David Lanegran '63

2008 Alumni Service Award

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David Lanegran ’63, John S. Holl Professor and Chair of Geography, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and returned to Macalester to nurture a geography department now as renowned as it is rare among liberal arts colleges. He has championed geographic education, not only at the college level, but in high schools, working to establish Minnesota’s geography requirement, national geography standards, and the Advanced Placement examination in human geography. He also led a successful effort to restore St. Paul’s historic Landmark Center and set it on a course of successful management and programming.

Although students leave campus after four years, Lanegran has devoted untold hours to ensuring that the relationship between alumni and the college never ends. In nominating him, his friends and colleagues in the Alumni Office wrote, "Professor Lanegran has given cheerfully, generously, and tirelessly to the Macalester alumni body for over 30 years. Every year for more than a decade, he has led a tour of St. Paul for the 50-year reunion class. This is a highlight of the weekend for returning alumni and there is always a waiting list."

In 2002, Lanegran developed an online course in urban geography for alumni and more than 50 alumni quickly signed up. He often travels to speak at alumni chapter events, goes out of his way to meet alumni at academic conferences, and in 2008 led the Great Scots on a two-day tour of southeast Minnesota, focusing on the river valley around Red Wing. In nurturing the connection between alumni and the college, Lanegran greatly enriches the lives of students past and present.