In this issue: Reunion 2011 recap & photos, more than 12,007 donors support Mac in FY11,
Mac students start a nonprofit, Curtis Gilbert '02 is Macbassador of the Month, and more...
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Mac Wire

JUNE 2011

The e-newsletter for Macalester alumni, parents, and friends.

Alumni reconnect at Reunion 2011 Photo: The All-Class picnic at Reunion 2011
More than 25 percent of all reunion-year alumni, plus a cadre of "any-year" alumni, attended Reunion 2011. Highlights included Breakfast with Brian, live music on Shaw Field, kid-friendly crafts and games, and the all-class picnic. Planning has already begun for Reunion 2012. Save the dates: June 1-3, 2012.
Find your class's next reunion year
View Reunion 2011 photos

In This Issue

College News - Alumni News - Events

12,007 donors support Mac in FY 2011

Macalester students start medical nonprofit

Meet "Movie Man" James Christenson '11

Three new trustees elected

Scots Watch: Sold-out Mac Hac raises money for Mac athletics

Three Mac grads selected as NSF Fellows

Macbassador of the Month: Curtis Gilbert '02

Emma Case '06 wins tartan Flip video camera in Reunion drawing

Kirby Bennet '82 presents "Street Scene"

Minnesota most hip, thanks in part to Mac

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Commencement 2011

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College News

12,007 donors support Mac in FY 2011

Thank You!

With fiscal year 2011 in the books, the Macalester community is celebrating exceptional support from alumni, parents, friends, and organizations.

The Annual Fund surpassed its $3.6 million goal, a total that's 6 percent and $200,000 higher than last year's. Alumni participation climbed by 1 percent to reach 40 percent; 243 more alumni made gifts in FY11 to the Annual Fund.

"Having volunteers who are involved as they are at Mac is key to reaching our goals," said Danielle Nelson '05, director of the Annual Fund. "We are so thankful that the Macalester community came together to support Macalester students."

Parents also showed their satisfaction with Macalester; their giving total giving increased by 22 percent. Gifts and pledges to the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center renovation and expansion project surpassed $20 million, closing in on its $24 million fundraising goal.

The college will carry this support and momentum into the last seven months of the Step Forward campaign. The total raised so far stands at $143.2 million, less than $7 million away from its goal of $150 million by December 31.
More about the Step Forward campaign


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Macalester students start medical nonprofit

Photo: EMT Training

Students practice firefighter carries, drags, and lifts as part of the A Tu Lado training program.

While still students, Terence Steinberg '11, Ethan Forsgren '11, and Emiliano Urbina '11 started a nonprofit called A Tu Lado dedicated to making professional emergency medical education more accessible. Professor Ron Barrett advised them on the project.

This month, A Tu Lado is collaborating with paramedics and student firefighters at the Universidad Simón Bolívar and Venemergencia in Caracas, Venezuela, to provide EMT training for underprivileged youth. Their goal is to increase the number of volunteers available to provide emergency medical services in that community.
Read the A Tu Lado blog

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Meet "Movie Man" James Christenson '11

Photo: James Christenson 11

Macalester student James Christenson '11 created a one-hour documentary this year about the politics and business of passenger rail in Minnesota. An urban geography class with Professor David Lanegran '63 inspired him to investigate the subject.

Titled Local Motives, the documentary involved interviews with 40 people, including former U.S. Congressman Jim Oberstar. Professor Clay Steinman is credited as producer, Matthew Dickey '11 as associate producer, William Chilton '11 as production assistant and web designer, and James's brother, Joseph Christenson '11, composed the original score. Professor John Kim is helping identify film festivals where the documentary may be shown.

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Three new trustees elected

The Macalester College Board of Trustees has elected three new members for three-year terms: Sandra R. Ortiz '97, Sara Peterson '72, and Juan F. Rada.

Ortiz is vice president of Corporate Capital Markets at Wilmington Trust; she majored in political science at Macalester. Peterson is principal counsel and manager of Insured Litigation for Bechtel Corporation, a global engineering, construction and project management company; she majored in geography at Macalester. Rada is senior vice president at Oracle Corporation, with worldwide responsibility for Public Sector, Healthcare, and Education.

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Scots Watch: Sold-out Mac Hac raises money for Mac Athletics

Photo: Mac Hac 2011 Championship Flight winners.

The Mac Hac 2011 Championship Flight winners were Richard Pearson '68, men's basketball coach Tim Whittle, and Jim Peters '72.

The Macalester Athletics Department's 22nd annual Mac Hac golf scramble enjoyed its highest turnout to date with 148 golfers participating. It was held the Monday following Reunion at Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights, Minn. The annual event raises funds for the department's budget.

