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‘Swarthmore College: A Community of Purpose’ to Arrive in Your Mailbox Soon

At the dawn of its sesquicentennial celebration, the College will mail a special gift to all Swarthmore alumni, friends, and parents of current students: the book Swarthmore College: A Community of Purpose. This 200-page resource includes numerous faculty and alumni profiles, historic pictures of the College and its founders, and many new photos revealing the beauty of the campus as it looks today.

Its visual appeal notwithstanding, stories drove the book’s development. Six chapters explore the major themes that have defined Swarthmore historically and that continue to define it today. These include commitments to academic rigor, building community, and serving the common good. In the book’s final chapter, President Rebecca Chopp makes a strong case for the importance of a liberal arts education and develops her vision for how Swarthmore can advance the cause in a time when the value of a liberal arts education has been increasingly challenged.

The publication and distribution of Swarthmore College: A Community of Purpose was made possible through the guidance and financial support of an alumnus of the College whose career was in book publishing. Former Bulletin editor Jeffrey Lott is the book’s primary author and editor; he also oversaw the design process. Contemporary photos of the College and the Scott Arboretum are by staff photographer Laurence Kesterson.

Says President Rebecca Chopp, “I hope that in reading this book, our many alumni, friends, and parents will take to heart its subtitle, for Swarthmore College truly is, above all, a community of purpose. The education young people receive here never has been and never will be an end in itself. We’ve always expected graduates, in service to our Quaker tradition, to give back, to live, and serve with purpose.”

Chopp expressed the hope that Swarthmore book clubs nationwide will consider including Swarthmore College: A Community of Purpose on their lists of books to read and discuss during the College’s celebratory year. Watch for announcements of faculty-led discussions around the country during 2014.

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