Macalester College
Mac Wire


Keynote speaker Marian Wright Edelman and senior speaker Herschel Nachlis ’07.

Macalester will hold its 118th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 12, on the lawn in front of Old Main (or at the Saint Paul RiverCentre if there is heavy rain). Herschel Nachlis ’07 will deliver the Senior Commencement address, titled “Reflections and Projections.” Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund, will give the keynote address.

“Mrs. Edelman has devoted her entire career to advocating on behalf of children and other underrepresented people,” Macalester President Brian Rosenberg said, “She has been a voice for social justice and equality and is a marvelous example of one person making a difference in the world.”

Alumni, parents and friends of the college are welcome to attend the ceremony. No tickets or registration required.

More about Commencement 2007 »

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Campus News

Four students receive Fulbright scholarships

Graduating seniors Emily Hedin, Megan Mulcahy, Matthew Rosenbaum and Anne Sweet have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships. The Fulbright Program, established in 1946, aims to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” Recipients are selected for their academic achievement and leadership potential. The four will continue their studies after graduation by conducting an independent research project outside the U.S. Through the program, Hedin will examine how microfinance impacts the growth of democratic efficacy and gender equality in Senegal; Mulcahy will evaluate a program where Islamic women work as government sponsored guides for its effectiveness at promoting moderate Islam in Morocco; Rosenbaum will travel to Japan to study Okinawan culture and lifestyle in search of a link between diet, nutrition and other factors and the region’s high concentrations of centenarians; and Sweet will study galaxy formation while in Brazil. This is the third time in the last nine years that four or more Macalester seniors were selected for the Fulbright Program.

American Studies Department launches new El-Kati lectureship

Photo of Mahmoud El-Kati

Macalester’s American Studies Department kicked off its new Mahmoud El-Kati Distinguished Lectureship with a dinner featuring a speech by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) on Saturday, May 5. The endowed lectureship will bring a distinguished scholar to Macalester for an extended engagement including public presentations, classroom appearances and conversations with students, faculty and the local community. American Studies is one of Macalester’s youngest and fastest growing departments, established in 2003 to be the academic focal point for the study of race and ethnicity in a national and transnational framework.

Dr. Stanley M. Berry ’75, Bertman M. Days ’74 and Ava B. Days established the lectureship to honor Professor Emeritus Mahmoud El-Kati’s career as a lecturer, writer and commentator on the African American experience. From 1970 to 2003, El-Kati taught at Macalester, championing the need for increasing diversity in the student body and advocating for multiculturalism as a central component of the college’s curriculum. He also contributed frequently to the opinion pages of both Twin Cities’ dailies, the local black press, Minnesota Public Radio, and a host of community-based conferences and events. As a faculty member, he conveyed the importance of giving back to local communities while paying serious attention to African American history.

For information about supporting this new lectureship, e-mail the Advancement Office.

President Brian Rosenberg gives sermon at Westminster Presbyterian

Standing in a pulpit is not too common for Macalester President Brian Rosenberg, but delivering contemplative talks is nearly second nature. Last month, Rosenberg was invited to give the sermon at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis for the annual Macalester Sunday, an acknowledgment of the conjoined histories of the college and the church founded in 1857. In his sermon, Rosenberg explored the relations between what one is and what one does, both from individual and institutional perspectives.
Hear or read Rosenberg’s sermon at »

Aaron Brown, meet Aaron Brown

Photo of Aaron Browns Aaron Brown ’10 met Aaron Brown, the former anchor of CNN’s NewsNight, on April 17. The broadcaster was on campus to give a talk called “Contracting Media – Expanding Need” as part of the Broadcast Journalist Series co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, Macalester College and Dorsey & Whitney Law Firm.

Macalester’s stance on “preferred lenders”

In response to a number of reports about alleged abuses on the part of student loan providers and schools, Macalester’s Financial Aid office issued a statement of integrity to current parents and students on April 12. In it, Financial Aid Director Brian L. Lindeman ’89 wrote, “We do not, nor have we ever, accepted gifts in exchange for steering students and their families to certain student loan lenders. For years, the financial aid staff has compiled a carefully vetted lender list, which includes 6-8 lenders each year.  We compile this list only to provide parents and students with a pool of lenders who we are confident can provide competitively priced and well-serviced loan products. A good deal of staff time and effort goes into researching and reviewing these lenders, and the lender list is in no way a product of any kind of inducement or incentive from the lenders to our staff.”
Read the full statement from the Financial Aid Office »

Jon Halvorsen, managing editor of Macalester Today, retires

Jon Halvorsen retired after 17 years as managing editor of the alumni magazine, Macalester Today. During his tenure, the magazine grew in size, quality, readership and reader approval. His last day at Macalester was Friday, May 5. Halvorsen and his wife plan to move to Maine where they will be closer to family.

