The sounds of poetry, read aloud in six languages
by visiting poets from around the world, filled the Beloit Poetry
Garden on a near perfect late-September afternoon during Family
The readings by visiting poets (shown at right)
Bei Dao (China/United States), Michael Palmer (United States), Bejan
Matur (Turkey), Gennady Aygi (Russia), Coral Bracho (Mexico), and
Yoshimasu Gozo (Japan), attracted a large audience of parents, students,
faculty, and staff, capping the International Poetry Festival—three
days of readings, discussions, and social events.
Earlier in the week, poets paired up to give
readings, most in their native languages with English translations.
A panel discussion, Crossing Boundaries: Words and Worlds,
provided a forum for poets and the audience to interact.
“Many of the visiting poets have
lived on the edges of their society, pulled
between the language/customs of their
background and those of a second culture
into which they have migrated,” explains
John Rosenwald, professor of English
and an organizer of the event. “Many
exist as well on the borders of language,
exploring how words make worlds, how
poetry transforms the geography of their
literal and metaphorical environment.”
Rosenwald credits the success of the festival—held for the second time at Beloit—to fellow organizer Bei Dao, Beloit’s Mackey Poet-in-Residence and
the foremost poet writing today in Chinese. Bei Dao’s poetry and prose galvanized the thoughts of many young Chinese in the late 1970s and early
1980s. Though he was not in his home country during the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, his work became a force of its own, rallying student protesters. This is the fourth year Bei Dao has been in residence at Beloit in the fall, when he teaches a poetry workshop.
The International Poetry Festival was sponsored
by the President’s Office, the English and Modern Languages departments,
and the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
Rosenwald - Professor of English
List season is
one of the crazier times of the year for the Office of Public Affairs
and Mindset List co-authors
Tom McBride and Ron Nief.
The list, generated by Beloit for the past six years, draws attention to the difference in frames of reference between first-year students and faculty.
This year, media requests for interviews about
the list came from around the world and throughout North America.
For Prof. McBride, interviews started at 4:30 a.m. the day the
list was released with the Wall Street Journal Radio.
McBride managed to get a little sleep before doing an hour interview
on Wisconsin Public Radio, starting at 7 a.m.; he later made a
rapid weekend trip to New York for an appearance on the Sunday
At about noon on the Sept. 3 release date, CNN, CNN Headline News, MSNBC, and FOX all carried aspects of the Mindset story simultaneously. By the weekend, on-line news services ranked it among the top news stories of the week.
One of Nief’s more interesting interviews was conducted live on a radio station in Nagoya, Japan, at 5:30 in the afternoon Beloit time, but people kept saying “good morning,” and Nief had to keep remembering that it was 7:30 a.m. in Japan.
Perhaps the most provocative response to the list came in an email to a staff member at the College. It is not unusual for the Public Affairs Office to get notes back from some of the thousands of people on the electronic mailing list, usually with comments like, “Boy, do I feel old.” Little did this staffer expect to open an email message and find vivid photographs of just how old the gentleman in question was!
While media interviews are concentrated in the
four to six weeks following the release of the annual list, columnists
and commentators call about it throughout the year. This year’s
estimated electronic distribution of the Mindset
List tops 20,000.
The list is used by people in business, the military, and education around the world. One of the most common uses is for training clergy, especially those who will work with young people.
Find the class of 2007 list and previous lists
Ron Nief - Director of Public
For the third time in as many years, Emily Chamlee-Wright,
associate professor of economics and management, has taught a very
different “class” than those she normally leads at Beloit.
In late August, Chamlee-Wright packed her bags and returned to the nation’s capital to teach Congressional staffers about economic issues through the Mercatus Center of George Mason University.
The courses are designed to teach legislative staff about market forces so they can better examine and address public policy concerns.
Staffers with varying lengths of service and background attend courses through what is known as the Capitol Hill Campus program. Chamlee-Wright says she geared this year’s seminars toward junior-level staffers, who are young and just out of college or graduate school.
“These are busy folks,” she says of Capitol Hill students. “We have to capture their attention quickly and get our point across in a way that will stay with them. The challenge is to connect them to the scholarship on the subject in such a way that it will inform policy questions their bosses are considering.”
Topics Chamlee-Wright covered this year included understanding
developing countries, the economics of developing countries, entrepreneurship
in the developing world, and women in the global market.
The need for Congressional staff to understand these issues, Chamlee-Wright explains, was demonstrated most recently in September, when World Trade Organization talks broke down in Cancun, Mexico, largely over the issue of agricultural subsidies.
“Developing countries were most upset about the
continued agricultural supports industrialized countries give their
domestic farmers, which crush local agricultural markets in the
developing world,” Chamlee-Wright says. “Understanding how policies
like agricultural subsidies in Iowa affect farmers in Ethiopia is
exactly the sort of ‘mental link’ most people miss, and this is
the kind of shift in thinking we hope to achieve.”
Emily Chamlee-Wright - Associate Professor of Economics and
Association Recognizes Faculty
Phillip Straffin, professor of mathematics and
computer science, received one of three Trevor Evans Awards in
August at the Summer MathFest in Boulder, Colo. The awards, presented
by the Mathematical Association of America, are given to authors
for excellence in expository writing for undergraduates.
The article that earned Straffin the honor, “The
Instability of Democratic Decisions,” was published in the April
2002 issue of Math Horizons. “With clear mathematical prose
and illuminating figures, the reader gains deep insight into how
voting outcomes can be cleverly and drastically manipulated,” the
award citation said. “The results are both startling and beautiful.”
