Rockford University Rockford Female Seminary

Rockford University Rockford Female Seminary

Rockford University

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigation
Jump to search

This article needs additional citations for verification . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2018) ( Learn how and when to remove this template message )
Rockford University
Rockford University seal.svg width=”150″ height=”153″ srcset=”// 1.5x, // 2x” data-file-width=”212″ data-file-height=”216″ />
Former names
Rockford Female Seminary (1847–1892)
Rockford College (1892–2013)
MottoDecus et Veritas ( Latin )
Motto in English
Honor and Truth
Type Private liberal arts college
President Eric W. Fulcomer
Academic staff
72 Full-Time Faculty




CampusSuburban, 150 acres
Athletics National Collegiate Athletic Association
Colors Purple and White          
Nickname Regents
MascotReggie the Regent
Rockford University logo.svg

Rockford University is a private American liberal arts college in Rockford, Illinois . It was founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary and changed its name to Rockford College in 1892, and to Rockford University in 2013. The university is known as the alma mater of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams , who was a member of the class of 1881.


  • 1 History
  • 2 Academics
    • 2.1 Departments
    • 2.2 Honor societies
  • 3 Athletics
  • 4 Board of Trustees
  • 5 Commencement speakers
  • 6 Notable Alumni
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Further reading
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

History[ edit ]

Rockford University was founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary. It was the sister college of Beloit College , which had been founded the year before. The seminary’s initial campus was on the east side of the Rock River, south of downtown Rockford. In 1890, the seminary’s trustees voted to offer a full college curriculum, which led to the name changing to Rockford College in 1892. Men were first granted admission to the university at the beginning of the 1955-56 school year. At about this time, the school requested that the City of Rockford close parts of a street adjoining the campus.

In January 2008, Dr. Robert L. Head was named the university’s seventeenth president, effective July 2008. On October 2, 2012, the board of trustees voted unanimously to take on university status. This was done to accurately reflect the fact that they have many different academic departments. On July 1, 2013, the institution officially became Rockford University. [1] In February 2016, Dr. Eric W. Fulcomer was named the university’s eighteenth president, effective July 2016, and inaugurated on November 4, 2016.

Academics[ edit ]

The University offers approximately 80 majors, minors and concentrations, including the adult accelerated degree completion program for a B.S. in Management Studies. Through its Graduate Studies department, degrees are extended to include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), and a Master of Education (MEd). Rockford University is home to one of only 11 Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) chapters in Illinois, the most prestigious honor society in the United States. Rockford University is consistently recognized by The Princeton Review as a Best Midwestern College, a US News & World Report Best in the Midwest Tier One University, is named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and designated a Military Friendly School® . Rockford University currently serves approximately 1,280 full-and part-time students.

The University is organized into three colleges:

  • Arts and Humanities
  • Science, Math, and Nursing
  • Social Sciences, Commerce and Education

The University offers an Honors Program in Liberal Arts & Sciences. Also housed within the University are the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and the Center for Learning Strategies.

Departments[ edit ]

  • Anthropology & Sociology
  • Art & Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemical & Biological Sciences
  • Classics
  • Computer Science
  • Economics , Business & Accounting
  • Education
  • English
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern & Classical Languages
  • Nursing
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Honor societies[ edit ]

  • Phi Beta Kappa – Scholastic
  • Eta Sigma Phi – Classics
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon – Economics
  • Phi Alpha Theta – History
  • Phi Sigma Iota – Foreign Language
  • Pi Lambda Theta – Education
  • Psi Chi – Psychology
  • Sigma Beta Delta – Business

Athletics[ edit ]

The Rockford University Regents are Division III members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association . Teams compete independently or as members of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference .,

The university fields men’s teams in baseball , basketball , cross country , football , soccer , and track and field , and women’s teams in basketball, cross country, soccer, softball , track and field, and volleyball . Their football team is the only team in college football since 2000 to score 100 points in a single game, beating Trinity Bible, 105-0 in 2003.

Recreational and intramural club sports (including basketball and dodgeball ) are also available on campus.

Board of Trustees[ edit ]

The Trustees set general policy for the university.
James Keeling : Chair of the Board.

