Let the Sun Shine for Swarthmore College Commencement Weekend

Swarthmore College seniors, friends and families hope for good weather this weekend as they converge for the college’s Commencement weekend, with Saturday’s Baccalaureate and Sunday’s Commencement exercises scheduled to be held outside in the Scott Amphitheater.

Baccalaureate convenes seniors and faculty in a session considering and reviewing the “moral and spiritual roots of the educational process” and to focus thought on contributing to a more just world. The faculty speaker is Humanities professor Michael Cothren, who will be introduced by Art professor Randall Exon, with a reading to follow by Nicole O’Dell Odim, a member of the class of 1988 and of the college’s Board of Managers. Baccalaureate begins at 3 p.m. and is open to all, except in the case of rain, which would move the ceremony to the Lang Performing Arts Center and limit guests to two per student. A reception follows on Parrish Lawn (LPAC in the event of rain).

Commencement itself will take place on Sunday morning, May 21. Seniors, faculty and administrators will process into the amphitheater from Parrish Hall, rain or shine, beginning at 9:45 a.m. Admission to the amphitheater is ticketed, but the proceedings will be televised at various locations including LPAC and the Scheuer Room of Kohlberg Hall.

The student commencement speaker is Iris Chan; David McElhinney, a 1975 Swarthmore graduate and member of the Board of Managers, will give the commencement reading. Honorary degrees will be presented to David Gelber, a journalist from the Swarthmore class of 1963, philanthropist John Goldman (Class of 1971), and to playwright and actor Anna Deveare Smith, each of whom will speak during the ceremony. A reception will follow at about 1 p.m. on Parrish lawn (LPAC if rainy).

Primary Election Results 2017*

Swarthmore residents resoundingly said “yes” in the referendum on Tuesday’s ballot, allowing granting of liquor licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages in the borough. The tally of 1,335 votes for the proposal and 310 against was historic: it is the first borough-wide approval of liquor licenses, after failures of similar ballot questions in 2011 and earlier years. (Alcohol sales at The Inn at Swarthmore are permitted under a 2001 ordinance covering college-owned properties.)

Only a handful of contested races were on ballots in the Swarthmorean’s immediate area. In Swarthmore, four Borough Council candidates endorsed by the Swarthmore Democratic party were chosen by Democratic voters, while Melissa Jurist’s “campaign from outside” garnered nearly 500 votes. The four Democratic candidates chosen for the general election ballot were newcomers Betsy Larsen and Sarah Graden, and incumbents Lauren McKinney and Michael Carey.

Republican voters in region 2 of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District chose Bob Kelly over Damon Orsetti as their School Board nominee. Orsetti ran unopposed on the Democratic ballot, and the two Wallingford residents will compete in the November general election.

For a list of the results of the Primary Election, visit www.co.delaware.pa.us.

Nether ZHB Denies Appeal of Providence Road ‘Sober Living’ House Owner

Dung “Gabe” Lau, owner of the Providence Recovery House at 224 N. Providence Road in Wallingford, was not present Monday evening for the unanimous ruling of the Nether Providence Township Zoning Hearing Board, denying his appeal of a citation and closing the book on a ZHB proceeding which extended for nearly 20 months.

Had he attended the session, Lau would have heard not only the substance of the ruling, but also the disappointment voiced by board member Hugh Gillespie in the “significant credibility issues” raised by the owner’s testimony during the proceedings.

The original citation — for occupancy of a property zoned single family residential by a number of unrelated individual adults —was issued in September 2015, shortly after the drug overdose death of new resident Brian Fetterman brought the facility’s use to the attention of township officials. The owner has since accumulated other complaints and citations concerning use of the property out of conformance with township code. Lau contended that the facility’s residents were in effect a “family.” Unpersuaded, Gillespie commented before moving to deny the appeal that “this is not a residence, and it’s not a family, it’s a business.”

The owner of the house at 224 N. Providence Road has 30 days to appeal the decision in either Common Pleas Court or Federal District Court. (At times during the hearing, Lau and his attorneys suggested that the use of the home for a multi-family dwelling should be permitted under the federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.) In the meantime, Providence Recovery House continues to operate its sober living facility, where up to ten residents in recovery pay thousands of dollars per month to live.

