April 01, 2023

Cows in the belfry and a way back reunion photo

Letters: From Our Readers

Cow in the belfry?

Armed with tips from alumni, faculty, and staff, we prowled around Beloit's 176-year-old campus, While I dislike reading much on the screen, the Hidden Beloit story (fall/winter 2022) was great. One question: As a member of the class of 1964, I and others heard the story of the cow that was hoisted into the Eaton Chapel belfry, with its tail tied to a bell. Any merit to the lore?

Buzz Brownlee’64
Westport, Mass.

An answer

College Archivist Emeritus Fred Burwell’86 notes that a collection in the College Archives labeled “Humor” has clippings about horses being backed into the South College chapel in the 19th century. “I don’t know of anything in the 1960s about a cow in the chapel,” Burwell says. “The stories I know are before Eaton Chapel, when South College was the chapel, and that would be rather cramped quarters for a cow.”

Way Back Reunion photo

Here’s some information about the “Way Back Reunion” photo in the fall/winter 2022 issue.

Capturing the magic of all Reunions, it shows current students crossing paths with returning alumni -- in this case, alumni from... Credit: Beloit College Archives

The photo was indeed taken during the summer 1971 alumni reunion. From the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, Joe Kobylka’51 (former alumni director) used to give the Pep Band a modest honorarium to play for the march of reunion classes from Morse-Ingersoll to the “new dorms” complex on their way to Commons for lunch. I directed the Pep Band from 1966 until 1973 — the first three years as a student, the latter years as an alum while my wife (Katherine Battles’72) was still a student.

That’s me: the bearded fellow playing piccolo in the front rank (next to the girl wearing the shako). In my back carrier is our son Bryan, age 15 months in this photo; he would grow up to be a legacy student himself, graduating from Beloit with a major in anthropology in 1993.

I believe that the band is playing a transcription of “Fairest Beloit” that Kathy and I wrote for the occasion.

The Black student standing behind Kathy is Ann Herbert’74, who assumed charge of the Pep Band after Kathy and I moved away from the Beloit area.

Domine salvum fac!

Allan Kohl ’69
Coon Rapids, Minn.


Tell Us What You Think

Email us about anything you’ve read in this edition. (Send email to belmag@beloit.edu.) We reserve the right to edit letters for length and clarity.


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  • Henry H. “Hank” Woodard Jr.

    In Remembrance: Henry H. “Hank” Woodard Jr., Professor Emeritus of Geology

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