Skip Navigation


Lester McAllister

I write to report the sad news that Les McAllister passed away yesterday at the age of 94.  Les was a legendary professor in the Beloit College Economics Department for 38 years from 1953 to 1991.  We will find ways to remember Les and honor all that he did for our department, college, country, and world.  For today, we direct your attention to Les's own words.  Les wrote his own obituary, which I forward to all from Les's son-in-law David Jackson:

Age 94, died at home on October 29, 2015 after a brief illness. He was born the son of the late Lester B. and Bertha (Wulpi) McAllister on February 21, 1921 in Chicago and lived in Oak Park, Illinois into his late teens. At Coe College in Iowa, he became engaged to Elaine Schneider, earned a bachelor's degree in economics, was captain of the tennis team, and received his commission in the U.S. Army through ROTC. He served four years in World War II as a Cryptographic Security Officer, two-and-one half years of that in Africa and the Middle East. In Palestine, he found time to compete in the Palestine Tennis Championship, getting to the semi-finals. Upon returning to the United States, he and Elaine married. On V-J Day, they were in San Francisco, a raucous city for that great occasion. He completed his military service with the rank of major. Daughter, Margaret was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1948. Thanks to the G.I. Bill of Rights, he earned his Master's degree in Economics at Northwestern University, and after three years of teaching at Coe College, his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon. Dr. McAllister's subsequent teaching career was primarily at Beloit College in Wisconsin. He chaired the Economics Department for fourteen years, was twice selected Teacher of the Year and was the first to hold the Allen-Bradley Chair in Economics. He was in Phi Beta Kappa and Who's Who in America. He was one of the first professors featured on the national television series, Meet the Professor, sponsored by the Association for Higher Education and presented by the American Broadcasting Company. Dr. McAllister's public service was at local, state, regional and national levels: local, Beloit School Board; state, Wisconsin Banking Review Board; regional, North Central Association, accrediting visits to eighteen colleges, ranging from Ohio and Michigan to South Dakota and New Mexico; national, The National War College, as Professor of Foreign Affairs. Dr. and Mrs. McAllister moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1998, to Friendship Village, located two miles from the home of their daughter, Margaret and son-in-law, David Jackson. He was active in many areas of Village life and was named Volunteer of the Year in 2010. The McAllisters have enjoyed their annual visit to their cabin in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of southern Colorado. The senior McAllisters travelled widely: 31 countries in Europe, five in the Middle East, three in Central America, and three corners of Africa, ten Canadian provinces, Australia and New Zealand and 49 states of the U.S.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine, daughter, Margaret and son-in-law, David Jackson; sister, Carol Zoller and numerous nieces and nephews. 

Department Launches Beloit Economics Alumni Facebook Group

While Econ Day features our perennially productive face-to-face network for alumni, students, and faculty, this new Facebook Group facilitates additional networking opportunities for alumni on a continuous-time, if not face-to-face, basis.  Thus, every day becomes a virtual Econ Day through the Beloit Economics Alumni Facebook Group.  If you are an alumnus of our department and haven't yet joined this group, e-mail any of our departmental faculty and we will be happy to add you to the group. 

Prof. Emily Chamlee-Wright Becomes Provost and Dean at Washington College

After 19 years of distinguished service to our Department of Economics, the last two of which also were spent as Associate Dean of Beloit College, the Elbert Neese Professor of Economics Emily Chamlee-Wright has accepted an offer to become Provost and Dean at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, starting this Fall.

The author of three books and numerous journal articles, Emily's range of teaching during her two decades spanned the full continuum from our introductory course to our senior seminar. Her excellence in the classroom, the compassionate advice she imparted in her office, and the inspiration she provided both for students and for colleagues to pursue research will be remembered by all who have done economics at Beloit College from 1993 through 2012.

During the final four of those years, Emily pioneered a unique model for the senior seminar: a course built around the work of a leading scholar in Economics. In honor of Miller Upton – President of Beloit College from 1955 to 1976 – we call these distinguished economists Upton Scholars, and their perennial week-long on-campus residencies each Fall include class visits, panels of additional leading economists assembled to appraise the Upton Scholar's contributions, and a keynote address delivered by the Upton Scholar to a packed house in the new Sanger Science Center Atrium.

This entire academic enterprise – The Upton Forum on the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations – owes its intellectual inception and impressive first four years to the innovative mind and tireless energy of Emily Chamlee-Wright. Each Upton Scholar's keynote address, commentaries written by expert panelists, and top student papers have been commemorated each year through the publication of an Annual Proceedings edited by Emily. Her distinctive model for the senior seminar, the perennial residencies of Upton Scholars and each year's corresponding Upton Forum, as well as the ensuing publication of each new Annual Proceedings will continue as an enduring legacy of Emily's tenure here at Beloit College.