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Ramadan is Observed

The observance of Ramadan, which occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar—this year from Sept. 1 to 30—requires Muslims to spend time in reflection, prayer, and daily fasting from sunrise to sunset. Typically, they rise before dawn to eat and then wait until the sun has gone down for their next meal. On [...]

A Nation Divided

According to a 2007 Pew Research Center survey, the American people are almost evenly divided over the construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border by the Department of Homeland Security. Professor of Anthropology Miguel Díaz-Barriga and fellow anthropologist Margaret Dorsey spent last fall in South Texas, documenting the construction of the border wall [...]

Stellar Seasons for Soccer

Women's soccer (104-6, 5-1-4 CC) The Garnet women won a second consecutive Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Region championship, appeared in the CC playoffs for the third straight season, and beat the top-ranked team in Division III, winning 4-3 at the College of New Jersey in a nonconference game—the Lion’s second home loss in [...]

New Van De Kamp Observatory

By Jeffrey Lott

A 20-foot diameter dome for the new Peter van de Kamp Observatory was hoisted into place on Aug. 15, literally capping off the College's five-year-old Science Center. The observatory awaits the arrival of a new 24-inch reflecting telescope, set for later this fall. (Click here to view a short video of the dome being hoisted [...]

A Harpist, A Curler, A Juggler—and 371 More—in the Class of 2012

By Carol Brévart-Demm

On Aug. 26, 373 first-year students—from a total 6,121 applicants— descended onto the campus. Of these 185 women and 188 men, 55 percent are from public, 28 percent from private, and 9 percent from parochial schools—as well as 8 percent from foreign or American schools abroad. Of the 44 percent from schools reporting class [...]

President Bloom Will Lead NYU Abu Dhabi

By Jeffrey Lott

In summer 2009, Swarthmore President Alfred H. Bloom will assume full responsibility as vice chancellor of New York University (NYU) Abu Dhabi for creating a highly selective liberal arts college, distinctive graduate programs, and a world center for advanced research and scholarship in the Persian Gulf state.
According to university officials, the school’s programs will [...]

Presidential Search Seeks Broad Input

By Jeffrey Lott

The search committee charged with finding a successor to President Alfred H. Bloom began its work in earnest this fall. The committee expects to make a final recommendation to the Board of Managers by spring 2009. President Bloom announced in May that he will leave the post on Aug. 31, 2009, after 18 years as [...]

The Cookie Messenger

By Carol Brévart-Demm

Once a week, 92-year-old Robert “Bob” Thompson buys cookies—enough packages to fill his canvas tote bag—and carries them from the College Bookstore to the Scott Arboretum offices at Cunningham House, where the Arboretum’s 100-plus volunteers and visitors gladly munch on them.
A popular figure around campus, Thompson spends each morning, five days a week, carrying [...]

Faculty Approves Islamic Studies Program

By Carol Brévart-Demm

The opening of the new school year gives Swarthmore students an additional academic option—to minor in Islamic Studies. A formal Islamic Studies Program, emerging steadily across several departments during the past decade, received faculty approval last spring.
Courses in religion, anthropology, history, and Arabic language and literature will provide students with insight into expressions of Islam [...]

Jettisoning the Baggage

By Eli Epstein-Deutsch ’10

Tariq al-Jamil, assistant professor of religion and coordinator of the recently approved Islamic Studies Program, is endowed with a certain mystique. Al-Jamil casts a different aura—maybe due to his colorful ties, classic suits, and black designer glasses (a talking point for fashion-minded students) or his striking physiognomy. But it also has to do with [...]