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278 students to graduate in Sunday Commencement

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beloit, Wis.—On Sunday (May 18), 278 graduates are expected to collect their diplomas when Beloit College hosts its 164th Commencement exercises at 11 a.m.  The Commencement address will be delivered by award-winning poet Kevin Young, Beloit’s 2012-2013 Lois and Willard Mackey Chair in Creative Writing.

The ceremony is scheduled to be held on the lawn between the college’s iconic administration building, Middle College, and a half-dozen ancient Indian mounds. The rain site will be the Flood Arena located inside the Sports Center.

As the Mackey Chair, Young spent nearly a month on campus in the spring of 2013, teaching and leading a creative writing workshop, in addition to giving a public reading of his work (which is available on the college’s YouTube site).

The Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English at Emory University in Atlanta, Young is the author of eight books of poetry, including the Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014). He will also be presented with an honorary degree on Sunday.

Other details on Commencement:

  • Emeriti citations will be conferred to the following retiring faculty and staff:

Nancy Benedict became vice president for enrollment services in 2001. In that role, she has led a tightly knit and talented admissions team in the work of identifying, admitting and enrolling 13 classes, totaling more than 4,000 students.  

Marion Field Fass is a professor of biology who has taught at Beloit since 1991. She designed and taught courses like Global Health and Emerging Diseases and developed the Health and Society major. Her many contributions include leading the Girls and Women in Science program, visiting Africa several times to teach about stemming the spread of HIV/AIDS and chairing Beloit’s Health Professions Advisory Committee.

In 1972, Tom McBride joined Beloit’s English department, where he taught Milton and Shakespeare, Rhetoric and Writing, Critical Theory and many interdisciplinary courses. He is a co-creator of the internationally known Mindset List who gave two public lectures each year as the Keefer Professor of the Humanities.

In 1977, Alfred (Roc) Ordman, a professor of biochemistry, came to Beloit, where he helped establish and chair the college’s biochemistry program. He is known for his student involvement, co-authoring research papers with them, writing countless recommendations for them and helping them find internships and jobs. 

Renato Premezzi is a professor of music who began teaching at Beloit in 1971. A Juilliard graduate, he is a concert pianist, composer and mentor who performs regularly in the U.S. and across the globe.

Connie Truesdale has worked at Beloit since 1987. She was initially secretary to President Roger Hull and by 1992 was administrative assistant to the president and secretary of the college. Since 2008, she has been simply, and definitively, secretary of the college. Prior to joining Beloit College, she worked for the Beloit Corporation and for the company’s former president, Harry Moore.

  • The recipient of the Warren Miller Blue Skies Award will be announced during the ceremony. It is named for a Beloit alumnus famous for his many New Yorker magazine cartoons and pays tribute to a member of the senior class who helped “foster good cheer, a good-humored perspective, and saving grace in the conduct of our daily lives together on campus.”
  • The Martha Peterson Prize will be also announced during the ceremony. Named after Beloit’s seventh president, the Martha Peterson Prize is awarded to a student who best exemplifies the college’s liberal arts traditions as a student and active contributor to the campus community.
  • Sophia Maloney’14 will give the class address titled “Graduation Remix.”
  • Beloit students traditionally adorn their mortar boards with a wide variety of words, images and other objects. These will be on full display Sunday morning.

Additional information about the college’s Commencement events and schedule is available at A map showing the Commencement site, along with nearby parking, is also available online.