Lorena Church (1935-1936)

Lorena Church was an integral part of the Rockford, Illinois community. She moved to Rockford when she was 3 years old, attended school there and earned her bachelor’s degree from Rockford College in 1905. The following year Ms. Church accepted a position at the school as an instructor of Latin and Greek; however, she soon found her passion in 19 th century English literature. In 1915 she was appointed Registrar of Rockford College. Lacking a separate division for admissions activities, Ms. Church oversaw those functions as well. She chaired the curriculum committee and originated Rockford College’s summer school program.

Following the end of World War II, Rockford College, up until that time an all-female institution, started a pre-engineering program for former military personnel. Ms. Church was put in charge of instructing these men in English grammar and literature. After forty years of an entirely female student body, this task proved a refreshing change of pace. Ms. Church was so successful in her assignment that Rockford Men’s College was established in 1955. The first male dormitory, Church Hall, was named in her honor. The love and admiration she received from the students, faculty, and staff of Rockford College is apparent in the numerous accolades they bestowed upon her. Ms. Church was the only woman to be made an honorary member of the Men’s Student Association. She was also given a membership in the Engineering Wives Association. Rockford’s Alumnae Council bestowed upon Ms. Church its highest honor, the Talcott Cross.

After fifty years of service to Rockford College, Lorena Church officially retired in 1956 and was awarded Professor Emeritus status. Ms. Church remained active in campus and alumni activities. She continued to teach on a temporary status until her death in 1957.

(b. April 23, 1882; d January 16, 1958)