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How well do you know your alma mater? Give this the ol’ College try!

1. What artist went from teaching sculpture at Swarthmore to becoming a master sergeant known as the Army’s first “one-man medical military arts unit”?

2. In 1993, who was successfully nominated by College carpenter Don Harriz to be the eponym for a revitalized campus service that nearly all Swarthmore students since have used?

3. For what production—his Broadway debut—did Darko Tresnjak ’88 win the 2014 Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical?

4. What happened for the first time in the 1891 edition of the Halcyon?

5. What was the theme of a contest sponsored by the 1940 Hamburg Show?

Answer Key

1. Antonio Cortizas, whose groundbreaking application of tattoo art helped to obscure the facial disfigurements of hundreds of wounded soldiers as well as victims of leprosy. A native of Cuba who taught at Swarthmore in the early ’40s, Cortizas also sculpted clay masks to help guide plastic surgeons’ reconstruction efforts.

2. Essie Mae Burkhalter, honored with “Essie Mae’s Snack Bar” for her then-35 years on Swarthmore’s food service staff. Initially considering her job to be temporary, she worked for the College from 1958 to 1996. “I don’t know why I stayed,” she laughingly told Jonathan Seitz ’96 in a Phoenix tribute. “I just love being around people.” Burkhalter died in 2010 at age 78.

3. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, praised by The Hollywood Reporter for “the inventive direction of Darko Tresnjak, a seasoned veteran of the Off Broadway and regional trenches, graduating to theatrical primetime with honors.” He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in September, directing Samson Et Dalila.

4. Photographs were included, appearing on four separate pages (14 faculty member portraits, a football team photo, and an image of an athletics trophy). As exciting a development as this was, it can’t compare to the mention of the Magill Prize-winning oration by Anna Atkinson, Class of 1894, “Curing Beef as a Fine Art.” If only a transcript of it existed!

5. Mustaches. “Prizes for the best-looking, the fuzziest, the waxiest, the longest, and the most celebrity-like moustaches will be awarded on the stage during the Hamburg Show,” Andy Logan Lyon ’42 reported in the Phoenix. “First prize will be an electric razor, or the cash equivalent in case the winner has become so attached to his little mouthpiece that he can’t bear to part with it.” (There seems to be no record of what champion Don Pelz ’42 chose.)

Know any fascinating Swarthmore trivia? Send your question/answer to If we use it, we’ll send you a prize!