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Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore

Spring 2020 Virtual Course "Beethoven: His Life and Times" 

**Friends, this class has been extremely popular, and we have hit our cap of 250 participants in record time! Because of this, registration is now closed. We hope you are all staying healthy and well.**

For other virtual offerings, please check out our SwatTalks page.  

SwatTalks is an Alumni Council initiative to engage the broader Swarthmore community in free, virtual seminars featuring professors, students, and alumni excelling in their fields and sharing their knowledge and experience. Each seminar lasts one hour and is available to Swarthmore alumni and current parents around the world through Zoom webinar technology


A message from the new director of LLS

After seventeen very successful years of directing the Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore program, Gil Rose has retired as director. I am delighted to take over a program that thanks to Gil’s initiatives has thrived and enabled Swarthmore alumni and alumnae and their relatives and friends to take a series of classes that have met with an enthusiastic reception. The varied schedule of classes, taught by senior faculty, has provided a special and rewarding teaching experience to my colleagues and in turn allowed participants in those classes to engage in an interactive learning experience that they know from their student years at the college. I am committed to provide such a diverse program for LLS in the future and want to thank everyone who has taken classes in the last seventeen years, as well as my dedicated colleagues who taught them. As of the end of 2018, we gave 68 different courses in 18 academic fields. They were taught by 30 full professors or emeriti.  And almost 600 different students took them, 50 of whom took eight courses or more.  I invite veterans of the program as well as newcomers to continue what we all cherish most – learning together.

Hansjakob Werlen

Program Features

  • Small, seminar-style classes offered in Center City Philadelphia, the Swarthmore campusBoston, and New York City,
  • Courses taught by senior or emeriti faculty members of Swarthmore College
  • Courses offered in each of the divisions of the College: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences/engineering
  • No grades, no academic credit, just learning for learning's sake
  • Open to alumni, their adult family members, and friends. The on-campus and Center City programs also welcome Swarthmore College staff and residents of the greater Philadelphia area.

Program Structure

  • Classes meet once a week for two and a half hours.
  • Classes meet for eight weeks.
  • Enrollment is limited, and classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Questions? Contact Marty Roelandt at