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We are rock solid. Rockford University delivers an education grounded in the liberal arts, providing students with the best possible foundation for a broad range of lives, careers, and meaningful citizenship; it’s been that way since 1847. Over the past several years, with strong core support, we have completed the hard work, demonstrated our enduring value, and are now taking strategic steps to strengthen our position. Looking ahead, we aspire to be a beacon for this region and beyond as an institution that is increasingly nimble, adaptive, and accessible.



We are ready.  Now we need you to believe in and invest in our future. Through participation in Rock Solid & Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University, you will help launch an era of progress. You will see just how much your leadership support will enhance our campus environment and the student experience. We are rock solid and we are ready. Join us.

Investing in Students Exciting changes are already under way. As prelude to this campaign, we leveraged internal resources to complete two essential facility renovations that will positively impact student recruitment and retention. By spring 2015, Burpee Center will regain its original footprint as a vibrant center for student life. Seaver Physical Education

Center will sport new bleachers, and the pool area will be transformed into a hard-surface space for intramural competition, athletic team practice, and classroom activities. But we can’t stop there. We must maintain our momentum.




First Place Biology professor Troy Skwor loves to mentor students in his lab while they conduct research. “We’re studying photodynamic therapies, using light to battle organisms like E. coli and MRSA,” he says. Over the past three years, nine of his students have earned awards at research conferences, including Brianna Schardt ’14, who captured two first-place ribbons. “Dr. Skwor has helped me grow, pushing me to extend my knowledge,” she says. Schardt is now active in her pursuit of a career in optometry.


Shaping Modern Facilities $7.2 million

. . .TO compete. By providing modern centers for learning, both in and out of the classroom, we will rise above the rest, serve our students’ needs, and continue to attract the best and brightest students and faculty. Enhanced classrooms and lecture halls in Starr Science Center, along with the acquisition of select scientific instrumentation, will advance learning for all students, particularly those in the College of Science, Mathematics, and Nursing. In addition, constructing an Athletic and Event Center adjacent to the Seaver Physical Education Center is essential. It will support general student fitness and intramural competition, provide classroom space for our burgeoning Physical Education and Sports Management programs, and serve as a much needed year-round training facility for our student-athletes.





enhancing the student experience $6.1 Million

Opening Doors “Studying abroad in Spain was an incredibly amazing experience,” says Carla Ramirez ’15. “I grew as a person and as a student.” She credits Spanish professor Dr. John Burns with encouraging her to take the leap. “Opportunities like study abroad are transforming for students,” Burns says. “The biggest barrier is often institutional support—so many issues come into play. A Student Opportunity Fund will open doors for more students.”

. . .TO create. A hallmark of Rockford University is our focus on campaign we will also work to secure leadership individual relationships: faculty members working contributions that will create transformational one-on-one with students to craft opportunities programmatic and capital advances for our academic for high-impact learning, or students reaching out disciplines. In this way, we will support and honor the on their own to make a difference. Our campaign outstanding work of our faculty while deepening our will create both endowed and expendable funds to commitment to student learning. support these student-centered opportunities. A university is only as strong as the value and reputation of its academic programs. Through this





Giving Back “As a Jane Addams Fellow, I completed 120 hours of community service,” explains Mayra Rodriguez ’16. “Volunteering was a great way to open doors, open my eyes, and get involved.” “Rockford University prepares students to step out and change the world,” says Professor Mary WeaksBaxter, faculty coordinator of the Community-Based Learning Program. “Our work stems from a legacy of service. Today, 50 percent of our students complete at least one course of study that includes a community-based learning element.”

Providing for Current Needs $4 Million

. . .TO commit. For more than 167 years, our alumni have made their mark. Supported with rich academic opportunities, practical experiences, and global perspectives, our students have always left Rockford University with the knowledge, values, and skills to inform their lives and change the world. The University is also a key contributor to the local economy. According to a study conducted by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., Rockford University, through direct and indirect stimuli, generates a $118 million impact on the region’s economy each year; it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. That’s why, as part of our campaign, we can’t lose sight of the Charter Fund, the University’s annual fund. The Charter Fund helps fuel everything that is essential to the Rockford University experience—from teaching to technology to scholarships. Bolstering the Charter Fund will create a stronger University. A stronger University, in turn, will strengthen the region and the world.




Message from the Campaign Chair Rockford University has a compelling story that sets it apart. As a University trustee and lifelong Rockford resident, I have great optimism for both our University and our region and am confident that our graduates will provide the leadership needed for the future. This optimism fuels my energy to fully realize the campaign objectives.


. . .TO ASK.

I hope that you are similarly inclined, that you see yourself reflected in the aspirations of this campaign and, to put it simply, that you contribute generously. It is a noble and worthy endeavor to advance our mission while nurturing the kinds of thoughtful and productive citizen-leaders that our region, and our country, need most. James W. Keeling, Esq. Campaign Chair

There’s a buzz on campus. The renovations of the Burpee and Seaver Centers signal the start of a new era. The timing is right. Rock Solid & Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University will extend our positive momentum, with strategic projects that strengthen the student experience and advance a culture of success. We are rock solid and ready, reaching out to you, alumni and friends of this remarkable university, asking for your support.


Message from the President As President of Rockford University, I am ever mindful of my guardian-duty to protect our institution’s rich legacy, while advancing its future. We live that legacy through the accomplishments of our alumni, whose lives are well chronicled and have been enriched through their experience as students. To them we are eternally grateful.


However, it is the present and the future that most occupy my mind. I hold dear my responsibility to make clear a path for our current students to follow their dreams. And, it is you who can help make those dreams a reality. We have created a solid foundation on which to build. Our enrollments are growing in a time when others are not. Our support, both emotional and financial, is approaching a zenith. Your generosity, delivered now to this campaign, will help Rockford University remain vital and relevant as a force in higher education. I humbly seek your support and gratefully acknowledge your commitment. Robert L. Head, Ph.D. President




Shaping Modern Facilities $7.2 million ATHLETIC and Event Center $6 million Science Center Modernizations $1.2 million

Enhancing the Student Experience $6.1 million Student Opportunity Fund (endowed) $1 million Student Opportunity Fund (expendable) $1 million Academic Program Enhancements $4.1 million Providing for Ongoing Needs $4 million Charter Fund

BACK COVER Office of Development 5050 East State Street Rockford, IL 61108 815-226-3371

Rock Solid & Ready  

Rock Solid & Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University

Rock Solid & Ready  

Rock Solid & Ready: The Campaign for Rockford University