Beloit has thousands of living alumni, but few can say they grew up just three blocks from campus, as Steven Piazza’74 and his large family did.
Steven Piazza’s mother, Barbara Hulbert Piazza’45, worked in the college bookstore, and he and his five siblings would ride their bikes through the campus’s lush greenery and pathways as children. When they were tired, they’d ride over to their mom and ask for money to buy a pop or a doughnut.
As he grew older, Piazza spent even more time on campus. He remembers always having access to campus facilities, and if he wasn’t in the pool, he was playing tennis, golfing, or playing baseball outside, often with other neighborhood kids. By the time he was in high school, Steven and his brothers had piqued the interest of swim coach Bob Nicholls, who coached their club team.
When it came time to choose a college, Piazza says he “never thought to go anywhere else.” His family was nearby, and the campus was familiar. Once he enrolled, there was always a neighbor around — some were professors or staff — and many reminded him of the essay that was due or the homework he needed to turn in. Occasionally a secretary would help him type a paper in exchange for flowers.
Both his mother and her brother, the Rev. Richard Fay’49, had followed their parents’ footsteps to Beloit. The earlier generation included Clarence Fay and Elizabeth “Bessie” Merriman Hulbert, Steven’s grandparents, who were members of the class of 1916.
Steven Piazza’s generation expanded the Beloit tradition with his brothers, Robert’78 and Peter’69, sisters Teresa Piazza Chapman’71 and Ellen Piazza Cook’77, plus their cousins. Steven received a degree in history, but he considers his sisters to be “the students of the family.” Both Teresa and Ellen went on to become teachers.
Now the Piazza line is continuing through Steven’s grandsons, Ben’25 and Max’23 Saladar, who are following another familial pattern: They’re both on Beloit’s swim team. Their parents are Steven Piazza’s daughter, Tracy, and Daryl Saladar, a college staff member who serves as Assistant Director of Student Excellence and Leadership and is known as a standout mentor to students.
Saladar says he is thrilled to see his sons involved on campus.
“As a parent, I love watching my kids swim, and seeing them at the collegiate level brings back so many memories of when they were younger.” Ellie, the third eldest Saladar sibling, is now a junior in high school. When she visited Beloit recently as a prospective student, Saladar says he couldn’t help but giggle at the sight of her on campus.
“I was so excited and simultaneously proud that she is nearing the end of high school and could possibly come to school here. It is pretty spectacular that my own children are carrying on that legacy,” he says.
Alana Schacher’22 graduated magna cum laude in May with a major in media studies and minors in journalism and theatre.