As President Valerie Smith mentioned in her recent message to the community, at their December meeting, the Board of Managers pledged to increase the financial support available to undocumented, first-generation, and under-represented students who may need assistance during the academic year. Board members have raised more than $300,000 in gifts and pledges to support the expansion of the Dean’s Discretionary Funds, in order to provide funds to students who may find themselves facing an urgent financial shortfall during the academic year, and to insure that all students can fully benefit from all Swarthmore has to offer.
“We stand firm in our commitment to do everything in our power, within the guidelines of the law, to protect the safety and rights of all members of our community,” says Tom Spock ’78, chair of the Board of Managers. “While this has always been the case at Swarthmore, we felt it was time to highlight and expand the efforts, in ways that directly impact our students’ everyday lives. We encourage the rest of the community to join us in this effort.”
The support of the Dean’s Discretionary Funds also demonstrates Swarthmore’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity.
“This support will also allow us to address the ‘hidden costs’ of a Swarthmore education, as experienced by our low-income, first-generation, and under-represented students,” says Rhonda Resnick Cohen ’76, vice chair of the Board of Managers. “This sends an even stronger signal of support to any prospective or admitted student who may be worried about their family’s financial situation.”
“Consider this an investment in our students and an on-the-ground expression of our support for them,” says Jane Lang ’67 of the Board of Managers, who led the effort to secure discretionary funding in December. “Whether it’s a plane ticket to go see an ailing loved one, or visa costs to study abroad, travel to interviews, externships, or internships, this support follows through on our responsibility to do everything that we can to give our students the tools they need to thrive.”
Swarthmore has a proud history of commitment to social justice, civil liberties, diversity, and the protection and inclusion of groups subjected to acts that threaten their freedom and safety.
“We will never back down from that commitment,” says Spock. “Our students deserve to be able to keep their focus squarely on exploring their intellectual curiosities and becoming well-rounded citizens of the world.”