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Speakers and Honorees 2018

2018 Commencement Speaker

Jon Meacham

Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 27...Presidential historian Jon Meacham addresses the Carthage College Class of 2018 on Sunday, May 27, 2018.Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Jon Meacham possesses a deep knowledge of politics and religion, as well as a keen understanding of how historical and current affairs affect people’s lives.

His newly published book, “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels,” grew out of his reaction to last year’s racial conflict in Charlottesville, Virginia, and today’s inflammatory political climate. Distilling past lessons with an aptitude the Washington Independent Review of Books called “bordering on the supernatural,” Mr. Meacham points to other moments in U.S. history when hope triumphed over divisiveness.

His most recent presidential biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush,” debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2015. Mr. Meacham gave a eulogy for Barbara Bush at the former first lady’s funeral in April.

One of Mr. Meacham’s previous presidential works, “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” won a Pulitzer for biography in 2009. His other national bestsellers have centered on Thomas Jefferson, the friendship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, and the faith of the Founding Fathers.

A contributing editor at Time magazine, Mr. Meacham also pens “The Long View” column in The New York Times Book Review. During the 12 years he previously worked at Newsweek, The New York Times called him “one of the most influential editors in the news magazine business.”

He chairs the national advisory board of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, and the Anti-Defamation League awarded him its Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Prize.

Mr. Meacham is a distinguished visiting professor at Vanderbilt University and his alma mater, The University of the South, where Carthage president John R. Swallow earned his undergraduate degree and served as a board member, faculty member, and senior administrator.

2018 Distinguished Senior Award

Andrew Seymour ’18

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.As the recipient of the 2018 Distinguished Senior Award, Andrew Seymour ’18 delivered the senior class address.

Nominators referred to Andrew as driven, highly intelligent, and “relentlessly positive.” An accounting and finance major from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, he has made the dean’s list each semester at Carthage while maintaining a 3.98 GPA.

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, Andrew helped elderly taxpayers and those with low incomes, disabilities, and limited English language skills. This spring, he became VITA co-chair and trained the next group of volunteers.

Over the past year, Andrew competed for Carthage in both the CFA Challenge and the College Fed Challenge. During J-Term 2018, he took a faculty-led study tour to London to learn about “Brexit,” the United Kingdom’s impending withdrawal from the European Union.

His senior thesis, a case study of Tesla Inc. and CEO Elon Musk, impressed professors enough that they’ve designated it required reading — both in business senior seminar courses and in the master’s program (business design and innovation).

Andrew worked as a resident assistant at Madrigrano Family Residence Hall during his sophomore year. In addition, he was a two-sport athlete for the Firebirds, competing in baseball for two seasons and in golf for one. Through the Great Lakes Career Ready grant program, Andrew spent three semesters as an intern with Beaugrand Tax & Accounting in nearby South Milwaukee.

He has secured a job as a junior financial analyst at Abbott Laboratories and plans to take the Certified Public Accountant exam after graduation.

  • 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 $22,000 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 …