Halvorsen said, "I want to thank all the people who have made this such a wonderful job. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, talk with or at least correspond with hundreds of you: alumni, students, faculty and staff. And not least, I’m grateful to [publications director and managing editor] Nancy Peterson and my terrific colleagues in College Relations. Thanks to Macalester, my wife Donna and I have friends all over the world and our lives have been immeasurably enriched."

Lynette Lamb has succeeded Halvorsen as managing editor. Lamb was formerly the media and public relations director at Carleton College and managing editor of the Carleton Voice. She brings publications and magazine experience from positions at the University of Minnesota as well as the magazines Minnesota Monthly and Utne Reader.

Alumni News

Reunion 2007: There's still time to register, but not too much

A flurry of Reunion goers got in under the wire by placing their Reunion 2007 Registrations before the Friday, May 4, deadline. Thanks to the impressive punctuality of these now-registered alumni, there are now more than 500 reasons for everyone else to attend. Alumni can still register for reunion. Even if you haven’t saved the world, built your corporate empire, or quite finished doing that big thing you told everyone you would do after graduation (or even if you have), you should make it a point to go to Reunion, June 1-3. Your Macalester classmates really want to see you.
Visit the Reunion 2007 website »
Register to go »

President Rosenberg will visit alumni in Iceland, England and Cyprus this summer

Photo of people talking with Rosenberg at the Conversation with the President event in San Francisco Karen and Gary Crangle, parents of Sarah Crangle ’04 (right), talk with Brian Rosenberg at a Conversation with the President event held in San Francisco this spring.

Macalester’s Conversations with the President series will “hop the pond” this summer, for gatherings in Iceland, England and Cyprus. President Brian Rosenberg will visit with alumni in these three countries and discuss Macalester’s achievements, challenges and aspirations. All alumni and friends of the college are welcome to attend.

London, England
Wednesday, June 13
University Women’s Club
2 Audley Square

For more information, e-mail Anne Harbour ’64 or Gabrielle Lawrence ’73

Nicosia, Cyprus
Saturday, June 16
United States Embassy,
2407, Engomi

For more information, e-mail George Mavroudis ’84 or Gabrielle Lawrence ’73.

Late July. Date and location to be determined.

Annual Fund volunteers place calls around the world

International Phonathon callers (front to back) Annie Flanagan ’09, Ian Canary-King ’07, Beatrice Nathan and Luke Robson ’08.

Alumni volunteers, students and Annual Fund staff traveled around the world without leaving the call center during Macalester’s Second Annual International Phonathon, April 15-16. These telephone travelers received Annual Fund gifts and pledges totaling nearly $10,000 from alumni and parents in 34 countries including Cyprus, South Korea, China, Pakistan and Jamaica.

Meghan Bethke, associate director of the Annual Fund, declared the event a success, noting the results exceeded both the previous year’s results. The callers dialed over 2,300 times, talking with or leaving messages for over 500 alumni and friends of the college. Student caller Mishal Khan ’10 of Islamabad, Pakistan, was recognized for raising both the highest number of gifts and the greatest dollar amount.

Macalester’s fiscal year ends May 31. With gifts of any amount from an additional 1,800 alumni, Macalester will reach its participation goal for the year. To learn more about volunteering with the Annual Fund or to make your gift, call 1-866-814-0640.
Make a gift online »

Professor Emeritus Truman Schwartz honored by American Chemical Society

Photo of Truman Schwartz
Chad Rienstra ’93, Truman Schwartz and Holly Vande Wall ’97 at the Pimentel Award presentation.

Macalester Professor Emeritus Truman Schwartz received the 2007 George C. Pimentel Award in Chemical Education by the American Chemical Society this spring. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to chemical education. He was nominated by Professor Emeritus Wayne Wolsey. Schwartz gave a speech at a symposium held in his honor, “Chemistry Education, Science Literacy, and the Liberal Arts.”

