In this issue: Macalester receives $1.3M HHMI grant, 11,795 donors support Mac in FY 2012, Reunion 2012 photos, host families needed for two popular programs, and more...
The e-newsletter for Macalester alumni, parents, and friends.
Macalester was one of 47 small U.S. colleges and universities to receive a Howard Hughes Medical Institute award in support of undergraduate science education. The funding will be used to promote curricular innovation and to provide local and global research experiences for students.
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The books have closed on Macalester’s 2012 fiscal year, with a push in late May led by Annual Fund staff and volunteers that generated more online gifts in the last two days of the month than in any other two-day window in Macalester's history. The Annual Fund raised $3.4 million of its $3.75 million goal and 38 percent of alumni gave compared to 40 percent last fiscal year. This year, gifts to Macalester totaled more than $14 million.
Within the results, there were several highlights:
Volunteers were a major piece of the fundraising effort. “Our volunteers worked so hard this year,”
says Danielle Nelson ’05, director of the Annual Fund. “Their energy was astounding and inspiring.
Every donor and volunteer helps strengthen the student experience at Macalester immediately and
into the future, and we'll carry that momentum and enthusiasm into the new fiscal year.”
Professor Chris Wells and Carleton Professor George Vrtis have received a grant of $102,522 from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) to advance research focused on the environmental history of Minnesota.
As a result of the grant, Macalester, Carleton, and the Minnesota Historical Society are jointly convening a conference June 13-15 on the state's environmental history. The conference will be at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.
Two Macalester host family programs are looking for volunteers for the 2012-13 academic year: Friends of Macalester International Students (FoMIS) and the Alumni of Color and Friends Host Family Program for Students of Color and 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. The program is sponsored by Macalester's International Student Programs department.
Through the Alumni of Color and Friends Host Family Program for Students of Color and 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 four 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.
All Twin Cities alumni and friends are invited to sign up as hosts for either or both programs.
Macalester welcomes three new coaches who will be in charge of four of the eight fall sports teams this year. Mac’s new men’s soccer coach is Gregg Olson, the new women’s soccer coach is Michele Cornish, and taking over the men’s and women’s golf programs is Tomas Adalsteinsson.
Olson replaces Ian Barker, who left Macalester to become director of coaching education for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
Cornish takes over the women’s soccer program from former interim coach Jemma Perkins, who directed the team during the 2011 season.
Adalsteinsson, the boys’ varsity golf coach at Lakeville South High School, replaces Martha Nause, who resigned recently following 12 years at Macalester.
Ursula Vernon '98, author of the popular children’s book series “Dragonbreath,” has received her first nomination for a Hugo award for her comic “Digger.” The Hugo Award, presented annually since 1955, is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy.
"Digger" is a comic about a practical wombat trapped in a quirky fantasy world. According to Vernon, it began in 2003 "in a tiny 400-square-foot apartment on Grand Avenue... with my back wedged against a radiator that sounded like it was full of angry raccoons."
The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society at the World Science Fiction Convention (WorldCon), which will be September 2, 2012, in Chicago. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the WorldCon, which is also responsible for administering them.
Charles Baxter '69 has won The Rea Award for the Short Story, a lifetime achievement honor.
Baxter, whose most recent book, Gryphon: New and Selected Stories (Pantheon, 2011), is the Edelstein-Keller Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.
This year’s prize judges, Lorrie Moore, Stuart Dybeck, and Bill Henderson, praised Baxter's "original mind and ironic wit" and his "acute feeling for the landscape of marriage, childhood, and art."
They went on to say: "Charles Baxter is a writer of elegant sentences, an expert in the mechanics of dramatic narration, and a master of psychological exile, which is the unexotic but special terrain of the short story."
Jean Eddy Reissner earned two degrees from Macalester—first a biology degree and then an elementary education degree. Her husband, James Reissner '62, also attended the college, all of which goes a long way toward explaining her allegiance and loyalty to the school over the years.
She did a great job serving as the chair of the 50th Reunion committee, attracting 109 classmates and helping her class raise $1.1 million dollars—a 68 percent class participation. She also served on the Alumni Board for many years, ultimately serving as its president. While at Mac she was a Highland Dancer and helped develop and implement the Scottish Games that were held every spring on the campus for many years.
Why does she do what she does for Mac? Says Jean, "Macalester college enhanced my foundation on which to build upon as well as providing me with a great education, my husband, and lifelong friends. What could be better than that?"
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