1. Amalgamation.
Not only is amalgamation an extremely fun word to say, it also describes our community here. We are a group of people from various parts of the world, walks of life and opinions. It’s one of the things I love most about Mac. We mix and mold together quite well as a community. —Ruth Conkling,  junior (Norfolk, Va.)

trads signing

2. Ardent.
Everyone at Mac cares deeply about something. —Elissa Butler, senior (Grapevine, Texas)

mississippi river

3. Balance.
Finding balance is important to Mac students. It is possible to be a bio major and an athlete, or a Poli-Sci major and community volunteer. It's even possible to double major, run a club, be in a theater production and play a sport. —Courtney Jones, senior (Minneapolis, Minn.)

mississippi river

4. Balmy.
It may be freezing outside but the people and the buildings are balmy! —Jacqueline Kutvirt, junior (Albuquerque, N.M.)

guthrie theater

5. Beards.
A lot of people have them. They are impressive, progressive, and friendly. —Carl Skarbek, junior (Louisville, Kent.)

guthrie theater

6. Bridges.
We come together at Mac and build connections between academic subjects and personal values. We find our niche and grow stronger with the guidance of faculty and friends who challenge us in our views and ideas. —Kitty Ng, junior (New York, N.Y.)

girls soccer

7. Challenging.
Mac helps us find out how much we’re really capable of and makes us reach higher than we thought we could. At Macalester, I've challenged myself in ways that I did not imagine possible and learned to believe in my ability to achieve. —Jenny Grinblo, junior (Akko, Israel)

guthrie theater

8. Colorful.
Macalester represents the various hues of culture blended onto one canvas of human character. —Judi-Ann Crooks, junior (St. Elizabeth, Jamaica)

the rock

9. Confidence.
Participating in class, being an RA, and playing for Macalester's tennis team has allowed me to grow into a much more confident person. —Michael Coleman, junior (Westlake Village, Calif.)


10. Defining.
Macalester takes all of our quirks and characteristics, helps us gear them toward a field of study and become the person we aspire to be.   —Rachel Boarden, junior (Palos Park, Ill.)


11. Do.
Macalester encourages us all to learn, imagine and do. Participate, support, boycott, vote, save, eat, think. —Oleh Zaychenko, sophomore (Ternopil, Ukraine)

model un logo

12. Eclectic.
Having new and different experiences is part of life here.   It is possible to pursue very different interests simultaneously, have a diverse group of friends, and take part in many events and activities that provide new perspectives. The values of internationalism, civic engagement, and academic excellence offer an eclectic life, allowing us to select the best portions of our experiences and make our mark on the world. —Elizabeth Larson, senior (Wellesley, Mass.)

midnight breakfast

13. Enriching.
An environment as diverse as Macalester’s has not only allowed me to learn about the cultures of various parts of the world, it means I can now boast that I speak basic language phrases belonging to each region of the world—something I never expected! —Ajwad Imran, sophomore (Lahore, Pakistan)

the rock

14. Erudite.
I could use erudite to describe many individuals I've crossed paths with here and there, but I've never met so many in a single place. For example, a cafeteria conversation with my friends yesterday touched on the subjects of nuclear disarmament, the music of Stevie Wonder and Jean Paul Sartre. Where else am I going to find that? —Ryland Witzler, senior (Athens, Ga.)

first avenue

15. Expansive.
Although this word does not describe the college campus, I think it is an apt word for what our minds do here. You aren't just around smart people here; you are around people who are vastly different from you. The experience of talking to and learning from people who have lived lives so incredibly different from yours is what sets this school apart from most others. Nearly every day on this campus I have been able to meet somebody of a different race, class, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion or hometown community.   My mind has expanded from these interactions. —Orna Karlin, junior (Portland, Ore.)

the rock

16. Family.
Since my first day on campus I have felt completely welcomed into the college community. Whether it’s the friends I made on my dorm floor, the people in my dance and theater activities or the fantastic Geology Department, Macalester has a close-knit family feel that makes this college experience even more wonderful. —Madeline Marshall, sophomore (Hayward, Wis.)

the rock

17. Fireside.
Mac is a warm place in the winter to gather with friends and eat marshmallows. —Carl Harris, junior (Chicago, Ill.)

fresh concepts

18. Friends.
I’m not sure how they do it, but Macalester does a great job matching roommates. My main group of friends were roommates on the same floor our first year. I’ve learned a lot from my friends here—just about everything other than how to complete my homework at a reasonable hour.   —Jack Poole, senior (La Canada Flintridge, Calif.)

founders day

19. Gallimaufry.
(a confused jumble or medley of things. • a dish made from diced or minced meat, esp. a hash or ragout.) Why this word? Because people, classes, and events at Mac are both varied and cohesive – like potatoes and beef and celery and bay leaves. —Julia Brown, junior (Eau Claire, Wis.)


