As an alum (Class of ’61) I find myself deeply distressed by the article reporting on the student move to boycott classes and all activities while pursuing demands of the administration to enlarge and expand its support of students of color, indigenous peoples and others. I find the times we are in presently quite distressing and this offers a heavy weight on top of that. In a sense the protesting students have lost touch with the Light within themselves. Anonymity is not the road to change and open engagement with the college’s leaders as ones selves might well be more productive even as they strike. Over the years I have seen change come to Swarthmore and even when I was at odds with the College I discovered that it really does always, in the spirit of its Quaker origins, seek to be better than it is in the present moments. I urge the students to seek engagement directly with the leaders, faculty, et al, honoring their common humanity, harnessing their judgmental anger, so that the future growth of our shared institution can be undertaken together.
I believe in the students and urge them to find their courage and engage directly with the community of students, faculty, staff, and leaders. Ours is an imperfect world and it will take all of us as individuals and members of the larger community to make it a better place.
Love and Light,
Maurice G. Eldridge ‘61
Eldridge was Vice President for College and Community Relations and still lives in Swarthmore. Before he returned to the College in 1989, he was an English teacher, in both public and private schools and principal for ten years of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. He volunteers in support of the Chester Children’s Chorus and the Chester Charter Scholars Academy and nearby Pendle Hill Quaker Retreat. He is a member of the Swarthmore Friends Meeting on the campus. He is also a husband, father and grandfather.
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