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The Inauguration of President Swallow

Inaugural Remarks

Inaugural Address

Dr. John R. Swallow, President of Carthage

“In the truest sense, a college is more than a campus. More than an endowment. More than a business. More, even, than a community of common purpose. It is a movement, and more still: not just a movement, but an expedition — an expedition of astonishing magnitude — incorporating thousands upon thousands of lives past, present, and future: students and parents, faculty and staff, alumni and friends, neighbors and partner organizations, spanning decades, generations, and even centuries. …

“We are not always certain of the best path forward on this expedition. Yet we must act. Careful the wish you make, we are warned. Careful the spell you cast. Careful the vision you set forth. Children will listen. It will make a difference.”

Inaugural Remarks

Dr. John M. McCardell Jr., Vice Chancellor at The University of the South

“In thinking about what I might say to you today, something that might at least attempt to rise above the bromides and cliches that typically punctuate such occasions, I recalled a sermon I heard preached last December on the First Sunday in Advent. That date, of course, is the beginning of the church year. It is a season of anticipation and also, perhaps because Christmas looms a mere four weeks away, also stress and anxiety.

In any case, the preacher began by recounting her own attempt to get a jump on holiday shopping by visiting If you have done that yourselves (and most of you have) you will recall that your first landing point is a home page with a flashing question. That question is actually quite profound: “What are you looking for?” — a most pertinent question for the season of Advent. An equally pertinent question for a college community in search of new leadership: “What are you looking for?” 

Inaugural Dinner: Keynote

Dr. John Kuykendall, President Emeritus, Davidson College

“Here’s the narrative outline: Carthage is a good college. Carthage is a good liberal arts college. Carthage is a good liberal arts college which, from its origins in Hillsboro and its geographical pilgrimage — or was it a hegira? — from there to Springfield to Carthage and now to Kenosha, has been affiliated with the Lutheran tradition, now embodied in the ELCA. So let’s stipulate: Carthage is a church-related liberal arts college affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (Says so on the website and in Wikipedia, so it must be true.)

Carthage is a church-related liberal arts college. That’s your basic story line. So what? What is that sort of college? What — if anything — makes it different? What difference does it make? What does this college do? Of what use is it? What good could it do? For whom? And how and why? What is the legacy of Carthage? What is the footprint that it leaves behind, on the shores of Lake Michigan and beyond? And what hopes does it hold for the future?”