Our Stories

 '63 - Reunion - June 7-9, 2013

Professors & Classes

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Loud but loved
Margaret (Peggy) A. Lee Wall

As a freshman at Macalester, I remember the English classes in the Little Theater with Professor Ward. His tapes of English Literature were loud but loved.

A life of music
Joel O. Johnson

Most influential Mac professors/mentors: Pianist - historian Donald Betts, Choir Director Ian Morton and Thomas Nee ... my conducting colleague for 50 years. Memorable moment: with Professor Tom Nee on our hands and knees with our ears next to speaker of an old radio in Conservatory basement. 1:00 pm 11-22-1963. Also wonderful memories of the Mac Choir singing with the Minneapolis Symphony (MN Orchestra). It greatly influenced my life's work in which I am still very active.

The only female
Rebecca L. Hammond Krenke

I was often the only female or one of very few in business classes. That was scary to me. I remember faking laryngitis so I didn't have to give a speech in Prof. Kangas' class.

Chaucer characters
Joanne DuBois

F. Earl Ward's Chaucer class was unique. He so much resembled one of the characters he taught about. I can still see him sitting back, laughing uproariously at something he had just read about in Middle English.

Insightful professors
Geraldine (Gerri) M. Westlund

Because I was a transfer student during my junior and senior years and also married, teaching full time, taking summer classes and living off-campus, I did not get involved with most of the usual Macalester activities. Most keenly I recall insightful professors and shared class discussions/seminars. During my final senior semester, I did attend regular classes full time and was not teaching. During that time I did increasingly feel "at home" on campus. I was pregnant with our first child as I walked proudly in line through graduation rituals with fellow education majors.

Professors who made me think
Darlene A. Uhlendorf Lee

Because I lived off campus and at home and went most days from classes to work at the Saint Paul Public Library (which I also loved), I don't have memories of many aspects of campus life. I've never even been in a dorm. For the most part, my fondest memories are of the professors who made me think and who helped me develop a worldview that I hold today. Professors Livingston, Patnode, and Meister, in particular, and Albinson and Westermeier are the people who also sparked my desire to spend time in Great Britain and in Germany, originally to visit the homes of writers like Dickens, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Keats and to practice my German, but now to climb the fells around Dove Cottage and hike in the Harz Mountains, a favorite haunt of Goethe and Heine. What a gift that was and remains! I only regret I never told them how important they were in my life.

No matter how much I studied…
Judith (Judy) Solum Rosenquist

The most frustrating experience I had was being in Dr. Walter's Human Physiology and Anatomy class the first semester of my freshman year. No matter how much I studied I just couldn't get beyond a D. Dr. Walters was wonderful. He called me in for a conference and told me I should not have been allowed to take the class as a freshman. He promised me a D if I just kept trying, which I did and he did. I learned later that the class was for pre-med students, mostly juniors and seniors.

Tom Ensign

Great education prepared me well for grad school. I especially enjoyed my physics projects with Prof Newcomb and Hastings. They were outstanding mentors.

Inspired to this day
Howard W. Mielke

My keenest memories are of Professor Hildegarde Binder Johnson, geography. I will never forget going to the Whitewater State Park on a class field trip with Professor Johnson. At the time she was in her mid 50s but never mind, she out-walked and out-climbed the strapping young men and women who took part in the field trip. She seemed inexhaustible and always full of enthusiasm for her core topic of landscape change at the hand of human actions. Her teaching and research inspire me to this day in my ongoing study of the urban environment and misguided commerce that resulted in chemical human health disparities.

Great Mac biology educators
Howard W. Mielke

My major advisor was Dr. Frenzel, biology. I remember with fondness the amazing classes with him, Dr. Walter, and Dr. Abby. Dr. Frenzel had us collecting ticks by dragging sheets through a field and Dr. Abby fired up my enthusiasm for the world of plants. They were all great educators and their lessons served me well.

My favorite Mac profs
Mary A. Martin

Rus Wigfield, Walter Mink, T. Mitau, Yahya Armajani, and Dr. Walters.

