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Recognize an Alum for Their Service

Alumni hold their awards

Each year, the Alumni Council recognizes members of classes celebrating their reunion with two awards: the Arabella Carter Community Service Award and the Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 Impact Award. The awards are presented during Alumni Weekend, and nominations of alumni in reunion years are encouraged. Please submit this form if you would like to make a nomination.

Arabella Carter Community Service Award

This award recognizes an alum for exceptional volunteer service. The ideal recipient is someone who has advanced social justice, peace, human rights, equity, or access through a deep and sustained commitment that has impacted their community or on a broader level. The Alumni Council hopes to honor an alum who may not have received formal public recognition of their service.
Established by the Council in 1997, the award is named after Arabella Carter, one of the great unsung heroes who worked for peace and social justice in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in the early 1900s. She never sought publicity or recognition for her work and was largely forgotten by all but Friends Historical Library archivists, who saw her hand in Quaker peace and social justice work over three decades. She appears to have received no monetary compensation for all these services, living simply on family money.

View a list of past Arabella Carter Community Service Award winners.

Eugene M. Lang '38, H'81 Impact Award

This award recognizes an alum for professional contributions benefitting society. Honorees may come from the government, non-profit, academic, or private sector. The ideal recipient is someone who, through demonstrated leadership and innovation, has impacted society for the better via professional achievements or activities.
Established in 2010 by the Alumni Council, the award was named for its first recipient, the late Eugene Lang, a longtime supporter of the College who has been described as “a father of innovation.” Founder of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Lang had a long history of philanthropic involvement with Swarthmore. His gifts to the College include the Lang Music Building, the Eugene and Theresa Lang Performing Arts Center, the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility, endowed professorships, support for faculty research and student financial aid, the Lang Summer Social Action Awards, and the Lang Opportunity Scholars Program, which provides funds for students to design and carry out innovative service projects. He was also the founder of Project Pericles, a consortium of colleges and universities that promotes civic engagement and social responsibility as essential parts of their educational programs. In 2008, Lang was named “Joseph H. Kanter Citizen of The Year” by the National Conference on Citizenship, a leading advocate of civic engagement.

View a list of past Eugene M. Lang '38, H'81 Impact Award winners.

Joseph B. Shane '25 Alumni Service Award

The Shane Award was established in 1985 in honor of the late Joseph B. Shane '25, who served Swarthmore College as vice president for alumni affairs and public relations for more than 21 years. This award is selected by the Office of College Advancement.

Joe's service to the College went beyond a simple job description - his warmth, humor, dedication to the College, and Quaker spirit made a lasting mark on Swarthmore and all who knew him.

Monetary gifts may, but need not be, considered in evaluating nominees for the award. 

View a list of past Joseph B. Shane '25 Alumni Service Award winners.