Magill’s 100 Rules: Admissions and Dismissals

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Swarthmore College has a long and deep history. Daily, we are reminded of this in small ways: by the names and dates on memorial plaques; the wear and architecture of buildings; the stature and grandeur of trees, and so much more. At The Daily Gazette, we aim to be a forum for relevant news and discourse. No less important though, is our role (and the role of all campus publications) in preserving institutional memory. In that spirit, we present to you the article series “Magill’s 100 Rules,” courtesy of the sesquicentennial website.


“In 1883, the College’s second president Edward Magill issued a strict code of conduct to govern students, known as the ‘100 rules.’ The Rules reflect the founders’ interest in providing discipline and a guarded education to Swarthmore students, although they were liberalized to attract more students near the end of Magill’s tenure as president in 1889.”


Admissions and Dismissals
  1. Every applicant for admission shall produce to the President suitable evidence of good moral character… and no such applicant shall be admitted whose character is for any reason unsatisfactory…
  2. The general government of the College students shall be vested in the Faculty, who shall have power to delegate to instructors and others such authority to maintain discipline and repress disorder as they may deem expedient.
  3. Any student who offends by improper conduct of any sort, or by inattention to College duties, shall be formally admonished by the President; if the fault continues unamended, the offender shall be called before the Faculty, who shall administer a second admonition, and also make the case known to the parent or guardian of the offender… if the objectionable conduct should still continue, the offender shall be suspended, advised to withdraw, or expelled, as shall the Faculty be judged suitable to the nature of the offence, and necessary for the preservation of good order.
  4. In case of misconduct so flagrant as to demand immediate action, without previous admonition, the Faculty may administer at once the extreme penalty of expulsion…
  5. No student shall be suspended, advised to withdraw, or expelled, but by a vote of every acting member of the Faculty.
  6. A record of all propositions to inflict these penalties, and all penalties, referring to the offender by number and not by name, shall be kept by the Faculty…
  7. If any student suspended, advised to withdraw, or expelled according to the above rules, shall consider himself or herself aggrieved by any judgment, he or she shall have the liberty of applying within 30 days – but not afterwards – to the Faculty, by a petition in writing, through the President, for a new trial, which shall thereupon take place within 30 days from that date.
  8. Before the end of each term the President shall report to the Committee on Admissions each case of habitually improper or unsatisfactory conduct sufficiently grave to cause a doubt as to the propriety of readmission—


Stay tuned for Magill’s rules on alcohol consumption and campus boundaries.

Featured image courtesy of swarthmore.edu.

Edward Magill

As a young man, Edward Hicks Magill joined Swarthmore's faculty when it opened in 1869 and continued to hold teaching positions while president, including professor of mental and moral philosophy.

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