Speakers and Performers

Kimberly Benston

Kimberly Benston became president of Haverford College on July 1, 2015, after having served on the Haverford faculty since 1984. From 2012 to 2015, he served as provost at Haverford. Prior to that, he chaired the English Department, served as director of Africana Studies, and served two terms as director of the College’s Hurford Center for Arts & Humanities.  He holds B.A., M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.


Kimberly Wright Cassidy '85

Kimberly Wright Cassidy ’85 began in 2014 as the ninth president of Bryn Mawr College. She joined the faculty at Bryn Mawr in 1993, chairing its psychology department from 2004 to 2007. Cassidy also served as provost from 2007 to 2013 and as interim president from July 2013 to February 2014. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.


Lynne Cottman

Lynne Cottman holds the distinction, at 42 years, of being Swarthmore College’s longest-serving staff member. Over that period, her primary role has been baking in the Sharples Dining Hall, although she has taken on other tasks, especially during the summer when most students are not on campus. Outside of Swarthmore, she is active in the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Linwood, Pa., where she leads the culinary department and participates in children’s ministry

Christopher Eisgruber

Christopher Eisgruber has served since 2013 as president of Princeton University, where he earned an A.B. in physics. He earned an M.Litt. in politics from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School. For 11 years, he taught at New York University Law School before returning to Princeton in 2001 to direct its program in law and public affairs. He served as provost at Princeton from 2004 until becoming president.

Tim Kearney

Architect Tim Kearney was elected mayor of the Borough of Swarthmore in 2013. Since moving to Swarthmore in 1995, he has been active both professionally and in providing pro bono service to the community. Pro bono projects include the Sparrow House, an outdoor classroom at the Swarthmore Rutledge School, and concept design for the Princeton Avenue underpass. He holds an M.Arch. from the University of Pennsylvania and is an adjunct professor at Drexel University.

Christine Kim '17

Philadelphia native and student government co-president Christine Kim ’17 is pursuing a double major in political science and urban studies. She’s a Richard Rubin Scholar, a Lang Opportunity Scholarship finalist, and a Swarthmore Foundation Grant recipient. In addition to student government, she has participated in the Social Affairs Committee and the Swarthmore College Orchestra and serves her community through Kappa Alpha Theta as well as Chester-related initiatives.

Ruth Simmons

Ruth Simmons began in 2001 as president at Brown University. In doing so, she became not only Brown’s first female president, but the first African American president at an Ivy League school. The recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, she holds a Ph.D. in romance languages from Harvard. She has served in the administration at Princeton for 10 years, including three as vice provost, and from 1995 – 2001 as president of Smith College. Stepping down as Brown’s president in 2012, she remains a professor of comparative literature and Africana studies at the university.

A. Clayton Spencer

A. Clayton Spencer began in 2012 as president of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She came to Bates from Harvard University, where she served in several administrative capacities, including vice president for policy. She received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in 1977, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in history and German, then earned a B.A. in theology from Oxford in 1979 as recipient of the Carroll A. Wilson Fellowship awarded by Williams. She received a master of arts degree in the study of religion from Harvard in 1982. She earned a J.D. from Yale in 1985. 

Stephen Sekula '17

Stephen Sekula '17, a native of Richboro, Pa., is pursuing a dual major in computer science and studio art. His Swarthmore activities this year include serving as co-president of the student government. He is also a member of the men’s varsity swim team and works as the graphic design coordinator for the Office of Student Engagement.

Tom Spock '78

Tom Spock '78 chairs Swarthmore's Board of Managers. A founding partner of Scalar Media Partners LLC, he previously spent 10 years in executive roles in the National Football League. Spock, who grew up in Rose Valley, Pa., earned a B.A. with honors in economics from Swarthmore and an MBA from Stanford.

Tom Stephenson

Tom Stephenson, the James H. Hammons Professor of Chemistry, joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1985. Since 2011, he has served the College as provost. He is a former chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and has served as associate provost for information technology. He earned a B.S. degree at Furman University and a Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.

Chester Children's Chorus

chester childrens choirThe Chester Children's Chorus uses music as a vehicle to offer children who live in the Chester-Upland School District the opportunity to expand their intellectual and cultural horizons and strengthen their life skills. The Chorus provides rigorous musical training in a structured, supportive environment, encouraging children to nurture their spirits through artistic expression and to develop the self-discipline that promotes achievement in music, school, and life.

Gamelan Semara Santi

Gamelan​Gamelan Semara Santi of Swarthmore College is a classical Indonesian percussion orchestra that specializes in traditional music and dance from Bali. The performers are students, faculty, and other members of the Swarthmore community, co-directed by Ni Luh Kadek Kusuma Dewi, I Nyoman Suadin, and Thomas Whitman '82.