Share / Discuss


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

1. What folk legend headlined the student-organized Swarthmore Folk Festival in 1958?

2. What was the Robinson House before it became the Black Cultural Center?

3. Who was the Baccalaureate speaker in 2005?

4. What do Cynthia Jetter ’74, Keith Reeves ’88, and Delvin Dinkins ’93 have in common?

5. When did the Alumni Gospel Choir issue its first CD?

Answer Key

1. Odetta, the singer-songwriter, actress, and human rights activist known as the “voice of the Civil Rights Movement.” She returned to the College in 1997 as a visiting professor of music; her class, Music as Social History, blended folk music with discussions on how the genre makes connections among diverse peoples and societies.

2. It was a women’s residence hall until the spring of 1970.

3. Professor Charles “Chuck” James, the first Black faculty member to receive tenure. James expanded Black studies and served as the first coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. During his speech, he reflected on the changes he had experienced in his time at the College. The first Black professor, Kathryn Morgan (1919–2010), the Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot Professor Emerita of History, joined the faculty in 1970. She was granted tenure after a contentious period and with the support of students.

4. All three participated in Swarthmore’s Upward Bound. The program, which continued for more than 40 years, provided year-round, rigorous academic instruction from College faculty members, assessment of individualized needs, counseling, and exposure to a variety of cultural and historical enrichment experiences.

5. In 1996. Hallelujah! Amen was followed in 2000 by Star Gazer, a collection of Advent music. The net proceeds of their sales fund two College scholarships.