The Beloit Residencies
Beloit College’s Residencies program invites students to interact with world-class experts and their work through classroom visits, influential lectures, moving performances, and public readings.
Every year, eight residents serve as mentors and sources of inspiration for countless students and often cite their visits as transformational.
Residents come from fields ranging from human rights and social justice to international political economy to philosophy. Their ranks include Nobel Prize winners, Poet Laureates, innovative artists, community leaders, and world-renowned thinkers and doers from the likes of prolific author and cartoonist Lynda Barry to former Amazon executive Tim Leslie’89.
But Beloit’s Residencies aren’t just about a single keynote speech or a final reading.
They offer students the unique opportunity to connect on a personal level with these movers and shakers, boosting self-confidence, exchanging ideas, finding common interests, and creating relationships that can lead to internships and project collaborations — and, not uncommonly, friendship.
“Students [initially] think the residents are titans — that they are different from us, and that’s why they can write that great book or win a Nobel Prize,” says Neese Chair and Professor of Economics Diep Phan, who also directs the Upton Forum. “But now they’re in the same room with you, sitting across the table.”
- Crom Visiting Philosopher: Distinguished and influential philosophers who vist campus for two days of talks, classroom visits, and lectures. Sponsored by the philosophy and religious studies departments.
- Executive-in-Residence Program: Executives with significant experience in the for-profit, professional world who share their experience with students, faculty, and staff.
- Victor E. Ferrall, Jr. Endowed Artists-in-Residence Program: Distinguished visual or performing artists who teach, direct workshops, and perform or exhibit his or her works. Sponsored by the art, theatre, and dance departments, as well as the Wright Museum of Art.
- Ginsberg Family Artist-in-Residence Program: Distinguished visual artists who teach, conduct workshops, and perform or exhibit works. Sponsored by the art department and the Wright Museum of Art.
- Lois and Willard Mackey Chair in Creative Writing: Authors of distinction who teach an advanced course in creative writing and give public readings of their work. Sponsored by the English department.
- Ousley Scholar-in-Residence: Junior scholars, activists, organizers, and intellectuals who embody the “academic hustler” who fights for social justice in all aspects of their work.
- Upton Scholar: Influential economists brought to campus to discuss the wealth and well-being of nations through panel discussions and a keynote address. Sponsored by the economics & business department.
- Weissberg Chair in International Studies: Distinguished individuals who have made contributions to understanding and defending human rights on the international stage and who help prepare students to understand, promote, and defend human rights.
Students and residents connect over big projects and ideas, like in Professor Phan’s economics senior capstone, as well as over personal topics like family background and favorite authors. They often happen in unlikely places: in line to get coffee, one-on-one during office hours, or even over dinner.
“I think there’s something really important about sitting down and breaking bread — being able to talk informally,” says Josh Moore, who co-directs the Weissberg Program in Human Rights and Social Justice. “The biggest impacts for students have been around meals, where the resident picks up on something very personal that the student is working through. Students are absolutely transformed.”
The Ivan Stone Lecture — one of many components of the Weissberg Program centered around an annual theme — was given during her senior year by the co-director of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, Amal de Chickera. She and classmate Saumyaa Gupta’24 were completing a special project about statelessness in the United Kingdom when Manger Professor of International Relations Beth Dougherty invited them to meet with Chickera.
“We were all about numbers — that could be my econ background, where we want to see data. Our talk with Amal turned into an emotional conversation because he was sharing his story of being an immigrant in the UK and what motivated him to do what he was doing. For me, it was a research project. For Amal, it was his life. I feel like those are repeated stories you hear from students,” says Bhardwaj.
Experiencing the Beloit Residencies is known across campus to be a deeply humbling experience for both students and residents. Phan and Moore, among other faculty and staff, see the direct impact it has on Beloiters every year.
“This is a learning environment, but the Residencies show that learning can be personal, intimate, and human,” says Phan.