Inauguration events celebrate both Carthage and President John Swallow

Inauguration events celebrate both Carthage and President John Swallow


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KENOSHA, Wis. – During its presidential inauguration weekend, Carthage College invites the community to join in the celebration by attending a series of events April 19 to 22 on its campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive.

Featuring the formal installation of John Swallow as the 23rd president in Carthage’s 171-year history, the celebration will link the institution’s storied past to its promising future. The inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. April 21 in A. F. Siebert Chapel, preceded by a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Hedberg Library.

Swallow took office in July with more than two decades of teaching and leadership experience at small, private liberal arts colleges. As chief academic and operating officer for The University of the South, his undergraduate alma mater, he oversaw notable strides in curriculum, fundraising, equity and inclusion, enrollment, student life, faculty and staff development, and strategic planning.

Enrolling at 15, Swallow graduated from the Tennessee school in 1989 with honors in mathematics and English literature. He went on to earn two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University.

Joining the faculty at Davidson (North Carolina) College in 1994, Swallow taught there for 17 years — 10 of them in an interdisciplinary humanities program. He was elected leader of the faculty, and students honored him with the Omicron Delta Kappa Teaching Award in 2010.

Swallow began his term at Carthage by connecting with many alumni and students, and community leaders and immersing himself in the college's history. He has guided the planning phase of a comprehensive career development program. Beyond campus, he was elected vice chair of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance board of directors.

The ceremony will include musical performances, in addition to remarks from Swallow, his former colleagues, and Carthage students, alumni, and trustees. Other featured events during the four-day celebration include:

April 19 – Visiting Writers Series: Adam Ross
2:30 p.m., A. W. Clausen Center for World Business (Room 107)
Special guest Adam Ross, a renowned fiction writer and editor of the Sewanee Review, will give a reading from his work and answer questions about writing and editing. Author of “Mr. Peanut,” a 2010 New York Times Notable Book, Ross also made Kirkus Reviews’ best books list for the short story collection “Ladies and Gentlemen.”

April 19 – ‘Mime-matics’ Performance
7:30 p.m., N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center Field House
Special guests Tim and Tanya Chartier put on a family-friendly event that illustrates complex mathematical concepts through mime. Tim, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Davidson College, and Tanya, a longtime educator, trained in master classes with legendary mime artist Marcel Marceau.

April 20 – Book discussion: ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’
1:30 p.m., Campbell Student Union Auditorium
Swallow, Ross and students from Carthage’s English Department will discuss the experimental novel “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders. Audience members are welcome to pose questions.

April 22 – Inauguration Worship Service
10 a.m., A. F. Siebert Chapel
Led by the Rev. Kara Baylor, Carthage campus pastor, this service includes music by choral and instrumental student ensembles.

Rather than focusing strictly on himself, Swallow emphasizes that this celebration honors the entire campus community:

His arrival comes at a high point in Carthage’s 171-year history. He notes that applications have topped 8,000 for the first time in the fall 2018 admissions cycle and the endowment more than doubled between 2010 and 2017. The school’s NASA-supported research could play a pivotal role in the future of space exploration, and the athletic program will host its first NCAA Division III Final Four (in men’s volleyball) later this month.

Carthage benefits from — and contributes to — a thriving economic corridor. Enjoying the same geographic advantages that companies like Amazon, Uline, Foxconn, and Haribo find increasingly appealing, Carthage has invested in new facilities (such as the award-winning Science Center), academic programs (nursing and the master’s option in business design and innovation), and career development (more than 200 paid internships created through a three-year pilot grant).

The impact of the college extends globally. For three straight years, Carthage has ranked among the top producers of Fulbright U.S. Students, as compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Thanks to the popular J-Term, Carthage also stands No. 5 in the country for participation in short-term study abroad, according to a 2018 report from the Institute of International Education.

Carthage has taken big steps toward an inclusive mindset. Racial diversity in the student body rose from 11 percent in fall 2013 to 23 percent in 2017. To boost their intercultural competency, dozens of employees have volunteered for Equity Warrior certification, and the college began pre-orientation sessions to provide smoother transitions for first-generation students.

There is no admission charge to the public events planned for Inauguration weekend. Visit for a complete schedule.

About Carthage College –
Carthage combines an environment of reflection and self-discovery with a culture of high expectation so our students uncover and ignite their true potential. A four-year, private liberal arts college with roots in the Lutheran tradition, Carthage has a prime location in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The campus, an 80-acre arboretum on the shore of Lake Michigan, is home to 150 scholars, 2,600 full-time students, and 400 part-time students.



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