The award presentation was attended by two of his former students, Chad Rienstra ’93, now an assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Holly Vande Wall ’97, a Ph.D. student in the philosophy of science at Notre Dame.
Read Schwartz’s speech »

Journalist Corine Hegland ’98 recognized with Sigma Delta Chi Award

A package of National Journal cover stories about Guantanamo detainees written by Corine Hegland ’98 earned the magazine the 2006 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Magazine Journalism given by The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). Magazines are selected by SPJ for the award based on their “courage and initiative in overcoming opposition; effectiveness in presentation; and results obtained, such as changes and reforms effected or pledged.” Newsweek, BusinessWeek and Consumer Reports have received this award over the last three years.

According to judge comments, “Hegland’s package is an accessible but thoroughly researched examination providing powerful evidence that despite Bush administration assertions, most of the detainees were not captured on a battlefield or were members of Al Qaeda but were instead seized in dragnets in Pakistan in exchange for rewards.” The comments go on to describe obstacles overcome by Hegland to obtain documents and conduct research for the stories and how her work has been cited in Congress in regards to this issue.

Read Hegland’s award-winning stories at

Diana Kennedy ’95 helps Macalester in Zero Waste initiative

Photo of Diana Kennedy

Through her job as communications director St. Paul’s Eureka Recycling, Dianna Kennedy ’95 is helping Macalester in efforts to reduce the waste it sends to the landfill, eventually to zero. Working with an intern, Sarah Stephens ’07, Eureka Recycling has already helped Macalester conduct a baseline study of its current waste stream, discovering that only 17 percent currently gets diverted to recycling. Macalester’s Zero Waste Committee is using the study to make recommendations for waste reduction on campus, starting with steps to raise awareness of reuse and recycling during move-out week this month.


Lavender Graduation
2 p.m. Wednesday, May 9
Alumni House, 1644 Summit Avenue

Scots Pride alumni are invited to a celebration for Macalester’s LGBT students who are graduating on Saturday, May 12.

Macalester’s 118th Commencement
1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12
On the Lawn

Alumni, parents and friends of the college are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony for the Class of 2007. The keynote speaker is Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund. Herschel S. Nachlis ’07 will deliver the Senior Commencement address. No tickets or registration required.
More about commencement »

Philadelphia alumni visit home of Charles Macalester
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15
Glen Foerd on the Delaware, just off the Academy Road exit of I-95

Who knew Charles Macalester lived in Philly? Yes, it's true. The founding donor of our alma mater lived on Spruce Street in Philadelphia and built a summer home on the banks of the Delaware during the mid-19th Century. Come and reconnect with our Macalester roots, right here in Philly, and meet other alumni who also chose to call Philadelphia home. The tour starts at 7 p.m. and lasts 1 1/2 hours. $6-8 depending on size of group. After the tour, we’ll go to a local café. E-mail Samuel Willis ’96 with questions and your plans to attend.
More about the tour »

Conversation with Tim O’Brien at Seattle’s Hugo House
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 15
Richard Hugo House, 1634 Eleventh Ave., Seattle

Seattle-area alumni are invited show support for celebrated author Tim O’Brien ’68 at the Richard Hugo House. The evening features a conversation between National Book Award winner and the Hugo House executive director Lyall Bush with reception following. O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, is the common reading for Reunion 2007, June 1-3.  $12/$10 Richard Hugo House members. For ticket availability, visit

The James Wallace Society Dinner
6 p.m. Thursday, May 31
A dinner for those who have included Macalester in their estate plans. By invitation only.

Reunion Weekend
Friday-Sunday, June 1-3
Alumni from the classes of 2002; 1997; '92, '93 & '94; '82; '67, '68 & '69; '57; '52;'47 and '42 return to campus to celebrate Reunion. Former members of the African Music Ensemble will also return to celebrate the group's 20th Anniversary.
Visit Reunion 2007 website »

The Mac Wire is a monthly e-newsletter for alumni and friends of Macalester College prepared by the Alumni Office and College Relations Department. We hope you enjoy reading it. To "opt out" from receiving this newsletter, please send an e-mail to with your name and class year in the message followed by the words "unsubscribe Mac Wire." You can also opt-out using our online form or by sending a letter to Alumni Office, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105.