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Beloit College William L. Kolb papers

Identifier: MC 63

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into three series: 1. Personal Papers, 2. Dean of the College Files, 3. Publications and Speeches.

The materials in the Personal Papers series generally come from Kolb's Alumni Office faculty file and contain his personal correspondence, biographies, news releases and articles about Kolb, and photographs.

Kolb's Dean of the College Files series contains documents he created or received while he served the office of Dean of the College and Provost. Much of materials are duplicated in other collections, such as Academic Policy Committee (AC 3) and Academic Senate (AC 4), since his office encompassed both groups. Topics covered include the Black Demands of 1969, Christian College Committee, the Danforth Foundation (especially its study of campus ministries), early Beloit Plan, academic departmental reports (mostly written in/before the planning stages for the Beloit Plan), development opportunities, and the South End Complex project.

The Publications and Speeches series contain manuscripts, drafts, and reprints of many of the publications and speeches he wrote while Dean of the College, between 1964 and 1975.


  • 1953-1996

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

Excerpt from: Janesville Gazette (December 1, 1986) Beloit College's Kolb honored for impact BELOIT -- William L. Kolb, emeritus professor of Sociology at Beloit College, is being honored by the Wisconsin Sociological Association in two issues of its journal, "The Wisconsin Sociologist." "The Man and His Impact as Teacher and Activist" appeared in the fall issue of the journal. Part 1 of the series -- 32 pages long, filling two-thirds of the issue -- includes an interview with Kolb, who is a Beloit resident. The essays show "a man sometimes out-of-step with his time, good humored, with measured humility; a man characterized by an incisive intellect, a critical engagement with the world through his concerns with justice, freedom, equality; and a quintessential sociologist," said professor Marlynn May, who interviewed Kolb for the magazine. She is chairman of Beloit College's Sociology Department and is associate editor of the journal. Parker J. Palmer, a sociologist with St. Benedict Center in Madison and a former student of Kolb's at Carleton College, wrote an essay on Kolb's impact on his life. "When I ask myself why the life I am living is so different ... one of the major answers is William L. Kolb. It is a special tribute to the force of Bill Kolb's integrity that he managed to awaken some of us from our suburban slumbers to understand the intimate connection between critical thinking about our society and critical action in it." Other articles about Kolb include "Bill Kolb, Teacher and Academic Man," by Warren Breed, study director at the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, Calif.; "Moral Values and Sociological Proof," by James W. Loewen, an author and professor at the University of Vermont; and "The Rare Academic Man: A Man of Scholarship and Faith," by Robert Rankin, past vice-president of the Danforth Foundation. Kolb's address before the Midwest Sociological Society in 1967, when he served as president, and his curriculum also are included in the publication. The winter issue also will be devoted to Kolb, who joined Beloit College in 1964 and served as dean and provost of the college in addition to teaching. He was educated at Miami University and UW-Madison. He has published 27 articles and two books, "Sociological Analysis" and "A Dictionary of the Social Sciences."


5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



William "Bill" Kolb was Beloit College's Dean of the College and Provost from 1964-1975. This collection primarily contains materials he created or received while he served that office. Topics covered include the Black Demands of 1969, Christian College Committee, the Danforth Foundation, early Beloit Plan, academic departmental reports, development opportunities, and the South End Complex project. There is also personal correspondence, biographies, news releases and articles about Kolb, photographs, publications, and speeches.

Related Materials

Academic Policy Committee records (AC 3)
Academic Senate records (AC 4)
Beloit Plan records (AC 22)
Buildings and Properties collection (AC 24)
Beloit College Civil Rights collection(AC 32)
Development records (AC 41)
Logan Museum of Anthropology records (AC 72)
Beloit College Museums collection (AC 79)
Porter Scholars records (AC 88)
Sports collection
Wright Museum of Art records (AC 114)
Beloit College William L. Kolb papers
Michelle Tom
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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA