On Seeking Refuge
Please include my name with all the other Beloit students and alumni in saying “thank you” to the Beloit grads who are working with refugees and migrants around the world. I’m so proud of them and the compassion they bring into the lives of people struggling to get settled in a strange, new, not always welcoming environment. And thanks, also, to the editor and staff of the magazine for the interesting articles and high quality journalism issue after issue.
The fall/winter issue of Beloit arrived at my home days after one of the horrific terrorist attacks, just as many governors and aspiring politicians scrambled to outdo one another by showing their willingness to slam America’s door on desperate refugees seeking safety and a better life for their families. This perverse competition added to the sinking feeling that too often accompanies reading the day’s newspaper.
So it was a great delight to read “Seeking Refuge,” the Beloit article that told how several young Beloit graduates are taking the opposite tack and devoting themselves to helping various refugee populations. Though each is pursuing this goal in a different way, their work is in the true spirit of what our country stands for and, of course, reflects highly on the college that produced them. Way to go, Beloit!
In the fall/winter issue of Beloit College Magazine, I was really thrilled to see illustrated the connection between Beloit and refugees and anthropology. As a Beloit anthropology major who went on to an Applied Anthropology Ph.D., I have been working in humanitarian programs and with refugees and displaced persons for 35 years. Anthropology is a natural fit with all the cultural and socio-economic challenges at every step of refugee support. The fact that Beloit grads are working with refugees in varying aspects is very gratifying and makes me proud of a wonderful school that helps facilitate and steer students in such a rewarding and valuable direction. The article also demonstrates very well the range of careers and activities that are possible in this field, armed with the well-rounded education that Beloit offers.
Senior Vice President,
Relief International, Inc.
First, a confession: All year, I’d been dodging those fundraising calls from Beloit, ignoring any that popped up from the 608 area code.
But reading “At the Crossroads of a Global Refugee Crisis” drove me immediately to Beloit’s website to find the “make a gift” button.
The stories of the varied and unexpected ways that alumni are translating what they learned and did at Beloit into important careers made me extremely proud of my affiliation with the college and ashamed of my recent stinginess. Kudos to each of these graduates for finding such creative ways to serve a particularly vulnerable population and also to the article’s author for telling their stories so well.
Last but not least, this article provided a tribute to faculty who provide their students with powerful and lasting inspiration. At such a dark and discouraging moment in our nation’s history, this reminder of Beloit’s relevance offered me a much-needed balm.
Well done to all. Well done! And thank you!
Haddon Township, N.J.
Thank you for the article on the Selma march, which brought back so many memories.
Those of us who stayed behind on campus wanted to do something equally meaningful. I was part of a hard working group that organized the Sympathy March from Beloit to the Wisconsin state capital, roughly the same distance as Selma to Montgomery.
We mobilized very quickly and there was a lot to do. One of the first jobs was to go around to classes on the morning of the march and enlist faculty and student support.
When the marchers left Beloit that morning we sat by the phone, talked with police and news media, assisted in getting food and drinks to the marchers throughout the day, and helped locate a place to sleep that night.
By evening we met up at a small church where everyone would spend the night. I was moved by the spirit of the marchers as we got to work tending to blistered feet.
The next morning, we walked the final miles to Madison and were met by Governor Warren P. Knowles at the state Capitol.
It was one of my most memorable Beloit experiences and it happened because a group decided that if we couldn’t go ourselves we would offer as much support as possible. The “naiveté of youth” (from the article) served us very well.
Janna Ginsberg Bleviss’68
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
M-I Memories and Pranks
Your fall/winter issue evoked a nostalgic trip to Morse-Ingersoll Hall. In the Friendly Room with its comfortable classic decor was where Mary Storer provided “choses curieuses” insights into French literature and David Soper described his virtual conversations with Arnold Toynbee and Fyodor Dostoevsky and C.S. Lewis. Taylor Merrill and his favorite American characters like Ben Butler inhabited the lecture hall recently vacated by Dickie Richardson. Late ’40s, early ’50s rebellion took the form of panty raids, painting the Middle College door red, and, by night, smuggling a mule and hay into the Morse-Ingersoll lecture room, where we were greeted one morning by the hay-munching mule and a bemused Taylor Merrill. The great English trio of John Eells, Fred White, and Chad Walsh opened vistas way beyond the campus visible through those large translucent windows. May those traditions, cerebral and rebellious, never cease to embrace Morse-Ingersoll Hall.
Park Forest, Ill.
Happy 85th birthday to MI! I enjoyed reading the article about this grand old building that has been so much a part of Beloit’s history. Our firm, along with Klobucar Construction, Liechty & Associates, and Czarnecki Engineering are proud to have designed and constructed the 1996 renovations and addition to this campus icon.
Kehoe-Henry & Associates, Inc., Architecture and Engineering
Congratulations on another attractive magazine with meaty content. From my vantage point, you don’t need to change anything! I was glad to see the piece on Bill Brown, who made organic chemistry palatable and even interesting. I was in his class the first semester he was at Beloit and thought he was an exemplary teacher. A few lectures in the class were handled by fellow chemistry professor William Rice who a few years later joined me on botany projects, and after leaving Beloit, worked in botany at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.
Mary Payne Hogan Professor of Botany, Old Dominion University
Good Old WBCR
When it is announced that WBCR preserves vinyl albums that are “rock, folk, bluegrass, country, and new wave,” one must ask: Did they get rid of the vinyl classical albums?
I was a classical music programmer at WBCR. In the winter of 1980, I decided to do a two-night, all-night Shostakovich symphony marathon—all 15 symphonies, seven one night, eight the next. Every half-hour I’d get up, flip over a record, and doze off again. I may well have said something introducing each symphony. All that matters is that I played all of them, over 14 glorious hours.
It wouldn’t have been as much fun with CDs.
Martin Morse Wooster’80
Silver Spring, Md.
Editor’s Note: Station manager Nora Kane’16 assures us that classical music is still represented among WBCR’s vinyl collection.