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Alumni News

Three Mac grads selected as NSF Fellows


What do three recent Mac grads have in common with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt? All are recipients of the highly prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

The alumni recipients, all biology majors, are Alese Colehour '09, Ben Freeman '06, and Suzy Szumowski '09. The fellowships, which provide $30,000 annually for three years, support outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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Macbassador of the Month:
Curtis Gilbert '02

Photo: Curtis Gilbert 02

Photo by Allen Brisson-Smith

Curtis Gilbert '02 is June's Macbassador of the Month, in recognition of his loyal support and advocacy for the Macalester Annual Fund.

Curtis worked as a student caller for the Annual Fund and since then has been a loyal fundraising volunteer, serving as reliable Annual Fund Phonathon caller, letter writer, and Summit Society committee member. He also co-chaired his class's 5-Year Reunion Committee in 2007, helping his class achieve a record-breaking attendance. He currently serves as class agent, along with three of his classmates.

"I volunteer as a class agent because I think Macalester has an important mission, and as alumni, we need to support it," Curtis said. "We came to Macalester as curious, creative kids motivated to make a difference in the world. We left with the tools we needed to do it. I want to make sure Macalester can continue to provide a world-class education, and I want to make sure students of modest means have access to it. I volunteer because I want to set an example for other alumni. I hope my work inspires my classmates to become both volunteers and Annual Fund donors."

As a class agent, Curtis went above and beyond in rallying classmates to give before Macalester's fiscal year end. The day before May 31, he posted this video message on the Facebook profiles of classmates, encouraging them to show their pride in Macalester by making a gift to the Annual Fund.
Sign up to be a Macbassador

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Emma Case '06 wins tartan Flip video camera in Reunion drawing

Image: Emma Case wone this Flip video camera

Emma Case '06 won this Flip video camera clad in Macalester tartan.

Emma Case '06 won a rare tartan-patterned Flip video camera by updating her contact information at Reunion 2011. All alumni attending Reunion were invited to enter the drawing by reviewing their contact info and providing updates.

Does Macalester have your most up-to-date contact information? When we know where to reach you, you'll never miss an issue of Macalester Today, emails about upcoming alumni events, and other college correspondence. Alumni can easily update their contact information in our online alumni community, MacDirect. While you're logged in, you can also upload your profile photo, search for Macalester friends, and post your latest news.
Update your contact information in MacDirect

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Kirby Bennet '82 presents "Street Scene"


The cast of the Girl Friday Productions staging of Street Scene.

Girl Friday Productions, founded by Kirby Bennet '82 in 2004, is staging the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Street Scene" by Elmer Rice July 7-30 at the Minneapolis Theater Garage.

"Street Scene" reveals the comedy and tragedy of daily life through the experiences of several working-class families, many of them new immigrants to the city. In the production, 25 actors take on nearly 60 roles to explore the intertwined lives of residents of a New York City tenement in the 1920s and to showcase the disparities between classes, the harsh realities facing immigrants, and our common struggle for a better life.

Twin Cities alumni are getting together on Thursday, July 14 to see the play and attend a special reception with the director and selected cast members following the performance.
Register to see the July 14 performance

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Minnesota most hip, thanks in part to Mac

Map: U.S. States Ranked by Hipster-ness

The dark blue states on this map produced by are more "hipster" than the light blue ones. The site used data about regional web searches to determine each state's rank.

You always knew Macalester was cool. Now it turns out the whole state is, at least according to, which recently declared Minnesota the "Most Hipster State."

Many examples, including our wealth of live theater and farmers markets, were cited, but what caught our attention were the Macites shown in defense of this honor. Brian Miller '03 was pictured under “Exhibit A: The Lumberjack Look,” shown in his lumberjack shirt. Brian is a musician who received a grant to collect lumberjack songs in Northern Minnesota. His CD was released June 11. "Exhibits D-H" cite popular Minnesota musicians, including Hüsker Dü, one of whose members was Bob Mould '82. "Exhibit B" describes the local theater scene and includes Mixed Blood Theater, run by Jack Reuler '75.
Read the story on

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Alumni College Summer Session - July 31-Aug. 3, 2011 - UBUNTU - I am because we are: Human Rights in the 21st Century
A few seats remain.
July 31-Aug. 3 - details


10:45am Sunday, June 26
Macalester at Twin Cities GLBT Pride Parade
Downtown Minneapolis

7-9pm Thursday, June 30
Discuss The Road from Coorain with Portland alumni
Hosted by Sue Miller '65, Portland, Ore.

11:30am Sunday, July 10
Join alumni to watch the Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders
On Deck Sports Bar & Grill, 910 NW 14th, Portland, Ore.

7:30pm Thursday, July 14
"Street Scene," a play by Elmer Rice
Minneapolis Theatre Garage

5:30pm Thursday, July 21
Join Chicago area alumni for great music at Millennium Park
Millennium Park, Chicago

July 24-27

Macalester Women's River Trip 2011
Namekagon River, Wis.

8:30am Saturday, Aug. 6
Join Portland area alumni for a hike on Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood, Ore.

Monday, Nov. 21
Alumni group departs for Treasures of Peru trip

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Mac Wire is an e-newsletter for alumni, parents, and friends of Macalester College.