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1986 Philip Evans Scholars Program

Jerome Kohlberg '46 establishes the Philip Evans Scholars Program to empower students to develop as critical thinkers, compassionate citizens, and engaged participants in local and world affairs. The program provides support for students to pursue their interests and aspirations, allowing each to create a personalized series of dynamic learning experiences.

Kohlberg named the scholarship to honor the memory of his friend and classmate, Dr. Philip Evans '48. It is awarded annually to students who in their high school years have demonstrated leadership, integrity, intelligence, and a commitment to the larger community.

"This country is in a crisis; we've lost our way," Kohlberg said in the early 2000s at an event for Evans Scholars students and alumni. "Too many people are sitting on the sidelines, complaining but not doing anything about it. There's a crying need for involvement, passion, criticism, and leadership. This is a role we hope you will fill in the future."

One Evans Scholar, Ryan Kuker '06, used his grant to inaugurate the Swarthmore TOPSoccer program for special-needs children to play soccer at Swarthmore in spring 2004. Another, Ernestine Chaco '07, created a college workshop for Navajo students who attend reservation high schools in New Mexico, her home state. Scholars have lobbied for immigration reform, volunteered for nonprofits in Ghana, Tanzania, and Ecuador, and gained professional experience during internships both in the U.S. and abroad. 

After graduating from Swarthmore, Kohlberg earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and an L.L.M. from Columbia University School of Law. He made his name in investment banking, first at Bear Stearns and then at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the firm he co-founded in 1976. He left a decade later to form the private equity firm Kohlberg & Co., where he is now a special limited principal emeritus. 

Kohlberg is known for his philanthropy through the Kohlberg Foundation, which works within three major categories: health and medical research, education, and the environment. He is active in spearheading improvements in educational benefits for American servicemen and women and he's long been active in campaign finance reform, among other initiatives. An emeritus member of the Board of Managers, he is also a longtime supporter of the College.