Jane Addams graduates from Rockford College

Today, the spirit of Jane Addams (Rockford College alumna) lives on at Rockford College.

As Jane Addams’ college in the 21st century, we seek to create a world that is more just, more humane and more democratic.

Her father was an Illinois legislator, a friend of Abraham Lincoln, and a Rockford College trustee. It is not surprising then, that John Addams insisted that his youngest daughter attend Rockford Female Seminary, even though she begged to attend an “eastern school.”

At Rockford College, she was elected president of her class and was chosen to deliver the 1881 valedictory address. With these words, she presaged the remarkable impact she would one day make:

“We stand today united in a belief in beauty, genius and courage, and that these can transform the world.”

Jane Addams began her lifelong crusade for justice and equality not long after she graduated from Rockford College when, in 1889, she established Hull-House in Chicago. There, she created a myriad of programs – nurseries, college courses, art classes, sports leagues – for people of all beliefs and ethnic backgrounds.

Read more: http://www.rockford.edu/?page=JaneAddams#ixzz0Z74V6zLB

Addams's father encouraged her to pursue a higher education, but not at the expense of losing her femininity and the prospect of marriage and motherhood, as expected of upper class young women. She was educated in the United States and Europe, graduating from the Rockford Female Seminary (now Rockford College) in [Rockford, Illinois]. After Rockford, she spent seven months at the Women's Medical College of Philadelphia, but dropped out. Her parents felt that she should not forget the common path of upper class young women. After her father's sudden death, Addams inherited $50,000.

Rockford College is a private American liberal arts college in Rockford, Illinois. It was founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary and changed its name in 1892. The college is known as the alma mater of Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams, who was a member of the class of 1881.

Rockford College was founded in 1847 as Rockford Female Seminary. It was the sister college of Beloit College, which had been founded the year before. The seminary's initial campus was on the east side of the Rock River, south of downtown Rockford. In 1890, the seminary's trustees voted to offer a full college curriculum, which led to the name changing to Rockford College in 1892. Men were first granted admission to the college at the beginning of the 1955-56 school year. At about this time, the school requested that the City of Rockford close parts of a street adjoining the campus.
In January, 2008, Dr. Robert Head was named the College's seventeenth president effective July 2008.

In 1881 Jane Addams was graduated from the Rockford Female Seminary, the valedictorian of a class of seventeen, but was granted the bachelor's degree only after the school became accredited the next year as Rockford College for Women. In the course of the next six years she began the study of medicine but left it because of poor health, was hospitalized intermittently, traveled and studied in Europe for twenty-one months, and then spent almost two years in reading and writing and in considering what her future objectives should be.