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Archives & Manuscripts

Alfred H. Bloom papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG6-D13
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.

Dates

  • approximately 1973-2009

Creator

Copyright and Rights Information

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.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Overview

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. 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.

Biographical / Historical

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Records recovered from Parrish "Cage" Records Storage in 2015, with permission from the President's Office.

Related Materials

Swarthmore College Board of Managers Records, at Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pa.
Title
Alfred H. Bloom papers, 1991-circa 2009
Author
FHL Staff
Date
2019
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2016: This electronic finding aid was updated in Summer 2016 by Abdulrezak Kemal in preparation for importing into ArchivesSpace, to conform to current markup standards and the ArchivesSpace data model.
  • 2019: Additions from the Parrish Cage added

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