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Lew Sarett collection

Identifier: MC 95

Scope and Contents

This collection gathers materials about Lew Sarett such as news articles, biographical information, and photographs, as well as some of his publications and a small amount of personal correspondence with Beloit College.


  • 1908-1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Biographical / Historical

Excerpt from Beloit Daily News (August 18, 1954)

Dr. Lew Sarett, 66, noted author, lecturer, and poet, who was perhaps Beloit College's most distinguished graduate in the field of literature, died late Tuesday afternoon at Gainsville, Fla. He had suffered a heart attack on Saturday.

Entering Beloit College from Benton Harbor Mich., as a sophomore transfer from the University of Michigan, Dr. Sarett was graduated in the class of 1911. During a colorful campus career here he was known as Lew R. Saretsky, changing his name following graduation. In college he was a member of Delta Sigma Rho, honorary speech fraternity, and of the Turtle Mound, senior men's group. He was outstanding as a cheerleader in the days when sports were having a big revival of interest on this campus. He participated in the first homecoming ceremonies of 1910.

In 1910 and 1911 Dr. Sarett won the home and state oratorical contests, and was third in the interstate contest. He won the Rice prize for extemporaneous speaking at the 1910 commencement. His biography is included in Who's Who and Webster's Biographical Dictionary, and he is one of two alumni to be quoted in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

Dr. Sarett's picture was used in the current pictorial booklet on Beloit College, "Design for Living" with the following quotation:

"I prize my education at Beloit. This old college exposed me to many imponderables but priceless forces of the spirit and mind that have affected my whole life profoundly." He also had stated "Beloit is a grand College. It put into our blood some things -- not facts, knowledge, but imponderable things of the mind and spirit that are priceless. Beloit helped to shape us more profoundly than we knew at the time."

Dr. Sarett was presented an honorary L.H.D. degree by his alma mater in 1946, at the same time as the college's centennial celebration. In addition to study at Beloit, he attended Harvard and the University of Michigan and Illinois. Baylor University awarded him a Litt. D. degree in 1926.

Retiring in June 1953, from the faculty of Northwestern University, Dr. Sarett was honored by the establishment of the Lew Sarett chair of speech at the institution. Classes which he taught in persuasion were among the most popular on the campus. He had been visiting professor at the University of Florida since his retirement.

Dr. Sarett's career was one of variety and color. He lectured extensively throughout the country on Indians and wildlife. Sometimes in the summer months he worked as a national park ranger, or as a guide to the forests of Minnesota or Canada. He brought much of the feeling of the outdoors into his poetry.

He was the author of five volumes of poetry, including Many Many Moons, The Box of God, Wings Against the Moon, and The Collected Poems of Lew Sarett. The last work had an introduction by his friend of many years, poet and biographer Carl Sandburg.

His poems "Little Foxes" and "God is at the Anvil," have been used in the literature and life series of many schools, and are known to millions of Americans. He coauthored "Basic Principles of Speech," "Speech: A High School Course," and "Modern Speeches on Basic Issues." which are widely used in schools and colleges.

Survivors include his wife, a son, Dr. Lewis H. Sarett, of Princeton N.J.; a daughter, Mrs. John M. Stockdale of Estherville, Ia., and four grandchildren.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Lew Sarett (aka Lew Saretsky), Beloit College class of 1911, was a noted author, lecturer, poet, and professor. This collection gathers materials about Lew Sarett such as news articles, biographical information, and photographs, as well as some of his publications and a small amount of personal correspondence with Beloit College.

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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA