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The Miller Upton Programs

The Miller Upton Programs give Beloit College students a distinctive set of opportunities for intellectual engagement across the economics curriculum and throughout their years at Beloit.

This suite of programs deepens the Department of Economics’ long-standing linkage of theory and practice. From the start, we designed these programs to guide our students in putting the liberal arts into practice, a goal recently embraced College-wide with the Liberal Arts in Practice (LAP) graduation requirement.

Through the Miller Upton Programs, students and faculty engage with those questions central to promoting the wealth and well-being of nations:

  • What drives human progress?
  • Why do some societies prosper while others remain poor?
  • What economic institutions and policies are essential for the good of society?
  • How can I advance the ideas and institutions of a free and prosperous society?
  • How can I make a difference in the fields of business and public policy to create a more prosperous world?

As Robert Lucas, winner of the 1995 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics wrote, “The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.”

Each year an eminent specialist on these questions is named the Miller Upton Scholar, and visits campus for a four-day residency called the Miller Upton Forum. Each Miller Upton scholar is an internationally recognized expert who, working within the classical liberal tradition, has significantly contributed to understanding the sources of the wealth and well-being of nations. During the Miller Upton Forum, we also bring other prominent scholars and practitioners working in the Upton Scholar’s area of inquiry.

Each year, seniors in the economics department participate in a semester-long Senior Seminar, a capstone course built around the ideas and influence of that year’s Upton Scholar that prepares them for the arrival of the Upton Scholar and the other members of that year’s Upton Forum. And each year the students have discovered that their work in the department and in the Senior Seminar has indeed prepared them well to engage intellectually with these eminent scholars.

While the Miller Upton Forum is the core of the Miller Upton Programs, it cannot achieve all of the Department’s goals. The articles and presentations from each year’s Forum are collected in an edited volume, The Annual Proceedings of the Wealth and Well-Being of Nations. The Miller Upton Endowed Student Internship Awards support exceptional students pursuing high-impact internship experiences. The Student Research Colloquium provides additional opportunities for economics students to develop as scholars by meeting with outside scholars brought to campus and by writing an article with the eventual goal of publication in a newspaper, magazine, or academic journal.

The Miller Upton Endowments make all of these programs possible. Dedicated alumni and friends of Miller Upton funded the Miller Upton Endowments to honor the sixth President of Beloit College who dedicated his career to advancing the ideals of the liberal society.