Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years in the Daily News and on social media. Be sure to check heres every Friday and follow us on all of our social media platforms as we will be posting unique content across all media throughout the year!
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Today’s 50th Friday covers the year 1978.
Maya Angelou Lectures at RVC
World-renowned singer, educator, dancer, author, historian, lecturer, actress, producer, editor, songwriter, and playwright Maya Angelou was a guest lecturer at Rock Valley College on April 3, 1978. Angelou lectured on “The Imperative Friendship Between Woman and Men” as part of a four-week “Gathering for Growth” series of seminars offered at RVC. Angelou is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first,I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of 17 and brought her international recognition and acclaim. She passed away on May 28, 2014 at the age of 86.
High School Connections
Twenty students from Rockford area high schools learned about computers while they earned college credit at RVC in the summer of 1978. The new program allowed students who would be seniors that fall to learn basic computer programming language and run computer programs. The 20 students were selected from 60 who applied. Today, the College continues to partner with local high schools to offer incredible opportunities to earn college credit while still in high school, including dual credit options, and the Running Start and Advance Now programs through High School Connections.
May Our Courses Be With You
Capitalizing on the Star Wars (released in 1977) craze that was still sweeping the nation in 1978, this advertisement to sign up for RVC classes parodied one of the film’s (and one of cinema’s) most famous lines: “May the Force be with you.”
Disco classes through RVC Adult Continuing Education were so popular that two additional classes had to be added after the first two offerings were immediately filled.
While One Great Era Ends…
Reuben Johnson, the founder of RVC’s Starlight Theatre, resigned in January 1978to accept a position in Winnipeg, Canada. After founding Starlight in 1967, he served as its producer up until 1978 and also directed one of the theatre’s early plays. In his time at RVC he also served as Dean of Community Services, Director of Community Services, Division Chair for Humanities and Modern Languages, temporary Head of College Information Services, and also taught music at the College.
…Two Great New Eras Begin
Stephanie Raach was named the coach for the first ever women’s tennis team at RVC, which played its first match on September 15, 1978against Sauk Valley. Raach had just begun at RVC as a Physical Education instructor in 1978. In her nearly 30 year career at RVC, she held numerous positions, including Director of Fitness, Wellness, and Sport Division, and coached women’s basketball in addition to women’s tennis. She also founded the Golden Eagles Fitness Program in 1997, a program which still exists today. She retired from RVC in 2006 and later served on the RVC Board of Trustees from 2007 to 2013.
The women’s tennis program later won two national championships under long time head coach Steve Vee in 2004 and 2011, but paving the way was Raach with RVC’s first team in 1978.
Don’t forget to check our social media platforms for some unique content from 1978 not seen here!