Vision for ‘Impact Beloit’ takes shape
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers visited campus earlier this year to award a $9 million grant to renovate the Col. Robert Morse Library to include a community outreach and engagement center, citing the college’s “long history of educating citizens of the world.”
“If we want to see our state’s families, communities, and economy succeed for years to come, we need to make investments that spur community outreach and economic development. There’s no better place to make that investment than at Beloit College,” Evers said.
Since then, college leaders have been envisioning the center and identifying how best to marry the college’s strong community-based programs and experiential learning with preparing students for the future. Impact Beloit is the initiative’s name.
“Beloit stands out among its peers for its personalized, student-centered approach to education and the belief that learning is activated through experiences and reflection,” says President Scott Bierman. “Tying those experiences to career readiness allows us to remain relevant to students and the workplace,” he adds. “Career Channels was an important first step in this direction; Impact Beloit takes it to the next level.”
Bierman and Provost Eric Boynton are working with faculty and staff to structure Impact Beloit to serve both students and the greater community. Tim Leslie’89, Beloit’s executive-in-residence, and a former leader at Amazon, is leading the effort.
“Beloit College has always been a special place, located in a special town, each with a long and shared history,” Leslie says. “Impact Beloit holds the promise that the best way to build the leaders and innovators of tomorrow is by creating opportunities for students to work within their local communities, with the community organizations and businesses that help it thrive. Together, Beloit College and those organizations and businesses create a vibrant and thriving community.”
Impact Beloit will partner with and enhance the college’s existing programs: Career Channels, the Center for Entrepreneurship (CELEB), Career Works, Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL), and Student Excellence & Leadership (SEL). The initiative will also create new career-readiness programming and serve as a key access point, making it easy for students to discover all the college’s community-based learning and career-readiness capabilities.
Bierman says Impact Beloit has the potential to drive higher enrollment by explicitly linking the college’s experiential learning and career-readiness capabilities. “With one brand, one program, we can focus our efforts on marketing Impact Beloit as a collection of offerings that fulfill a common promise: to launch our students into successful lives and careers,” he says.
Morse Library will be renovated for the campus community while also accommodating external community spaces. Angus Young Architects will oversee the renovation, working with the college and city officials to ensure appropriate historic landmark regulations are followed.
Groundbreaking is planned for spring 2023.