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Linda Gregorin Clifford

Class of 1970

Awarded in 2010
40th Reunion Award

Often when you talk to a student about what she or he has planned for a semester break, you’ll get responses like, “chill out,” “veg out,” and “sleep.” But in typical Beloit College fashion, these are simply common options, but not necessarily the norm. There’s one alumna among us, for instance, who spent her vacation working at a steel factory, eventually becoming a union member while doing so. She also plays the harpsichord and the organ. A Beloiter indeed!

Since graduating from Beloit College in 1970, Linda Clifford has become one of the most respected attorneys in the state of Wisconsin, serving first as assistant attorney general before moving on to private practice. In a 2007 Wisconsin State Journal article about Linda—who was then a Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate—a state administrative law judge was quoted as stressing, “She’s not someone who commands respect because she makes the most noise. She commands respect because she makes the most sense.”

It’s not hard to imagine that this common sense approach came from her hardworking parents and Slovenian-American family values, stressing education and giving back to one’s community. Indeed, over her three-decades-plus career in law, Linda has fought hard for environmental and First Amendment rights of the news media and, through her pro bono work, is an unwavering advocate for asylum seekers from other countries who are facing religious or political persecution or violence and are looking for a safe place to call home.

Linda has served on numerous boards of directors—including Beloit College’s Board of Trustees, is a past president of the Dane County Bar, and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Her philanthropy extends to many, including Beloit College in the form of her own scholarship, the Chicago Area Diversity Scholarship, and the Victor E. Ferrall Artist-in-Residence program.

Linda noted in a questionnaire sent out to homecoming attendees that Beloit College is “the place that made me the person I am today.” And so today it is with great pleasure that Beloit College recognizes Linda Gregorin Clifford as a clearly outstanding alumna and bestows upon her the Distinguished Service Citation.