Earlier this year, the Mathematical Association of America awarded Ranjan Roy, professor of mathematics and computer science, its highest national award for teaching, the Deborah and Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College and University Teaching of Mathematics. Straffin is also a past recipient of the Haimo Award.
The Mathematical Association of America is the
world’s largest organization devoted to collegiate mathematics education.
Straffin - Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Ranjan Roy - Professor of Mathematics
and Computer Science
Meets Woman Whose Life Inspired Dance
When traveling in Prague last summer through a
Global Partners Grant, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts (Dance)
Chris Johnson met Raja (Englanderova) Zhadnikova, the Holocaust
survivor whose story was portrayed in “Wreath of Memories,” the
centerpiece dance of the 2002 Chelonia concert (see Beloit
Johnson’s meeting with Zhadnikova was pure serendipity.
After a scheduled appointment with someone else was cancelled at
the last minute, Johnson learned by happenstance that Zhadnikova
lived nearby, contacted her, and arranged the meeting.
Now a pediatrician, Zhadnikova lived as a child
in the Nazi-controlled Terezin ghetto, near Prague. Her role as
a symbol of hope in a community living under the threat of annihilation
has been celebrated in plays and books. She emerges as the storyteller
in “Wreath of Memories,” which Johnson choreographed.
Johson - Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts (Dance)
Family Weekend, held Sept. 19-20, brought more
than 650 people to campus, the most ever to attend the annual event,
which extends special hospitality to families of enrolled students.
Among the many highlights of the weekend was the
Multicultural Fair, an annual event organized by the International
Club, which showcases the traditions, food, and culture of the many
countries Beloit students call home.
Enter City Hall of Fame
Two alumni were inducted posthumously into the Beloit City Hall of Fame during ceremonies held Sept. 14 in the Beloit Historical Society's Lincoln Center.
Richard Calland'34, who died in 1995, was a city hall staff member for 34 years. He served as city manager from 1961-67 between stints as city clerk-treasurer and finance director.
Stuart Klinger'36 was a mechanical engineer who designed pumps and hydraulic equipment. A former city councilman and an amateur photographer who recorded the changing times in Beloit, he died in 1998.
Five distinguished citizens of the greater Beloit area who
have been deceased at least five years are voted into the hall annually.
Bill Bolgrien'54 and Joe Kobylka'51 are among the members of the
Named to Development Posts
Homecoming 2003 held special meaning for two new
staff members in Beloit’s Development Office.
Randall “Randy” Upton’66 and Stephanie Bradford’91 returned to campus in late summer to assume new positions as development managers in the Office of External Affairs. Their work will send them around the country, connecting with other Beloiters and helping advance the growth and financial health of the College.
Upton’s responsibilities bring him back to a place
he called home for much of his childhood. His father, Miller Upton,
served as president of Beloit College from 1954-1975, and Upton
happily recalls growing up in the President’s House at 709 College
Street. “I occupied the front bedroom that looks out on Eaton Chapel
and the College campus,” he says. “I have fond memories of going
to basketball games at the Field House, football games at Strong
Stadium, and skating on the campus grounds after rain froze and
the lawns turned into skating rinks.” A political science major
at Beloit, he later earned a master’s degree in teaching and two
law degrees. He first worked in Washington, D.C., before embarking
on a career in the business and non-profit sectors that took him
around the world, most recently to Australia, where he lived for
18 years with his wife, Julie, and three sons.
“I look forward to two very important activities: raising sufficient
funds to ensure the College’s ability to deliver on its projected
academic programs, and strengthening the College’s historical emphasis
on international relations and international education,” he says.
Bradford'91 - Development Manager, External Affairs
- Development Manager, External Affairs
on the Rock
A shuttered factory that could have become an eyesore along Beloit's Rock River has been transformed into a viable enterprise and a work of art through the efforts of College Trustee and businessman Ken Hendricks.
Watertower Industrial Properties, Hendricks' company which purchased the buildings, renovated the former Beloit Corporation buildings into loft offices and space for smaller-scale manufacturing. While breathing new life into the former foundry through inventive uses, Hendricks also wanted to preserve and celebrate its rich past as the city's largest employer, which was founded in the 19th century.
With the assistance of the Larsen Group, a Rockford, Ill.-based design firm, the building's exterior has been transformed to pay homage to that past with Forged on the Rock, an art installation featuring larger-than-life photographs of workers taken in the days when the building hummed with activity. The murals are surrounded by copper cladding and complemented by three-dimensional patterns once used to produce the paper-making machines the company was known for throughout the world. Glass tiles attract light to the structure by day, and the building is dramatically lit by night.
Official lighting ceremonies took place in September, but people gathered along the river for days afterward to view the installation.
Visitors to Beloit will find Forged on the Rock across the river from the Beloit Inn, which is located at the corner of Pleasant Street and Public Avenue.
Phi Psi House Destroyed
An apartment house several blocks from campus, built in 1892 by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, was destroyed by a four-alarm fire in September. The three-story structure at 1123 Chapin St. was home to the fraternity until 1954; in recent years, it had been a seven unit apartment building. No one was seriously injured in the blaze, but the fire left five families homeless.
Beloit College Archives
N. Marie Dries’92
Kasten - Editor, Beloit College Magazine