#blacklivesmatterbeloit, Ding Darling, and more news in brief
Bird’s eye view
Beloit’s soccer fields at the Strong Stadium complex received a makeover last fall, thanks to the efforts of an alumni advisory and fundraising board for athletics that formed in 2013. The improvements are noteworthy as the first gift to date of the 1889 Council, so named for the year that Beloit formally established an athletics program. In addition to supporting athletics with their time and philanthropy, the 1889 Council is helping the college recruit student athletes and strengthen relationships between alumni athletes and their alma mater.
The rejuvenation of Beloit’s soccer fields includes new bleachers and pads and landscaping. Dr. Ben Galloway’62 and Karen Walker Proesel’93 are currently co-chairing the council, which includes alumni of all ages and selected members of the Beloit community.
In January, the Ward Museum in Salisbury, Md., opened an exhibit on American conservationist Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, which runs through May 10. Darling, a Beloit graduate of 1900, created cartoons that were ahead of their time, raising awareness about over-hunting and degrading agricultural practices and winning two Pulitzer Prizes. The Ward Museum describes “The Hidden Works of Jay Ding Darling” as a collection of “rare artifacts that help illustrate this conservationist and modern day renaissance man’s remarkable life.”
In February, a series called #blacklivesmatterbeloit got underway on campus. Beloit’s program, organized by a group of faculty and staff in the aftermath of the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, will include four panel discussions that explore key issues in these cases. Organizers say they hope to prompt long-term research and activism extending well beyond the semester’s end.
Best college value
Beloit made the list of “best college value schools” in this year’s Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The magazine ranked the college in the top 25 value schools in the Midwest and No. 110 nationally. The rankings appear in the February 2015 issue.
Scott Crom Visiting Philosopher program
An established program in the philosophy department has been renamed for Scott Crom, who served on Beloit’s philosophy faculty from 1954 to 1993. The Scott Crom Visiting Philosopher program, funded by a generous gift from Roy Schneiderman’77, brings distinguished and influential philosophers to campus for two days of talks, discussions, and classroom visits.
Justine Ringberg’13 and Raquel Nuñez’13
Parents, family members, and friends, including sorority sisters from Kappa Delta and Alpha Sigma Tau, are gathering on campus to remember Justine Ringberg’13 and Raquel Nuñez’13 on April 18, 2015. A ceremony and reception will be held at 1 p.m. at the foot of one of the trees planted in memory of the classmates who died together in an automobile accident in January 2014.
First-generation college students
Beloit students were polled last fall to determine the educational attainment of their parents. The results show that about 20 percent can be classified as first-generation college students, meaning neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree. This data is important because it qualifies Beloit for certain federal grant programs that support first-generation students.
George S. Parker II Endowed Chair in Art History
A gift from the estate of a former college trustee has endowed a new chair in art history. The George S. Parker II Endowed Chair in Art History will be held by Associate Professor of Art Joy Beckman, who also directs the Wright Museum of Art. The Parker Chair is part of a larger gift that the lifelong art collector and former CEO of the Parker Pen Company established at Beloit to support fine art and arts education.
Favianna Rodriquez will be commencement speaker
Artist, educator, and activist Favianna Rodriquez will be the speaker at Beloit’s 165th Commencement ceremony in May. Commencement will be held on May 17 on the lawn in front of Middle College, weather permitting.
Beloit’s board of trustees approved tenure for two faculty members at its February board meeting. Kathryn Stettler Johnson’02 (biology) and Diep Phan (economics) were cited as active scholars, celebrated teachers and advisers, and professors who have been highly involved on campus and in the Beloit community.