Commencement speakers[ edit ]

  • 1989: Sandra Day O’Connor , then Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • 2003: Chris Hedges , American journalist specializing in American politics and society
  • 2007: Susan Whealler Johnston, Executive Vice President and COO, Association of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges
  • 2008: Robert W. Hansen, Class of 1963, retired Chief of the Southern Europe Analysis Division of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the U.S. Department of State
  • 2009: Jonathan L. Fiechter, Class of 1969, Deputy Director, International Monetary Fund
  • 2010: Mark Pedowitz , Class of 1974, former television executive
  • 2011: Thomas S. Johnson, Class of 1964. Partner, WilliamsMcCarthy, LLP
  • 2012: Erin Brockovich , President, Brockovich Research & Consulting
  • 2013: Bill Kurtis , Documentary Host and Producer
  • 2014: Dr. Mae Jemison , American Physician and NASA Astronaut
  • 2015: Laura Ling , Journalist, Author
  • 2016: 19th Surgeon General Vice Admiral (VADM) Vivek H. Murthy , M.D., M.B.A.
  • 2017: Barbara Pierce Bush , daughter of 43rd President George W. Bush and co-founder and CEO of Global Health Corps .

Notable Alumni[ edit ]

  • Jane Addams , activist and social worker
  • Sandy Cole , politician
  • Roger Cooper , politician
  • Hind Rassam Culhane , professor
  • Yvonne D’Arle , opera singer
  • Jeannette Howard Foster , important lesbian theme writer/researcher
  • Barbara Giolitto , politician
  • Vivian Hickey , educator/politician
  • Joyce Holmberg , educator/politician
  • Betty Ann Keegan , politician
  • Julia Lathrop , social reformer
  • Doris Lee , artist
  • Helen Douglas Mankin , politician
  • Catherine Waugh McCulloch , suffragist
  • Ellen Spencer Mussey , pioneer in field of women’s rights to education
  • Mark Pedowitz , television executive
  • Belle L. Pettigrew , educator, missionary
  • Roland Poska , artist
  • Barbara Santucci , children’s author
  • Robin Schone , author
  • Ellen Gates Starr , activist and social reformer
  • Deb Patterson , women’s basketball coach

See also[ edit ]

  • Female seminaries
  • Women in education in the United States

Further reading[ edit ]

  • Weaks-Baxter, Mary , et al. We Are a College at War: Women Working for Victory in World War II (Southern Illinois University Press; 2010) 237 studies the mobilization of students in support of the war effort.

References[ edit ]

  1. ^ “Rockford College to become Rockford University” . Archived from the original on 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2012-11-23.

External links[ edit ]

  • Official website
  • Rockford University athletics website
  • v
  • t
  • e
Rockford, Illinois
Public schools
  • Rockford Public School District 205
    • Auburn High School
    • Guilford High School
    • Thomas Jefferson High School
    • Rockford East High School
Private schools
  • Boylan Catholic High School
  • Christian Life High School
  • Keith Country Day School
  • Rockford Christian High School
  • Rockford Lutheran High School
  • Rockford Iqra School
  • Spectrum Progressive School of Rockford
Colleges and universities
  • Rockford University
  • Rock Valley College
  • University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine Rockford
  • Chicago Rockford International Airport
  • Anderson Japanese Gardens
  • BMO Harris Bank Center
  • Burpee Museum of Natural History
  • Coronado Theatre
  • Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden
  • Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent House
  • Memorial Hall
  • Bengt Sjostrom Theatre
  • Tinker Swiss Cottage
  • Rockford Register Star
  • Rock River Times
  • WREX
  • WTVO
  • WQRF
This list is incomplete.
  • v
  • t
  • e
Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference
  • Alverno
  • Aurora
  • Benedictine
  • Concordia (Chicago)
  • Concordia (WI)
  • Dominican
  • Edgewood
  • Illinois Tech
  • Lakeland (WI)
  • Marian (WI)
  • MSOE
  • Rockford
  • Wisconsin Lutheran

Coordinates : 42°16′02″N 89°01′05″W / 42.26734°N 89.01810°W / 42.26734; -89.01810

Retrieved from ” ”
Categories :

  • Rockford University
  • Liberal arts colleges in Illinois
  • Education in Rockford, Illinois
  • Educational institutions established in 1847
  • Education in Winnebago County, Illinois
  • Buildings and structures in Rockford, Illinois
  • Tourist attractions in Rockford, Illinois
  • Female seminaries in the United States
  • 1847 establishments in Illinois
Hidden categories:

  • Articles needing additional references from February 2018
  • All articles needing additional references
  • Pages using deprecated image syntax
  • Instances of Infobox university using image size
  • Coordinates on Wikidata

Navigation menu

Personal tools

  • Not logged in
  • Talk
  • Contributions
  • Create account
  • Log in


  • Article
  • Talk



    • Read
    • Edit
    • View history



      • Main page
      • Contents
      • Featured content
      • Current events
      • Random article
      • Donate to Wikipedia
      • Wikipedia store


      • Help
      • About Wikipedia
      • Community portal
      • Recent changes
      • Contact page


      • What links here
      • Related changes
      • Upload file
      • Special pages
      • Permanent link
      • Page information
      • Wikidata item
      • Cite this page


      • Create a book
      • Download as PDF
      • Printable version


      • Deutsch
      Edit links

      • This page was last edited on 23 November 2018, at 07:39 (UTC).
      • Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License ;
        additional terms may apply. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy . Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. , a non-profit organization.
      • Privacy policy
      • About Wikipedia
      • Disclaimers
      • Contact Wikipedia
      • Developers
      • Cookie statement
      • Mobile view
      • Wikimedia Foundation
      • Powered by MediaWiki

      RPLs Local History

      A Digital Collection of Rockford, Illinois History

      Rockford Female Seminary

      Rockford Female Seminary


      Chartered in 1847        Source:  page 6, 1857 City Directory

      Chartered  2/25/1847         Source:


      Founded by Mrs. Anna P. Sill, as a collegiate institute for women. Halls, furniture, cabinets, library, apparatus the “fruit of Christian benevolence,”    Source:  1872-3 City Directory, page 22


      Rockford College, 1902 photo


      View of Rockford College, 1902, formerly called Rockford Female Seminary, off Seminary St.

      Source: 1902 Rockford, Illinois   R 917.733 R5910

      Rockford newspapers


      The Rock River Express was Rockford’s first paper in 1840, a Democratic sheet, the Rockford Star also began in 1840

      The Register was launched in 1855. The Gazette launched in 1866, both Republican in editorial. Register and Gazette merged with Daily Republic in 1829 Rockford Star sold to John A. Brown 7/22/1841, name changed to Rockford Pilot. The Morning Star, founded in 1888, merged with the Register-Gazette 1928 but retained name

      Brown also published a few issues of The Better Covenant, a Universalist religious monthly

      Rockford Free Press was est. in Oct, 1848 by Henry Dupuy; Free Soil or Barnburner paper. Rockford Free Press was suspended in February 1850 due to lack of patronage

      Winnebago Forum, Ambrose Wight as editor, established in 1843 it was changed to Rockford Forum in August 1843. Elijah Blaisdell, Jr. bought Rockford Forum in 1854 and changed name to Rockford Republican Elias Dougherty purchased Rockford Republican plant and merged it with Rockford-Register

      Rock River Democrat was established Feb 1855 published by Benjamin Holt. Rock River Democrat was sold in June of 1865 to the Register company

      Rockford Register was established in Feb 1855; the plant and that of Rock River Democrat were aquired by a stock company known as Rockford Register Co.

      Rockford Wesleyan Seminary Reporter was edited by W.F. Stewart as a monthly; 4 issues total

      The Democratic Standard (1858) ; Democratic was dropped from name 5 weeks later

      The Daily News began printing in Dec 1860, sold 1861

      The Rock River Mirror “neutral in politics” was edited by Alan Gibson, 1959 – 1870’s

      The Rockton Gazette established in 1857, was suspended a year later but re-established

      The Rockton Herald was established in 1875, now known as North Suburban Herald

      The Pecatonica Independent was launch in 1859, discontinued before November 1860

      People’s Press, a democratic sheet, started publication July of 1865; ended Sept 1866

      Winnebago County Chief, a Republican Paper, was organized in Nov 1866; J.P. Irvine, publisher. Hiram Enoch was added as a partner in 1867, Winnebago County Chief, later was sole owner. Foote and Kimball owned WCC in 1882, sold to D. Miller and Co. in 1886. in 1887 the Winnebago County Chief paper was purchased by J. Stanley Browne. 1888, the Winnebago County Chief plant and subscription lists turned over to Rockford Morning Star.

