A charitable trust established by the late Mr. George S. Parker II, former President and CEO of the Parker Pen company and a former Beloit College trustee, has established an endowed chair in art history at Beloit College.
The George S. Parker II Endowed Chair in Art History will be held by associate professor Joy Beckman, who also directs the Wright Museum of Art, a teaching museum on campus. Beckman has a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in art history from the National Taiwan University, and an undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College. Her areas of specialty are Chinese bronzes and ceramics.
The Parker Chair is part of a larger gift Mr. George S. Parker II established that centers on fine art and education. The other portion of the gift brings noted art exhibitions to the Wright Museum. The Parker Exhibitions allow Beloit to bring traveling exhibitions to campus as well as to build themed exhibits that highlight items in the Wright’s permanent collection and art on loan from other institutions. The Parker Exhibitions are held annually and play a key role in offering capstone learning opportunities for students in the college’s museum studies program.
Mr. Parker was a longtime resident of Janesville, Wis., who passed away in Florida in 2004. A businessman and voracious reader, he had wide-ranging interests in archaeology, art, and history. He served in a variety of capacities at Parker Pen from 1952, from advertising manager to general manager of U.S. operations to chief executive officer, until he retired in 1986. He served on the Beloit College board of trustees in the late 1960s and early 1970s.