In this issue: A new academic year begins, meet four new professors,
how Mac stacks up, registration now open for Welcome to our City 2011, and more...


Mac Wire

September 2011

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

A new academic year begins


The academic year at Macalester has begun. In addition to move-in day, the involvement fair, numerous ice cream socials and welcome-back events, opening convocation, and all-campus picnic, we are also welcoming 479 first-year students and 19 transfer students to our community.
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In This Issue

College News - Alumni News - Events

Four new tenure-track professors join Macalester faculty

Grant funds student-faculty research

Leonards establish new Mac professorship

What they're saying about Mac...

Blast to the Past: "Orientations" of yore

Scots Watch: Hot start for women's soccer

Sign up to attend Welcome to Our City 2011

Have you updated your MacDirect profile?

Chris Ward '76 in the news

Macbassador of the Month: Beth Desnick '82

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Video of the Month
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Move-in Day 2011


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College News

Four new tenure-track professors join Macalester faculty

Photo Photo Photo Photo

Jesús Ernesto Ortiz-Diaz, Mario Solis-Garcia, Karin Vélez, and Victoria Malaway join the Macalester faculty this fall as new tenure-track professors.

Ortiz-Diaz teaches Hispanic and Latin American studies and holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis. Solis-Garcia teaches economics and holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota. Vélez teaches history, holds a PhD from Princeton University, and previously was a faculty member at Northeastern University. Malaway teaches music, has her PhD from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and previously was a faculty member at Kenyon College.

Editors note: The version of this story corrects a mistake in the version emailed to our subscribers. The descriptions for Ortiz-Diaz and Solis Garcia were mistakenly swapped in the email version.

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Grant funds student-faculty research

A sample of the photographs Anna Hardin '12 took as part of her research into primate teeth.

This summer, Anna Hardin '12 went to England where she researched chimpanzee and gorilla skulls, the latest step in a collaboration with Professor Scott Legge. The opportunity was funded by a faculty-student research grant.

“At a big university I would probably never have had the opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor," Hardin says. "This has made my academic experience at Macalester completely unique.”

Now she’s hard at work on a poster for the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting in November and preparing a paper for publication in the journal Dental Anthropology. Hardin will also draw on this research for her senior honors project, which will compare dental traits in various geographic groups of primates.

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Leonards establish new Mac professorship


Mark G. Leonard '65 and Candace Hewitt Leonard '67 of Los Altos, Calif., have established a $2 million endowed professorship at Macalester. It will be named the Mark G. Leonard and Candace Hewitt Leonard Endowed Professorship in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences.

The Leonards are dedicated supporters of the college’s comprehensive Step Forward campaign and longtime Macalester advocates.

"Mark and Candy Leonard’s continuing generosity toward Macalester is both extraordinary and truly remarkable," President Brian Rosenberg says. "Mathematics and the natural sciences have played an important role in their lives, so it only makes sense that they would choose that subject matter for the professorship."

Established through a personal gift from Mark and Candy, the fund will support a professor in mathematics and the natural sciences. At Macalester, those areas include: biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geology, mathematics, neuroscience, physics and astronomy, and statistics. The endowed professorship is being created through a planned gift that Macalester will receive in the future from a charitable remainder trust established by the Leonards.

"Many in our family have benefited from being educated at Macalester," Mark and Candy say. "We feel privileged to be able to help others get the kind of education we did and make a difference in the world."
More about endowed professorships

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What they're saying about Mac...

Word Art
How would you rank Macalester?

No matter how loudly colleges everywhere disdain the arbitrariness of college ranking, it's like passing your reflection in a plate glass window — we can't not look. Fortunately, no matter what most warms your heart about Macalester, some "experts" are saying we've still got it going on.

If service to humanity is your measure of worth, Washington Monthly ranks us #6 in contributing to the public good. They look at social mobility, research and service.

Is global citizenship what makes you stand up and cheer? Newsweek called us #21 among the greenest, #3 for foreign students, and #4 for most service-oriented.

