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Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College is a private liberal arts college in the United States with an enrollment of 1,545 students. The college is located in the borough of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia.


500 College Ave
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Grey Garnet

College History


The name "Swarthmore" has its roots in early Quaker history. In England, Swarthmoor Hall in the town of Ulverston, Cumbria was the home of Thomas and Margaret Fell in 1652 when George Fox, fresh from his epiphany atop Pendle Hill in 1651, came to visit. The visitation turned into a long association, as Fox persuaded Thomas and Margaret Fell and the inhabitants of the nearby village of Fenmore of his views. Swarthmoor was used for the first meetings of what became known as the Religious Society of Friends. The school was founded in 1864 by a committee of Quakers who were members of the Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore Yearly Meetings of the Religious Society of Friends (Hicksite). Edward Parrish was its first president. Lucretia Mott and Martha Ellicott Tyson were among those who insisted that Swarthmore be coeducational. Edward Hicks Magill, the second president, served for 17 years. His daughter, Helen Magill, was in the first class to graduate in 1873; in 1877 she was the first woman in the United States to earn a PhD - hers was in Greek from Boston University. In the early 1900s, the College had a major football program (playing Navy, Princeton, Columbia, and other larger schools) and an active fraternity and sorority life. The 1921 appointment of Frank Aydelotte as President began the development of the school's current academic focus, particularly with his vision for the Honors program based on his experience as a Rhodes Scholar. During World War II, Swarthmore was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program, which offered students a path to a Navy commission. Wolfgang K�hler, Hans Wallach and Solomon Asch were noted psychologists who became professors at Swarthmore, a center for Gestalt psychology. Both Wallach, who was Jewish, and K�hler, who was not, had left Nazi Germany because of its discriminatory policies against Jews. K�hler came to Swarthmore in 1935 and served until his retirement in 1958. Wallach came in 1936, first as a researcher, and also teaching from 1942 until 1975. Asch, who was Polish-American and had immigrated as a child to the US in 1920, joined the faculty in 1947 and served until 1966, conducting his noted conformity experiments at Swarthmore

College Specialty


Swarthmore students are expected to prepare themselves for full, balanced lives as individuals and as responsible citizens through exacting intellectual study supplemented by a varied program of sports and other extracurricular activities. The purpose of Swarthmore College is to make its students more valuable human beings and more useful members of society. Although it shares this purpose with other educational institutions, each school, college, and university seeks to realize that purpose in its own way. Swarthmore seeks to help its students realize their fullest intellectual and personal potential combined with a deep sense of ethical and social concern.



Suffragist and National Women's Party founder, Alice Paul belonged to the class of 1905; Nancy Roman NASA's first Chief of Astronomy in the Office of Space Science, 'mother of the Hubble telescope' Michael Dukakis (1955) was the Democratic nominee in the 1988 presidential election Novelist James A. Michener (1929) left his entire $10 million estate (including the copyrights to his works) to Swarthmore. Robert Zoellick (1976), former president of the World Bank. John C. Mather (1968), American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his work on COBE with George Smoot. David K. Lewis (1962), ground-breaking philosopher known for his work in Analytic Metaphysics, rated by fellow academics as one of the fifteen most important philosophers in the past 200 years. Thomas B. McCabe (1915), 8th Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the President and CEO of Scott Paper Company. Other prominent alumni: Fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra (2004); Seventh Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook (1970); Congressman Christopher Van Hollen (1983); Senator Carl Levin of Michigan (1956); Author Mark Vonnegut (1969); musical composer and satirist Peter Schickele (1957); astronomer Sandra M. Faber (1966); The Corrections and Freedom author Jonathan Franzen (1981); New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley; Long-time Variety editor, Peter Bart; Caltech president and Nobel laureate David Baltimore (1960); University of Southern California Cultural Historian Leo Braudy (1963); Former Georgetown University Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff (1974); Berkeley Law Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.; philosopher and Nietzschean scholar Alexander Nehamas (1967); Justin Hall (1998), widely considered to be the first blogger; eminent Polish theatre director Michal Zadara (1999); Wall Street magnate and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. founder Jerome Kohlberg, Jr. (1946) who also founded the Philip Evans Scholarship Foundation in 1986 at Swarthmore; Jed Rakoff (1964) US District Judge for the Southern District of New York; Kenneth Turan (1967) film critic for the Los Angeles Times; Faux-Christian Music/Comedy duo God's Pottery Krister Johnson (1995) and Wilson Hall (1995); The Gregory Brothers, of internet series Auto-Tune the News fame, Evan Gregory (2001) and Andrew Gregory (2004); Author Kurt Eichenwald; Long-time editor of The Nation, Victor Navasky (1954); Eugene Lang (1938), founder of the I Have a Dream Foundation, who has endowed many buildings and programs on campus, including, as noted above, the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility; Eugene's son, film star Stephen Lang (actor) (1973); Cynthia Leive Glamour Magazine Editor-in-Chief; Patrick Awuah founder of Ashesi University; Lisa Albert Emmy Award winning writer and producer for AMC's Mad Men; Micah White one of the original creators of the Occupy Wall Street movement; Neil Gershenfeld head of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms; Social Entrepreneur Mark Hanis (2005) is the founder of United to End Genocide; Nick Martin (2004) founder of TechChange, the Institute for Technology and Social Change.



Suburban, 399 Acres