      The Rockford Gazette, a Republican weekly, began publication in Nov. 1866. I.S. Hyatt was the first publisher of The Rockford Gazette. Hyatt sold it to A.E. and W.E. Smith, formerly Indianapolis publishers, in 1867. The Rockford Gazette became a morning daily in 1873, but in November, an evening publication. The Gazette became a weekly again in 1874. In 1877, N.D. Wright and Charles L. Miller became owners of The Rockford Gazette

      Words for Jesus, a religious monthly, began in 1867, suspended 2 years later

      The Golden Censor a religious newspaper, semimonthly 1868-1877. The Golden Censor grew to an 18,000 circulation, then regressed in The Panic years. The Golden Censor suspended publication in 1896; a year later resumed publication. 1897: Calvert Bros. resumed publication with Charles A. Church as editor. Charles A. Church found himself in sole possession of the Censor until April 1, 1898. June 1898, The Golden Censor was sold to a Chicago publication

      Leaves from the Forest Hill was title of first Women’s College publication in Midwest,  produced by faculty and students of Rockford Female Seminary in the 1850s

      George Haskell published The Spirit Advocate and Spiritual Doctrines, 1854-1855

      in 1891, Edgar Bartlett, William Eaton and Eugene Mc Sweeney of Kalamazoo, Michigan, bought The Daily Register and The Gazette and consolidated them into the Daily Register-Gazette. Management remained until consolidation in to the Daily Register-Gazette. Management remained until consolidation of the Register-Gazette, Morning Star and Republic by Mrs. Medill McCormick.

      Short-lived publications: The Christian Gleaner, Rockford Daily Journal (2 issues), Andrus Illustrated Monthly, Methodist Free Press, Curiosity Hunter, Nowadays magazine, Rockford Sunday Herald, and Our Home and Science Gossip

      The Rockford Daily News struggled along with a few breaks in continuity; D.K, Andrus, editor and publisher, for 2 years. When June 3, 1878 issue carried a horror story of government overthrow by anarchists, Mayor Watson ordered it closed. The Daily News suspended publication October of 1880. No issues have been preserved.

      The Furniture Journal was an important trade journal, began 1888, lasted 20 years

      The Spectator (Charles Church, editor), The Weekly Recorder, Rockford Chief, The Journal of Practical Nursing were publications launched in the 1890’s

      In 1890, The Rockford Republican began to provide morning competition for the Star. The Rockford Republican became an evening paper 3 years later. C. Dwight Allyn was editor of the Rockford Republican when it became an evening paper. in 1896, C.L. Miller, Harry M. Johnson, and John E. Warfield purchased the Rockford Republican and renamed it the Daily Republic.  Mr. Miller, editor, remained active until 1910, then Robert Ruhl assumed editorship for a year before selling it back to Mr. Miller. In 1913, Harry M. Johnson succeeded his retiring partner as president. H.W.Pollard, H.T. Peterson, John E. Bollman, W. Ashton Johnson and Thomas Barney Thompson (editor) became directors of the corporation. The death of Mr. Johnson in 1928 preceded by a year the sale of the newspaper to Ruth Hanna McCormick. Mr. Thompson retired as editor in the 1950’s. Winnebago Newspaper, Inc. purchased the McCormick estate interests. Officers of the new corporation were: E. Kenneth Todd, president, L.C. Miller, Eugene Abegg, vice-presidents, Ina B. Cholke, secretary, William K. Todd, business manager, and John W. Grimes, executive editor. In 1961, Rex Carney, former Madison, Wisconsin editor succeeded Mr Grimes, upon his retirement., while Hjalmer Nelson assumed the associate editorship

      Svenska Posten, a newspaper in Scandinavian language, first published on Jan. 4, 1889. the paper Svenska Posten  thrived for many years, discontinued in World War I. Editorship of Svenska Posten: C. J. Sjostrom, Fred Swenson, Rev. Claus A. Wendell.  Charles E. Sandberg was editor of Svenska Posten when it discontinued in WWI. Svenska Posten was the outgrowth of the Rockford Allejanda (1872). Framtiden published 1903-1905, Oscar Bjork and Fred Swenson

      The Rockford Germania weekly newspaper for German population, 1885. John Pringle published Rockford Germania, 4-page sheet issued weekly. Ferdinand Stedinger published during the 1890’s; ceased pub during WWI

      The Catholic Monthly was launched in 1909. The Catholic Monthly became the a weekly called The Observer as diocese grew

      In 1947 the Post a weekly launched by Curtis R. West. John Wingle became West’s partner when Mayor Frank Larsen erected the Post Building.

