Beloit's 40-acre campus is located on the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, 90 miles northwest of Chicago, 50 miles south of Madison, and 70 miles southwest of Milwaukee in a small city that noted cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead called "American society in a microcosm." Beloit's academic buildings are clustered around lawns dotted with trees and ancient North American Indian mounds. Student residences are within easy walking distance of classroom, lab, studio locations, and the college’s athletic facilities. Nearly all students reside on campus (95 percent) in a tight-knit, active community. Beloit’s downtown is just two blocks from campus, with banks, restaurants, and shops, and a vibrant schedule of events, including the region's most popular farmers market on Saturdays from spring through late fall.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
Beloit's academic buildings are both historic and cutting edge and are located toward the southern half of campus as well as in nearby downtown Beloit. The Hendricks Center for the Arts, a beautifully renovated historic building in Beloit's nearby downtown, opened in 2010, offering students studio space for music, dance, theatre, a state-of-the-art film classroom, and set design and staging labs. A 25-acre athletic field and Strong Stadium, featuring a new turf field and track, are located just a few blocks east of the main campus. Plans are underway to convert a decommissioned powerhouse next to campus into a recreation center and student union. This one-of-a-kind reimagining of an industrial building will feature student life spaces, fitness and training facilities, a 200-meter training track and indoor turf field house, a competition pool, and a wellness center, all along the Rock River shoreline. The Powerhouse is planned to open for the 2018-19 school year.
Nearly all students reside on campus (95 percent) and may live in traditional settings, quiet or substance-free floors, in one of three fraternity houses or three sorority houses, or in special-interest houses. Two town-house complexes offer roomy, apartment-style living. Meals, served in two campus locations by premier food service provider Bon Appetit, include fresh, locally sourced, organic, vegetarian, and vegan meal options, often featuring student-grown produce. More than half of Beloit's students participate in some form of athletics-club, intramural, or varsity.
Beloit's sports and recreation facilities reflect the high rate of student participation in club, intramural, and varsity athletics. The Sports Center includes the Flood Arena, with three collegiate basketball/volleyball courts; the Marvin Field House, with indoor facilities for soccer, tennis, track, golf, baseball, and softball; a fitness center; and a six-lane swimming pool. The 25-acre field complex offers the 3,500-seat Strong Stadium for football and soccer, fields for softball, lacrosse, and baseball, and six all-weather surface tennis courts.
Beloit is noteworthy for having two teaching museums on campus. The Logan Museum of Anthropology holds more than 300,000 archaeological and 15,000 ethnographic objects from 126 countries and nearly 500 cultural groups. The Wright Museum of Art holds a permanent collection of 5,000 works of art, including significant works of American impressionism, modernist paintings, 19th century plaster casts, German expressionism, and Japanese modern prints. Both offer students opportunities to do the work of the museums in collaboration with faculty and staff.
The Laura Aldrich Neese Performing Arts theatre complex features a large thrust stage theater built to Equity standards, a black box theater with flexible staging, a scenic design studio, costume shop, make-up rooms, dressing rooms, and a greenroom.
Off-campus facilities include Chamberlin Springs, 50 acres of oak and hickory woods and wildlife northwest of the city; the Smith Limnology Lab, a small boat launch and aquatic station on the Rock River; and the Newark Road Prairie, a 32.5 acre virgin prairie with more than 300 species of flowering plants.
Beloit's Center for the Sciences, a platinum LEED-certified green building, opened in 2008. Besides its spectacular four-story open foyer, roof garden, and rain garden, it features student offices and space for studio format and inquiry-based courses that integrate class, laboratory, and collaborative group work. Special facilities include a visualization lab, a 1,900 square-foot greenhouse with three climate zones, a herbarium, and a rooftop small-telescope astronomy area. Major scientific equipment includes a scanning electron microscope with EDS elemental analysis system, a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, and more.
On average, more than half of any Beloit College class has studied off campus, in either international or domestic programs. Study abroad is transformative at Beloit, with courses that prepare students before they leave, Cities in Transitions courses that engage students in studying urban change (in select locations) while in their locations abroad, and courses and creative projects that help students integrate what they’ve learned once they return from their host sites. Beloit students study worldwide through a combination of college programs, offerings by other institutions and partners, and direct enrollment in universities. Off-campus study programs in North America are also robust and include semesters in Chicago focused on the arts, entrepreneurship, teaching, and urban studies; American University Programs in Washington, D.C.; and environmental science at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass. Beloit's Liberal Arts in Practice Center connects community needs with students interested in pursuing internships, field terms, and special projects. Beloit makes as much as $500,000 available to fund student projects annually.
Student Organizations & Activities
Beloit students are eclectic, defy definition, and place a premium on individual expression. Students serve on college governance and search committees, establish their own organizations, orchestrate events such as the annual Folk 'n' Blues music festival, and host their own radio and cable TV shows. The college has more than 60 active student clubs ranging in focus from ballroom dance to Ultimate Frisbee to yoga. As an NCAA Division III school, Beloit offers numerous varsity and club sports. Men's varsity sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, and track. Women's varsity sports include basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track, and volleyball.
“Beloit College graciously takes the stance that its students are adults,” and this is evident in their alcohol “philosophy,” as well as the setup of residential living. “Many people do look out for each other and tend to be fairly responsible.” Students mention that “you are responsible for yourself, and the school is there to help you when you need it,” although the alcohol policy at Beloit “has definitely gotten stricter in recent years.” Undergrads looking for alternative entertainment need not venture far. Dance parties are prevalent, and “the most popular ones are at Greek houses.” “Student Activities hosts shuttles to the movies on Friday nights and to restaurants on Sundays,” and “Our Programming Board does an excellent job bringing entertainment to campus.” There are frequent lectures from visiting speakers, and two museums. Students enjoy “going to see Voodoo Barbie, our outrageously hilarious improv group,” and “events like Folk N’ Blues Festival and Apple Day are looked forward to all year.” The on-campus bar C-Haus is “always a good place to catch great live music, have a beer, play some pool, or grab some late night snacks.” The campus has good proximity to outlying Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee, and “the parks and forests surrounding Beloit are very nice.”