We take a look at some of their major contributions to Beloit.
Jeff Adams founded two mainstays of the economics department: Econ Day, which established the strong economics alumni network Beloit graduates enjoy today, and Belmark Associates, a market research firm managed by students. Adams joined Beloit in 1982, and for the past 12 years served as the Allen-Bradley Professor of Economics. He led the charge to establish the Miller Upton Programs, which annually bring a prominent scholar in economics to campus. He has been instrumental in redeveloping the city’s riverfront and downtown and continues to work on re-development efforts around the Rock River and Turtle Creek confluence area. But Professor of Economics Bob Elder noted at Commencement that students will always remember Adams for his Quantitative Methods course. “During the past three decades, 857 students took Quant from Jeff, and 22 got an A in the course,” said Elder. “In this and in so many things, the career of Jeff Adams exemplifies courage and excellence for us all.”
Jack Street has inspired legions of students as a professor of French and Italian over the past 54 years. The Harry C. Moore Chair in Modern Languages joined Beloit in 1961 after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. This fluent speaker of four languages can count the founding of Beloit’s French seminar in Rennes, France, as one of his many achievements. He also directed the Rennes program more than a dozen times. While he may be retiring from full-time teaching, he will not remain idle: He is busy co-editing an anthology of 14 Italian plays, 12 of which he and his co-editor translated into English. Beyond his generosity of time and intellect over more than five decades, Street has been just plain generous to Beloit. Over the years, he has personally established three language prizes that are awarded annually to students and an endowed scholarship in honor of his son, Stephen Street’77.
Rama Viswanathan has worn many different hats at Beloit since he arrived in 1983. He held dual appointments as a professor in chemistry and in computer education and helped move the college’s computer and network infrastructure into the Internet era as director of academic computing from 1990-93. He also pursued the National Science Foundation grants that provided the physical chemistry laboratory equipment and funding for the Computational Visualization and Modeling Lab at Beloit, which supports a minor he established in that field. After Beloit, he is transitioning to a new career collaborating with his son in a Silicon Valley startup venture. “His enthusiasm for each new endeavor is infectious and serves as a model for engaged liberal education,” said Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Brock Spencer, when he presented Viswanathan with his emeriti citation at Commencement.