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McCabe Scholars

McCabe Scholars and Alumni at the 2022 spring banquet

Department Overview


In 1952, Thomas B. McCabe, Class of 1915, established the McCabe Achievement Award to recognize students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, character, and leadership, especially in service to their school and community. Today, this four-year, full-tuition scholarship is awarded annually to at least three incoming students from the Delmarva Peninsula, three from Southeastern Pennsylvania, and ten from the rest of the United States. The McCabe Scholarship is also available to at least one transfer student, and one international student for whom the award meets their full determined financial need. 

No separate application is required for consideration for McCabe Scholarships; rather, candidates are chosen from among those students who are admitted through the early, regular, or transfer admissions process. Regional candidates are interviewed by the McCabe Scholars Selection Committee, which places emphasis on ability, character, personality, leadership, and service to school and community. National, international, and transfer candidates are notified of their selection at the time of admission.

McCabe Lecture Series

The Thomas B. McCabe Lecture is an annual event that brings individuals with distinguished careers in varied fields to speak on campus. In 2017, Emmy-Award-winning producer Paul Young '92 shared his personal story and the role laughter has played in his life in his address, "An Urgent Case for Laughter."

See the talk and learn more

Chengetai Mahomva '11

"Without Mr. McCabe, it would have been financially impossible for me to attend this premier and truly unique liberal arts college. The friendships I have made with current McCabe scholars and the family-like guidance I have received from alums like Wes Argo '64 have made me, a girl from Southern Africa, feel right at home."

- Chengetai Mahomva '11

Photo of Chengetai Mahomva, a McCabe Scholar from the Class of 2011

Jim Pilkington '07

"Being a first-generation college student, the McCabe Scholarship set me on the path to a top liberal arts education, opening the door to the unparalleled academic and social experience of Swarthmore. This experience would serve as a solid foundation for a sound future."

- Jim Pilkington '07

Photo of Jim Pilkington, a McCabe Scholar from the Class of 2007

Kelly Wilcox '97

"It wouldn't be a stretch to say that my experience as a McCabe Scholar has been woven into every aspect of my life at Swarthmore, where I worked in Athletics and the Dean's Office for 15 years."

- Kelly Wilcox, '97

Photo of Kelly Wilcox, a McCabe Scholar from the Class of 1997

June Lee '17

"Being at Swarthmore has allowed me to learn in so many different ways, whether that be in the classroom or from my peers. The McCabe scholarship has allowed me to join this community of students, faculty, and staff that truly cares about each other, and has inspired me to contribute to the world both in and out of Swarthmore."

- June Lee '17

Photo of June Lee, a McCabe Scholar from the Class of 2017

Kyle Leigh Carney '16

"Swarthmore has always felt like home for me because my father is an alumnus and my parents were married on campus—I even went to preschool here. With that being said, the McCabe Scholarship allowed me to experience this community in a totally different way."

- Kyle Leigh Carney '16

Kyle L Carney
Meet more McCabe Scholars Alumni