April 23, 2021

Beloit is “a bright spot in challenging times”

Letters from readers

Cover-to-cover fall edition

The serenity of Beloit's campus in fall from the Sanger Center for the Sciences rooftop. Magazines and periodicals grow in large stacks in my house, each publication waiting to be read some day. But not the fall 2020 edition of Beloit. I read it cover to cover and commend you for the coverage you gave the college as well as the timely coverage of Beloit graduates on the front lines of Covid-19. Well done.

Ruth Ann Cornish Ingraham’60
Indianapolis, Ind.

Teaching about race

I’d like to congratulate Professor Ron Watson for teaching race and ethnicity (broadly) in his introductory political science class. I was taken with his statement regarding the prior textbook: “If you were to just read that textbook, you would have no idea why the United States looks the way it does demographically …”

Also, “Nothing about American politics or American society makes sense if you don’t talk about deep-seated, anti-Black racism.”

Isn’t it a sad commentary that educators must still find alternative teaching materials to fully explore the developmental and evolutionary realities of American political life?

The recent passing of Congressman John Lewis, the article about Professor Watson, your articles about students rewriting their statement of culture, the college’s anti-racist work, and even the final bullet point in “Mister History,” the article about Archivist Fred Burwell’86, caused me to reflect upon my ’58-’62 days at Beloit.

For my roommates and classmates, the reality [of racism] existed before our very eyes in Haven Hall, while playing a critical role in shaping the rest of our lives.

Stu Ahrens’62 and I resided our freshman year across from Jim Zwerg’62, Jim Kuplic’62, and Bob Carter’62 in Haven Hall. We were all impacted in many ways by our experiences with Bob [one of only a few Black students at Beloit at the time], and, I believe, became better humans as a result. So, while “the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice.” (Theodore Parker, 1853). It seems to be taking its merry old time in doing so.

Thank you for the memories, and I wish you all well in bending that arc a little more rapidly!

Ernie Strauch’62
Sedona, Ariz.

 

Beloit College: A bright spot in challenging times

There is much to consider when selecting a college: Your choice will impact your next four years and the rest of your life.

Academics are important and quality faculty and experiences in your area of interest are not that hard to find. A place for you to be for four years that exposes you to students with a range of backgrounds and ideas, a faculty that cares about more than your grades, and an administration that asks students to create their own Statement of Culture is exceedingly hard to find, except at Beloit College.
I returned to campus recently when I learned that several students were spending their spring break at the border helping immigrants. I took with me a film on understanding racism. The first person I met was [Professor of Political Science] Ron Watson, who helped me recruit students to view and discuss the film. He and I are now close friends, and I attend his classes when I am on campus. Ron teaches a class on racism that is focused on what is not taught in most schools.
Beloit College has a large percentage of non-white students, students from many countries, welcomes LGBTQ students, and provides a floor in a dorm where all students are transgender.

I was able to meet with the college president to discuss the protection of undocumented students and their families. Four undocumented students appeared on the cover of the alumni magazine.

Beloit College could expand your mind. It continues to expand mine.

Bob Norris’66
Longmont, Colo.

Editor’s Note

Bob Norris has been submitting letters to Colorado newspapers to bring Beloit to college-bound students’ attention. He’s had two published to date.

We have made these corrections to the fall 2020 magazine, digital version:

  • In a fall 2020 news story about the death of Siah Armajani, the Beloit Poetry Garden artist, we incorrectly mentioned that the artist’s granddaughter graduated from Beloit. In fact, Siah Armajani’s grandniece, Kira Armajani’09, as well as two of the artist’s nieces, Courtney Knittel’02 and Barbara Knittel’06, are Beloit College alumni.
  • Our Losses listing in the fall 2020 magazine announced the death of Douglass A. Trask’50 in July 2020, but neglected to note that his surviving wife, Ruth Below Trask’51, is a Beloit alumna.

Tell Us What You Think

Write to us about anything you’ve read in this issue. Send emails to belmag@beloit.edu. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity.


Also In This Issue

  • Students show their gratitude for the financial support of alumni and friends.

    Unprecedented Giving Day Coming May 12

    more
  • Spring emerges on Beloit’s campus, signaling renewal after a long winter.

    A gathering place for Black students, athletes in competition, and more news in brief

    more
  • The Student Army Training Corps’ unit band poses in front of the World Affairs Center. As many as 1,400 student soldiers were in residence at Beloit when the worst of the pandemic hit campus in 1918.

    We’ve Been Here Before: the 1918 Pandemic

    more
  • Beloit’s library shown in the early 1960s.

    The Beloit Plan: A Unique Experiment

    more

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