A visit to Beloit isn’t complete without exploring the campus of Beloit College. Located just a block away from Downtown Beloit, the Rock River and Riverside Park, it’s easy to stroll over to the campus during your stay. Meander the 40 wooded acres of the New England-style campus, with red brick buildings and white-pillared porches. Four of the college’s buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Founded in 1846, Beloit College is the oldest college in continuous service in Wisconsin.
Beyond an institution of higher learning, the college is an integral part of Beloit’s cultural landscape, offering the community vibrant, aesthetic and enriching events, many of which are free of charge. With a student body of 1,300 hailing from almost every state and over 40 countries, its diversity contributes to a dynamic culture of creativity and innovation.
The campus enjoys a fascinating archeological dimension, situated among 20 effigy mounds, sculpted by Late Woodland Native Americans between AD 400 and 1200. The mounds, which you’ll see as you walk the campus grounds, are shaped in conical, linear and animal forms; a turtle-shaped mound served as inspiration for both the college and city of Beloit’s symbol.
The Logan Museum of Anthropology, founded in 1893, is a hands-on teaching museum with collections from 123 countries and over 480 cultural groups. Check out the museum’s “visible storage cube,” The Andrew H. Whiteford Curatorial Center. Walk the perimeter of the two-story, glass-enclosed facility to view pre-Columbian ceramics, North American ethnographic objects and a large basketry collection, as well as the curatorial staff at work. A fascinating exhibit!
While you’re here, check out Beloit College’s Science Center, the proud recipient of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status by the U.S. Green Building Council at the platinum level, no less. Another feather in the green science building’s cap: The Design Excellence Honor Award in Interior Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.
For a fabulous music fix, plan your campus visit for September’s Folk ‘n’ Blues Festival! The two-day festival features a diverse line-up of bands and is often held outdoors Pearsons Hall.
Can’t visit in September? Don’t despair- you can hear live music almost every night of the year in Downtown Beloit. Take your pick from spontaneous blues jam sessions, cool or hot jazz, acoustic folk or classic rock-n-roll. Throughout the summer, enjoy music and dancing outdoors in the pavilion at Harry’s Place – the place to be! Downtown Beloit’s music scene is in sync with Beloit College: eclectic, engaging and energetic.
Beloit College is an essential component of Downtown Beloit, infusing a youthful ambience to the city’s culture. Downtown Beloit bedazzles residents and visitors alike with more than 40 days a year devoted to festive events, an effervescent arts community, fabulous dining and shopping, and striking RiverFront beauty. Plenty to see, do and celebrate!
Also downtown, be sure to check out the Beloit College Turtle Creek Bookstore. Housed in the repurposed Hilton Hotel building, which was frequented by John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, it’s a page in Beloit’s history.
Beloit College’s Hendricks Center for the Arts is another historic point of interest downtown. As the new location of the college’s performing arts program, the renovated building was once home to the Beloit Public Library, and previously, the post office.
Treat yourself to a student production at the Neese Performing Arts Center. The performing arts program regularly presents drama, comedy, dance and music productions to rave reviews at the 300-seat, thrust-stage theatre and the more intimate Kresge Experimental Theatre. The Center boasts a professional-quality costume shop.
The campus is also home to seven of Beloit’s 20 large-scale works of public art. Touring these eclectic works is an absolute must! Relax at the contemplative Beloit Poetry Garden, installed with the help of renowned artist Siah Armajani. Among Armajani’s well-known works are the Bridge and Torch Tower for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The Poetry Garden sometimes hosts presentations and performances; if you’re lucky enough to catch a performance in the Poetry Garden’s idyllic setting, don’t miss it!
In keeping with its cutting edge sensibilities, Beloit College releases its annual “Mindset” List every August. The list catalogs the rapidly evolving pop culture influences of each incoming class, serving as a bridge to attempted understanding between generations. The “Mindset” List’s web page and Facebook presence receive over 400,000 hits annually.
Take advantage of Beloit College’s many cultural offerings during your stay. If it’s happening here, it’s worth checking out! With its vitality, sense of fun and forward-thinking perspective, the college infuses vibrant, ever-evolving energy to the surrounding community.