Rockford University

Photo provided by Richard Raether.

North American theater tickets sales have fallen 84% compared to the same period in 2019. That’s according to a September report by the international group TRG Arts. Despite the drop, a northern Illinois playhouse found a way to adapt during its COVID-19 financial drought.

Rockford’s Artists’ Ensemble Theater is launching a new podcast.

 

Photo provided by Jennifer Rea.

Welcome to WNIJ's Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. Today's poem is by Jennifer Rea.

Peter Medlin

Move-in day is normally a frenzy. At large schools like Northern Illinois University, thousands of students descend onto campus; student organizations pass around sign-up sheets in crowded dorms, maybe even the football team helps unload furniture.

Not this time. This year, students made appointments to move into dorms over the course of several days.

David Lewis just transferred to NIU from a community college in his home state of Missouri. He and his dad drove in the night before to get an early start. He came for the political science department and the marching band.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

 

Rockford University announced a new scholarship this week aimed at Black students interested in pursuing business.

 

Between Rockford University and the Puri Foundation, twelve Black students per year will be able to pursue a business degree and graduate with zero debt. That’s thanks to a new scholarship, named after Rockford’s first Black mayor, Charles Box.

 

Maggie Kasicki

On this week’s podcast: Maggie Kasicki talks to host Peter Medlin. She teaches English as a Second Language at Rockford University. She also volunteers at schools across Rockford teaching cross-cultural education. They also talked a lot about her traveling, but specifically about how she travels culturally. There's no Holiday Inn, no continental breakfast. Maggie gets straight-up embedded.

 

Connie Kuntz

Printmaker and painter Manny Tang comes to Illinois by way of Taipei, Taiwan and New York, New York. Her art is displayed throughout the state in galleries and small businesses, but our interview began at her home in Loves Park. When her husband Don Foster invited me in, it took me a minute to find the woman whose artist name is China Cat. She was in another room, leaning out of a window feeding Gracie, a feral cat who stops by for food and attention.

"She was very skittish at first. It took her a full year before we earned her trust, but now she is here every day."

Connie Kuntz

Nearly 3 billion birds have been lost in North America since 1970. That’s according to a report published last month in Science Magazine.  The finding has disturbed bird lovers across the globe.

 

Dr. James Marshall, a biologist and ornithologist with Rockford University, says the report confirms what professional and backyard birders have been saying for decades.

 

The Beauty And Science Of Bird Banding

Nov 8, 2018
Connie Kuntz

Who doesn't love the brilliant beauty of a tiny bird? They are adorable and have a way of inspiring young people to pursue scientific careers.

One such person was, and is, Dr. James Marshall, associate professor of biology at Rockford University.  He fell in love with birds when he was eight years old.  Decades later, he has banded more than 10,000 birds.

Leonard Bernstein at 100

The Rockford arts community will celebrate musical icon Leonard Bernstein during the month of April.

The festival, "Leonard Bernstein at 100," is being led by the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. RSO Education and Community Engagement Director Margo Stedman said Bernstein’s many accomplishments as a composer, conductor and music educator are reason enough to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Jenna Dooley

Rockford University will formally install its newest president this week.

Eric Fulcomer was introduced as the university’s 18th president in February. At that time, he said one of his priorities was recruitment. Prior to his selection, Fulcomer was the school's Vice President of Enrollment Management.

Enrollment of full-time undergraduate students at Rockford University reached a record high this fall with 924 students.

The new president also has some municipal government experience: He is a former mayor of Bluffton, Ohio.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Rockford University students present a preview Friday night in the school’s Maddox Theatre of the musical revue they’ll perform in early August at Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival.

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center

   

A group of local arts organizations and individuals will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death this weekend in Rockford with a program called “Shakespearience.”

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is presenting the program Saturday night at Rockford’s Court Street United Methodist Church.  The Center’s Rulee Stallman led the effort to celebrate the Bard of Avon.  She says she realized the anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to celebrate the range of local artists.

rockford.edu

Rockford University performing-arts students will travel to Scotland in August to show off their talent at an international festival.

The Register Star reports the school is one of only four in the U.S. invited to attend the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The festival will be staged Aug. 5 to 29 at hundreds of locations around the capital city of Scotland.

Last year, artists from 49 countries presented 3,300 performances of cabaret, comedy, dance, circus, musicals, opera and more.

Jenna Dooley

Rockford University trustees unanimously appointed Eric Fulcomer as the school's next leader. He is the school's current Vice President of Enrollment Management. He is also the former mayor of Bluffton, Ohio.

Retiring Rockford University President Robert Head says that experience will help Fulcomer in his new role.

CFNIL

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois on Thursday announced matching endowments to Rockford University and Highland Community College.  The money will be used to create scholarship endowments totaling $5 million for students at the two schools. 

Highland Community College is receiving $1 million from the Foundation, toward a total scholarship endowment of $2 million.  Rockford University is receiving $1.5 million, toward a fund totaling $3 million.

Rockford U. Rededicates Burpee Center To Student Use

May 15, 2015
WNIJ/Victor Yehling

“In so many ways, what is old is now new again. That really reflects the case of this unique space.”

That’s how Rockford University President Robert Head addressed the group gathered Friday in the restored snack bar area of the remodeled Blanche Walker Burpee Center on the Rockford Campus.

Built in 1963 as then-Rockford College moved from its location just south of downtown, the building was intended to be a center of student activity.

Rockford University

Rockford University reached its highest enrollment in twenty years. The number of full-time undergraduate students is up nearly nine percent over the last year.

Vice President for Enrollment Management Eric Fulcomer says the school's Rock Solid marketing campaign is resonating with diverse audiences.  

beloit.edu

Many U.S. colleges and universities are adopting "test-optional" policies when it comes to admitting students. That means SAT and ACT scores are becoming less of a factor in the process. At least one area school is joining the movement.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Art is a tough way to make a living. Ask any musician, writer, sculptor, or actor. Following your passion often means spending more time than you’d like doing something else to pay the bills. Today, we wrap up our series on arts adapting in Rockford with a look at some of the people creating their art just outside the mainstream. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Expect the state to be nine billion dollars behind in paying its bills by the end of the year. That was the grim message State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka had for a gathering of not-for-profit agencies Monday at Rockford University. She’s enlisting their help to find ways to ease the financial pressure on groups that depend on state money to serve their clients. 

Chelsey Fulbright / WNIJ

Hundreds of alumni and supporters gathered on a sunny lawn in Rockford this morning for the official unveiling of Rockford University, formerly known as Rockford College.


Introducing...Rockford University

Jul 1, 2013
Rockford University

Rockford College is getting a new name. Starting today, the school will be known as Rockford University. Administrators say the change will better reflect the mission of the institution.  The school was founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary. Rockford’s current student body is around 1,250 students. The mascot will not change and the school will continue to be known as The Regents.