February 1, 2016 |
Philadelphia University president Stephen Spinelli Jr. describes the decision to become part of Thomas Jefferson University as proactive, not defensive. The merger "makes us stronger. Neither of us needed to merge," Spinelli said this month at an East Falls community meeting. But Spinelli did not gloss over the underlying economic forces confounding some colleges and contributing to his board's decision to let the 132-year-old school be taken over by Jefferson. Asked by an East Falls resident about the merger's impact on staff and faculty jobs, Spinelli said: "They are probably more assured of a position with this than they would be without it. " As his comments suggest, the future could be bleak for some small schools, as the number of high school graduates stagnates and resistance to borrowing for ever-higher tuition bills grows.
December 9, 2015 |
Bill Cosby has lost another honor. Swarthmore College's board of managers voted Saturday to rescind an honorary degree in humane letters that the college awarded to the entertainer in 1995. College President Valerie Smith announced the decision Monday. "Mr. Cosby has testified in a deposition under oath, which was made public in July, that he routinely and premeditatively drugged women before having sex with them," wrote Smith, who became president this year of Swarthmore, one of the nation's highly selective colleges.
October 28, 2015 |
Chopin Without Piano? Who would dare separate the 19th-century Polish composer from the instrument most associated with him, and why write a one-woman play that does just that? Though Frédéric Chopin left Poland at 20 never to return, Poles revere him; playing with his image is, for them, musical and cultural heresy. But that is the intent of Polish director Michal Zadara and his wife, actor and codirector Barbara Wysocka, who are the Warsaw theater company Centrala. In Chopin Without Piano , which had its North American premiere at Swarthmore College's Lang Concert Hall on Saturday night, they inserted Wysocka as a surrogate for the piano.
October 26, 2015 |
His cell sat directly above the torture chamber in the East German prison, Frederic Pryor recalled, but he didn't know it at the time. He only knew that he could occasionally hear screams. Of the international Cold War drama that swirled outside the jailhouse walls, and the chance it could spark his freedom, he knew nothing, kept in the dark by his communist captors. Now, everyone knows. The new Steven Spielberg movie, Bridge of Spies , tells the tense, true story of how the United States and the Soviet Union traded spy for spy at a moment when each nation threatened the nuclear annihilation of the other.
October 5, 2015 |
Swarthmore College's new president has a plan for dealing with a student body known for its vocal activism: Listen carefully to the students. Craft a careful, well-researched response. Communicate with them. "It's critically important to maintain open dialogue with students," said Valerie Smith, 59, who on Saturday was inaugurated as the first African American president of Swarthmore, one of the most prestigious and selective colleges in the country. Smith, an English and African American studies scholar who formerly served as dean of the college at Princeton University, took over at the 1,500-student college in July, replacing Rebecca Chopp, who now heads the University of Denver.
October 5, 2015 |
A Swarthmore College student died Saturday afternoon after accidentally falling several dozen feet off a cliff, police said. The school identified him as Anthony Chiarenza, a sophomore from Bayside, N.Y. He fell about 40 or 50 feet in Crum Woods, part of a wooded, rocky section at the back of the school's main campus, said Sgt. Raymond Stufflet of the borough's police department. Stufflet said the fall, which appeared to be accidental, occurred around 2:45 p.m. "Please keep the Chiarenza family and their friends in your heart, thoughts, and prayers," Valerie Smith, the school's president, wrote in an email sent to students, faculty members, and staff.
September 25, 2015 |
Soul Project , a European hit since 2006, tours extensively, performing for intimate crowds that mill around its international crew of dancers as they solo to American soul and R&B songs. Swarthmore College helped bring it here as one of Fringe Festival's final shows, where the two-night run sold out at Christ Church last weekend. It reprises on Swarthmore's Lang stage Friday and Saturday. Its creator, teacher, and choreographer, David Zambrano, is a Venezuelan who divides his time between Amsterdam and Brussels.
September 16, 2015 |
Alumni of most colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey earn more than the national average, according to new data released over the weekend by the U.S. Department of Education. The data release, part of the White House "College Scorecard" initiative to make college statistics readily available online, includes information on the median earnings of students after 10 years and median federal debt of graduates. Nationally, former students of either two- or four-year degree programs who received federal financial aid earn $34,343 annually 10 years after graduating.
September 3, 2015 |
Essays will get less emphasis in the admissions process at two of the region's elite schools, Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania. Swarthmore announced Tuesday that it would not consider the essay section of the soon-to-be redesigned SAT, nor the essay on its counterpart, the ACT. It will, however, continue to require students to submit an essay on "Why Swarthmore" with their applications. The College Board, owner of the SAT, announced more than a year ago that the essay portion would become optional when the redesigned SAT is introduced in early 2016.
July 21, 2015 |
Swarthmore College ranks among the nation's wealthiest liberal-arts colleges, overseeing a $1.9 billion endowment - an average of more than $1 million for each of its 1,577 students. Swarthmore's endowment prospered in its most recent fiscal year, with publicly traded stocks constituting almost half its portfolio. Riding a booming market, Swarthmore has generated a 17.8 percent gain last year and an average annual gain of 14 percent over the last five years. Much of the credit goes to Mark Amstutz, chief investment officer at Swarthmore, an historically Quaker school situated on a garden-like campus west of Center City.