Princeton Review ranked us to be #3 in overall quality of life. Still, can we be sure students work hard enough or know when to take a break? Surprise, you can have it both ways. Newsweek calculated us to be #22 among brainiacs, but more free-spirited than all but 10 other schools.

Overall, The Huffington Post named us one of nine trendiest (read: “most desired”) colleges and U.S. News placed us at #25 among national liberal arts colleges (tied with Bryn Mawr) and #14 in its list of best values, with the note: “The higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal.”

So you can slice it a thousand ways and focus your microscope on their research methodology, but why bother? To many who know Mac the best, there's no finer college anywhere.

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Blast to the Past: "Orientations" of yore

Photo Photo
Macalester students heading to Frosh Camp for girls (above) and for boys (below) in 1939.

Today, Macalester holds Orientation, several days packed with activities and events for incoming first-year students. But from the 1930s to the early 1960s, "Frosh Camp" was the tradition. All incoming students went on a two-day camping trip; men's and women's trips were separate, of course! Students played games, competed in athletic activities, met the president and faculty, and participated in evening campfire programs. Informal speeches from current students on topics such as "Recreational Possibilities at Mac" or "What the Macalester Woman Expects of the Macalester Man" introduced new students to life at Mac (The Mac Weekly, September 21, 1939, page 3).

Find out more about new student life through the years in the historical issues of The Mac Weekly, available in Macalester's online archives. Please contact the archives with your questions and feedback about this series.
Search the online archives of the Mac Weekly

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Scots Watch: Hot start for women's soccer

Goalkeeper Rosie Glenn-Finer '13.

Macalester gave interim head women’s soccer coach Jemma Perkins '00 a good start to her coaching career, shutting out St. Scholastica, Luther (Iowa) and Wisconsin-River Falls, all by 1-0 scores, to start the season.

Goalkeeper Rosie Glenn-Finer '13 began the season with a 319-minute-long scoreless streak. It was only broken when Loras (Iowa) scored against the Scots on Sunday, Sept. 11, handing Macalester its first setback of the year.

Izzi Speer '14, Kat Lenhart '13, and Maggie Molter '14 all made game-winning goals. Glenn-Finer’s goals against average is 0.49. Since the loss at Loras, the Scots have added another 1-0 win, this time over St. Benedict in the conference opener, and as of publication are 4-1.
More Mac Athletics news

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Alumni News

Sign up to attend Welcome to Our City 2011


What do alumni in London, Seattle, New York City, New Orleans and four other U.S. cities have in common? Thursday, October 6.

Registration is now open for Welcome to Our City 2011, a night for alumni who are new to an area to meet up with other Macites and share insider information about their cities. All alumni and friends are welcome to attend.

For more information about this year's Welcome to Our City events, contact Daymond Dean '91 at
See list of Welcome to Our City events
Register to attend

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Have you updated your MacDirect profile?

Want to connect with other Macalester alumni? This magical search box in MacDirect will help you find them.

All Macalester alumni are invited to connect with other alumni around the world and across generations through the online community MacDirect.

Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have revolutionized the ways in which people stay connected, but it does take time to find other Macalester alumni and add them to your network. MacDirect, on the other hand, is your "already existing network," populated exclusively with profiles populated from Macalester's alumni database.

Today, one-third of all Macalester alumni take advantage of this useful resource. Are you one of them? Register today to update your own MacDirect profile and start connecting with Macites around the world.
Explore MacDirect

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Chris Ward '76 in the news


Chris Ward '76, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is in charge of arguably the most complicated — and emotionally charged — public works project in U.S. history: the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site.

In recent weeks, Ward has been widely interviewed about the WTC project in media coverage about the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

While the WTC project may be his highest profile project, Ward and the PANYNJ are also responsible for America’s busiest airport system, six tunnels between New York and New Jersey, and the metro area's rail, bus, and naval transportation.
More in the Spring 2010 Macalester Today

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Macbassador of the Month:
Beth Desnick '82


Because of her tireless efforts to encourage her Macalester classmates and Twin Cities alumni to get involved in their alma mater and her enthusiasm for Mac, Beth Desnick '82 is September’s Macbassador of the Month.