Hello, ‘Bye Bye Birdie’

Cast members of YPTW’s Bye Bye Birdie rehearse for the upcoming run of the musical comedy at the Players Club of Swarthmore. Photo by Claudia Carlsson

Cast members of YPTW’s Bye Bye Birdie rehearse for the upcoming run of the musical comedy at the Players Club of Swarthmore. Photo by Claudia Carlsson

The Young People’s Theatre Workshop revives a teen idol for the ages in its upcoming production of Bye Bye Birdie, which runs from Friday, May 26, through Sunday, June 4. The play, first staged in 1960, could be regarded as the first rock & roll musical comedy. It captures the hysteria surrounding the every movement (particularly hip shakes) of a singing idol named Conrad Birdie, jumping off from the phenomenon of Elvis Presley, who was in his ascendancy when drafted into the Army in the late 1950s. So, too, with Birdie, who is put front and center of a publicity stunt as he prepares to report for duty in the military. What seems like harmless fun today outraged the fuddy-duddy daddies and mommies of the time, and broke countless lovesick hearts.

YPTW’s production involves more than 60 actors, aged 8 to 18, performing in two casts during the run from May 26 through June 4 at the Players Club of Swarthmore. Leads include Simon Shankweiler of Swarthmore (Conrad Birdie in both casts), Aidan Cole and Patrick Gaughan of Wallingford (manager Albert Peterson), Annie Mutz and Zoe Bock of Swarthmore (Rose Alvarez), Isabel Zarrow of Swarthmore and Elizabeth Hughes of Media (Kim McAfee), and Aidan Cunningham of Rutledge (Hugo Peabody).

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on May 26, 27, 30 and June 1 and 3. Sunday matinees (2 p.m.) are on May 28 and June 4, and a 6 p.m. performance is on May 29. Tickets are available at the door; advance tickets and other information on YPTW are also available via YPTW@aol.com and (610) 558-0988.

High School Seniors: Apply Now for Centennial Foundation Scholarship

Each year the Swarthmore Centennial Foundation — the charitable organization funding the development of Central Park next to borough hall – offers a $6,000 scholarship to an outstanding high school senior who lives in Swarthmore. Students are selected based on their scholarship, citizenship and record of community service.

If you know of a deserving senior, please encourage him or her to apply. Applicants must submit high school transcripts, letters outlining their community service activities, and short essays on one of the following topics:

“My life in Swarthmore”
“My ideas for making Swarthmore a better place”
“The impact a Swarthmore organization has had on my life”

Completed applications must be received by Friday, June 9, at the Swarthmore Centennial Foundation, P.O. Box 493, Swarthmore, PA 19081.

The scholarship will be paid in $1,500 increments over four years to a student in good academic standing. Current recipients are Kaitlyn Pell (2016), Phoebe Richardson (2015), Marissa Lee (2014), Jordan Scull (2013) and Hart Clements (2012).

First Bartol, Then Papazian, Soon History

Papazian Hall entrance, 2009

Papazian Hall entrance, 2009

After many years of planning, work will begin this summer on development of Swarthmore College’s Biology, Engineering, and Psychology (BEP) building on the north end of campus. Early in the process of site development, Papazian Hall will be taken down, and the Psychology and Philosophy departments removed to other buildings including just-completed Whittier Hall, across Whitter Place from Papazian. Hicks Hall — main locus of the College’s Engineering Department (though some engineering shops and equipment were at Papazian) — will remain intact for the next two years, then it too will be razed. In this issue, we look at the history of Papazian; in a future issue of the Swarthmorean, we will look at Hicks.

The foundation of the building now known as Papazian Hall was laid when Philadelphian Henry Welchman Bartol bequeathed approximately $2 million to the Franklin Institute, for the establishment of the Bartol Research Foundation in the Physical Sciences. The Foundation was to investigate the basic particles and forces that comprise all matter, but the Franklin Institute had no room at its Philadelphia facility for such work.

