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Dr. John R. Swallow takes office as 23rd president of Carthage College

Born and raised in the South, new Carthage College president, Dr. John R. Swallow, carried north a commitment to innovative education and highly relevant experience from three other small, private liberal arts institutions.

President Swallow came to Carthage from The University of the South, widely known as “Sewanee” for the Tennessee community in which it is located. As the university’s chief academic and operating officer, he oversaw progress in curriculum, fundraising, equity and inclusion,
enrollment, and student life.

Succeeding Dr. Gregory S. Woodward, Dr. Swallow took office in July as the 23rd president in Carthage’s 170-year history. President Swallow inherited record enrollment, 30 consecutive years of operating surpluses, and an investment of more than $250 million in campus facilities since 1999.

“I was immediately drawn to Carthage College as one of so few liberal arts institutions that can claim both long-standing excellence and profound momentum,” he said.

President Swallow entered college at 15. After completing his undergraduate studies at Sewanee, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from Yale University. He joined the faculty at Davidson (North Carolina) College and taught there for 17 years. That included a full decade in an interdisciplinary humanities program.

Before entering the Sewanee administration, President Swallow took an active role in its governance as an elected trustee and, later, regent. More recently, he was a trustee at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.

President Swallow has written articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Huffington Post, plus an undergraduate textbook and more than two dozen research articles in mathematics. His combination of analytical and communication skills impressed the Carthage faculty.

“He has a very authentic voice,” said Dr. Aaron Trautwein, a professor who served on the search committee. “He sees the world through many lenses. It’s really powerful to have someone who can do that.”