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Commencement 2022 By the Numbers

Hands hold diploma

Commencement has arrived at Swarthmore. The weekend events will mark the culmination of four years of exploration and growth for seniors, spirited instruction and collaboration from faculty, and multifaceted support of staff from across the  campus. Although this year will look a little bit different with members of the Class of 2020 joining the celebration, what remains the same is the  extensive planning that has gone into Commencement, a celebration for and by the entire College community.

Before final touches are made, and regalia is adorned, let’s examine Swarthmore’s Commencement — its 150th — by the numbers.

  • 408: Graduating seniors
  • 408: Roses and Itea sweetspire shrubs that will be given to seniors by the Scott Arboretum
  • 423: Degrees conferred, with 395 bachelors of arts and 28 bachelors of science 
  • 4,200: Approximate number of folding chairs at the celebration
  • 5,200: Commencement programs printed for the event
  • 199: Members of the Class of 2020 returning to campus to take part in the ceremony
  • 2: Last Collections taking place in the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater prior to Commencement
  • 196+: Stoles worn by 2022 graduates, courtesy of the Black Cultural Center, the Intercultural Center, and other campus groups and organizations
  • 10: Seniors who competed to speak at Commencement, including first-place finisher Anatole Shukla and runner-up Tolulope Banjo, who will speak at Last Collection
  • 1000+: Labor hours required to set up and tear down the stage, lighting, and video setups on Mertz Lawn
  • 10+: Retiring faculty members attending their last graduation “send-off”
  • 4: Honorary degree recipients
  • 87: Graduating seniors who participated in varsity athletics
  • 48: Members of the Class of 2022 who competed in club sports this year
  • 3,000+: Total fireworks shots that will be launched during Saturday night's display
  • 100+: Students who still have the plant they received during orientation at the Scott Arboretum Plant Giveaway
  • 24: Seniors who exhibited art, performed music, or acted/directed performances as part of their major or minor
  • 91: Students who are first in their family to attend college
Shadow of graduates walking
  • 84: Students receiving honors
  • 341: Written exams administered across 121 subjects
  • 336: Oral honors exams taken, almost all on video conferencing sites 
  • 150: External honors examiners from across the U.S., with one each from Canada and Switzerland
  • 1: Cohort — the fourth — of Swarthmore Summer Scholars to graduate
  • 81: Students with the most popular major, economics
  • 88: Students with special majors
  • 10: First-time special majors, including architectural studies, cross cultural psychology, and sustainable communities
  • 162: Students with double majors
  • 215: Students with a minor
  • 5: Students with one of the College’s newest minors, global studies
  • 79: International and permanent-resident students from 33 countries
  • 27: Students with dual citizenship in the U.S. and 10 additional countries
  • 42: States represented by students, in addition to Washington, D.C.
  • 37: Students with at least one parent who is an alum
  • 16: Students with at least one grandparent or great-grandparent who is an alum
  • 20+: National award winners, including a Churchill Scholar, two Watson fellows, a Gaither Junior Fellow (Heewon Park), a Udall Scholar, three Goldwater scholars (here and here) two Stanford University Innovation Fellows (here and here), two U.S. State Department Critical Languages Scholars (Caleb Porter and Zamir Ticknor), and eight Fulbright U.S Student Program grantees (Alana Ballagh, Bethany Bronkema, Anuk DeSilva, Ben Lau, Madeleine Palden, Anna Suh, Madeline Sutliff, and Dulce Ventura)
  • 4: Students who are on track to earn Pennsylvania teaching certification
  • 8: Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows
  • 6: Lang Opportunity Scholars
  • 3: Languages in which the livestream of Commencement will be available (English with Spanish and Mandarin subtitles)

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