Beloit College

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Beloit College
Beloit seal.jpg
Motto Scientia Vera Cum Fide Pura (Latin)
Motto in English
True knowledge with pure faith
Established 1846
Type Private liberal arts college
Affiliation United Church of Christ (historically related)
Endowment US$130.7 million[1]
President Scott Bierman
Academic staff
Undergraduates 1,300
Location United States Beloit, Wis., USA
Campus 65 acres (26.3 ha)
Colors Blue and Gold          
Mascot Buccaneer (official), Turtle (unofficial)

Beloit College is a private liberal arts college in Beloit, Wisconsin. Founded in 1846, Beloit is the oldest continuously operated college in Wisconsin.[2] It is a member of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and has an enrollment of roughly 1,300 undergraduate students.


Beloit College was founded by the group Friends for Education, which was started by seven pioneers from New England who, soon after their arrival in Wisconsin Territory, agreed that a college needed to be established. The group raised funds for a college in their new town and convinced the territorial legislature to enact the charter for Beloit College on February 2, 1846. The first building (then called Middle College) was built in 1847, and it remains in operation today. Classes began in the fall of 1847, with the first degrees awarded in 1851.

The first president of Beloit was a Yale University graduate, Aaron Lucius Chapin, who served as president from December 1849 until 1886.[3]

Although independent today, Beloit College was historically, though unofficially, associated with the Congregationalist tradition.[4]

The college remained very small for almost its entire first century with enrollment topping 1,000 students only with the influx of World War II veterans in 1945–1946. The "Beloit Plan" was a year-round curriculum introduced in 1964 that comprises three full terms and a "field term" of off-campus study.[5] The trustees decided to return to the two semester program in 1978.


Beloit's campus is located within the Near East Side Historic District.[6]

The campus is host to "20 conical, linear, and animal effigy mounds built between about AD 400 and 1200", created by Native Americans identified by archaeologists as Late Woodland people.[7][8] One of the mounds, in the shape of a turtle, inspired Beloit's symbol and unofficial mascot. The mounds on Beloit's campus are "catalogued" burial sites, and therefore may not be disturbed without an official permit from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Several of the Beloit College sites have been partially excavated and restored, and material found within them—including pottery and tool fragments—are now held in the College's Logan Museum of Anthropology.[7]

Beloit College completed a 120,000 sq ft (11,000 m2) Center for the Sciences in the fall of 2008. The building was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification.[citation needed] It also won a Design Excellence Honor Award in Interior Architecture from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on October 30, 2009.[citation needed]

In the fall of 2010, Beloit College opened the Hendricks Center for the Arts, a 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) structure that holds dance, music and theater facilities. The building previously held the Beloit Post Office and later the Beloit Public Library. The renovation and expansion of the facility is the largest single gift in the college's history. The building is named after Diane Hendricks, chair of ABC Supply of Beloit, and her late husband and former college trustee Ken Hendricks.[9]

The Logan Museum of Anthropology

Two Beloit campus museums open to the public are run by college staff and students. The Logan Museum of Anthropology and the Wright Museum of Art were both founded in the late 19th century. The Logan Museum, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, curates over 300,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects from 125 countries and over 600 cultural groups. The Wright Museum's holdings of over 8,000 objects include a large collection of original prints and Asian art. Both museums feature temporary special exhibitions year round.

The Beloit College campus also houses two sculptures by artist Siah Armajani, his "Gazebo for One Anarchist: Emma Goldman 1991" and "The Beloit College Poetry Garden."[10]


Beloit College's curriculum retains many aspects of the Beloit Plan from the 1960s, emphasizing experiential learning, learner agency, and reflective connection-making between out-of-classroom and in-classroom learning experiences, or "the liberal arts in practice." Academic strengths include field-oriented disciplines such as anthropology and geology. More Beloit graduates have earned Ph.D.s in anthropology than graduates of any other undergraduate liberal arts college not affiliated with a university,[11] and the school ranks among the top 20 American liberal arts colleges whose graduates go on to earn a Ph.D. in general.[12]

The geology department continues a tradition that began with T. C. Chamberlin more than a century ago. Today the department combines a course load with mandatory field methods and research. The department is a member of the Keck Geology Consortium, a research collaboration of several similar colleges across the United States, including Amherst College, Pomona College, and Washington and Lee University. The Consortium sends undergraduate students worldwide to research and publish their findings.

Jerry Gustafson (Beloit '63) created the Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB) to provide opportunities for students to learn entrepreneurial skills in both business and the arts.

