Happy Birthday, Beloit!
- Megan O’Leary
Beloit College celebrated its 174th birthday with a party held in the Sanger Center for the Sciences on Jan. 29. The atrium was filled with lively chatter as students and faculty gathered around cupcakes and lemonade. Chief Strategic Planning Officer Ruth Vater was involved in planning the event, which included 13 stations that Vater called “distinctly Beloitish.”
With about 400 guests expected, the event was planned so that faculty, staff, and students could “socialize and celebrate the things that make Beloit so distinctive, fun, and memorable,” said Vater. The celebration included a “Happy Birthday” performance by Bits N’ Pieces a capella group and featured a cake with candles.
One notable station introduced the new Channels program, which aims to “allow students to connect their passions to career opportunities” according to Health and Wellness director Tara Girard. To accomplish this goal, students can join a channel related to their interests, which will connect them to intentional guidance that leads to course recommendations, internships, field experiences, employers, alumni, fellow students, and other like-minded individuals to network with.
Archivist Fred Burwell’86 hosted “Hands Across Time – Beloit College History from the Archives,” a booth displaying a range of college history and artifacts that included photographs, editions of campus publications, and records of major events like the “Black Demands” student sit-in of 1969.
Other stations represented different campus departments and organizations, such as the Logan Museum of Anthropology, the Wright Museum of Art, the Career and Community Engagement Center, and the Morse Library. Each brought an activity including art projects, online quizzes, and even a raffle to win a study room in the library stocked with snacks during spring finals. The first 300 students received free T-shirts from Admissions, and all attendees were encouraged to sign a donor thank you card made by the Development and Alumni Relations office.
Burwell confirmed that 174 years traces back to the signing of the college charter in 1846, which used to be celebrated as “Charter Day.” The college has marked earlier major anniversaries such as the 25th, 50th, 100th, and 150th. Burwell attended the 150th party that was commemorated over two years to recognize both Charter Day and the beginning of classes in 1847.