Dr. Stocker and my career in chemistry
Jerry K. Larson

My intent upon entering Macalester was to transfer to the University of Minnesota for an engineering degree after my sophomore year. Several discussions with Dr. Stocker, my advisor, early that year ultimately lead to my decision to stay at Macalester and major in chemistry. This decision resulted in an opportunity to do undergraduate research with him and a career I enjoyed very much.

When Dr. Mitau threw open the windows
Jerry K. Larson

While I had many memorable professors for required non-major classes, I doubt there is anyone who took a political science course from Dr. Mitau who does not have a favorite story or memory of his class. A vivid memory for me is him throwing open the windows of the lecture hall in December and January to keep us from dozing off after lunch. Another favorite was to pass through the lecture hall rows making everyone lower the writing arms on the seats without a pause in his lecture.

An important lesson from Professor Glock
Cynthia Burr Larson

My freshman year I took a full year of geology from Professor Glock. He was the first teacher who challenged the class not to blindly accept everything he said. More than once he would stop his lectures mid sentence and tell the avid notetakers to stop writing and really listen to some of the nonsense he was slipping in and if it didn’t make sense, to call him on it. Up until that point, I was inclined to take as fact whatever anyone in a position of authority said. He really opened my eyes. Thank you Professor Glock!

Before there was a Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center...
Joan Miller Cotter

Most of my classes were in the World War II quonset hut we called the Little Theater. Classrooms and faculty offices were quite austere, but the colorful Mary Gwen Owen in her red smock livened the place up considerably. There was a language lab at one end of the building where we listened to tapes on reel-to-reel recorders. I remember struggling to understand a German news broadcast about Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the desk at the United Nations. The year after we graduated, the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center replaced the Little Theater. And now it is being replaced itself!

“Six Characters in Search of an Author”
Justine Broberg Boots

Fall Semester 1959 and my first literature class of Modern Drama in which we read Pirandello's "Six Characters in Search of an Author". For me, this was an enormous leap into a world of new ideas, new ways to see myself in a new place, and new ways to think about who to become. In a way, I am still searching and grateful to Mac's professors for guidance and direction.

Remembering Evelyn Albinson
Joan Miller Cotter

This story was originally published as a letter to the editor in the Winter 2002-2003 edition of Macalester Today.

It was a thin beige book with "German One" on the cover which was shown to me at the registration table. The tall, white-haired woman in a boucle dress and matching hat, beige like the book, told me:

"You will bring this with you the first day of class." And so began my four years at Macalester with Evelyn Albinson.

I was terrified at first of this woman we sometimes called the Great White Mother. But soon that thin book with a few black and white illustrations was augmented by the strong, vibrant personality of the professor, and I was hooked. After only a few months in German class, I made my way to her office, upstairs in an old house across the street from Bigelow Hall, to discuss the possibility of my becoming a German major.

Yes, there were classes to take and requirements to satisfy, but that was the least of it. German became my life for those four years. When Mrs. Albinson moved her office to the Little Theater, next to Mary Gwen Owen's, I spent hours as her assistant, typing dittos and filing book catalogs and learning the profession. What I learned, among other things, was the importance of being available outside of class to one's students: the memorable coffee hours and dinners at her home, the trip to New Glarus to see "Wilhelm Tell," the production of one-act plays, the annual Christmas party we gave for local high school German students.

In my junior year, Mrs. Albinson encouraged me to spend the following summer in Germany. To my parents this was something you did once, to prepare yourself for teaching, after which it would no longer be "necessary." But Mrs. Albinson and I knew that it was just the beginning, this leaving home for the wider world. It was a need I satisfied again recently on our summer vacation.

When I later was study-abroad adviser to college students, I was the one to encourage shy students who were afraid to leave home. And when I taught German I was known as the teacher who was available outside class and who entertained her students at her home. I wonder why?

The headline of Mrs. Albinson's obituary in the Star Tribune emphasized her importance as a role model. For this German major from the Class of 1963, she most certainly was. Right now there may be a former student of mine serving German cheesecake to her students. And that bit of cake would be part of the third-generation Albinson legacy.

Vielen Dank, Frau Albinson!