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William O. Nelson

Class of 1947

Awarded in 1987

Bolstered by a Beloit education that helped you establish a set of values and goals to serve as a sound foundation for your personal and business life, you are a home-grown product who has made a significant, positive impact upon the city of Rockford, Illinois. A World War II veteran whose college career was interrupted for several years, you joined J. L. Clark Manufacturing Company as a management trainee upon graduation and rose to become president of the $150-million packaging firm in 1978 and its chairman and chief executive officer last year. Your impressive professional leadership and outstanding record of civic involvement are exceptional and recently earned you the Rotary Club’s “Service Above Self” Award. As trustee of Rockford Memorial Hospital Corporation and director of AMCORE Bank, Woodward Governor Company, Clark Foundation, Rockford Institute, and Local Development Council, you still find time to chair the Can Manufacturers Institute and the Metropolitan Leadership Council of Rockford. Just last month, the Beloit Board of Trustees recognized your management abilities, experienced perspective, and strong loyalty to this institution by adding you to its membership. Your Alma Mater proudly acknowledges your dynamic, creative, and effective business and civic leadership by awarding you this Distinguished Service Citation as you join your “adopted” classmates in a 40th Reunion observance.