20. Grand.
Macalester sits on Grand Avenue, fit to burst with talent, acceptance and enthusiasm. Wedged elbows knocking between the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Mac is a blissfully grand place to be. —Katie Soo, first-year (Sedalia, Colo.)


21. Home.
Even though I lived in the same town my entire life before coming to Macalester, there's such a welcoming and open feeling to campus. I feel like it's just as much my home as my hometown is. —Natalie Pavlatos, sophomore (Duluth, Minn.)


22. Hotdish.
Before I came to Macalester, I had no idea what hotdish was. For the rest of you non-upper Midwesterners, imagine a shepherd's pie casserole, with a beef mixture and mashed potatoes on top, then replace the mashed potatoes with, of all things, tater tots. You have hotdish, a Minnesotan specialty. It was one of the many things that I had no idea I would encounter in Minnesota—and it’s unexpectedly tasty. After my first bite of hotdish, Minnesota has not stopped surprising me, both in classes like Urban Geography, where I did a project that took me into the many diverse neighborhoods of the Twin Cities, and through experiences like my internship at Minnesota Public Radio. Macalester has thrust me into the weird and wonderful world of Minnesota. Now I can't imagine going to college anywhere else, or living in a world without hotdish. —Diego Ruiz, sophomore (San Francisco, Calif.)

african music ensemble

23. Idiosyncratic.
Although Macalester students come from all over the globe, this seems to be a characteristic that describe each one of us. I wouldn't have it any other way. —Matthew Butler, sophomore (Southlake, Texas)

the rock

24. Imagine it.
Pursue it. Achieve it. Macalester is about realizing your potential to follow untrodden paths. It is the courage to strive for the extraordinary and never settle for the ordinary. —Catie Skluzacek, senior (Chaska, Minn.)


25. Inspirational.
At Macalester the diverse student population, brilliant staff and emphasis on global citizenship all inspire us to take risks, be open-minded, and be creative when solving problems and finding common ground with our peers. —Emily Hutson, junior (Washington, D.C.)


26. Intellectual.
Whether you want to talk Chinese music theory in the classroom or Caribbean economic policy in the dorm hall at 2 a. m. , there will be someone to talk to. Can we go overboard? You better believe it, but at the end of the day, it’s one of the things we love most about Mac. —Kristine Stresman, junior (Brown Deer, Wis.)


27. Learn.
We are not just learning about classroom topics, but also about society, people, places, current issues, culture, and ourselves. —Abby Colehour, sophomore (Minnetonka, Minn.)

snowy the rabbit

28. Life-altering.
This is a place where a multitude of races, ethnicities and nationalities come together to create a life-altering experience. —Saad Anjum, senior (Karachi, Pakistan)

the rock

29. MACnificent.
Similar to any magnificent painting, Macalester is an impressive and grand mix of many different strokes put together. Macalester is wonderful! —Rudy Alejandro Herrera Marmol, senior (Guatemala)

ice cream sundae

30. MacSoup.
I love going to the MacSoup club events, where we get to see the Mac student body mingling at its best, gathering late at night for some delicious soup. This one word represents what it means to be a Mac student, both the hard work it entails and the bliss of being an independent college student surrounded by a community of people who are diverse and amazing and from whom so much can be shared and learned. —Nelly Provencal-Dayle, junior (Iowa City, Iowa)

snow man

31. Me.
Mac students feel a sense of belonging and ownership that extends beyond school spirit and pride. The school gives us ample space to critically explore our world and to discover our identity in a framework that includes and transcends the traditional boundaries of race, politics, sexuality, nationality, religion, gender, and class. —Michael Manansala, sophomore (Quezon City, Manila, Philippines)

dunn brothers coffee

32. Multifarious.
This is my word, because Macalester is heterogeneous not only culturally, ethnically and religiously, but also in thought. —Soham Banerji, senior (Dubai, UAE)


33. Nutshell.
For me, Macalester is like the world in a nutshell, filling each day of my life with a different touch of the globe. —Adam-Maliq Walter Muro, senior (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

language house

34. Open.
It doesn't matter who you are or what things you want to try while at Macalester, you will find people who will support you. —Morgan Jones, junior (Portland, Ore.)

