“How totally different the Beloit College of the first decade seems from that of the seventh decade, and yet how essentially identical are the two! In outward aspect, in equipment, in size of faculty and body of students, in methods of instruction and administration, they belong to two different worlds, with apparently nothing in common. Yet in inner life and guiding principles they are both most vitally one… “Not one of us can for a moment dream that we have reached a stopping place in the development of the college. This hour is but a brief reconnaissance upon the march; then the word again is forward. New problems, new solutions, new difficulties, new courage, new achievements; this is the only program of the future...”
—President Edward Dwight Eaton (1872), at the 1916 Baccalaureate exercises
June 11, 1916. President Edward Dwight Eaton, Beloit College’s second president, is about to offer his last Baccalaureate. On the eve of America’s engagement in World War I, addressing a chapel full of Beloiters anxious about the country’s future, the college’s future, their future, President Eaton has chosen, seemingly, to look backward over 70 years of the college’s history.
True, much of his talk concerns the rich but non-linear path the college had taken from its inception to the present. But don’t be fooled, the past simply serves as evidence for his real message which is all about the future. Just let these words from President Eaton wash over you: “Not one of us can for a moment dream that we have reached a stopping place in the development of the college…This hour is but a brief reconnaissance upon the march; then the word again is forward. New problems, new solutions, new difficulties, new courage, new achievements; this is the only program of the future.”
Fast forward to the present.
Just as then, we find ourselves now in an uncertain time: a weak economy and a world map in flux. New challenges again abound. But also, everywhere, opportunity.
And so it is that we introduce “Fast Forward: The Campaigns for Beloiters.”
This is not a simple capital campaign with a multi-million dollar goal. There will be no outdoor thermometers or victories declared over a large cardboard check. Instead, the campaign is project-based and mission-driven. New dollars are necessary means to well-defined and glorious ends; but not the end in itself.
We seek resources we can use on the ground, today, to augment student access and experiences; resources for energizing, today, our distinctive new curriculum; resources that enhance, today, the value of a Beloit degree; resources that can move the college forward, and fast. We seek resources from Beloiters for Beloiters—philanthropy that changes lives on a campus that changes lives. From generosity to outcomes to reputation.
Today, and in the days to come, we will prove to you that Beloiters are worthy of your philanthropy, and show you how your participation will quickly pay dividends for the college, its people, its alumni, and our region.
Give to Liberal Arts in Practice projects and you’ll be opening up access to field experiences for more and more Beloiters. Give to Scholarships, and make Beloit increasingly attractive and accessible. Support Renewing the Historic Core, and ensure the 21st-century quality of a residential liberal arts education on one of the country’s most historic and beautiful campuses.
“The word again is forward.” And, the engine powering us ahead are Beloiters—alumni, parents, friends—supporting Beloiters. If you join us, you lend your voice to the great mission and vision of this college. Indeed, you point us on a pathway to be the premiere small college in the Midwest—one called out for its energy, enthusiasm, and outcomes; for its warmth, and the wonderment it inspires. A campus that Beloiters (v.) better than any other.
This is the program of our future.
Our ambitious plans require just one thing: you.
We can do this together. And quickly. Fast Forward!
From here at Chapin’s desk, inspired by Eaton’s vision,
President Scott Bierman