The Phantom Regiment and Rockford College formally introduced a partnership today during a 9 a.m. news conference at Sam Greeley Field on the Rockford College campus. Rockford College president Paul Pribbenow, wearing his trademark bow tie, said it is a natural partnership. "The Phantom Regiment and Rockford College have national and international reputations. We both bring awareness of our community to people across the country," he said. Phantom Regiment will make itself a part of the college next month when it spends two weeks of its "Spring Training" rehearsing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the campus. The partnership is leading toward an eventual move of the corps' offices to the campus as part of a remodeling of a dormitory to house community nonprofit organizations. Both Rockford College and Phantom Regiment hope to "share" membership. The college is looking for outstanding, civic-minded students and the Phantom Regiment would enjoy the benefits of having members who attend college locally. Both see the partnership as a perfect fit. The long-term vision includes the possibility of the Phantom Regiment developing a marching band for the school. Rockford, a school of about 700 full-time students, started an NCAA Division III football team three years ago, but it does not have a band program. Phantom Regiment director Patrick Seidling also announced that the corps will be kicking off the largest fund-raising drive in its history. Coinciding with the Phantom Regiment's 50th anniversary in 2006, the corps is launching "Countdown to Fifty," a $500,000, three-year campaign to fund capital purchases, expansion of programs and build an endowment to secure the long-term stability of the organization. The support of several key community leaders has been acquired, including Rockford College president Paul Pribbenow, Rockford Register Star president and publisher Fritz Jacobi, BeefaRoo owners Jean Vitale and Dave Bruler and CPA Dan Loescher. More on this ambitious campaign will be announced soon. For more information about the Phantom Regiment, contact Pat Seidling at 815.965.677, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the outstanding programs at Rockford College, call 815.226.4000.