Welcoming Beloit College Students to the Beloit Community
Did you know that Beloit College is the oldest continuously operated college in Wisconsin? Did you know that it is recognized for its commitment to curricular innovation with over 1,200 students? It has been so successful because of its liberal arts approach to education which teaches students to solve problems, be flexible and adapt to situations in addition to the specific rigors of their chosen major. In short, it prepares you for the ever changing world we live in. This was evidenced one year when a Beloit student made a declaration during a career fair. His comment was that “every person who came back to participate in the career fair was working in a field other than their major.” Just what my adviser said to me as he talked me into majoring in physics, “Any degree you get from here will serve you well in life.”
My first days at Beloit College
As a 1967 graduate of Beloit College, I remember my first days going to college. Scared, unsure of what to do and wondering if I really belonged. I know you are thinking . . . How did YOU graduate from Beloit College? My majoring in physics was like my father telling me when he learned that I was going to be valedictorian of my high school class . . . “Son, there must be a lot of dumb people in your class.” Then he gave me that big smile. He was definitely smarter than he looked and I look just like him. But I digress.
Integrating college and community
Back in the mid 60′s we rarely left the college campus for anything. This was our little world. The college did have some events to get the students together so we could grow more familiar with each other and stressed the college community aspect. But little interaction with the city was presented. Now fast forward to 2013 and you see a different world. Freshmen are more confident and worldly. Instead of looking to stay in a closed environment, many students are reaching out for more activity. The college and city are developing a partnership.
Opening the door to new connections
Thus began, three years ago, the idea of welcoming the students to the Greater Beloit Community through a “Welcome to Beloit” event at Harry’s Place. It’s one of many ways the community has developed to open its arms to students, new and old, attending Beloit College. Many students can be seen going downtown to the Hendricks Art Center, Bushel & Pecks, the Turtle Creek Bookstore and tutoring our elementary and high school students.
It takes everyone to make this a success!
Thanks to Leeanna Schultz of the Development & Alumni Relations Office and their Culver’s partners, Jim Agate and Bill Lock, a wonderful welcome complete with ice cream sundaes was organized. With the Broad Street Walgreens joining this year’s event, it was a great effort with Culver’s custard, Walgreens pictures, music and a lighted boat parade. One of the first groups of students to come down was the girls cross country team with members from Iowa, Minnesota, Florida and Alaska and another 40 students followed. Thank you to the students who took the time to come and meet the people and be a part of the Greater Beloit community as well as the Beloit College community.
And now, a word with the event coordinator, Leeanna Schultz:
With all the effort put into the event, we were expecting more students to attend. The weather may have been a factor but we need to find a way to double, or even triple, the student participation come next year. Come on students . . . let’s represent.