David Lanegran Named John S. Holl Professor of Geography
The John S. Holl Professorship was established as part of a $25 million gift to Macalester from the estate of Holl, who died in 1999. The professorship supports the salary as well as scholarly research, faculty-student research, or staff assistance for a distinguished professor in the social sciences. Holl headed Seeger Company, maker of iceboxes and electric refrigerators, and following its merger with Whirlpool Corporation in 1955, he was an officer and director at Whirlpool. He was a Macalester trustee for 27 years and was a long-time supporter of the college including endowed scholarships and construction of the DeWitt Wallace Library. For many years, he was the largest contributor to the Annual Fund. He was also active in many civic organizations including the St. Paul School Board, United Way, and the House of Hope Presbyterian Church.
A faculty member since 1969, Lanegran '63 is the first faculty member to hold the Holl chair. He specializes in urban issues and development. He has conducted extensive comparative research on urban planning around the world and has published and spoken widely on urban and cultural geography. Lanegran has been a driving force in Macalester's nationally recognized programs to improve the teaching of geography in elementary and secondary schools. He has received Macalester's Jefferson Award recognizing outstanding teaching and the Burlington-Northern Award for Teaching Excellence. He was named one of the nation's 10 outstanding geography teachers by Change Magazine in 1977.
Lanegran has long been active in planning and historic preservation in St. Paul. For many years he headed Minnesota Landmarks, the non-profit organization which restored and manages, preserves and operates Landmark Center, the old Federal Courts Building in downtown St. Paul. Each spring, Lanegran and the Geography Department host the annual State Geographic Bee Finals at Macalester, a competition among 4th through 8th graders sponsored by the National Geographic Society. [As appeared in the April 7, 2000, Macalester College BULLETIN]