Curricular Trends, 1864-1950

What follows is a meandering summary of my thesis research, mainly focusing on trends in Swarthmore’s curriculum relating to American topics until 1950, but with stops along the way to look at President Aydelotte’s disdain for non-Honors students and an Economics professor who taught eugenics.

Read more

Swarthmore at War, Part II

The sudden influx of soldiers on the GI Bill who enrolled in Swarthmore after serving overseas was completely unprecedented in American higher education, and while Swarthmore didn’t suddenly increase enrollment like many schools, the college did change. The war years were turbulent, but in some ways the postwar changes have been more lasting.

Read more

Swarthmore at War, Part I

When America broke out of its isolationism in 1941, Swarthmore faced a dilemma: how could a college with a traditionally pacifist Quaker ideology respond? Swarthmore founder Benjamin Hallowell was a conscientious objector in the war of 1812. Should the college encourage students to do the same even after the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Read more