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Commencement 2018

Carthage bids fond farewell to Class of 2018

At the formal sendoff for the Carthage Class of 2018, speakers advised the new graduates to savor the moment and then proceed with open-mindedness and integrity.


A total of 577 students participated in the Commencement ceremony Sunday, May 27, in the Field House of the N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center. In addition to the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education, Carthage awarded Master of Science degrees to the first cohort in its business design and innovation graduate program.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018.Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018.

Presidential historian Jon Meacham gave the Commencement address on the same day his new book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels,” became No. 1 on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. The subtitle is derived from a famous quote by Abraham Lincoln, who, as Mr. Meacham pointed out, served as an early trustee of the College.

“Keep an ear open to the notes of those better angels,” the author said. “Carthage has taught you to hear that music. Never shut it off.”

Mr. Meacham, who won a Pulitzer Prize for a biography of Andrew Jackson, peppered his talk with lessons gleaned from American history. Rather than dismissing people with opposing views as “beneath contempt and beyond redemption,” he implored the outgoing class to search for common ground.

“Don’t let any single cable network or Twitter feed tell you what to think,” Mr. Meacham said, drawing effusive cheers from the audience.

A day earlier, through the Johnson Distinguished Visitors Program, he conducted a live question-and-answer session on campus. Carthage president John R. Swallow and Mr. Meacham became well-acquainted as academic colleagues at The University of the South, which is also their shared alma mater.

Distinguished Senior Award winner Andrew Seymour '18 addresses his fellow graduates at the 2018 C...Distinguished Senior Award winner Andrew Seymour '18 addresses his fellow graduates at the 2018 Commencement ceremony.Borrowing quotes from rapper Drake and “The Office,” Andrew Seymour ’18 delivered the senior class address. An accounting and finance major from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he received that honor as winner of the Distinguished Senior Award.

Looking back on a college journey that began shortly after his father’s death, Andrew expressed gratitude to friends, family, and faculty for propelling him forward. He urged classmates to tackle whatever lies ahead as passionate, hard-working, well-rounded individuals — but not until sharing the celebratory day with one another.

“Let’s not let today escape,” he said. “Turn as many goodbyes into see-you-laters as possible.”

President Swallow greeted his first graduating class at Carthage since taking office in July. He empathized with parents in the audience, explaining that commencement for the older of his two children was approaching.

“They are no longer students,” he said. “They are young adults, ready to change the world.”

The ceremony also featured remarks by Board of Trustees chair David A. Straz Jr., who is concluding his service on the board, and a variety of musical performances. Preceding Commencement on the weekend schedule were the New Alumni Convocation and Promenade Dinner on Friday and the Baccalaureate service on Saturday.

Ambassador David A. Straz, Jr., chairman of the Carthage College Board of Trustees, speaks to the...Ambassador David A. Straz, Jr., chairman of the Carthage College Board of Trustees, speaks to the graduating class.


Congratulations to the Carthage Class of 2018! The Commencement ceremony was held on Sunday, May 27.

Congratulations to the Carthage Class of 2018! The Commencement ceremony was held on Sunday, May 27.

Congratulations to the Carthage Class of 2018! The Commencement ceremony was held on Sunday, May 27.

Congratulations to the Carthage College Class of 2018!

Congratulations to the Carthage Class of 2018! The Commencement ceremony was held on Sunday, May 27.

Congratulations to the Carthage College Class of 2018!

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …