Skip to main content of page. Skip to alumni site navigation.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Mac Wire [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Happy Holidays

"As we depart along our separate roads, may we be nourished by our years of friendship and learning at Macalester. And may we draw upon them to create in each of our homelands a more just and peaceful world."
The Macalester Prayer for Peace

May this season be filled with joy.
May the new year bring us peace.

[ view previous editions ]


Campus News

Construction of new Athletic and Recreation Center to begin in January

Rendering of the new Athletics and Recreation Center

Rendering of the new Macalester Athletic and Recreation Center.

Construction for the new $45 million Macalester Athletic and Recreation Center (MARC) will begin in earnest in early January when contractors begin tearing down the old Field House. The gym and the Leonard Natatorium will remain open through the rest of the month. The new building will feature a gym, field house, natatorium, fitness center, health services offices, locker rooms and an office suite for the athletics department.

Up to 95 percent of the materials from the demolition will be reused or recycled. For example, the Field House will be torn down and rebuilt as a horse barn in Monticello, Minn. Flooring from the gym will be reused in various locations in the new building.

The Board of Trustees gave final approval to the construction project earlier this month. It is expected to be completed by fall 2008. Macalester teams will practice and play their games at nearby colleges and high schools during construction. Macalester plans to raise $26 million for the project. So far, $13.5 million has been raised or pledged.
Details »

Mac Market provides new arts venue for Macalester artists

Macalester faculty, staff, student and alumni artists have an opportunity to display and sell their artwork at the first Mac Market, which will be held in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center atrium 3-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. Many types of items including art pieces, pottery, music, jewelry, purses, clothing and anything created by Macalester community members are welcome. E-mail Karlyn Wegmann to find out more.

Macalester community shares stories of diversity through The Mosaic

The Mosaic masthead

The fall edition of The Mosaic, the newsletter of the Department of Multicultural Life written by students, faculty and staff, came out last month. The edition includes reflections from the new dean of the department, Tommy Woon; and articles about the Women of Color Collective, constructive discussions about identity and race through the Tapas Series, the Alumni of Color and Friends Host Family Program for students of color and multiracial students, conversations about latina/o and Navajo spirituality through the Soup and Substance program, exploring the concept of home through the student photo exhibit Xpressions, the emerging scholars program, Macalester's presence at the American Studies conference, Diversity Weekend 2006 and more.
Download the Mosaic (.pdf) »
Visit the Multicultural Life site »

Alumni Trip to China planned for September 2007

Small photo of the Temple of Heaven in China.

Ever wanted to visit Beijing, Tibet and Shanghai? Now's your chance. Macalester alumni will visit China in September 2007. Registration opens January 15.
Review trip itinerary »

Student mathematicians make magic for Macalester

The Math team comprised of Thuy Linh To ’07, Viet Hoang ’08 and Anh Trinh ’07 tied with St. Olaf for first place in the Mathematical Association of America, North Central Section Fall 2006 NCS Team Competition last month. This is the third time in a row and the fifth time overall that Macalester has won the annual math contest. All four of Macalester’s teams finished in the top half. A total of 58 teams from 27 institutions in Minnesota, Manitoba, Ontario, North Dakota and South Dakota took part in the event.

Professor Kathleen Parson appointed Visiting Scholar at University of Queensland

Kathleen Parson ’67, professor of biology and chemistry, was appointed visiting scholar for Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia). Parson will work with the university to implement a newly revised program for the B.Sc. degree over the course of six months starting in January. Parson has served the last two years as program director in the Division of Undergraduate Education at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., and was recipient of Macalester's 1998 Jefferson Award.


Alumni News

Kofi Annan’s (’61) final term as UN Secretary-General comes to an end

Photo of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon talking with Kofi Annan ’61 in October. UN Photo/ Mark Garten.

Kofi Annan ’61 will complete his second and final term as United Nations Secretary-General at the end of this month. One of the most celebrated alumni of Macalester College, Annan has worked to reform the United Nations and has been a worldwide spokesperson for international cooperation, humanitarian relief and improving the quality of life for people around the world. Annan spoke on campus last April to inaugurate the new Institute for Global Citizenship. He has served as U.N. Secretary-General since 1997. Ban Ki-moon will take the office on January 1.

Faculty Talks

Now Playing:
History of Chinese propaganda posters and unearthing ancient neighborhoods

Hear Winston Kyan, Art History, talk about the Zhang Dali exhibit on display in the gallery through Dec. 10 and Joe Rife, Classics, talk about his field work and upcoming expedition to Kenchreai, Greece, the bustling port of the ancient city of Corinth.

Subscribe to Faculty Talks podcast in iTunes or your preferred application today.

RSS Link | Subscribe in iTunes

Visit the Faculty Talks archives »

NASA’s Michael Starobin ’90 creates first film for the spherical screen

Michael Starobin stands in front of a Science on a Sphere screen displaying his latest work, Footprints

Ever wondered what it would be like to see the earth and moon from outer space? Thanks to Footprints, the new movie created by Michael Starobin ’90, senior producer for media at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, you can get that sensation — without the zero gravity. Starobin and his team used Science on Sphere, a new technology recently developed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as the chosen medium for the 16-minute feature. Through this technology, satellite imagery of the earth, the moon and other planets are projected onto a 6-foot tall spherical screen in the middle of the theater. While NOAA has used Science on a Sphere technology for other applications, this is the first time it’s been used to present scientific information with compelling language, imagery and dramatic effects.

