 4
7 p.m., Fisher Memorial Chapel

Dr. Scott Russell Sanders is the author of 20 books of fiction and non-fiction. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. His talk will explore the efforts of those working to protect the Earth’s natural and cultural resources such as clean air and water, fertile soils, biodiversity, renewable energy, art and music, scientific and medical knowledge, indigenous languages, public lands and schools, open airwaves, and supportive communities.

Thurs., April 28-Sun., May 1
7:30 p.m., Thurs.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sunday
Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center

On the night of his 35th birthday, confirmed bachelor Robert contemplates his unmarried status. Over the course of a series of dinners, drinks, and even a wedding, his friend — ‘those good and crazy people [his] married friends ‘ — explain the pro’s and con’s of taking on a spouse.


About the Rockford University Forum Series:

Each semester, the Rockford University Forum Series presents speakers from a variety of disciplines and performers of stature in the arts. The series is designed to deepen and broaden students’ education at Rockford University. All full-time undergraduate students are required to attend a minimum of two Forum Series events each semester. The series has hosted many notable presenters like Oscar Arias, the Tibetan Lamas of Drepung Loseling monastery, Benazir Bhutto, the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, Naomi Tutu, and Twyla Tharpe.