Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2010 (November 8, 2010 at 12:00 am)

Irrmann, Upton Inducted into Hall of Fame


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November 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

This fall, two Beloiters were recognized posthumously for contributions to the community that extended far beyond the bounds of the campus.

Miller Upton, Beloit College’s sixth president, and Robert Irrmann’39, longtime history professor and alumnus, were among five people selected for induction into the city of Beloit Hall of Fame this year.

To be considered for the distinction, honorees must have demonstrated that they made a significant contribution to the greater good of the Beloit area and its citizens through leadership or by improving the city’s image through their personal accomplishments. Individuals are eligible for consideration after they have been deceased at least five years.

Robert Irrmann'39Irrmann’s former student and successor as college archivist Fred Burwell’86 remembers his mentor fondly. “It did not take long for Bob Irrmann to become one of the most popular professors at the college, where he twice was named ‘Teacher of the Year’ and gained a reputation as a brilliant, spellbinding lecturer,” Burwell says. “Irrmann was a wonder to work with. He shared his passion for history, his joy in discovery, his enthusiasm for life.”

Irrmann began teaching at Beloit in 1948, after attending graduate school at Harvard and Indiana University and teaching at Denison University. He retired from teaching in 1980, and died in 1998 at the age of 81.

Miller UptonMiller Upton’s two-decade tenure as president of Beloit College left an indelible mark on the institution. Under his leadership, the college began the World Outlook Program and the experimental, innovative Beloit Plan of year-round school that required field terms and had lasting positive effects on the college’s reputation. He served as president from 1954 to 1975.

A native of New Orleans, Upton taught at Washington University in St. Louis, Northwestern, and Lake Forest before coming to Beloit. Beloit Daily News editor emeritus William Behling described Upton as prominent “not only in collegiate circles, but in national and world affairs as a UNESCO delegate, a leader in a movement to end the war in Vietnam, and an advisor to government officials at state and national levels.” Behling also cited Upton’s leadership in spearheading efforts to improve town-gown relations.

Irrmann and Upton were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a Sept. 19 program at the Beloit Historical Society.

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