The Franklin Institute reached an agreement in 1927 with Swarthmore College’s Board of Managers to construct a research building housing this initiative on the College’s campus, at the Institute’s expense. The agreement stipulated that, after fifty years, the Bartol Foundation would give the building to the college, but left open the possibility of 25-year renewals thereafter. Industrial architect John Torrey Windrim, who had designed the Franklin Institute (and the Swarthmore Telephone Exchange at 215 Harvard Avenue), designed the two-story Bartol building with an austerely classical entrance façade, and its construction on Whittier Place was completed in 1929.

The Bartol Foundation had no connection with the college, but it was thought that their presence would add to the scientific atmosphere there. Frank Aydelotte, college president and legendary champion of liberal education, envisioned a partnership between researchers and educators now typical of many of the nation’s top undergraduate science programs, involving students and their professors in acquiring learning through laboratory research as well as classroom theory.

In its early heyday, the Bartol employed about fifteen Fellows in Advanced Research. From the football field, the Bartol launched hydrogen balloons carrying cosmic ray detectors, and in 1935 the Bartol built a device to measure cosmic rays. That instrument was carried on a manned balloon that reached a then-record breaking altitude. A 70-ton cyclotron, built jointly by the Bartol and the Biochemical Research Foundation of the Franklin Institute, was installed in the sub-basement in 1937, and it was at that time only the eighth such device in the country. Some early research had been done into treatments for cancer, but the facility’s purpose was put into sharper focus and its name was changed to The Bartol Institute for Nuclear Physics.

Because of the Bartol’s scientific prominence, the Swarthmore campus building was staffed by top physicists from around the world. During the Second World War, several countries were attempting to develop nuclear weapons, and The Bartol Institute for Nuclear Physics at Swarthmore College conducted experiments in support of the Manhattan Project.

One persistent problem was that a number of foreign nationals were conducting this classified research, and their intents and loyalties were suspect during the political climate of World War II and its aftermath. Some feared that Bartol was infested with enemy spies, but even though various federal agencies and the Swarthmore Police Department kept track of the suspects’ sometimes-mysterious activities, no wrong-doing was ever proven.

Also of concern during WWII were the various Swarthmore College students supporting communism, as the United States and the Soviet Union then were allies, but not friends. These students were watched by The Committee Investigating Un-American Activities in American Colleges & Universities. The pre-McCarthy era Committee consisted of three students, one of whom was Paul Papazian. Paul graduated from Swarthmore College in 1943, and perhaps because of wartime prejudices, he changed his last name to Restall, which was his mother’s maiden name. (Paul later began his career as a local builder, and had offices in the Restall Building on Baltimore Pike in Media.)

It may have been the mission shift to nuclear research that doomed the relationship between the college and Bartol, as Claude Smith, an influential college Board of Managers member of 47 years, steadfastly opposed Bartol’s construction of new nuclear research facilities on campus. Others suggest that the permanent connection between Bartol, with its commitment to research, and Swarthmore and its educational mandate proved too difficult to sustain in the socially and academically turbulent 1960s and 1970s, when the conception of the mission of the college was very fluid. In any case, the Board of Managers decided in October 1971 not to renew Bartol’s lease.

In 1977, at the end of the 50-year agreement, the Bartol moved to the University of Delaware, where it remains. The building here became the property of Swarthmore College. Restall (née Papazian) and his wife donated money for renovating the Bartol building, and asked that it be renamed for his father, Hapet Papazian, who had been vice president for international affairs at General Electric Company. Over the last several decades, the college’s Papazian Hall housed Engineering laboratories, and the departments of Linguistics, Philosophy, and Psychology.

Briefly Noted…

5-19 RV Swim Club cleanup

Rose Valley Swim and Tennis Club members got the season off to an early start in a volunteer cleanup session on a recent Saturday. Young gardeners brought appropriately sized rakes and wheelbarrows; adult operators wielded leaf blowers, mowers and mulching tools, all engaged in preparing the club’s three pools, four tennis courts, and leafy grounds for the coming season. The swimming and tennis club at One Pool Lane in Rose Valley Borough is accepting membership applications for the 2017 season, and also offering swim instruction, tennis day camp, and interclub team competition in both sports for nonmembers as well as members. Information is at rosevalleypool.com and (610) 566-9950.

