Rockford College holds 148th commencement:; Shields departs
Rockford College held its 148th commencement on Saturday, May 18 on the Burpee Commons/Library Lawn on the campus at 5050 E. State St.
With 381 graduates, this was the largest graduating class in the colleges 155-year history. However, 382 degrees were awarded, as Elizabeth Drog earned both a B.A. and B.F.A. There were 114 masters degrees awarded, and 268 bachelors degrees awarded.
The commencement speaker was James S. Whitehead, J.D., chair of the Rockford College Board of Trustees. A Rockford native, he is a partner in the Chicago law firm Sidley Austin Brown & Wood. The Yale University graduate holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law. He practices in all areas of labor and employment law.
Whitehead has served for many years as a member of the boards of Scholarship and Guidance Association, a Chicago youth counseling agency; and the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Chicago, which provides law-related education programs in Chicago-area primary and secondary schools.
Dr. Shields fine job
Rockford College President William A. Shields, Ph.D., is retiring on June 30. He has served as the colleges 15th president since 1992. According to the 2001 North Central Association accreditation review, under the leadership of Dr. Shields, a dynamic turn-around has taken place at Rockford College. Not only has he vastly improved the financial stability, successfully completing a $20 million-plus capital campaign last year, but he has taken the time to be a visible, vibrant member of the campus community.
Among the many highlights of Dr. Shields presidency was the refurbishment and upgrading of campus facilities. And, under his leadership, community involvement and service-learning have become hallmarks of a Rockford College students experience.