      The Monday Morning Mail was launched in 1954

      In January 1965, The East Sider, Northwest News and 25 other weekly giveaway tabloids.

      The High School Herald semi-monthly news sheet at original East High School, 1882  The R.H.S. Owl launched in 1889 in the new high school in 1889

      The Crusader, Chromelight I and Chromelight II

      Source: Nuggets of History Autumn, 1990







      Rockford Female Seminary, view looking North East – illustration


      Source:  Rockford       Compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Works Projects Administration in the State of Illinois          Illustrations by the Illinois Art Project, Sponsored by the City of Rockford Illinois   Copyright 1941   Additional text information about the Female Seminary   917.733 W93


      Rockford Female Seminary – Chapter 2, pt. 1 Anna Peck Sill


      All pages are from Rockford College; a retrospective look, copyright 1980 by C. Hjalmer (Hal) Nelson and Rockford College   R378.77331 R682 (Local History collection)

      Chapter 2 continues in an additional post in the database.

      Anna Peck Sill is buried in Greenwood Cemetery under a monument designed by Architect of the chapel in Greenwood Cemetery.




      Rockford College Presidents – 1849 – 1937, portraits



      Source: Rockford College promotional softcover book, published circa 1935-1937



      Rockford Female Seminary – Location


      Rockford Female Seminary began in the 1800’s, eventually became Rockford College, which was for young women only, later became a co-ed school for young men and young women, and still later became Rockford University.

      The original address was “Seminary between Bluff and Division St.” and kept that address at least through 1894-95 Rockford City Directory.  People today, in 2016, may be familiar with the Winnebago County Health Dept. at 401 Division St., nearby the former Rockford Female Seminary location.

      By 1930’s Rockford City Directory it was more specific and listed as 527 Bluff St.  Bluff St. was later renamed as College Ave.  Seminary St. is also nearby.  Most of the buildings were razed, and only one still exists:  the William Sherratt Hall.




      Rockford Female Seminary – 1887 photograph



      Source:  Picturesque and Descriptive History of the City of Rockford Winnebago County Illinois  1887

      Illinois Historical Markers – Rockford


      Source: Illinois Historical Markers; a Guide   R 917.73 G946

      The book covers the entire state. This is the page on Rockford.

      Illinois Historical Markers


      College Ave., 502


      College Avenue was originally called East Seminary St., after Rockford Female Seminary, which later became Rockford College and later still, Rockford University.

      The first entry in the city directory is 1869, for “Samuel W. Treat, attorney, residence 502 East Seminary St.”  He lived there for many years, and his widow Olivia was still there as late as 1916.  In 1917 she was living elsewhere.

      Samuel Worcester Treat came to Rockford after the Civil War. He was an attorney, a land agent, and amassed a large fortune. He died in 1899. Olivia died in 1921.

      Source: Jean Lythgoe, Rockford City Directories




      New Articles

      • Rockford Coming Back, Chicago Tribune, Nov. 18, 2018, Section 5, pp.1,5
        November 20, 2018
      • Residence of George N. Holt, North Church Street
        October 1, 2018
      • Residence of Fred Wheat, Cherry Street
        October 1, 2018

      RPL’s Facebook

      RPL’s Facebook

      Trending Articles

      • Andrea Walters, actress - 1992 "Local theater prepared me for show biz"

        Andrea Walters, actress – 1992 "Local theater prepared me for show biz"

      • Dr. Broughtons Sanitarium - (1903)

        Dr. Broughtons Sanitarium – (1903)

      • Rockford Female Seminary

        Rockford Female Seminary

      Subscribe to RPLs Local History DB via Email


      • 399,142 articles viewed.


      Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.
      To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here:

      Cookie Policy

      Subscribe to RSS

      • RSS – Posts

      Follow Us

      • Facebook

      • Twitter

      • YouTube

      • Instagram

      • LinkedIn

      RPLs Local History

      Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: Radiate.