5-5 friday in the park

Guided by members of the Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Committee, these four were among the Swarthmore-Rutledge School students who learned about weeding and mulching trees at Little Crum Creek Park a few weeks ago. They washed up before enjoying a picnic dinner. From left to right: Mitchell Christodouleas, Jude Pollard, Samuel Grant, and Niko Christodouleas.

CADES Fundraiser Mobilizes a Community

CADES super-volunteer Steven Allman, recipient of the Building Hope award, and Executive Director Julie Alleman. Photo compliments of Don Roman.

CADES super-volunteer Steven Allman, recipient of the Building Hope award, and Executive Director Julie Alleman. Photo compliments of Don Roman.

More than 200 friends and supporters of Swarthmore-based CADES joined together for the “Building Hope, Transforming Lives” dinner last week at Springfield Country Club. The annual gala raised more than $87,000 for the CADES Mobility Fund, which contributes mightily to the abilities of clients to get around safely and freely, improve their fitness levels, express themselves, improve confidence and enhance a sense of independence. Among the applications of this money, CADES will fund mobility programs and create a wheelchair repair workshop.

At the dinner, CADES leaders recognized some of its most dedicated volunteers, and thanked them for their essential and selfless contributions to improving the lives of others. Steve Allman was presented with the Building Hope award, in appreciation of the three days, week in and week out, during which he volunteers in the Adult Day program and provides respectful encouragement and assistance to clients. Four extraordinary siblings (and three spouses) in the Collins family have served for decades in directly helping adults and children, including those with special needs, within Delaware County and beyond. Executive Director Julie Alleman presented the award on behalf of CADES’s Board of Directors.

CADES is located on Rutgers Avenue in Swarthmore, and online at CADES.org.

What to do? What to know!

DCYO To Play At Kimmel on Saturday

The Delaware County Youth Orchestra plays a concert this Saturday, May 20, beginning at 3 p.m. at the Perelman Theater of Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

The elite orchestra of high schoolers, conducted and directed by Andrew Hauze, will undertake Smetana’s ”Moldau,” Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor (with soloist David Kim of the Philadelphia Orchestra), and Danzon no. 2 by Marquez. Admission to the concert is free. Info: dcyo.org.

RV EAC Workshop Rescheduled After Rainout

The Rose Valley Environmental Advisory Council has rebooted its Native Plant Sale and Invasives Workshop for this Saturday, May 20, 9 a.m. to noon.

Bring gloves and dress to get dirty at the Saul Wildlife Preserve, behind the Old Mill at 9 Old Mill Lane.

James Mooney

James Mooney

TGP Ships Out with James Mooney

Next Wednesday, May 24, James Mooney of Swarthmore will speak about his experiences as commander of a nuclear submarine at the weekly Gathering Place meeting at Swarthmore United Methodist Church, 129 Park Avenue.

Following lunch at noon (bring your own, or enjoy soup and a roll from Occasionally Yours for a small donation) Mooney will offer fascinating insights into the life aquatic. Members of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association and all others are welcome.

SPL’s Storybook Walk Debuts This Saturday

Join other reading fans to celebrate the opening of Swarthmore Public Library’s Storybook Walk at Little Crum Creek Park on Saturday, May 20 (rescheduled from last rainy Saturday).

Take a walk and enjoy the lively story A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson, and be sure to catch an exciting performance at 2 p.m. by Dance Me a Story, which combines creative movement and storytelling.

Miss Lisa, a teaching artist at the Creative Living Room in Wallingford, plans to incorporate A Frog in the Bog into her show, so get ready to rib-bit and hop along!

SPL will provide snacks and water, along with other activities and entertainment including bubbles, games, face painting, and music. RSVP to www.swarthmorepubliclibrary.org/storybookwalk.

