Elon Schmidt-Swartz ‘18, of Los Angeles, California, graduated summa cum laude in June 2018 with an A.B. in Philosophy and a certificate in European Cultural Studies. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he also received the Alexander Guthrie McCosh Prize for Best Thesis in Philosophy and the New Warbeke Prize for Best Thesis in Metaphysics and Epistemology. A 2015 recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence, Schmidt-Swartz’s primary focus is in political theory and moral philosophy, with a particular interest in the principles of justice that underlie public establishments in Europe and America.
At Princeton, Schmidt-Swartz was a member of Pace Council for Civic Values and a volunteer through the Prison Electives Project, where he delivered philosophy classes to inmates at New Jersey prisons. Schmidt-Swartz also served as a student leader at Princeton’s Center for Jewish Life and performed with the Princeton Shakespeare Company and Theater Intime, two nonmusical theater groups on campus. In summer 2016, Schmidt-Swartz interned at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he aided trial attorneys by conducting legal research and writing pretrial motions. Schmidt-Swartz, the 2017 Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin ’61 Scholar, worked at the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in summer 2017.