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University alumnus Stanley Roszkowski honored with naming and dedication of Rockford courthouse

by The College of Education / Nov 4, 2011

In late October the new $100 million federal courthouse in Rockford was dedicated in honor of longtime U.S. District Judge Stanley Roszkowski, who, along with his family, has strong ties to the University of Illinois and the College of Education. The Honorable Roszkowski ’49 BUS/’54 LLB met his wife Catherine ’54 EDUC at the University of Illinois.

Catherine, who passed away in 2010, worked as a grade school teacher before turning full time to raise a family of four boys, all of whom graduated from the U of I, as did Cathy’s sister, Jeanne Claeys.

Located on 5.5 acres, the courthouse boasts 211,000 square feet and houses five courtrooms, offices for the U.S. courts, and other court-related agencies. The building incorporates many notable sustainable design features, including energy conservation. The project is currently undergoing Stage II of the Green Globes certification process.

Quite a boon for the Rockford area, the courthouse’s location was chosen because it was an existing fully-serviced urban parcel that is a remediated brownfield site. It also has easy access to public transportation and offers bicycle and carpool provisions.

Roszkowski was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in July 1977. He assumed senior status in 1991 and served in that capacity until his retirement in January 1998.

Judges and lawyers in the Rockford area lobbied for a federal courthouse for more than 30 years. U.S. Representative Don Manzullo and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin helped to make the new green and modern courthouse a reality. Durbin and Manzullo were among the dignitaries at the invitation-only ceremony. 

Here at the College of Education, the Stanley J. and Catherine Roszkowski Scholarship Fund annually benefits an undergraduate student. The 2011-12 recipient is Kelly Kanarowski, a junior in Elementary Education from Geneva, Illinois.