50th Fridays- 2001

Posted on Sep 11, 2015

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Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years right here on our blog and on social media. Be sure to check here 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 2001.



RVC Inducts First Alumni Hall of Fame Class

On February 25, 2001, Rock Valley College inducted the first five members of its Alumni Hall of Fame: JoAnn Burkholder, Ph.D., Rebecca Johnson, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Martin Pocs, and Larry E. Young.

Dr. JoAnn Burkholder is a research scientist and Professor of Aquatic Botany and Marine Sciences at North Carolina State University. She was also a Pew Fellow and a Leopold Leadership Fellow.

Rebecca Johnson is Professor (Nursing) and Millsap Professor of Gerontological Nursing and Public Policy Professor (Vet Med) and Director, Research Center for Human Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) the University Of Missouri College Of Veterinary Medicine.

Kimberla Lawson Roby is a nationally-published author whose novels have frequented numerous bestsellers lists, including theNew York Times,USA Today,The Washington Post,Publishers Weekly,Essence Magazine, andUpscale Magazine. She received the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 at Book Expo America forCasting The First Stone.

Martin Pocs is Vice Chairman of DHR, the world’s sixth largest retained executive placement firm and considered one of the world’s top 100 executive search consultants.

Larry Young is a former Major League Baseball umpire (1985 to 2007) who had the privilege of umpiring in two MLB All-Star games, six Division Series, three League Championship Series, and two World Series. He is a former RVC football player and a long-time supporter of RVC Athletics. He was also inducted into the RVC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

You can find the photos of all RVC Alumni Hall of Fame inductees in the Educational Resources Center lobby.

Kimberla Lawson Roby (left) and Larry Young (right) at the ceremony for the inaugural RVC Alumni Hall of Fame class.


Marchini Wins Gustafson Prize for Mathematics

Rock Valley College student Megan Marchini was selected as the 2001 winner of the college’s Gustafson Prize in Mathematics. The Gustafson Prize is a yearly award the college presents to a student who displays exceptional mathematics talent and commitment to RVC. To win a student does not have to be intending to major in mathematics. The award is named after David Gustafson who was chair of the division of humanities and mathematics at RVC for 25 years.

Megan Marchini with David Gustafson after receiving the award named in Gustafson’s honor.


Golf Team Wins National Championship

After years of success, long-time RVC golf coach Steve Benjamin was rewarded with a national championship onJune 8, 2001. The Golden Eagles made up 18 strokes on the fourth and final day of the national tournament. It was the fourth national championship for RVC and the second for a men’s sport, coming on the heels of the men’s tennis team’s national championship in 2000. Benjamin was named NJCAA Division III Men’s Golf Coach of the Year, while Matt La Marca and David Risen were named NJCAA All-Americans.


Stenstrom Center Dedicated

The Rock Valley College Samuelson Road Center (4151 Samuelson Road) was officially dedicated and named the Stenstrom Center for Career Education onOctober 16, 2001. The facility was named after the college received a $1 million dollar donation from Robert W. and Jan Stenstrom of Rockford. Robert Stenstrom has served on the Rock Valley College Foundation Board since 1998 and currently serves as the RVC Foundation Board President. In 2001, Dental Hygiene and Graphic Arts Technology were two new programs housed at the Stenstrom Center. The Stenstrom Center still houses those programs today in addition to the Automotive Service Technology, Certified Nursing Assistant, Fire Science, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, and Welding programs. The RVC Traffic Safety,Adult Education, and TechWorks programs are also offered at the Stenstrom Center.

Left to right: Marcia Stenstrom, Robert Stenstrom, Jan Stenstrom, Christie Jarrett, and Ehren Jarrett at the dedication for Stenstrom Center for Career Education on October 16, 2001.


Technology Center Renamed

In 2001, Rock Valley College renamed its Technology Center the Woodward Technology Center in recognition of a $1 million dollar gift the Woodward Charitable Trust gave to the college. While the gift from Woodward did not go directly to the Tech Center but rather to support the entire college, Woodward Chairman and CEO John Halbrook praised RVC for its technology offerings, which at the time included courses designed for Woodward employees and taught at the company’s Loves Park headquarters. The new name was unveiled on the lobby floor of the building in a special ceremony onNovember 13, 2001.


Senator Syverson Visits RVC Class

Senator, and RVC alum, Dave Syverson visited Professor PS Ruckman’s political science class onNovember 21, 2001. Syverson was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1992. Senator Syverson got his first taste of political life at RVC when he served as student council vice president.

Senator Dave Syverson (right) spoke in Professor PS Ruckman’s (left) political science class on November 21, 2001.


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50th Fridays- 2000

Every Friday through December 18, we will be sharing RVC facts and photos from over the years right here on...