After a day of Student Symposium sessions on Thursday, President Scott Bierman and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations hosted an event in the Science Center atrium honoring about 40 of the college's most generous and long-time supporters. This event, titled "Showcase" and intentionally tied to the day's symposium events (as well as the preceding night's Keefer and Keefer lecture and Duffy Colloquium) was the first of a new annual event honoring these special supporters for their lifetime giving.
Bierman led the evening's program from top to bottom, introducing and celebrating the philanthropy of the gathered alumni, community members, and parents.
“We are gathered here this evening to celebrate students, their accomplishments, and the breadcrumbs from their accomplishments back to opportunities they have been offered and they have embraced on this campus,” he said. “Whenever my mind turns to the development of our students, our engaged students, the breadcrumbs lead pretty clearly to connections to our alumni, and parents, and members of the community and opportunities; to people in this room tonight.”
While honoring the 860 inductees to the college’s new lifetime giving societies (all of which are named after supporters from the college’s history), Bierman also looked to students to offer their perspectives on the philanthropy that has offered scholarships, study abroad opportunities, and more. Megan Slavish, Kyle Bohrer, Trudy Pham, Camilla Jackson (pictured below), and Alen Keric each took the microphone and offered their thanks and stories.
D.K. Pearsons Award unveiled, awarded
After many offerings of thanks, and much talk of acorns, oak trees, and turtles, the event ended with President Bierman introducing a new award celebrating D.K. Pearsons-style leadership and philanthropy by Beloit College supporters.
"Tonight, we celebrate two people who have given as much time and talent as resources to the college. Two who have applied their resources where they saw great need and great opportunities,” Bierman said. “Though, like Pearsons, they did not attend this school or grow up in the shadow of its trees, they have lived and labored on its behalf."
The inaugural D.K. Pearsons Philanthropic Leadership Award was then presented to the college’s Board of Trustees Chairman Jim Sanger, and his wife Marge, pictured below. The Sangers are the parents of two Beloit College alumni and have been active and generous supporters of the college, its people, and its programs. The Sanger Summer Scholars program is just one visible example of their support.
The award, topped with a filigree that matches the metal work that hangs over the entrance to Pearsons Hall, read:
The D.K. Pearsons Philanthropic Leadership Award is bestowed this 17th day of April 2014 to James and Marge Sanger in celebration of their distinguished leadership, support, and commitment to Beloit College, its people, its mission, and its future.
Other details from the event:
- “The Academic Gaze: Deconstructing the Symposium” was the fantastic final session of the day’s symposium. Showcase guests, including President Bierman, were in attendance as Amelia Tarpey, Santiago Quintana, Michaela Brams, Toby Walters, and other members of the theatre and dance program at Beloit wrapped up the day. If you haven’t seen professor Darrah Chavey’s footage, you can view it here. As other Showcase guests were arriving, the thundering applause from Science Center 150 was echoing through the atrium.
- On Bits & Pieces’s set list for the event was their new original composition, “Oh Beloit.” (Have a listen.)
- Bits & Pieces was also asked by President Bierman to offer one other song prior to the start of the program. Alumnus Dave Myers’49 and professor Jack Street were treated to a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Thursday was Street’s birthday and Myers’ birthday was Friday.