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Attendees get inside scoop at inaugural Summer Symposium

May 19, 2011

Beloit College's first Summer Symposium was a well attended, fun- and info-filled day that started with a packed house in Wilson Theatre for a presentation on the new curriculum, and ended when the last guests departed the Science Center Atrium (following an end-of-day conviviality) at 8 p.m. In between, attendees drifting between rooms in Pearsons (and visiting the fieldhouse, touring the Logan Museum and dropping in on the library) learned about everything from the work of the age-less external affairs division to the promise of Jenzabar; the admissions process to the roommate selection one. 

In between, staff and faculty sat down for a nice lunch under the tent on the Pearsons' lawn. At the end of the annual staff recognition ceremony, where employees were celebrated for years of service, President Bierman reminded employees of the many benefits that make working at Beloit College so rewarding-- from interacting with students to, yes, finding a spouse.

It was a full day and the Staff Council committee that organized it - consisting of Melissa Dix, Lori Rhead, Jon Urish, Cecil Youngblood, and Jason Hughes - will soon distribute a survey to get feedback to help guide future symposia. In the meantime, below are a few of the bits of info heard around campus yesterday: 

  • The average employee tenure at Beloit College is now north of 10 years 
  • There are 136 international students bound for campus next fall from 35 countries (help welcome them on Thursday, Aug. 18)
  • Approximately 50 percent of rooms on campus are singles (and some 90 percent of entering first years have never shared a room)
  • Aldrich is the most popular dorm (thanks, said the residence life staff, to nearby parking, an elevator, and its recent renovations, among other things)
  • Driving factor in roommate selection? Musical tastes
  • 38 percent of students request substance free housing
  • The number of students who are “interested in more opportunities to improve their physical health” has increased from 47.8% in 2004 to 63.8% in 2010
  • The number of students who worked more than 20 hours a week has increased from 37.4% in 2006 to 51.2% in 2010
  • More than a fifth of our graduates since 2006 have already earned or are seeking a graduate degree.
  • When pondering the “Liberal Arts in Practice” – the Center and the curriculum – think "Sergeant Pepper." After all, it is an album and a song. The center and curriculum similarly co-exist, and operate separately. (That is, students will get the “practice” in the classroom, and outside it; through the help of the LAP-C offices, and without it.)
  • 96,000 feet of toilet paper are used each year in Middle College. (More than 5 million feet are used a year by Beloiters across campus.) And yes, it's two-ply.
  • There are 862 steps within the Science Center; 497 sinks on campus; and more than 5 miles of sidewalks to shovel after a big snow.
  • In the three weeks leading up to commencement, physical plant expends 1,938 personnel hours getting ready. 
  • There were 581 events logged on the Master Calendar this past academic year.
  • The Terrarium, with an average of 10,000 page views weekly, was the third most popular site on in 2010-11 (behind the main page and athletics)
  • 60 percent of food served in Commons is a vegetable dish of some sort; approximately 16 percent is a meat. (Not unrelated:  there are 34 kinds of cereal.)
  • Also interesting:  President Bierman’s unexpected and well received turtle, er, …mating speech at commencement was kept top secret til its delivery. Not even Melody Bierman had heard about the unconventional approach he’d planned for talking about Beloit’s longevity and relevance. 

What did you learn? Send it to and we’ll add it to the list.