Explore Stories

an illustration of Sayed Malawi, founder of Swarthmore's bird club.

Sayed Dreams of Birds

Spring 2016

Avian and otherwise, rare birds abound at Swarthmore. 

Among the many roosting in the College’s Peace Collection is Horace Gundry Alexander, a world-famous
pacifist, Quaker, and adviser to Mahatma Gandhi.

Nowhere in the 14 boxes of papers by the Englishman who eventually moved to Swarthmore is there more passion than in the slim folder, “Writings re: birds.” 

Dan Finkel ’02 works one-on-one with a student.

Absolute Value

Spring 2016

It is a truth universally acknowledged that math class can be boring. 

But it doesn’t have to be, according to Dan Finkel ’02. An elementary-school math whiz who went on to exhaust his district’s math resources halfway through high school, Finkel eventually majored in mathematics at Swarthmore before earning a Ph.D. in the subject at the University of Washington. 

Heather Ylitalo-Ward ’06 cradles an octopus.

The Fates of our Fathoms

Spring 2016

Heather Ylitalo-Ward ’06 was 17 years old when she had her first close encounter with an octopus. 

“I was sitting in a tide pool, looking out at the ocean, when a wave came in and a small octopus swam right up next to me,” says Ylitalo-Ward, who was living with her family in Costa Rica at the time. The creature circled her legs for a while, like a cheerful Disney sidekick, before swimming away.