Skip Navigation

Joan Sullivan Berna

Class of 1953

Awarded in 1993
40th Reunion Award

You once wrote that “Women were encouraged to aim high at Beloit”—and that’s exactly what you have done, with spectacular results. Influenced by the late Professor Chad Walsh and buoyed by your tenure on The Round Table, you have written, and supervised, community-service programs that have raised more the $6 million in state, federal, and foundation grants for the Elgin YWCA. Having recently retired after nearly 25 years as the agency’s community services director, you designed one of the eleven nationwide winners of the 1990-1 Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy grant, an effort that led to a White House recognition – luncheon invitation and to your service as a consultant for the program for the past two years. In addition, you initiated a comprehensive English as a Second Language program that serves over 900 adults and 175 children annually, established and supervised three major refugee projects pertaining to adults, youth, and crime prevention that have assisted 3,000 area residents since 1979, and helped launch a Caregivers Connection effort to provide information and support for those caring for the elderly, disabled, or chronically ill. Recipient of the Women in Management’s national Achievement Award, you have shared your expertise as advisor to the Nationwide Evaluation of Targeted Assistance Program, as consultant to the Indochina Refugee Action Center and to the team assessing adult education service centers in Illinois, and as national volunteerism chair for the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education. Beloit College proudly recognizes your humanistic leadership and achievements by awarding you this Distinguished Service Citation on the occasion of your 40th Class Reunion.