Skip to main content

Political Science


  • Political science alumnus Bill Crowley '08 is a mortgage loan document analyst.
    Submitted photo

Bill Crowley ’08

Class Year



Political Science

Current home

Milwaukee, Wis.

Current position

Mortgage Loan Document Analyst for Chase Bank

To some degree, college teaches all students how to live on their own. But that aspect of the Carthage education was especially valuable to 2008 graduate Bill Crowley.

He was paralyzed from the chest down after an auto accident in Chicago at age 2 — a crash that killed his pregnant mother and stepfather. Raised by his father and stepmother, he found normalcy in his childhood by joining Boy Scouts and playing games with friends. Still, moving into Johnson Hall provided his first real journey away from home.

“I got a lot out of Carthage,” Mr. Crowley said. “Life-wise, I learned how to live independently.”

Drawn by the campus setting and the Western Heritage program, he made equal strides in the classroom.

“I generally felt high school was pretty easy,” he said, “but Carthage challenged me a lot more.”

He majored in political science after a J-Term class titled “So You Want To Be a Lawyer” sparked an interest in law. That led him to Marquette University Law School, where he graduated in 2011.

As he often does with alumni who proceed to law school, Professor Jonathan Marshall brought Mr. Crowley back to speak to Carthage classes. Prof. Marshall, chair of the Political Science Department, also nominated him for the ACLU of Wisconsin’s board of directors — a seat he won by election and now holds.

In that role, Mr. Crowley said he hopes to increase awareness about disability rights and increase accessibility. It continues a mission he embraced as an intern with the nonprofit organization Disability Rights Wisconsin, as well as with the Carthage student organization the Special Olympics Club.

Faculty members knew little or nothing of the background that once made him a prominent figure in the Chicago area. The other driver in the collision was impaired by cocaine, prompting a young Mr. Crowley to speak to drunken driving offenders. The American Trauma Society recognized him as its poster child and arranged a meeting with President George H. W. Bush.

“It’s sometimes hard to fit in, but I never thought it altered what I was doing,” he said of his physical limitations.

That never held him back at Carthage, where he and his friends reinvigorated the Tau Delta Psi fraternity. He was also active in German Club and Pi Sigma Alpha, the College’s political science honor society.

Mr. Crowley built lasting friendships on campus, breaking the ice to talk to everyone he could. He and Luke Zammit, ’06, are now co-workers at Chase in downtown Milwaukee.

While he’s content for the time being as a mortgage loan document analyst, he also has an eye toward politics after staging an impromptu write-in campaign for alderman in the spring of 2012. That passion, too, has roots at Carthage, where Mr. Crowley served in Student Government during a time when that body gave input into the construction of the Campbell Student Union.

He prefers not to dwell on the hurdles life threw up, unsolicited, from a tragedy that happened before his earliest memories. There are too many challenges left to be taken on willingly.

  • 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 …