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The Janitor and the Judge

By Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe

When, in spring 2003, Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action Barry Schwartz and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Political Science Kenneth Sharpe announced that they would be teaching a new course titled Practical Wisdom, students clamored to enroll. The course’s goal was to help the students learn to navigate everyday [...]

Inquiring Minds, Accelerating Change, Enduring Values

By Carol Brévart-Demm and Jeffrey Lott

MORE THAN 600 COURSES ARE LISTED in the Swarthmore College catalog. Not all are taught each year, but, taken as a whole, the College’s curriculum offers its 1,500 students a stunning array of learning opportunities in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities—plus a dozen interdisciplinary minors. Thirty-five departments and programs make Swarthmore’s curriculum both [...]

Garnet Weekend

Clear, crisp, colorful, congenial—all are words that describe the three days in October when more than 1,000 alumni, parents, friends, faculty, and staff convened on campus for Swarthmore’s first-ever Garnet Homecoming and Family Weekend. Outside, beneath brilliant blue skies and autumnal trees, groups gathered together to take tours of the Crum, follow Friends Historical Library [...]

The Dances of Adele Diamond

By Robert Strauss

One need not look too hard to find Adele Diamond dancing, but it has to be a certain kind of dance—a subtle combination of social, rule-based, and interactive.
“I hate the way ballroom dancing is taught in dancing schools,” says Diamond. “They teach that you’re supposed to look over your partner’s shoulder. I don’t want to [...]

Justice, Technology, and the Environment

By Ian Barbour ’64

Taking a Long-Term View
Human beings are related to nature not as isolated individuals but as members of social institutions that have far-reaching impacts on the environment. The environmental crisis raises questions about sustainability, patterns of consumption, and population growth.
Degraded land, eroded soil, and decimated fisheries and forests will take many decades to recover. We are [...]

Activist on Coal River

By Peter Slavin

The situation in the Coal River valley was grim. The latest court ruling had been unfavorable. Clear cutting the forest, a forerunner of blasting, had started on the last intact mountain. There was an epic meeting, lasting hours—one that would take the decade-long fight against mountaintop removal (MTR) strip mining in West Virginia in a [...]

Rock and an Old Place

By David Pacchioli

Hop Bottom, Susquehanna County, population 330, is the kind of leafy Pennsylvania hamlet where old men sit on benches in front of the country store, watching the world go by. There’s no cell-phone service, let alone a Starbucks. “Up until two years ago, if you saw three cars together it had to be a funeral,” [...]

Learn to Sort, Assemble, and Present—And Then Be On Your Way

By Carol Brévart-Demm

A LARGE MAP OF THE WORLD HANGS ON THE WALL OUTSIDE THE CAREER SERVICES OFFICE AT THE WEST END OF PARRISH HALL. Clusters of small paper flags—densest over the United States—are pinned on the map, showing the whereabouts and current activities of recent Swarthmore graduates. A printout beneath the map advertises a Google site where [...]

A Leg Up

By Susan Clarey

­Leland Kusmer ’11 spent his summer conducting field research on the Twi language in Ghana. Jesse Marshall ’11 investigated urban agriculture and land use policy in Philadelphia. Amanda Klause ’12 found herself knee-deep in dirt in Tuscany, digging for Etruscan artifacts.
Closer to home, nine Chester Community Fellows from Swarthmore spent 10 weeks working with co­mmunity [...]

A Historic Day for Swarthmore

By Carol Brévart-Demm

On May 8, a blustery spring day, the College inaugurated its 14th president. With 13 having gone before since 1865, this new president might have seemed to be just one among many. But this time, strong winds of change were blowing—literally, judging from the way the trees in the amphitheater [...]