The Middle College

The college long hosted the Beloit Poetry Journal, but the editor, Professor Emerita Marion K. Stocking, now deceased, had retired to Maine and operated the journal from there. In 1985 the complementary Beloit Fiction Journal began, publishing an annual collection of short contemporary fiction every year since. The establishment of the Mackey Chair in Creative Writing has brought a new nationally-known author to campus annually for several years, including Billy Collins, Bei Dao, Ursula K. Le Guin, Amy Hempel, Denise Levertov, and Robert Stone. Beloit biology faculty member, John Jungck, along with Nils S. Peterson, CEO of From the Heart Software, co-founded and run the BioQUEST,[13] and Brock Spencer maintains ChemLinks.[14] Both are special-interest groups on the reform of science education. Beloit has had a faculty and student exchange program with Fudan University in China since the 1980s.

Since 2010, the Beloit College Philosophy Department has hosted visiting philosophers through the Selzer Visiting Philosopher Series. In 2010, Martha Nussbaum visited. In 2011, Daniel Dennett.[15]

Student life[edit]

Beloit students' housing options range from substance-free dormitories to special interest houses, such as the Art, Spanish, Outdoor Environmental Club (OEC), and interfaith options.[16] Beloit has a student congress (BSC), and in the 2008 elections 275 students (approximately 20% of the student body) voted.[17] A wide variety of student clubs bring visitors (musicians, artists, poets) to campus frequently. While Beloit adheres to Wisconsin state law, which states that the legal drinking age is 21, strict no-alcohol policies found on many other college campuses are not present at Beloit. Resident assistants, employed by the Residential Life office, help to maintain campus safety and encourage responsible behavior.

Eaton Chapel

Beloit College has a frisbee golf course contained almost entirely within the grounds of the college. In April 2006, Beloit College students broke the world record for the longest game of Ultimate Frisbee by playing for over 72 hours.[18]

In 2011 Beloit College received the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Campus Internationalization.[19] 48 states are represented at the college and approximately 11% of the student body is from countries outside the United States.[20] In addition, about half of all Beloit College students study abroad in places such as China, Russia, Brazil, Germany, India, Spain and other countries. Each year, students can share their experiences abroad on International Symposium Day, which is a day when all classes are cancelled so that everyone can attend the presentations.[21]

Since 1998, the college has produced the annual "Mindset List," written by Tom McBride, summarizing pop culture references that are allegedly meaningless to incoming college freshmen.


Beloit College is a member of the Midwest Conference in all sports with the exception of lacrosse, NCAA in Division III and fields varsity teams in football, baseball, softball, volleyball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, men's and women's lacrosse, and men's and women's soccer. The school also had a competitive rowing team sponsored by club funds and alumni support. The current head coach for the Beloit Buccaneer Football Team is Seth Duerr.


In 2011, Beloit was ranked both 55 overall and a "Best Value" in the category of National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and it ranked 125 of the top 600 schools by Forbes in 2010.[22][23] [24]

Beloit was included in Loren Pope's book, Colleges That Change Lives, which distinguishes schools having two essential elements: "A familial sense of communal enterprise that gets students heavily involved in cooperative rather than competitive learning, and a faculty of scholars devoted to helping young people develop their powers, mentors who often become their valued friends".[25]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also Category:Beloit College alumni

Notable faculty[edit]


  1. ^ As of May 31, 2014. "Beloit College Financial Statements" (PDF). Fiscal Year 2014. Beloit College. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Archives: Aaron Lucius Chapin". Beloit College. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  4. ^ Archived January 9, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Near East Side Historic District". Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "Beloit College Magazine". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  9. ^ "Giving: Giving News: Hendricks Center to Give New Life to Former Beloit Public Library". 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  10. ^ "Beloit College Public Sculpture". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  11. ^ Archived June 25, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Best Colleges 2012". U.S. News & World Report. 2012. Retrieved 20 Jan 2012. 
  13. ^ "BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium | Community Resources for Problem Solving in Biology". 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  14. ^ "Welcome to the Chem Connections Homepage". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  15. ^ "Philosophy: Selzer Visiting Philosopher". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  16. ^ "Residential Life: Special Interest Houses". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  17. ^ "News Archive". November 13, 2008. Retrieved October 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ "Beloit students break record with 72-hour game". CNN. May 19, 2006. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Press Room | Eight U.S. Colleges Receive Awards for Campus Internationalization Efforts(2)". NAFSA. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  20. ^ "Prospective Students: Fast Facts". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  21. ^ "Office of International Education: International Symposium". 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  22. ^ "Best Colleges 2011". U.S. News & World Report. 2010. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 21 Aug 2010. 
  23. ^ "Best Colleges 2011". U.S. News & World Report. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 21 Aug 2010. 
  24. ^ "America's Best". 2010. Archived from the original on 14 August 2010. Retrieved 13 Aug 2010. 
  25. ^ "Colleges That Change Lives | Changing Lives, One Student at a Time". Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  26. ^ "Stephen O. Glosecki Obituary". The State Journal-Register. 7 April 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  27. ^ "Heinrich, Carolyn | Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  28. ^ "Carolyn Heinrich | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2015-11-28. 
  29. ^ Beloit College grad threatened by Yemen's al-Qaida in new video,; accessed December 6, 2014.

External links[edit]