Our Stories

Macalester Means the World to Us - 50 Year Reunion - June 6-8, 2014

Coming to Mac

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Changing Directions
David Ranheim

I was very fortunate to have come to Macalester in the first place, since I was accepted by and ready to enroll at Drake University. Mike Johnson ’63—who sadly just recently passed away—husband of our classmate Susan Lundberg Johnson, and brother of our classmate Tony Johnson, invited Tony and me up to spend a weekend at Mac. I was sold! College searches being far less intense in those days, I quickly changed direction and came to St. Paul instead of Des Moines. Another one of those somewhat serendipitous but completely life-changing choices one makes along the way!

The slave auction
Phoebe Wood Busch

Do the Macalester students still hold slave auctions as a way to raise money? Hopefully this atavistic custom has disappeared, but at our initial college mixer in September 1960 the event was front and center. After all, this was the first time that the upperclassmen could get a look at all the new crop of women. Five "fresh" ladies were paraded onto the gym stage to be looked over and potentially "purchased." The slaves’ duties were confined to carrying books and other innocent services, I believe. Despite this primitive introduction, the auction nonetheless turned out to be life changing for my new roommate. A statuesque 5' 10" beauty, she went on to marry her purchaser, a 6' 4" basketball star. They celebrated fifty years together in August 2013. By the way, my first dance at the mixer was with Dave Ranheim.

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