Skip Navigation

Parent Newsletter-May 2012

May 2012

Change is afoot at Beloit College. Throughout the year, various task forces and committees have been carefully studying everything from the curriculum to student employment to the food we serve to the way we use campus space. You can learn more about all of these initiatives in the 2012 Beloit Initiatives (A Progress Report).

While many of these processes are still underway, a final decision on the college’s dining services was announced in mid-April. Food management company Bon Appetit will be heading up the college’s dining program starting June 11, a programmatic change that will bring with it some noticeable renovations to the college’s dining facilities over the summer.

Though some of the physical structures on campus are undergoing transformation, we remain true to the core of what we do here—getting students engaged in the realm of ideas, then taking those ideas and putting them into practice. Some of the ways that happened this spring were through the residencies of several prominent scholars and activists from the fields of philosophy, human rights, and art.

  • Philosophy professor and author Jeff McMahan gave a public lecture on “What Rights May be Defended by Means of War?,” as the 2012 Selzer Visiting Philosopher. One Beloit professor described McMahan as “the leading philosophical voice in contemporary just-war theory.”
  • In March, Yuri Dhizbladze, founder and president of the Moscow-based Center for the Yuri DhizbladzeDevelopment of Democracy and Human Rights, came to Beloit as the Weissberg Chair in International Studies. Dhizbladze’s residency involved panel discussions, film screenings, and a keynote address, “Russia: Prospects for Democracy.” He also offered an activism workshop for students, and was part of a college-wide conference on prospects for Russia’s liberalization.
  • Artist Nina Katchadourian lent her expertise to students while spending several weeks on campus this spring. As the 2012 Ferrall Artist in Residency, Katchadourian spent time in student workshops and addressed the campus with a discussion about her multimedia artwork.

Send comfort during finals week
Finals can be stressful. And as a parent, it can be difficult to know how to help your student through it. So, what can you do? First, communicate. Keep an open, positive line of communication so if your student is feeling overwhelmed, he or she can call, text, Skype, and know that a listening ear is available. Keep the conversation light and upbeat. If asked for advice, consider sharing a few helpful tips such as: take frequent study breaks and get plenty of sleep (those all-nighters aren’t always as helpful when it comes to actually taking the test!), exercise (even a brisk walk across campus will get the blood pumping), prioritize, and stay focused. Let your student know that you are thinking of them and send a care package! Nothing says “I love you” like a box of treats! And, it couldn’t be easier–learn more about special care package options here.

Commencement cap
Commencement is Sunday, May 13

Congratulations to the families of seniors! Get the skinny on Commencement activities, including ceremony details, what to do in the case of inclement weather, departmental receptions, lodging, and the Parent’s Hospitality Tent here. Look for coverage in mid-May on the college’s YouTube channel,


Exhausted and energized, they’re coming home for summer….
Parents, stop for a moment and try to remember your most exhausting, exhilarating, life-changing experience. Maybe you felt different upon your return, while those surrounding you seemed, oddly, unchanged. Maybe you wanted to debate and examine what used to be unquestioned assumptions.  Maybe you just wanted to share all the good that you’d experienced, only to be surprised by how little those around you could truly understand about your experience. Especially if your Beloiter is finishing year one, this might be your son or daughter’s mindset as your students come home for summer. 

Undoubtedly the most common question I ask students in the fall is ‘how was the summer?’ Reflecting on many years of data gathered in answer to this question, I offer for your consideration a few ideas for how to make best use of those precious, reunited months.

  • Ask about this year’s most important accomplishments. Ask about the struggles and their resolutions. Ask about ongoing challenges; focus on listening over resolving.
  • Talk about what your student expects to accomplish during the summer: academically, personally, socially, or physically. 
  • Consider together how relationships can change, often in healthy ways, after some time spent at college. Inquire about new relationships forged with peers or faculty.
  • Talk about expectations. Do you expect to resume pre-college patterns and communication styles? Is there a curfew? Who will do the laundry?

Relish the time you spend getting re-acquainted with your student, and take pleasure in witnessing the undoubted transformation being prompted by a Beloit College education. Our office remains open for the summer if you’d like to reach us.

Warm regards,
Christina Klawitter
Dean of Students

Renewing the Historic Core
Last year, President Scott Bierman and the Parents Fund Committee began a new initiative to restore the grandeur of Beloit’s historic campus. Last spring, work began and restoration and upgrades were made, including:

  • A renovated cupola for Middle CollegeCupula
  • Cleaned copper accents for Middle College
  • Stone work and a new south façade for Eaton Chapel
  • Restored masonry and new windows for the World Affairs Center
  • Replaced and repainted woodwork for Campbell Hall
  • A new front entry for the Library
  • Restored woodwork, roofing, and copper accenting for Morse Ingersoll Hall
  • A renovated main entrance for Chapin Hall and the Commons.

Thank you to all who have supported the Renewing the Historic Core initiative. Not only has your support enabled the work listed above, but it also led to a $250,000 grant award from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation for additional learning space renovations to the World Affairs Center.  The Arthur Vining Davis Foundation noted, in particular, the strong support of our parents and alumni as a key factor in their decision to make this grant award. 

Mark your calendars for Family and Friends Weekend 2012!
September 28-30, 2012, we’ll welcome families to campus for myriad activities, quality time with your student, and, new this year, homecoming festivities! Details will be revealed this summer, but please save the date!

Important dates to remember:
May 2: Classes end
May 3: Study day
May 4-5: Exam days
May 6: Study day
May 7-8: Exam days
May 9: Residence Halls close at 5 p.m. for all non-seniors
May 10-12: Senior activities
May 12: Baccalaureate at 5 p.m.
May 13: Commencement at 11 a.m.
              Residence halls close for seniors at 8 p.m.
June 1: For-credit summer internship registration deadline
June: 15: Noncredit summer internship registration deadline
                Last day to cancel fall term residence hall contract without penalty