Strath Haven Grad Leigh Gallagher
Tell the ‘Airbnb Story’ May 30

Leigh Gallagher

Leigh Gallagher

Author, business journalist, and Strath Haven alumna (1990) Leigh Gallagher will discuss her recently-released book, The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions, and Created Plenty of Controversy, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, at Ludington Library, 5 South Bryn Mawr Avenue in Bryn Mawr. The event is free and open to the public.

Originally from the Bowling Green section of Nether Providence, Gallagher is also the author of The End of the Suburbs, published in 2013. She is an assistant managing editor at Fortune, a co-chair of the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, and oversees the magazine’s 40 Under 40 editorial franchise. She resides in New York and appears regularly on CBS This Morning, CNBC, CNN, public radio’s “Marketplace,” among other programs.

Jumble Sale Dropoff May 27

Swarthmore Friends Meeting welcomes your donations of “gently used treasures” to be sold at its October 28 Jumble Sale.

Clean out your attic, basement, and closets, and on Saturday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., drive up to the meetinghouse at 12 Whittier Place. Volunteers will unload your car of small pieces of furniture, kitchen items, linens, garden items, books, jewelry, tools, and electronics.

What won’t be accepted as donations? Large pieces of furniture, computers, monitors, and printers, clothing, stuffed toys, records, car seats, strollers, and anything with a compressor. Directions and information are at (610) 328-8699.

Benefit Concert: The Three Bs at SUMC

In memory of Pat Montenegro, its late director, the Masterworks Chorale will perform at a benefit concert at Swarthmore United Methodist Church this Sunday, May 21, at 3 p.m. Under the direction of Ryan Peteraf, the group will perform works by “The Three Bs” – Bach, Brahms, and Barber.

Mr. Montenegro designed the program, which will raise funds for the family he left behind, including his wife Lauren and three daughters. Admission (at the door) is $15 for adults and $5 for students age 18 and younger. The church is at 129 Park Avenue in Swarthmore. Cash donations will be accepted at the concert, and donations can also be made online at gofundme.com/Montenegro-family-support-fund/donate.

Party in the Park Tonight

Join your neighbors in a popup party in Little Crum Creek Park tonight, Friday, May 19, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Dinner will be available from Hogface BBQ; music will be in the air, and so will the spirit of community.

Attendees can help mulch and weed the garden areas and clean up trash, while also playing in the fields and the creek. Bring your own s’mores ingredients, and work gloves. This is a reprise of a fun evening from a couple of weeks ago — don’t miss it.

Bring your family for a fun and functional picnic dinner in the ever more beautiful park at Cresson and Amherst avenues in Swarthmore.

Media Chamber Chorale to
Present ‘Popular Opera’
By Linda Heffernan

The Media Chamber Chorale’s spring concert will feature favorite choruses, duets and arias, some selections from American operas, and a few surprises. The 50-voice choir, under the direction of John Stroud, will perfrom at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at Swarthmore Presbyterian Church and at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, at Middletown Presbyterian Church.

In addition to the voices of the chorale, the concert will offer the opportunity to hear three Philadelphia-area opera singers perform favorite arias. The choir and soloists will be accompanied by a small orchestra, with Dr. William Gatens on the piano. Refreshments will be served following each performance.

Tickets are available in advance through any chorale member. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for seniors (62+) and students, with a $2 discount for advance purchase. For more information, please go to www.mediachamberchorale.org.

Walk and Smell the Roses at Scott

Scott Arboretum’s extraordinary organic rose garden is the venue and the subject for admiration and discussion, in a tour at noon next Thursday, May 25.

Scott guides describe the varieties and culture of the collection, for gardeners from beginners to experts. Meet at the Dean Bond Memorial Rose Garden, adjacent to McCabe Library and the East wing of Parrish Hall at Swarthmore College. Inclement weather will cancel the tour.

‘Midsummer’ Already at Hedgerow

Shakespeare’s lively and magical farce captures the magic of summer, love, and nature in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, opening next weekend at Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley. Directed by Aaron Cromie, Hedgerow’s company and guest artists take on the roles of young Athenian lovers, a troupe of amateur actors, and the fairies who manipulate them in a sylvan setting.