Footprints will be shown at the Maryland Science Center, National Maritime Center (Norfolk, Va.), the Science Museum of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minn.), the Bishop Museum (Honolulu), the Imiloa Astronomy Center (Hilo, Hawaii), The Tech. Museum of Innovation (San Jose, Calif.), the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in (Alpena, Mich.), and the Planet Theater (Boulder, Colo.)
Read more about it at NASA »

Reunion 2007 common reading is The Things We Carried by Tim O’Brien ’68

Cover of the book, The Things They Carried

Tim O’Brien’s (’68) acclaimed novel based on his experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried, has been selected as the common reading for Reunion 2007 in June. Alumni planning to attend reunion are encouraged to read his book and will have an opportunity to discuss it as part of the weekend's festivities. O'Brien's novel was also chosen for St. Paul Reads, a citywide reading program.
More about Reunion 2007 »

New law makes transfers of IRA funds to charities easier

The recently enacted Pension Protection Act of 2006 is designed to encourage charitable gifts by making it possible for those 70 1/2 or older to donate IRA assets directly to qualified charities more simply and without tax complications in calendar years 2006 and 2007. Funds transferred in this way do not generate taxable income, but do not qualify for a charitable deduction. To benefit from the new law:

  • Donors must be 70 ½ or older at the time they authorize the gift;
  • Gift transfers must be made in calendar years 2006 and 2007;
  • Funds must be transferred directly from an IRA (traditional or Roth) to a qualified charity — such as Macalester; and
  • Gifts must be outright and can not exceed $100,000 per year.

Gifts made in this way count can count toward your IRA annual minimum required distribution. Check with your IRA administrator and your advisors to determine if this new charitable gift opportunity makes sense for you under the applicable federal and state tax laws. To ensure that you have ample time to review your options, ask your IRA administrator to outline the process and time requirements needed to complete this type of gift. If you have questions or would like to receive a sample authorization letter, contact Christine Solso, Macalester's director of planned giving, at or 1-800-645-3919 (toll-free).




A number of music and dance performances are happening in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center this month. Here are the ones to look for:

“Inverted Force” - Fall Dance Concert
7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Dec. 8-9
2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10
Main Stage Theater

Mac Jazz Combos and Big Band Concert
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8
Concert Hall

African Music Ensemble in Concert
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9
Concert Hall

Collegium Musicum in Concert
8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10
Concert Hall

Student Composers‘ Concert
8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12
Concert Hall

Traditions and Sirens Concert
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15
Concert Hall

Scotch Tape in Performance
8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16
Concert Hall

View details for these events »


Handel’s "Messiah" Community Sing-Along
3:30-5:30 p.m. Sat., Dec. 9
Ridgewood Baptist Church, 4420 County Road 101,
Minnetonka, Minn.
[google map]

Bring your friends and sing Handel's "Messiah" in the 27th annual community sing-along sponsored by The Music Association of Minnetonka. Or, just sit back and enjoy the music. A few scores will be available to borrow. Bring your own if you have one. Scores are available for about $8 each at Schmitt Music, 800-767-3434. Free and open to the public. To RSVP, e-mail Andi Wulff.

Brave New Workshop’s annual holiday show
6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16
Brave New Workshop Theatre,
2605 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

Watch the Brave New Workshop’s annual holiday sketch comedy show with other alumni and friends. If you're frazzled by the holidazzle, join Mac alumni and friends for a "Ho-ho-ho-larious" look at the holidays! Arrive at 6 p.m. to mingle before the show starts at 7 p.m. A limited number of tickets are available. Buy your ticket by Dec. 8 at the special Macalester price of  $19 per person. This event is not appropriate for children. For further information, call 651-696-6083.

Orlando Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15
Osceola Performing Arts Ctr., 3141 N. Orange Blossom Tr., Kissimmee, Florida

Russel P. Allen ’74 invites Orlando-area alumni to Orlando Ballet's presentation of “The Nutcracker.” A special reception for alumni begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by the performance of this classic ballet at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $55 per person. To reserve tickets, send a check payable to Orlando Ballet to Russel P. Allen, 1120 Schultz Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789. Group hotel rates in Orlando are available. E-mail Russel P. Allen for further information.

Philadelphia gathering at Raven Lounge
5:30-7:30 p.m. Wed., Jan. 10
The Raven Lounge,
1718 Sansom St., Philadelphia

Holiday season got you thinking about a new resolution? Resolve to get in touch with that Macalester spirit. Get together with other Philly-area alumni and friends at the Raven Lounge. E-mail Samuel Willis ’96 for more information.

Correction to November's story about Erik Christensen ’95

Last month’s Alumni News story about Erik Christensen’s (’95) installation at an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregation in Chicago contained two errors. Mac Wire reported the pastor was “ordained as the first openly gay minister in the ELCA on Oct. 21.” The first openly gay ministers to serve ELCA congregations were actually Jeff Johnson, Phyllis Zillhart and Ruth Frost in 1990. Christensen is, however, the first openly gay minister to be called to serve an ELCA congregation in the Chicago area, the national headquarters of the denomination. Also, Erik Christensen’s Oct. 21 ceremony was technically an “extra-ordinary ordination.” Christensen’s approval for ministry was provided by the Extraordinary Candidacy Project (website), having met all ELCA ordination requirements aside from the ones that require celibacy of pastors who are “homosexual in their self-understanding.”


Mac Wire is published by the Alumni Office and College Relations Office of Macalester College.

Macalester College · 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105  USA · 651-696-6000
Comments and questions to