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F. Jameson Parker II

Class of 1971

Awarded in 1985

Throughout the almost 140 years since its founding, Beloit College has taken pride in the accomplishments of its many alumni who have achieved career success in fields varying from archaeological exploration to politics, from business management to cultural affairs. Yet few of these individuals have achieved the unique national recognition enjoyed by the alumnus we honor on this special occasion.

Jameson Parker: On your admissions application that arrived on this campus from a small town in Virginia back in 1966, you wrote of your desire to obtain “a general well-rounded education with special emphasis on biology and drama,” noting that these two vocational interests might seem inconsistent, but that you would like either to develop your capabilities as an actor or be a specialist in wildlife conservation. At one point in your acting career (perhaps not one of the high points) you are quoted as saying that you had pretty much decided to give up your theatrical ambitions to take up a new career of “raising apples in Vermont for a living.” Fortunately, for the millions of Americans who are entertained today by the qualities you have perfected in pursuing your other career aspiration, you persisted in your quest for success in the field of acting. The rest is history: a series of progressively more important and visible acting parts, culminating in a weekly starring role in one of the top-rated television series in America –“Simon and Simon.”

Over recent years, we have grown accustomed to seeing your face on the cover of TV Guide and other national publications as you have won increasing recognition and acclaim both from the television public and from your professional colleagues. We at Beloit College would like to think that a measure of your success today is due to the quality of your experience as a student actor on the college theater stage during your undergraduate days and also to those other classroom and extracurricular experiences that enriched your stay on this small Wisconsin campus. Beloit College takes pride in your professional achievements; Beloit also is grateful for your recent and most valuable special service to your alma mater – as featured narrator of our new admissions recruitment film and currently as guest actor in helping to open this year’s Festival Theatre season in truly festive style. You have been extraordinarily generous with your time, your energies, and your affection for your alma mater.

It is with pleasure that your college, on the recommendation of the Executive Board of its Alumni Association, awards you this Distinguished Service Citation as a token of our gratitude and esteem, with our good wishes for many more years of success.