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News

2017 in Review: A groundbreaking year at Carthage

December 20, 2017

As the new year waits in the wings, Carthage can look back on an eventful 2017 filled with new faces, facilities, discoveries, and ventures. Here’s a recap of the top stories of the calendar year, as selected by the Office of Communications.

1. John Swallow elected president

President John Swallow and Cameron Swallow walk in the 2017 Homecoming Parade.

In May, the Board of Trustees unanimously elected John R. Swallow to serve as the 23rd president in Carthage’s 170-year history.

Equipped with highly relevant experience as a senior administrator, trustee, and faculty member at three other small, private liberal arts institutions, President Swallow took office in July. He succeeded Gregory S. Woodward, who accepted the presidency at his hometown University of Hartford.

Throughout the fall, President Swallow and his wife, Cameron, traveled the country to introduce themselves to alumni and friends of the College. Hundreds attended Meet the President events on both U.S. coasts and points in between as he took Carthage’s pulse.

“I think every Carthaginian should be excited,” he says, “because the best years are coming up.”

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2. ‘Tower’ construction begins

New 43,000-square-foot residence hall to open in Fall 2018 is breaking ground this summer

Construction began in July on a commanding eight-story, 43,000-square-foot residence hall that’s scheduled to welcome its first residents in fall 2018.

Informally nicknamed “the Tower,” the building will connect the existing Joseph Johnson and Madrigrano Family residence halls. The design includes suite-style housing for up to 126 residents and two floors devoted to shared spaces where students can socialize, collaborate, and cook meals.

In conjunction, Carthage launched The Tower Initiative, a campaign to financially support the new hall. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held during Homecoming weekend.

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3. Campaign for Carthage surpasses goal

The successful Campaign for Carthage came to a close in 2017.

Administrators brought Carthage’s wildly successful fundraising campaign to a close June 30, after donors contributed $47.6 million toward facilities, new programs, and the endowment.

The College opened the public phase of the Campaign for Carthage in October 2015 with a goal to raise $35 million. Thanks to gifts from alumni, community partners, parents, faculty, staff, and students, the campaign exceeded that goal by 36 percent.

Those generous gifts support four priorities: the newly opened Science Center, endowed scholarships, experiential learning (such as internships and study abroad), and the annual operating fund.

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4. Green light for new master’s program

The first class in Carthage's Master of Science program in business design and innovation

Carthage’s newest graduate program, the Master of Science in business design and innovation, welcomed its inaugural class in August.

Taught by expert faculty and visiting scholars, the BDI program prepares graduates to lead and manage cross-functional teams, design innovative solutions, and develop effective strategies for the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. More targeted than an MBA program, it can be completed in 10 months.

Composed of 21 students from nine undergraduate majors, the first cohort adopted the hashtag #DisruptTheNow.

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5. Tennis player’s record season

Herman Abban ’18 had arguably the best season in men's tennis program history in 2016-17.

Newcomer Herman Abban ’18 turned in arguably the best season in Red Men tennis history.

Raised in Ghana, he came to Carthage after two years at the New Mexico Military Institute. Herman promptly became the program’s second player ever to qualify for the NCAA tournament in both singles and doubles, teaming with Pawel Jaworski ’17 to reach the Division III doubles semifinals in May.

He set a school record for singles victories in a season (30) and, with Pawel, tied the doubles mark (34).

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6. Paleontologist introduces new tyrannosaur

Life reconstruction of the integument of Daspletosaurus horneri, based on the distribution of texture on the facial bones. The face in tyrannosaurs was covered by an extensive mask of large, flat scales, and regions of armor-like skin on the snout, jaws, and ornamental horns. The large horn behind the eye was covered by horn, the same material that makes human fingernails. The small bumps on the flat scales are Integumentary Sensory Organs (ISOs), as are seen in crocodylians that provide extreme tactile sensitivity. The skull is 895 millimeters long.In March, an international team of scientists led by Carthage biology professor Thomas Carr identified a new species of the tyrannosaur clan: Daspletosaurus horneri.

Prof. Carr served as lead author for a paper in the online journal Scientific Reports that literally changed the face of tyrannosaurs. Researchers proposed a lipless mask of scales and patches of armor-like skin that could’ve protected the creature during hunting and feeding, as well as nerve openings that made its snout and jaws as sensitive as human fingertips.

