May 21, 2019

Beloit: That Unique Place Right Across the Border

Rick Brooks’69 wrote and recorded this audio essay for WNIJ, the DeKalb, Ill.-based National Public Radio affiliate, giving Beloiters within earshot a pleasant surprise when they heard it air live on February 27, 2019.
  • Rick Brooks’69 is co-founder of Little Free Libraries, the book sharing movement with more than 80,000 registered libraries in more than 90 countries. 
    Greg Anderson Photography

Fifty years ago, most of us graduating seniors at Beloit College didn’t have any idea where we would be and what we would be like at the 50th reunion of the class of 1969. But here we are.

On and off that beautiful campus, I got my first experience in journalism—studied abroad, got dream jobs, and learned how to teach. Beloit College helped students believe we could be and do almost anything, and go places. In anthropology, geology, history, physics, economics and government, we didn’t just read about or watch other people do great stuff. We got to do it.

But this is now, you might say. Why should any high school students and their parents care about that?

Because the college in Beloit, at the border between Illinois and Wisconsin, is as innovative and alive today as ever. Its Liberal Arts in Practice program ties higher learning to experiences where your hands get dirty and your mind and spirit are challenged to make sense of it all … before you take off into a “career” that will likely not resemble anything even close to what we college seniors envisioned in 1969.

Do not underestimate how four years at a college as engaging as Beloit can influence the rest of your life.

That’s what 50 years of thinking about the value of a Beloit College education did for me. I confess. I loved the place then … and maybe even more now. You should go visit.

I’m Rick Brooks, and that’s my perspective.

Also In This Issue

  • Nine Longtime Faculty Members Retire

  • Inside the Powerhouse auditorium as it takes shape in the spring of 2019.

    Powerhouse Goes from Vision to Reality

  • Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to protect Journalists, served as Beloit’s 2019 Weissberg Chair, a residency program focused on human rights and social justice.

    In Defense of Press Freedom


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