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Wisconsin 275
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John Swallow

Nonprofits and Education
President and CEO
Carthage College
| Kenosha

Carthage College president John Swallow has spearheaded several initiatives at the Kenosha liberal arts college over the past five years. Carthage has leveraged a $15 million gift to launch a career development sequence for all undergrads, lowered the “sticker price” of tuition by 30% and committed to closing equity gaps in higher education by 2030 as part of the national Moon Shot for Equity initiative. Swallow is current chair of the Higher Education Regional Alliance and was past chair of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.  

Education: Bachelor’s, Sewanee: The University of the South; master’s and doctorate in mathematics, Yale University   

First job: “Software engineer. I learned to prioritize clarity and readability if you want your code to last.” 

Hobby/Passion: “Ensemble singing – classical repertoire, barbershop, folk, and more. I wish only that my schedule would allow for more regular rehearsals and get-togethers.”  

Biggest risk you’ve ever taken: “Taking my family on a bus trip in rural Jordan, without knowing Arabic and without a guidebook, trying to return into Israel through a rarely used border crossing.”  

Fun fact: “I never graduated from high school, but started college at 15, met my wife Cameron in the choir my sophomore year, graduated at 18, and was only 20 when we married. And so, I was carded on our honeymoon. One discerning and helpful waiter placed the bottle and two glasses on her side of the table — Cameron was of legal drinking age — and walked away.”  

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