Since reconnecting with Macalester in 2004, Beth has served as a reunion committee member and as chairperson of the Twin Cities' Grand Society Committee, written email appeals to classmates, assisted with college publications, and hosted alumni events. She currently serves as Class of 1982 Class Agent and is a Summit Society member.

"An appeal letter I received from another alum in 2004 inspired me to make my first Grand Society gift to the Annual Fund," Beth says. When she was asked to also become a volunteer soon after, "It was an easy 'Yes.' I loved Macalester when I was there as a student," she says, "I'm so happy there's a way for me to still feel like I'm a part of the college."

Beth says she continues to meet many Macalester students, faculty, and staff, all of whom contribute to her belief that Macalester is fantastic and worthy of support. "It's easy to see how our support makes an impact on the quality of the school," she says, "and to see how communication between alums is one of the best ways to inspire that support."
Be a Macbassador
See past Macbassadors of the Month

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Ad: Journey Through Vietnam - Feb 8-23, 2012
Join Macalester alumni and Professor Adrienne Christiansen for a trip to Vietnam. Download brochure & registration form (PDF)


Never miss another Macalester event! Subscribe to our online calendars. Options

3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17
Join Mac alumni for Sacred Arts: Conversations and Demonstrations
The Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Art, 528 Hennepin Ave., downtown Minneapolis

8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23
Jazz singer/composer Theo Bleckmann in Concert
Macalester Plymouth United Church

7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 1 of 6: Ghost World
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

Thursday, Oct. 6
Welcome to Our City 2011
Eight U.S. cities and London

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 2 of 6: Zazie dans le Métro
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
$30 for entire series or $5 per screening night.

5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9
Macalester Geology Gathering
Rock Garden/Smail Gallery, Olin-Rice Science Center

7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 3 of 6: The Wages of Fear
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
Family Fest Sampler Concert
Macalester Plymouth United Church

12 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
Mark Mazullo Piano Recital
Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 4 of 6: The Host
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22
Join Mac alumni for Sing-a-Long Sound of Music
Ordway Theater, 345 Washington Street, St. Paul

1:30pm Saturday, Oct. 22
Volunteer with Chicago area alumni
Greater Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W. Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL

7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 5 of 6: In Bruges
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3
Alexander G. Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons

7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3
2011 Fall Film Series, Part 6 of 6: Citizen Ruth
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5
Mac Jazz Concert
Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons

2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6
Macalester Pipe Band Concert
John B. Davis Auditorium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

Fri.-Sun., Nov. 11-13;
Thurs.-Sat., Nov. 17-19

The Inland Sea Performance
Main Stage Theatre, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center

7 p.m. Wed., Nov. 16
"Women in the Law: A Conversation with the Macalester Legal Community"
Weyerhaeuser Board Room and Lounge, Weyerhaeuser Hall

8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
Macalester Chamber Music Ensembles Concert
Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel

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

8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21
Jazz and Pop Combos Concert
Alexander Hill Ballroom, Kagin Commons

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
Macalester Choir Concert
St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 900 Summit Ave., St. Paul

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
Macalester Orchestra Concert
Macalester Plymouth United Church



It's as Easy as Pie
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Class Notes

These alumni have recently posted class notes in MacDirect (login to view):

Michael Starobin '90
Christine Marvin '03
Sarah Newby Baraff '97
Kathy Berenson '90
Marika Pfefferkorn '96
Cammie Downing Evans '03
Susan Bush '04
Anna Thompson Hajdik '01
Bob Thaden '70
Sandra Robinson '74
Angie Weigner Bell '90
Maura Tweedale Boesch '79
Anne Blair Jacobsen '06











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LinkedIn: 2,263 members
YouTube: 114 videos


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