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Queer Past Explored

By Sherri Kimmel

The College’s legacy of largely welcoming and supporting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) students, faculty, and staff was detailed by three alumni historians and a current student during a sesquicentennial event this April in the Lang Performing Arts Center.
Touching on their personal and professional queer histories were Nayan Shah ’88, professor of American [...]

Awash in the ‘Marketplace of Ideas’

By Danielle Charette ’14

I like to identify as a chatty introvert: I spend a great deal of time reading and writing, but as soon as I get around other likeminded people, I have trouble keeping quiet. In this way, the Honors Program, which is centered around hours of seminar table discussions, frequent papers, and written and oral exams, [...]

Leadership Position in the Liberal Arts Grew from One Man’s Distinctive Vision

By Elizabeth Vogdes

Variously called “bold,” “generous,” “outsized,” Frank Aydelotte’s ears were often the object of good-natured joking, which Swarthmore’s seventh president enjoyed as much as anyone. But he listened intensely with those ears as his keen lifelong curiosity about the world took him far from his small-town Indiana roots. With his infectious enthusiasm, gregarious nature, and strong [...]

How many nerds does it take to make a happy couple?

By Arthur Chu ’06 and Eliza Blair ’07

Most of you have probably heard of me from my recent success on Jeopardy! and have probably concluded from that success that I am a huge nerd and any woman who would marry me must be as well.

This is an accurate conclusion. My wife Eliza Blair ’07 and I not only graduated from Swarthmore, one [...]

Swarthmore’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Hall of Fame

2014 Arthur Chu is the fourth in a line of Swarthmore alumni to appear and win on Jeopardy! His 12-day total was $297,200.
2012 David Gard ’78 was a four-day winner, earning $84,700.
2009 Jove Graham ’96 was a one-time winner, beating a five-time champion and winning $34,401 plus $1,000 for his third-place finish on his second [...]

Queen of the Hill

By Carrie Compton

Deborah Vagins ’91 was compelled to run from class to her Roberts residence hall phone one day during her junior year. Energized and enthusiastic, she dialed her parents, and announced, “I think I want to be a lawyer.” The law and social policy class she’d just left was exploring reproductive rights. It was the first [...]

Liberal Arts Superheroes

By Carrie Compton

Recently, Nazanin Moghbeli ’96 was painting alongside her 6-year-old son when he told her she was a superhero. “Your regular identity is a doctor,” he said, “But your secret identity is a painter.” For the artist-cardiologist, it was the ultimate compliment. Balancing her painting with her work at Albert Einstein Medical Center in North Philadelphia [...]

Early leaders strongly tied to Underground Railroad

By Elizabeth Vogdes

The stately oaks that usher the traveler from the Swarthmore train station to the College’s hilltop hub were planted in 1879 by a veteran of another kind of railroad—a network to assist fugitive slaves with no clearly marked route.
Edward Magill, Swarthmore’s second president, grew up north of Philadelphia in Bucks County. In his youth, he [...]

Important racial-discrimination case played out on local train line

By Elizabeth Vogdes

As Swarthmore College was opening its doors in the mid-1860s, so did a train on the line from Philadelphia through Westdale—to insist that an African-American woman disembark.
Teacher Mary E. Miles was traveling from Philadelphia to her home in Hinsonville, a small rural community of free black landowners near Oxford, Chester County, the location of the [...]

Train remains a selling point

By Sherri Kimmel

While historically important, the train, whose ka-klunk and whistle are heard from every point in Swarthmore, is a lifeline for the College and community. It’s essential not only to students (first years can’t bring cars to campus) but anyone with a hankering for world-class art museums, concerts, or “Philly-style health food—cheese steak, hoagies, and grinders,” [...]