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The Bulletin

The Alumni Magazine of Swarthmore College

  • Spring 2021

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    Bulletin Cover Spring 2021
  • From the Editor

    “TRULY PAYING ATTENTION to each other amounts to listening with our hearts, allowing empathy to guide our steps,” says Professor of Linguistics and Social Justice Donna Jo Napoli, a children’s book author. We continue stepping forward. Moving into spring with a measure of hope in our hearts. Sharing stories that offer a resounding chorus to the ideas of resilience, collaboration, and growth.

    We meet Swarthmore alumni who are tending a once-neglected Quaker resting place and helping to turn it into a garden of hope for the Philadelphia neighborhood surrounding it. We turn our eyes skyward, while waiting in anticipation for the James Webb Space Telescope to launch. Dana Mackenzie ’79’s story about John Mather ’68, H’94 helps us learn about the inspiration behind decades of research that has made this NASA mission possible.

    Back on Earth, we take a whimsical peek into a Swarthmore tradition that’s lasted decades: The Pterodactyl Hunt reminds us that daydreaming often leads to creative enterprise or, in this case, a quirky prank with staying power. And as we pass the one-year mark of the pandemic, a team of Swarthmore economists offers insight into how COVID-19 has and will continue to influence cities, industries, and, most notably, children living in poverty.

    As we plan for a fall semester that will bring more students back to campus, we wanted to talk with Swarthmore athletes whose seasons of play were halted because of the pandemic. In Roy Greim ’14’s article, we discover what they learned about themselves during a year when competition became mostly a solo endeavor.

    Finally, Heather Rigney Shumaker ’91’s exploration of the expanding world of children’s literature leaves us with both the certainty of the relevance of this medium and a comforting thought: We’re still telling each other stories. What more powerful way to learn from one another? 

    — Kate Campbell 

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