In this issue: Summer at Mac, remembering John B. Davis, Jr., Alumni Awards nominations
The e-newsletter for Macalester alumni, parents, and friends.
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Dr. John B. Davis, Jr., Macalester's 13th president from 1975 to 1984, died July 5. He is remembered by the Macalester community for his spirit of inclusion and optimism, insightfulness, and compassion.
Members of the Macalester community are sharing their memories about him on Facebook and in the college's LinkedIn group. Patricia Jehle-Christensen '83 wrote, "He treated everyone with respect and kindness... he was 'there' for the students, and was always very approachable." John Burkhardt '81 wrote, "I ran into [him] after graduation and he praised me for my performance in Twelfth Night. I was blown away that he would remember a specific activity by a single student." Deanne Levander '78 wrote, "It was good to see him around campus day-in, day-out with a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. It didn't matter what was happening on campus or in the world." Craig McNeill '81 wrote, "His stewardship of Mac really made the college what it is today. He was a true gentleman, and will be missed."
The Star Tribune, Pioneer Press, and Minnesota Public Radio published obituaries for him; a memorial service was held Saturday, July 9, at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. A Macalester tribute is being planned for the fall. The DeWitt Wallace Library has posted a two-hour long oral history interview with John B. Davis online here.
Do invasive species deserve their bad reputation? Mark Davis, DeWitt Wallace Professor and chair of the Biology Department, tackles that question in a Nature essay he published with 18 other ecologists, and it’s garnering international buzz.
The group contends that it’s time to shift away from a narrow “nature versus alien” dichotomy to a more realistic view of non-native species, some of which, the group suggests, actually increase biodiversity in their new environment.
Scientific American, Wired, and Time were among the first media outlets to cover the essay. Professor Davis has also given interviews around the world to Radio Australia, German Public Radio, and Voice of America. On Friday, July 15, he was a guest on National Public Radio's Science Friday.
The Annual Fund has recently filled three important positions by hiring Anna Min '09, Olivia Belote '11, and Amelia Nielsen '08.
Anna Min '09 joins the team as assistant director and is responsible for engaging young alumni, doing philanthropy education, and organizing the Senior Class Gift program. Olivia Belote '11 oversees the Annual Fund's student caller program and is also working with alumni of the '30s, '40s, and '50s. Amelia Nielsen '08, who worked throughout her college years for the advancement office, returns to serve as Annual Fund assistant.
"These three young alumnae add great energy and enthusiasm to our staff," says Danielle Nelson '05, director of the Annual Fund. "Their passion for Macalester will help our alma mater become an even better institution as we invite our community to support the Annual Fund."
As we look forward to the upcoming academic year, take a look back at our college's first year, when tuition was $15 per term, and one of the advantages touted by the college was its "beautiful and commanding" location with no nearby "saloons or other temptations to immoral habits present" (First Annual Catalogue of Macalester College, 1885-1886).
See this and other historical catalogs in our online archives. Digitization of the catalogs was financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Macalester has hired Jody Gabriel as its new head softball coach and Jemma Merrick Perkins '97 as its interim head women’s soccer coach.
Gabriel, the head coach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for the last four years, was selected as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Coach of the Year last spring after leading her team to the WIAC championship, a NCAA playoff berth, and No. 19 national ranking in the final Division II poll. UWRF went 108-60 during her four seasons leading the program and never had a losing record in the competitive WIAC.
Perkins, a former team captain for the Scots, has been an assistant coach under former coaches
John Leaney and Kate Ryan Reiling '00, who resigned in June after one season as head coach. Coach
Perkins will oversee the program through Jan. 31, 2012. A national search will take place immediately following the
conclusion of the soccer team's fall season.
It's time once again to nominate alumni who best exemplify Macalester values for the annual Alumni Awards.
All members of the Macalester community are welcome to submit nominations by completing this online form. After the September 2 deadline, the Nominations & Bylaws Committee of the Alumni Board will review all submissions and select the 2012 recipients. Those recipients will be honored in front of their peers at Reunion 2012 on June 2.
Rose Holdorf '11, Ainsley Judge '11, Jacqueline Kutvirt '11, Tressa Versteeg '11, and Robin Major '11 are the Solidago Riders. They will be cycling around the Great Lakes this summer to document sustainability efforts, learn about ecological awareness, and celebrate Great Lakes communities.
Their epic bicycle tour, which launches from St. Paul on July 29, will also serve as a fundraiser for Grand Aspirations, a youth-led nonprofit that connects and supports youth leaders in sustainability initiatives. The Solidago Riders would love to connect with Macites while on their tour. You can contact them here.
Two Macalester host family programs are looking for volunteers for the 2011-12 academic year: Friends of Macalester International Students (FoMIS) and the Alumni of Color and Friends Host Family Program for Students of Color/Multiracial Students. All Twin Cities alumni, faculty, staff, and friends are welcome to apply.
Through FoMIS, volunteer host families become an international student's link to the larger Twin Cities community. Hosts and students attend a kick-off event in September and typically get together about once a month. Learn more about FoMIS here. To volunteer, complete this form.
Through the Alumni of Color and Friends Host Family Program for Students of Color/Multiracial Students program, hosts build a connection with domestic students of color by meeting with them periodically and helping them feel more at home within the Twin Cities community. Hosts and students attend a kick-off event in September and participate in two additional gatherings throughout the academic year. Hosts are encouraged to plan additional activities with their students. The program is cosponsored by Alumni Relations and Multicultural Life. To volunteer, complete this form.
We suspect there are even more Macites involved in the upcoming Minnesota Fringe Festival happening Aug. 4-14, but here is a sampling of productions in which you'll find Macalester artists:
A big thanks to our Twitter followers and Facebook fans for helping us research this story.
The Chicago alumni chapter and the LGBT alumni network Scots Pride have recently come alive with enthusiasm and energy due to the efforts of Adrian Moran '91. That's why we name him July's Macbassador of the Month.
After moving from the Twin Cities to Chicago, Adrian turned to technology to reconnect with his Macalester friends. "My involvement with Macalester has been an evolution over the past few years," Adrian said. "I started connecting with old friends through Facebook, and then started organizing events through the Chicago [alumni] chapter." After fellow Chicagoan and Alumni Board member Susan Perry '83 asked Adrian to serve as a chapter contact with her, the Alumni Board quickly capitalized on Adrian's successes as an energetic volunteer and elected him to the board.
Adrian said he's come to appreciate how thoughtful and engaging Macalester people are. "It's a group that's diverse in many ways, but there's a certain common open-mindedness and willingness to participate in real conversation." Adrian believes the use of social networking tools, particularly Facebook, will continue to play a vital role in fostering those conversations and connections between alumni and the Macalester community.
In addition to all of the many ways Adrian is connecting Macalester alumni, he also helps current students access Macalester's unique world-class education by giving to the Annual Fund. Please join us in congratulating Adrian for being Macbassador of the Month.
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These alumni have recently posted class notes in MacDirect (login to view):
Benjamin Ruhmkorff '97
Mac Wire is an e-newsletter for alumni, parents, and friends of Macalester College.