John W. Ring ’51

2001 Alumni Service Award

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Already a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, John Ring came to Macalester changed by the destruction he had seen and eager to contribute to a better world.

Focusing on science as an undergraduate, he earned his master’s degree in education. The University of Minnesota awarded him his Ph.D. in 1970. For 38 years, Ring taught high school science, the last 25 at St. Paul’s Harding High School. Well-known for his innovative teaching methods, he spoke on chemistry education at meetings from Canada to Britain. In an exchange of ideas on science education, he was invited to the Victoria Public Schools in Australia. The American Chemistry Society named him Outstanding Chemistry Teacher, and in 1976 he was honored as a Teacher of Excellence.

Since retiring from the classroom, Ring has been a consultant to the St. Paul Public Schools in the chemical hygiene program and regional director for Destination Imagination problem-solving competition. He is past president and budget committee chair of the retired teachers’ organization, and is a longtime sponsor of the Blue Jays women’s hockey team.

Nowhere has Ring been more generous with his time and energy than on behalf of Macalester. He has served on the Alumni Board and is a truly exceptional Annual Fund volunteer. Every year, Ring personally calls each of his classmates, resulting in one of the highest participation rates on record. Four years ago, he established a scholarship to honor the professors of the 1950s.

John W. Ring has dedicated his life to education, making it the best it can be, and ensuring that the best is accessible to all.