With this hybrid method of storytelling incorporating music, art, and drama, Hedgerow continues its adventurous approach of presenting fresh multimedia reimaginings of classic plays. The comedy opens Thursday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m., and continues through June 11 on Thursdays, Fridays (7:30 p.m.), Saturdays (4 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and Sundays (2 p.m.).

Tickets, show, and theater information is at hedgerowtheatre.org and (610) 565-4211. Hedgerow is at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley.

Stories for the Road at SPL

If you are planning a road trip this summer, the Swarthmore Public Library wants you to know about the great stories and knowledge available there for all your passengers to enjoy together.

You can borrow CDs from SPL to help you learn a language, hear the biography of someone you admire, or get absorbed in a terrific story from the juvenile and adult collections — all completely free to anyone holding a valid library card.

Expand your horizons, and make the journey the best part of your summer adventures.

Art Speaks at Media Fellowship House

On Tuesday, May 23, Delaware County painter George Rothacker will guide a discussion of religious freedom, apropos of a painting in his series of six works on Social Conflict in America. The session will be held at Media Fellowship House at 302 S. Jackson Street in Media.

The evening begins with a light shared dinner; doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free and open to all, but reservations are recommended through MFH at mediafellowshiphouse.org or (610) 565-0434.

Keeping Your Health in Swarthmore

Swarthmore runners celebrated after finishing the Broad Street Run a couple of weeks ago, left to right (back): Andy Hooper, Jon Feinberg, Jeff Painter, Brandon Lausch, Abby Lausch, Tom Hoch, and Jed Carman; (front): Greg Milbourne and Scott Pollins.

Swarthmore runners celebrated after finishing the Broad Street Run a couple of weeks ago, left to right (back): Andy Hooper, Jon Feinberg, Jeff Painter, Brandon Lausch, Abby Lausch, Tom Hoch, and Jed Carman; (front): Greg Milbourne and Scott Pollins.

By Greg Milbourne

Daily I feel blessed to live in a community where exercise and health are valued and maintained. Toward that end, I wanted to highlight three groups that have directly impacted my life.

The first is a women’s running group affectionately named the 6 a.m. Happy Hour, which meets on Fridays at that time at the Swarthmore College track. When I first started running, I happened upon the group led by Sharon Graham, doing intervals around the track. They bring great humor and variety to their runs, and encourage women of all abilities to join them. Contact Sharon at sgraham326@verizon.net.

As I am not a woman, however, I was glad to learn that Jon Feinberg and friends had started a men’s track group on Thursdays. Due to the needs to get kids off to school, these workouts begin at 5:30 a.m. and gradually have expanded to other days a week, too. Again encouraging and including runners of all abilities (and genders) we have an eclectic assortment of track workouts, runs through town, hill repeats, and plyometric workouts (jumps, pushups, core strengthening, yoga and balance, and the all-important burpee). The group currently meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at either the college track or the train station clock tower at 5:30 a.m. Most Saturdays and Sundays, too, there are pickup runs as well. Feel free to send me an e-mail to join our invite list — milbourne@gmail.com.

All of this healthy running culminated in some amazing racing Sunday at the Broad Street Run, where nearly a dozen of our runners finished in the top 5% in the city!

But if you don’t love running, or prefer less impact in your exercise, try the Swarthmore College Masters swim program. Led by the college’s assistant coach Thomas Limouze, the group of adult swimmers meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 5:30 and Saturdays at 6:30 a.m. for an hour-and-a-half long, varied workouts. All abilities are welcome to join us, as Thomas can teach the beginner and improve the veteran former college athlete alike. I have seen my swim times improve dramatically, as well as my overall conditioning.

Looking for words of encouragement? The men’s track group has made T-shirts up over the years. One touts “Adventures in Early Morning Teaminess.” Our intervals start with the question: “All Set?” and response, “You Bet!,” which also made it onto a shirt. And most succinctly, our senior member, a gentleman of Greek heritage who routinely outperforms others half his age, strongly recommends to all of us to “keep your health” — a sentiment with which I think we can all agree.

I hope to see you soon!