Governor Evers Brings Good News to Beloit
For the second time, Beloit College hosted Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. However, on his impromptu Feb. 23 visit, the governor came bearing excellent news. After sifting through some 200+ applications, the City of Beloit was awarded a $9 million Neighborhood Investment Fund grant. This grant will be used to renovate Beloit College’s Morse Library and create a community outreach center. The center for community outreach and engagement will be in the renovated library, and will serve as a way to bridge the gap between campus and community.
As Gov. Evers explained during his press conference in the Morse Library, the City of Beloit has been “severely disrupted” by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Economically, the city is in need of revitalization, which is what this grant will do. Beloit College president Scott Bierman sees the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant as a way to emphasize the “synergy of college and city.” Bierman was incredibly excited at the press conference, and focused much of his speech on the ways in which he hopes this grant forms bonds between the college and the community.
According to the Beloit College website, the renovation of the Morse Library is set to begin this summer. The projected date of completion is some time in August 2023. The Neighborhood Investment Fund grant is awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Administration. The college is also contributing an extra $1 million to the fund. With a $10 million fund, the possibilities for the center of community outreach seem endless.
After Gov. Evers, President Bierman, and Wis. Department of Administration Secretary Kathy Blumenfeld spoke, Gov. Evers opened up the floor for questions. Three questions were asked by a reporter, all of which regarded mask mandates and the Milwaukee Public School district. After answering each question, Gov. Evers awarded President Bierman with a check for $9 million dollars. When Gov. Evers invited students to speak with him and take photographs, many students opted to pose with the giant check. Deepakshi Bhardwaj ‘22 and Shruthi Chandrasekar ‘23, the respective former and current Beloit Student Government presidents, posed with Gov. Evers. Their photograph was included in a Facebook post from Beloit College about the press conference.
It is exciting to know what the future holds for the Morse Library and community outreach efforts at Beloit College. The news of the Neighborhood Investment Fund grant came as a shock to most of the campus, since there had been no prior mention of the application or the governor’s visit. In fact, the president of the college only found out about the governor’s plan to visit on Feb. 22, the day prior to the press conference. Gov. Evers expressed his gratitude for Beloit College as an educational institution and as a historical college. I got a chance to speak briefly with the governor, and he appeared to be impressed with the students of Beloit College.