Professors & Classes

Dear Old Macalester, Ever Renewed - Fifty Years '62 - Reunion - June 1-3, 2012

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Co-ed Classes
Mary Peterson Williams

Life-saving class with the male athletes was brutal. I was glad I had long finger nails, and I did use them. That and participating in Loyce Holden's modern dance class with members of the football team are memories I remember with a smile. They were not quite so able on the dance floor! Needless to say, we all were required to take these two classes. Forerunners of Title IX?

Kingdom, Phylum, Class…
Darlene (Dolly) Sackrison Fraser

I will always remember cramming for zoology tests, proving to me that studying really did work.

Macalester Legends
Edith "Edie" Ford Happe

Mary Gwen Owen spoke to the freshman class. How many times did we stand up and sit down? We learned from names like Armajani, Hatfield, Hopper, Mink, Mitau, Owen, just to name a few.

Unique Classes
G. Robert Allen

I still think about the history class History of the South in which we never got to the civil war. I also remember the economics class that did shows on public television about the current economy.

An Integral Part of My Education
Marcia L. Wyatt Hokanson

I must mention math professor, Dr. Murray Braden, who was my mentor. I was a math major, and he said I would do well in industry or as a teacher. What I learned from him was very helpful in my career teaching in schools and tutoring in my home.

Challenging and Rewarding Classes
Mary Johnson Rosen

Seems that courses and study occupied my time at Mac. Some life-altering and inspiring courses remain vivid e.g. Roger Blakely's Art History, and the progression of Bob Dassett's Spanish, including a semester of Don Quixote in the original text.

Faculty Who Made a Difference
Gay Ann Gustafson

I have fond memories of the exciting trips to speech tournaments around the Midwest with professor Roger Mosvick, the joy of performing with Drama Choros under the direction of professor Mary Gwen Owen, and the patience of the Rev. Russell Wigfield (assistant chaplain) as he tried to add discipline to my life. I remember Dr. Rice's enthusiasm as he handed me my diploma.

A Well Rounded Education
Karen Titrud

Though I majored in sociology and minored in psychology to prepare for my career in social work, I very much enjoyed and appreciated my course work in English (I also minored in English) and the humanities.

Learning to be Merciful
Ronald E. Aldorfer

Dr. Thompson, who taught humanities high up in Old Main, said during a lecture that we should be merciful toward others whenever possible. That idea often guided me in law enforcement.

My First Book of Poems
Mac Gimse

YaYa Armajani taught World Religions and opened my spirit to completely new mythologies, which I have pursued. Siah and Barbara Armajani became close friends and Godparents to my son. While we were students, Siah surprised me by publishing a little book called "26 POEMS by Mac Gimse," and sold it in the Mac Library for 50 cents to pay for the cost of the mimeograph ink. Artists like Wayne Potratz and Siah inspired me in their visual world, not knowing that art would eventually become my career. Macalester was the bridge I needed to walk with professors who took a personal interest in my academic achievements, and friends who challenged and nurtured me with their creativity and acceptance.

We're Not in High School Anymore!
Carolyn Olson Schmidt

My first freshman poli-sci class with Dr. Mitau was a shock. I remember his intensity and his confrontational questions that motivated me to arrive in class early and sit in the middle of the row of chairs. Despite my preventative measures, however, one day I was "exposed," with no one sitting between me and the aisle. Dr. Mitau leaped on the seat next to me, fixing me in his view, and loudly demanding, "What do you think?" Petrified, I was struck dumb. After what seemed like an eternity, Dr. Mitau asked me a gentler question or two that allowed me to mutter something back that provided sufficient fodder for him to give a long explication of the timidness of that reply before he moved on.

Professor Earl Spangler
Daniel P. Mikel

I entered Macalester after two years at a small junior college (at that time), Grand View, in Des Moines, Iowa. The registration process for classes at Macalester was bewildering, I could not get the classes I had chosen since they were filled. I somehow needed to fill out a schedule. As a history major, I ended up taking American Frontier History from Earl Spangler. It was not my first choice. Little did I know that I would begin a long relationship with Professor Spangler. He served as my advisor in 1963 for my master's thesis, "A History of Negro Newspapers in Minnesota, 1876-1963." When Professor Spangler became Academic Dean at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis., he asked me to serve as an adjunct faculty member for two summers. Professor Spangler was a life-long mentor and friend. A gentlemen and a scholar.

Preparing for a Career in Business
James L. Reissner

I have many positive memories from my days at Macalester. The numerous courses in business administration helped provide the foundation for my business career, especially the counseling from Dr. Young.

Philosophy Professors
Mac Gimse

Macalester was a great choice for my degree in philosophy. Dr. David and Beverly White opened their home for a small group of students studying Asian philosophy. They remained lifelong friends. Dr. Rikutaro Fukuda, a Fulbright Scholar from the University of Tokyo taught Haiku poetry, which became a lifetime passion.

Warm and Earnest Professors
Larry Risser

Winter Sunday suppers with Ruth Armajani and her savory borscht were wonderful--and listening to Yahya talk of the Middle East, even then despairing that he could see no lasting peace in that region. Baby sitting Ray Livingston’s children showed the extension of his sense of the sanctity of life that he found in literature extending to his home. The warmth and earnestness of so many professors—Roger Blakely, Jerry Rudquist, Robert Dasset, to name a few, made Macalester forever memorable.

A Logical Grade
Kathryn A. Lucas

Professor Thomas Hill was not only an outstanding philosophy teacher but also had students to his home for meals. I can still see his wife sewing a missing button on my coat. He told me that in 20 years of teaching I was the first woman he had given an "A" in logic, and I have been inordinately proud ever since!

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