Dozens of media outlets reported on the study of D. horneri, which lived about 75 million years ago.

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7. Nursing labs open

Students use the simulation lab, one of the Nursing Learning Laboratories at Lentz Hall.

The newly built Nursing Learning Laboratories hosted their first classes in February, when Carthage’s inaugural cohort of nursing students began hands-on work.

The 3,000-square-foot space on the main floor of Lentz Hall is divided into a simulation lab and a skills lab. The former features four computerized, high-fidelity mannequins that simulate a human patient.

In September, the 15 juniors in the program’s first class participated in a White Coat Ceremony that symbolized their transition to the clinical phase of their education.

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8. Carthage awarded $1.2M Noyce grant

Noyce Scholar Leah Hall ’19 and her faculty mentor, Professor Chris Blaine, worked on a project titled “Quantitation of Metal Ions in Surface Waters” through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program in 2017.

Faculty collaborators launched the Carthage Noyce Scholarship Program in June, aiming to recruit strong STEM students to fill gaps in the high school teaching field.

The National Science Foundation awarded Carthage a $1.2 million grant to provide partial scholarships and mentoring for up to 26 students over the next five years. For each year of funding, a student commits to two years of teaching in a high-need school.

Several of the initial recipients completed projects through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

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9. Director of athletics announces plan to retire

Athletic Director Bob Bonn stands on the recently renovated Art Keller Field.

Bob Bonn announced in September that he’ll retire next summer after an impactful 26-year run as director of athletics.

Under his leadership, Carthage has added nine NCAA Division III sports and raised 115 banners signifying conference championships or top-eight national finishes. He and his staff also secured about $10 million in gifts, in part allowing the College to endow funds for each sport.

A committee of faculty, staff, coaches, and alumni has begun to search for Mr. Bonn’s successor.

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10. A Fulbright top producer repeat

Paige Whitney ’17 meditates during a temple stay in South Korea, where she's completing a 2017-18 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship.

For a second straight year, Carthage ranked among the colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright U.S. Students.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs released the list in February, and Carthage’s four Fulbright awards for 2016-17 were the most among bachelor’s degree institutions in Wisconsin. Across all categories, only the University of Wisconsin-Madison had more recipients statewide.

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11. Series marks Luther 500 anniversary

Interfaith leader Eboo Patel spoke at Carthage in March 2017.

Throughout 2017, a series of Carthage events commemorated 500 years since Martin Luther posted the Ninety-five Theses to effectively start the Reformation.

The German Embassy in Washington provided support through its Campus Week initiative. Tied to the theme “Here I Stand,” Carthage events included a keynote talk by national interfaith leader Eboo Patel, a campus-wide creativity contest, an art exhibition, and musical performances.

A Homecoming concert featured the premiere of a piece that 27 Lutheran colleges commissioned for the anniversary, and Reformation-themed selections filled a special performance in Carthage’s former Illinois hometown. The Luther 500 series culminated with another commissioned work at the annual Christmas Festival.

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12. Athletics completes rebranding

Carthage Athletics introduced a redesigned website in 2017.

After 14 years, Carthage Athletics got a new look that unites the visual identity of its 24 teams. Redesigned logos and website were rolled out this summer, timed with major updates to a couple of sports facilities.

The new track surface and field pits allow Carthage to once again host outdoor meets, and a second starting position counteracts the shifting lake winds. Besides football and soccer, the new FieldTurf surface has permanent lines for lacrosse.

Team uniforms and merchandise sporting the refreshed look are being phased in.

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Honorable Mention

Prominent guest speakers

Among the campus presenters were child abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart and astronaut John Herrington.

Giving Day

On April 7, the second annual Giving Day raised $326,000 for Carthage programs, thanks to 1,873 donors.

Career task force

Formed in May, a Task Force for Career and Professional Development set out to establish Carthage as a national model.

First-generation program

The First in the Family pre-orientation pilot program helped 42 first-generation students adapt to college.

Transfer agreement with Gateway

Signed in May, the pact grants eligible Gateway Technical College graduates guaranteed admission to Carthage.