EARLY HISTORY, 1860-1873

The Founders
Getting Started with Swarthmore
The Next Steps: 1861-1864
An Act of the Pennsylvania State Legislature approves the establishment of Swarthmore College in 1864
Laying of Corner Stone of College Building (Parrish) on May 10, 1866
Inauguration Day, November 10, 1869
First College graduation, May 10, 1873
Women, Coeducation and the Mission of Swarthmore College
Established in 1864 by an Act of the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania, the charter of Swarthmore College states that the College was "authorized to establish and maintain a school and college, for the purpose of imparting to persons of both sexes, knowledge in the various branches of science, literature and the arts." An early brochure described its purpose: "This institution was founded by members of the religious Society of Friends, in order to provide the children of the Society and others with opportunities for higher education under guarded care." Hicksite Quakers from the Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings joined together in this endeavor. Today Swarthmore College is recognized for the excellence of its undergraduate liberal arts education and is regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States.
Text prepared by Beth Bartle
Last update: 5/31/02