July 09, 2023

Among the people and things I’ll miss most

President Scott Bierman sits with Beloit students, clapping at an event's speaker. Credit: Amanda Resesburg

Here’s a treat. Let me introduce you to three brilliant Beloit College students. Well, students as of this coming August.

I will start with Jake Fein. I had a chance to spend some time with Jake in April just before he decided that Beloit College would be his home for the next four years. Jake is from Northampton, Massachusetts. The moment I asked him about his academic interests, he was awash in energy and excitement. Sparks flew around the room. He loves to explore the philosophical foundations of ideas while also testing the boundaries of disciplines. He’s interested in insights that might arise from connections across economics, political science, and psychology. Talk about fireworks. Those are the very connections I loved to dive into in my earlier life as a professor. The liveliness of Jake’s mind and his passion for learning are palpable. What a future Beloiter!

Then, there was a wonderful moment or two or three with Liam Bosacker-Kass from Northfield, Minnesota. Liam and his family visited Beloit on the pathway to choosing a college for the very best of reasons. Liam wanted to understand as best he could what type of community Beloit College really offers. How important is that? Liam has a sophisticated appreciation that the best education by far happens within a community of students, faculty, and staff who support and care and value each other; who appreciate the worth of each student. He knows this to be foundational for the type of college experience he wants. Liam will be terrific at enhancing the community at Beloit and he will matter. Big time.

My time with Marta Zholnerchyk, when she was on campus in March, was unforgettable. Marta came to the United States with her mom as the war in Ukraine broke out. Through wrenching transitions, Marta has been stunningly resilient. What a rock star in every way. During her day on campus, Marta attended a math class taught by Professor Tom Stojsavljevic who brilliantly talked about insights that were possible through the intersections of math and biology. Marta was over the moon about how exciting this class was. Marta’s mom wrote me, “I truly believe that Marta will thrive in the welcoming and inclusive environment that Beloit College provides.” Marta aspires to a future in the medical sciences. How lucky will we be to have her on campus and ultimately as an alumna?

Alas, my time at Chapin’s desk is getting short. I am increasingly asked what I will miss most at Beloit. The full list of who and what are meaningful to me at Beloit far, far exceeds the space I have here. But what I will miss most is the opportunity to be on campus for the next four years to be a part of Jake and Liam and Marta’s Beloit College life. I will miss that a ton. There are few days in the life of the college more exhilarating than new student move-in day. In my mind’s eye, I can see Jake and Liam and Marta arriving with too many boxes, a little anxiety, and boatloads of excitement. Getting their room keys and meeting roommates and academic advisors and the glorious list of campus firsts goes on and on. The promise of lifelong friends among new students, faculty, and staff bursts forth in every conversation. Within hours, relationships will be born that will change their lives. It is the best day ever. Every year. I will miss that so much.

Imagine getting up every morning knowing that every minute of your day is filled with opportunities to promote and help realize a value-laden mission that cuts to the core of your being and that you get to do this with the most wonderful, dedicated, professional, and equally committed colleagues imaginable. And, you get to do it for and with the most creative, interesting, and amazing alumni and students any college has ever known. That has been my life for 14 years. Wow, talk about good fortune! Thank you for the honor of holding the best job in higher education in America.

Saying so long from here at Chapin’s desk. It will always be a great day to be a Beloiter.

President Scott Bierman
presidentsoffice@beloit.edu


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