Theodore W. Friend
Theodore W. Friend (b. 1931) tried to re-establish the unity and community of the College that had been shaken by the late 1960s and early 1970s. During his tenure, the faculty gained a greater voice in setting policy, and students, too, gained positions on important committees. He established the long-sought Black Studies program in 1974 and oversaw Swarthmore’s first capital campaign, “The Program for Swarthmore.” He also established an Advisory Council on Resource Use and led the faculty in a careful evaluation of the Honors Program.
Friend spoke of educating “moral persons,” moving beyond simply “well-rounded” or “intellectual” persons:
“I suspect that [Swarthmore] has learned, with others, that the ‘well-rounded person’ as an educational ideal may be an empty one. Ball bearings are well-rounded, well-tooled, and useful, but they supply neither motive power nor direction. I suspect that the ‘intellectual person’ is not a satisfactory ideal either, because it stresses only a part of being human. In any summary phrase there is the danger of saying both too little and too much. I knowingly risk that danger in saying that we will do well to think of educating moral persons. To me this means whole persons, aspiring to excellence in chosen fields and pursuits and putting thought, word, and act to the tests of integrity.”
Friend began his academic career as a historian at the State University of New York, winning the Bancroft Prize in American History, Foreign Policy, and Diplomacy for his first book, Between Two Empires: The Ordeal of the Philippines, 1929–1946 (1965). After Swarthmore, he served as president of Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships from 1984 to 1996. Friend is currently a senior fellow in the Asia Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.