Alfred H. Bloom papers
Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Alfred H. Bloom was the 13th President of Swarthmore College (1991-2009). One of Swarthmore's longest-serving presidents, he emphasized the importance of intellectual rigor, diversity, and social responsibility on campus, and is best known for revitalizing the Honors Program and eliminating varsity football. A linguistics scholar, Bloom formerly held faculty positions at Swarthmore College and Pitzer College, and resigned from his Swarthmore Presidency to become Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.
Alfred H. Bloom was born in New York City in 1946 and married Peggi Hennigan in 1971. He earned a B.A. in Romance languages and European civilization from Princeton University in 1967, then spent the following two years studying in France on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in psychology and social relations from Harvard University in 1974, Bloom returned to Swarthmore College, this time as a professor.
Bloom remained on Swarthmore's faculty in linguistics and psychology from 1974 to 1986. During that same period, he served as assistant provost, director of the Linguistics Program, coordinator of a comprehensive review and restructure, and coordinator of Asian Studies. He also authored two books, The Linguistic Shaping of Thought: A Study of the Impact of Language on Thinking in China and the West (1981) and Moral Behavior in Chinese Society (1981) as well as numerous articles. Bloom briefly left Swarthmore to work as professor of psychology and linguistics, executive vice president, and dean of faculty at Pitzer College. In 1991, Bloom returned to Swarthmore as President of the College.
Bloom's tenure as president was among the longest in Swarthmore's history, spanning from 1991 until 2009. In that time, he focused on instilling students with a sense of social responsibility, strengthening the financial aid program, revitalizing the Honors Program, and encouraging diversity and academic excellence on campus. Bloom has been criticized for his decision to end the football program at Swarthmore.
Bloom left Swarthmore College in 2009 to accept a posting as Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.
This small collection includes a large amount of material about the football controversy, as well as an assortment of other papers from Bloom's presidency, and a small amount of material relating to his personal affairs and research.
Records recovered from Parrish "Cage" Records Storage in 2015, with permission from the President's Office.
- Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- History -- 21st century
- Universities and colleges -- Administration
- Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania
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- Access Restrictions
This collection is restricted until 2034 and requires the permission of the President of Swarthmore College or the Chairman of the Board of Managers of the College. Contact the repository for details.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.