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President Valerie Smith's Charge to F. Stuart "Terry" Chapin III '66

Terry Chapin

When F. Stuart “Terry” Chapin graduated from Swarthmore in 1966, the attention of the nation—especially on college campuses—was focused on the war in Vietnam and civil rights. Today, Terry is a leading researcher and spokesperson who for many years has focused on what many consider to be the major issue of OUR time—climate change. He is an ecosystem ecologist whose research addresses the sustainability not just of ecosystems—but also of human communities—on a rapidly changing planet.

Terry was the subject of a feature article in the September 2005 edition of The Bulletin. The article describes Terry’s pioneering studies of terrestrial ecosystems in Alaska and in Siberia. It also notes that he regularly performs with the Fairbanks Symphony and enjoys playing Irish music with friends.

And he loves sculpting ice. In fact, he has competed in the World Ice Art Championships. Not tabletop sculptures, mind you. We’re talking about 30-feet high blocks weighing thousands of pounds!

Terry has received numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is past president of the Ecological Society of America and a current member of the U.S. National Climate Assessment Advisory Committee. He is a researcher and spokesperson on behalf of environmental sustainability, but his mission has always gone beyond sustainability. It’s about sustaining for the purpose of living and learning. It’s about being part of a community and serving the common good. It’s about creating art, playing music with friends, and more.

Terry, thank you for your example and for your prophetic voice.

And now, Terry Chapin, upon the recommendation of the faculty, and by the power vested in me by the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I have the honor to bestow upon you the degree of Doctor of Sciences.