Connecting the Liberal Arts

Swarthmore is extending the power of the liberal arts by bridging and coupling disciplines and by connecting the classroom to the world. We will strengthen our position as a leading liberal arts college by endowing new professorships, underwriting faculty research, and creating opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. The goal for connecting the liberal arts is $100 million.

Beyond the Classroom: Talia Borofsky ’18

Talia discusses her summer research project "Do Brains and Bees Think Alike?" and the unexpected ups and downs of animal research.

Faculty Research at Swarthmore

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Connecting the Classroom to the World: Learning and Living Abroad

Almost 50 years after his junior year abroad in England, Joe Kelly '71 credits that experience—and the scholarship that made it possible—with putting his life "on a course that was incredibly rich and fulfilling.”

Parents' Perspective

"We are overwhelmingly confident that our son, Drew, will look back on his decision to attend Swarthmore as being among the best and most important decisions our family has ever made. The College's educational style goes beyond presenting facts to teaching young people how to think and to solve problems across disciplines." —Andy & Susan Langan P’17, Co-Chairs, Parents Council

"The liberal arts is a profoundly optimistic way to view the world. I think it sets you up for a lifetime of engaging with the world and with other people in a really meaningful way." –Bobby Zipp '18

Building an Inclusive Community

Swarthmore is committed to fostering an environment in which all students can flourish and engage with ideas and experiences that differ from their own. We will invest in need-blind admissions; financial aid in the form of grants rather than loans; and expanded student support services. Additionally, we will build the capacity of the Dean’s Discretionary Fund, which helps low-income students meet unanticipated expenses such as out of pocket medical expenses, travel for family emergencies or interviews, and costs associated with unpaid internships. The goal for building an inclusive community is $130 million.

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"The Dean's Discretionary Fund is an investment in our students and an on-the-ground expression of our support for them. This support follows through on our responsibility to do everything that we can to give our students the tools they need to thrive." —Jane Lang '67

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Enhancing Our Social Impact

Swarthmore embraces its longstanding tradition of contributing to the common good. We will strengthen our support for the myriad ways in which our students and faculty make a difference in the world, including sustainability research and advocacy, social responsibility and innovation, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement. The goal for enhancing our social impact is $70 million.

Put a Price on It

Swarthmore College President Valerie Smith, in partnership with five other college and university presidents, is leading a national effort to support carbon pricing as a matter of policy.

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Thinking Sustainably

Our five green roofs are one way the College demonstrates a commitment to climate action. Take a video tour with Lars Rasmussen of the Scott Arboretum.

Lia Ernst '97, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Vermont

"The civic-mindedness, compassion, and fierce commitment to social justice that animate Swarthmore's campus are the driving forces behind the work I do."

Creating Vital Spaces

Swarthmore is well-known for its beautiful campus. New structures such as the Biology-Engineering-Psychology building and renovated spaces such as the James Hormel-Michael Nguyen Intercultural Center in Sproul Observatory will enhance the academic mission and inspire and support healthy and productive co-curricular activities. The goal for creating vital spaces is $150 million.

Biology-Engineering-Psychology Building

"This project is revolutionary for Swarthmore. This will be the first time these three disciplines will cohabitate." — Carr Everbach, Chair of Engineering


Completed in 2014, the Matchbox demonstrates the College’s commitment to fitness and wellness initiatives that benefit the entire campus community.