Rockford University was founded in 1847 in the city of Rockford, Illinois as the Rockford Female Seminary. This citizens of Rockford offered $3,500 to help set up the institution and the first classes took place in the courthouse. The university is proud of its history of women’s education. The decision, taken in the 1840s, to provide a curriculum at the Female Seminary which was as challenging as that at an all-male institution was bold for the times. The first bachelor’s degrees were awarded in 1882 and one of the recipients was Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Adams. The seminary was renamed Rockford College in 1892. Men were admitted during World War II and the college became fully coeducational in 1958.
Today Rockford University has around 1,300 students studying a range of undergraduate and some postgraduate courses. The university offers around 80 majors, minors and concentrations as well as a number of master’s level courses including Master of Business Arts (MBA), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). Academics at the university are organised into three colleges: Arts and Humanities, Science, Math and Nursing and Social Sciences, Commerce and Education.
The campus is a mix of landscaped lawns and wooded areas with the academic, administrative and residential buildings linked by paths and green spaces. There are also sports fields and indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities available for students as well as the campus chapel, library and student centre.