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Presidential Search Committee Named

By Jeffrey Lott

On June 4, Barbara Mather ’65, chair of the Board of Managers, announced the formation of a presidential search committee and called on members of the College community to assist the committee in “the challenging task of finding a new president for the College” to succeed Alfred H. Bloom, who will leave office on Aug. 31, 2009.

She asked Thomas Spock ’78, an 11-year member of the Board, to chair the committee, which will consist of four managers, three members of the faculty, one alumni representative, one staff representative, and two students. Dulany Ogden Bennett ’66, will serve as vice chair. The committee’s goal, Mather said, is to find a president who “can lead us forward, securing and advancing our place among the most preeminent liberal arts colleges in the country.”

On behalf of the committee, on which she will sit as an ex officio member, Mather encouraged alumni, faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends to recommend potential candidates, providing brief descriptions of “why you believe they would be effective as Swarthmore’s next leader.” Mather also asked for input on the “particular characteristics, experiences, and strengths that we should seek.” The committee is expected to prepare an official job description in September.

To contact the search committee, e-mail or write to Presidential Search Committee, Swarthmore College, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore PA 19081. The full text of Mather’s announcement, which includes more detail about each member of the committee named below, is found at

• Thomas E. Spock ’78, manager since 1997
• Dulany Ogden Bennett ’66, manager since 1989
• Giles K. Kemp ’72, manager since 2003
• Sujatha A. Srinivasan ’01, manager since 2005
• Alan Symonette ’76, manager 1995–1997 and 1999–2002, alumni representative
• Michael Cothren, professor of art history
• Pieter Judson ’78, professor of history
• Elizabeth Vallen, associate professor and chair of biology
• Rafael Zapata, assistant dean and director of the Intercultural Center, staff representative
• Two members of the Class of 2009 will be named to the committee during the summer.

Mather concluded her announcement: “Finally, in this, the last year of Al Bloom’s tenure, I hope that all of you will join the Board and the campus community in celebrating his exceptional 18 years of leadership. I believe that he will be considered to be one of the College’s very best presidents.”

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