language house

35. Papilionaceous.  
Like a butterfly, Macalester is constantly changing and continually beautiful. —Daniel Picus, sophomore (Houston, Texas)

waste-free picnic

36. Passionate.
From students to professors, academics to extra-curriculars, passion permeates Macalester. People here are passionate about learning, competing, performing, doing research, and connecting to others. Students here have multifaceted interests, and Macalester supports and nourishes each and every one of those passions. —Emma Locatelli, junior (Las Cruces, N.M.)

the rock

37. Personal.
Nothing at Macalester is institutionalized, it is humanized. Whenever I have a problem, there is always an actual human being who is here to get me the resources I need.  Communication and connection have been hallmarks of my Macalester experience. —Ryan Schleeter, first-year (Novato, Calif.)

sophomore fiesta

38. Provoking.
The Macalester experience challenges students academically, makes us think, evokes many emotions, and excites us to pursue our passions. —Cara Weggler, senior (Tulsa, Okla.)


39. Quirky.
Everyone here has something that is just a little quirky, but when you put us all together, we make this cohesive, caring whole. —Laura Leatherman, junior (Minneapolis, Minn.)

i voted sticker

40. Rollercoaster.
Being at Macalester is always surprising and exciting, with many new turns, ups and downs. Everyone has a hidden talent, and you will also probably discover a love for something unexpected. —Emily Pancoast, junior (Louisville, Colo.)


41. Snow.
I come from southern China, where there is very little snow. When I saw my first big snowfall, it was exciting and beautiful. You will not want to miss the first snowball fight! Everyone takes a break from studying and goes outside, laughing and enjoying the snow. —Mu Yang, first-year (Nanjing, China)

international roundtable

42. Spacious.
There are nooks to explore, professors to discover and endless ways to learn. I love seeing familiar faces everywhere I go and sitting under trees or on the benches that are all around campus. —Mark Saldaña, junior (Hayward, Wis.)

the rock

43. Springboard.
Mac serves as a springboard for ideas, businesses and activism. The connections we make at Macalester or in the Twin Cities can lead to opportunities here or in places far away.  —Robert Hemphill, junior (Chicago, Ill.)

campaign buttons

44. Stimulating.
None of my classes at Mac are classes I have to sit through.   Instead, they're subjects that interest me, and I find myself excited to take in as much as I possibly can. Mac makes me want to soak up knowledge so I can be the best scientist possible because it's interesting. This isn't exclusive to my classes, it applies to my extracurricular activities as well. They're just awesome and make me happy to be where I am. —Michelle Neary, junior (Minnetonka, Minn.)

leonard center

45. Supportive.
Mac students are interested in helping you learn and grow, rather than backstabbing and undermining your education for their GPA. In this atmosphere where you are encouraged to compete with yourself rather than others, the Macalester community supports all of its members to achieve personal growth. —Adam Freedman, sophomore (Glencoe, Ill.)


46. Sustainable.
Macalester emphasizes sustainability on every layer of its complex social, physical, economic, and academic framework. We focus on renewable energy, renewable funding, renewable ideas and the sustainable flow of energy created by community engagement and re-engagement. —Zach McDade, senior (Boulder, Colo.)


47. Thinking.
At Macalester we constantly come across new thoughts and ideas that prompt our own innovative and creative thinking. —Vera Sidlova, junior (Chotebor, Czech Republic)


48. Timeless.
The memories, perspectives and friendships you take away from Macalester are things you keep for life. —Dimitri da Gama-Rose, senior (Nairobi, Kenya)

ice cream

49. Understanding.
All of my friends are very understanding and respectful of my different cultural and political background. I feel very comfortable here. Mac students and faculty are welcoming and kind. Before I came to Mac, I was expecting a really intense campus. Academically, Mac is indeed competitive, but life here is much easier and more fun than I thought. —Congcong Nie, junior (Beijing, China)

dinner with a professor

50. Unique.
Life at Macalester is truly something special, because we have experiences here that we wouldn’t have at any other college. Nowhere else can you find such a global and diverse student body that is so eager to learn. —Eric Engstrom, junior (Apple Valley, Minn.)


51. Versatile.
One thing almost all Mac students are known for is their ability to fill many varied roles. Students will complete double-majors in two completely different disciplines, like neuroscience and linguistics, while singing in an ensemble, writing for a school publication, and practicing a sport…all in the same day. Mac encourages and celebrates versatile students with complex, diverse interests that they can engage in seamlessly. —Meg LaFarge, junior (Denver, Colo.)


52. Warm.
Despite the Minnesota winters, the atmosphere around campus is always warm and inviting. It's home away from home. —Katie Whitmore, senior (West Bend, Wis.)