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Rockford celebrates opening of new facilities

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ribbon cutting

Clockwise: doing the ribbon-cutting honors are, L-R, vice dean David Bartels, regional dean Martin Lipsky, U of I President Michael Hogan, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares and U.S. Rep. Don Manzullo. Below right: College of Pharmacy dean Jerry Bauman makes a lighthearted remark. Below left: professor emeritus and former medicine dean Truman Anderson, center, with longtime colleagues L.P. Johnson, left, and Robert Heerens.

Photos: Brian Thomas

About 500 people — students, faculty, university administrators and community leaders — celebrated the opening Thursday of a new $26.5 million building addition to the Rockford campus.

The 58,000-square-foot addition, 10 years in the making, is a dream come true, said regional dean Martin Lipsky.

The expansion will be home to the new College of Pharmacy at Rockford and provide more space for the National Center for Rural Health Professions, both programs that emphasize rural practice.

Over the next four years, the campus — which is officially termed the College of Medicine at Rockford but also includes programs in nursing and biotechnology — expects to double its current size to more than 500 students.

The inaugural class of 50 pharmacy students starts next week.

The campus raised almost $4 million in a capital campaign for the project. The rest of the $26.5 million cost came from state, federal and university funds.

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