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Richard Brooks

Class of 1969

Awarded in 2014

“Economics was not my best course at Beloit College,” Rick Brooks once said. “I was not good in either biology or math. But somewhere in my Beloit education I got the notion that in the right environment, giving, service, trust, and faith could multiply and reproduce themselves; that one plus one plus one equals much more than one might think.”

Rick’s lifelong dedication to service began as a teenager when he lived in India and Peru performing charity work with his family. While holding various writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and teaching jobs throughout his career, Rick has gone on to become what the Wisconsin State Journal described as a “community organizer and a high-energy advocate for good liberal causes like sustainability and social justice.”

He’s coordinated relief and reconstruction assistance in Sri Lanka; journeyed to Nicaragua and Mexico to give eye exams and to distribute more than 10,000 pairs of glasses; and co-founded the Little Free Libraries initiative—just to name a few of his many altruistic projects.

Though Rick has traveled the globe and his contributions have been far-reaching, he still holds a special place in his heart for his alma mater, a place where he says he had the chance to try many, many things. An anthropology major and education minor, Rick is particularly fond of his memories of former Logan Museum director Andrew Whiteford and the National Science Foundation field school in cultural anthropology he took to Mexico.

Over the years, Rick has made artifact gifts to the Logan Museum and donations to the Whiteford Guest Speaker Fund in addition to donating to a number of other purposes, including the Beloiter Fund and the Sesquicentennial Campaign.

Rick has been commended for his loyal, dedicated, and enthusiastic service as an alumni association executive board member. He’s also served as a class agent, participated in an array of alumni activities, and has always been quick to offer his support and countless ideas for college initiatives. He is remembered by Beloit friends for his positive attitude, compassion, and huge smile.

For his broad definition of service to his expansive dedication to the greater good, the Beloit College Alumni Association is proud to bestow upon Rick Brooks its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Citation.