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Introducing the Dining Hall and Community Commons Programmatic Committee: February 2018

Dear Friends,

Two years ago, the College undertook a self-study on “Learning, Working, and Living Outcomes” at Swarthmore. This study captured our strengths; it also revealed the desire for more spaces on campus that facilitate socialization, active learning, and community-building, as has the subsequent work of the Self Study Action Committee and Re-imagining the Student Experience: A Visioning Exercise. We are committed to creating an environment where our students, faculty, and staff not only live, learn, and work, but also thrive in each of these endeavors.

In response to what we learned, we have formed the Dining Hall and Community Commons Space Programmatic Committee. A revitalized dining hall and central commons space has the potential to foster meaningful connections among students, strengthen relationships between students, staff, and faculty, and sustain learning beyond the classroom. This spring, the committee will begin the work of envisioning how to bring such a space to the heart of campus.

Over the next year and a half, the committee will take on three interrelated goals. Firstly, they will evaluate and prioritize community needs for dining and gathering on campus. With that knowledge, they will next begin to determine what type of space or spaces might be needed. Lastly, they will investigate the operational requirements of the proposed facility or facilities. Central to this work will be an exploration of the following key questions:

Community building

How will this space foster connection, collaboration, and resource-sharing among students and between students, faculty, and staff?


How will this space be welcoming for, inclusive of, and accessible to all members of our community?


How will this space embody Swarthmore’s commitment to sustainable environmental practices?

This project presents a unique and important opportunity to enrich life at the College. If done right, it will result in a vital addition to our campus, one that will enrich the lives of our community members and provide new opportunities for us to learn from and connect with one another.

Below is a list of those faculty, staff, and students who have agreed to serve on the committee.

We will continue to keep you informed of the committee’s progress in the coming months, and you can feel free to reach out to me ( with any input or questions along the way.


Anthony Coschignano
Executive Director, Auxiliary Services

Dining Hall and Community Commons Space Programmatic Committee Members

Leadership Team:

Chair: Anthony Coschignano, Executive Director, Auxiliary Services

Liz Braun, Dean of Students

Greg Brown, Vice President of Finance and Administration   

Linda McDougall, Director, Dining Services


Committee Members:

Andrew Barclay, Assistant Director, Dean’s Office

Karen Borbee, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach

Ali Craig, Senior Associate Director, Volunteers

Mark Dumic, Director, Networking and Telecommunications

Randall Exon, Sara Lawrence Lightfoot Professor of Studio Art

Rachel Head, Assistant Dean and Director for Student Engagement

Brenna Heintz, Assistant Dean of Admissions

Jeff Jabco, Director of Grounds and Coordinator of Horticulture

Emma Kassan '20

Jonathan Kriney '20

Jack McGowan, Facilities Management

Chip Proctor, Manager of Administration, Environmental Services

Rabbi Michael Ramberg, Jewish Student Advisor

Alexandra Sastre '05, Communications

Claire Sawyers, Director, Scott Arboretum

Jan Semler, Director, Capital Planning and Project Management

Sam Smemo, Associate Director for Operations, Public Safety

Michael Hill, Director, Public Safety

Susan Smythe, ADA Program Manager and Senior Project Manager

Aurora Winslade, Director, Sustainability

Adora Zhang '21