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2019 in Review: Tuition drops as Carthage rises

January 02, 2020

Before accelerating into this promising new year, let’s take one last look in the rearview mirror at a memorable 2019 for Carthage College. Here’s a recap of the top stories of the year, as selected by the Office of Marketing and Communications.

1. Carthage implements tuition reset

 Tuition reset graphic

To give students and their families a clearer picture of the actual cost of attendance, President John Swallow announced in September that the College would “reset” its tuition for the 2020-21 academic year.

Carthage is lowering tuition by 30 percent, from $45,100 to $31,500. This reset, which applies to all new and returning undergraduate students, is intended to alleviate prospective students’ concerns about “sticker price.”

Nearly all Carthage students receive financial assistance, with more than $20 million in scholarships and grants awarded in 2018-19. Even as corresponding adjustments are made to financial aid packages, significant need-based and merit-based aid will remain available.

• • •

2. The Aspire Program takes flight

 Nationally touring illusionist Bill Blagg ’02 gave the keynote presentation at Carthage's first...

Built exclusively for Carthage students, The Aspire Program™ came to life in 2019.

First, the Career Services office was renamed the Aspire Center to align with the comprehensive career development initiative. Then in fall, incoming students became the first class to follow the four-year program in its entirety.

Prominent alumni returned to campus in September to impart professional and life lessons to students at the first Aspire Conference, with illusionist Bill Blagg ’02 as the keynote presenter. The College also hired the first wave of industry-specific career specialists and gave students access to Handshake, a robust job and internship database.

• • •

3. Professor awarded $500,000 to continue NASA research

 Kevin Crosby works with students.

NASA awarded physics professor Kevin Crosby a grant worth $500,000 that allows the Carthage Microgravity Team to contribute toward an international effort to return to the moon.

The grant allows Prof. Crosby and students to continue researching ways to measure and report exact levels of liquids like propellant, drinking water, and oxygen aboard spacecraft. The team has been developing a potential solution known as Modal Propellant Gauging since 2011.

Carthage has been selected for the “Gateway” project, named for a proposed space station that would serve as a gateway to the moon’s surface.

• • •

4. 150 Years of Carthage Women celebration kicks off

 Cameron Swallow emceed the kickoff event for the 150 Years of Carthage Women celebration in fall ...

Carthage students, employees, and alumni joined with members of the wider community Oct. 11 to formally open the yearlong 150 Years of Carthage Women celebration.

President John Swallow’s wife, Cameron, emceed the kickoff event in A. F. Siebert Chapel. Notable alumnae gave updates and shared hopes for students who follow in their footsteps.

About 80 volunteers serve on five committees, supporting Carthage women through celebratory events and fundraising priorities. Total donations and pledges had already reached $2.8 million by the kickoff, so organizers upped the goal to $3.5 million.

• • •

5. Three sports added to athletic lineup

This team photo from the 1994 Driftwood yearbook shows Carthage's last men's wrestling te...This team photo from the 1994 Driftwood yearbook shows Carthage's last men's wrestling team until the sport's recent revival.

In June, Carthage announced it would add a pair of women’s sports (wrestling and bowling) and revive a men’s wrestling program that had been dormant since 1994.

Coaches are now in place for all three teams, which are scheduled to begin competition in 2020-21. The additions expanded the Athletic Department’s portfolio to 27 NCAA Division III sports.

• • •

6. Carthage earns national recognition

 Alayna Arrington ’19 traveled to Senegal in January 2019, thanks to a grant from the Wiggan-Ken...

As much as the internal community recognizes the exceptional quality of a Carthage education, it was noteworthy to see that independently verified in major national rankings over the past year:

  • In the latest “Open Doors” report from the Institute of International Education, the College rose to No. 3 — an all-time-high — for participation in short-term study abroad.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranked Carthage highly among its Midwest peers in several categories, including Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 1), Most Innovative Schools (No. 5), and Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 6).
  • For a fourth straight year, Carthage stood among top producers of Fulbright U.S. Students, leading all Wisconsin bachelor’s-level institutions with six.

• • •

7. First Black Alumni Network reunion held

 Carthage hosted the first Wiggan-Kenniebrew Black Alumni Network reunion during Homecoming weeken...

Carthage hosted the first reunion of the Wiggan-Kenniebrew Black Alumni Network on Homecoming weekend, Oct. 11-13, where participants described past challenges and growing momentum.

Attendees included African-American and biracial alumni, members of Black Student Union, and all others who support the W-K Network’s efforts. Formed in 2018, the network supports students of color through fundraising, mentoring, career development, and advocacy.

• • •

8. Carthage Choir wins international competition

 The Carthage Choir won both categories (folk and classical) at the Spittal International Choir Co...

Spending the long Fourth of July weekend in Europe, the Carthage Choir found an extra reason to celebrate by winning both categories (folk and classical) at the Spittal International Choir Competition in Austria.

Only four U.S. entrants have matched that achievement in the competition’s 56-year history. Performing in a 16th century castle, Carthage edged top choral groups from universities and communities in nine other countries.

• • •

9. Professor wins Academy Award and Emmy

 Computer science professor Perry Kivolowitz displays the Engineering Emmy Award he won in 2019.

It was an action-packed year for computer science professor Perry Kivolowitz, whose visual effects software secured both an Engineering Emmy Award and an Academy Award® for scientific and technical achievement.

The software he co-wrote, SilhouetteFX, has been widely adopted in TV series and movies. Prof. Kivolowitz previously won an Academy Award in 1996 and an Emmy certificate in 1992.

• • •

10. Grant funds major expansion of humanities program

 Professor Eric Pullin chats with a group of Kenosha high school students during the Humanities Ci...

The Teagle Foundation awarded Carthage a $245,000 grant to expand the successful Humanities Citizenship Initiative for high school students from low-income families.

Co-directors Eric Pullin and Ben DeSmidt created HCI in 2016 as an intensive three-week summer program for rising seniors who would become first-generation college students. Starting in 2020, it’ll become a yearlong experience.

• • •

11. Men’s volleyball player named best in country

 Matt Reinsel ’19, a setter on the Carthage men's volleyball team, was named TeamSnap/AVCA Divis...

In April, the American Volleyball Coaches Association selected Carthage setter Matt Reinsel ’19 as the TeamSnap/AVCA Player of the Year.

Matt led all NCAA Division III individuals with 11.95 assists per set in 2019, becoming the second Carthage player to win the national award. He made the All-America team in each of his four years with the Red Men.

• • •

12. Alumnus gives away store, pledges to stock a second

 Carmelo Chimera comic

Struggling to balance a full-time career in law with an entrepreneurial passion, Carmelo Chimera ’10 decided to donate — rather than sell off — the inventory and fixtures at one of the two Chicago-area comic book stores he owned.

Mr. Chimera held an essay contest, choosing the next owner from 720 submissions. Moved by the outpouring, he also pledged to stock a second, community-owned store in an impoverished neighborhood. 

• • •

Honorable Mention

New academic programs

Newly approved offerings included the M.M. in music theatre vocal pedagogy and an early admission agreement with LECOM.

Lentz Do Lunch

A new dining option opened for students and employees at the north end of campus.

Faculty retirements

Professors Robert Maleske, Ingrid Tiegel, Daniel Magurshak, and Jean Preston stepped away after 142 years of combined service.