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“Be All In” Fundraising Campaign for Beloit College Begins

From Friday, Feb. 7 through Saturday, Feb. 8, the Winter Meeting of the Board of Trustees of Beloit College was held throughout campus and inside the newly opened Powerhouse. According to the Winter 2020 Meeting Board Book, posted by Executive Administrative Assistant Erica Daniels and shared with faculty, staff, and students, the public phase of the new “Be All In: The Campaign for Beloit College,” began this week with the official opening of the Powerhouse. Other announcements in the Board Book included updates on enrollment, renovation plans for Wood Hall, the closing of the Community and Career Engagement Center building, and the relocation of the Black Students United special interest house. 

According to the Report to the Campaigns Committee submitted by the Vice President of the Office of Development and Alumni Relations Amy Wilson, her office began the ‘quiet phase’ of the “Be All In” campaign on July 1, 2019, with the hiring of campaign counsel, forming a Stakeholder Committee, and refining marketing materials. The ultimate goal of the campaign is to raise $52.4 million in cash or cash-equivalent dollars from donations for the college. According to the Beloit College website, the national trends of “declining college enrollment to increasing concern with outcomes and the value of a college degree” have created the goal to generate $10 million each year for the next five years in order “to more explicitly position ourselves as a student-ready college that prepares our graduates for meaningful careers and dynamic futures.” Nineteen million dollars will go to financial aid for students and another twelve million will go to support existing faculty and staff. 

The Winter 2020 Board Book lists the goals of the public phase of the “Be All In” campaign as partnering with campus colleagues and soliciting the next tier of donors, and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations has hired major gift officers to compile donations. Beloit College currently stands at a 79 percent retention rate according to the Indicators of Institutional Health spreadsheet in the Board Book, which was compiled in January 2020. In the past six years this number reached a height of 88 percent during the 2015-2016 school year, before falling to a low of 78 percent in the 2018-2019 year. Conversely, the average GPA of incoming freshmen is at its peak this year at 3.39 and United States students whose family’s adjusted gross income level is below the U.S.-median average has been at its peak at 29 percent for the last two years. Nonetheless, the yield rate of enrolled students has fallen from 19 percent in 2014 to 11 percent in 2019. 

According to the 2018 report by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), high school students are now applying for more colleges than ever due to the Common Application program and, as a result, college’s yield rates are dropping. Admissions are down at Beloit College and there has been a 36 percent decline in domestic student-athlete enrollment, which can be accounted for due to “staffing turnover and in part by deliberate shifts in strategy,” according to the Enrollment and Marketing Committee Report. Vice President of Enrollment M. Leslie Davidson and Chief Communications & Integrated Marketing Advisor Tim Jones cited a need to “support coaches” during the decline. 

Other reports in the Winter 2020 Board Book including updates on office and residential relocations. The Career and Community Engagement Center will be moving from its current location in the house on the corner of College and Emerson Street to the first floor of Pearsons Hall, in what used to be the TV lounge. The lounge space has been closed and under redesign since early December, and the move is set to bring the office closer to other student services available in Pearsons, such as Financial Aid. The house on the corner of Emerson and College Street will be closed and available for future use, meaning there will be two closed houses across the street from one another, which includes the white house next door to the Library that formerly housed the Kappa Delta sorority. 

In the upcoming months, the Office of Residential Life will also move, this time into the old Health and Wellness Center space in Porter Hall, and the Health and Wellness Center will be moved into the Powerhouse. There are no plans underway for space Residential Life currently occupies in Whitney Hall. 

There are also plans in place for the revitalization and consolidation of residential living spaces. The current Black Students United (BSU) special interest house across from the Clary Street townhouses will move to the old Human Resources Building, 726 Church Street next door to Spanish House, in Fall 2020. The house on 726 Church Street is currently undergoing renovation and the current BSU house will be put on the market for sale in Fall 2020. Wood Hall will also see flooring replacement and lounge renovations due to a gift from an anonymous donor. Chapin Hall is also currently closed for renovations. 609 Hall is the most recent student dorm to undergo major renovations; the building re-opened in Fall 2019 after being closed the previous year. 

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