Former U.N. Secretary-General and Obie award-winning playwright to be honored at Reunion Weekend
May 06, 2011
St. Paul, Minn. – They are a former U.N. Secretary-General, an Obie award-winning playwright and actress, a Presbyterian minister and a Rabbi. But one thing they all have in common is that they are all Macalester alumni who will be honored in June during reunion weekend.
“Macalester’s alumni routinely make a difference in the world,” said Gabrielle Lawrence, director, Alumni Relations. “The alumni we’re honoring next month at reunion have made differences that have changed the world.”
Here are the eight awardees:
Kofi Annan ’61, Geneva, Switzerland, Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Award which recognizes an alumnus who has advanced the cause of the internationalist spirit by providing inspirational leadership and promoting global understanding, peace and justice. The award honors former Macalester President Charles J. Turck who championed internationalism. Kofi Annan’s ’61 mark on campus has been an undeniably lasting one. Annan, who came to Macalester from Ghana and became a state champion orator and a member of the track team before leaving with a degree in economics, has returned to campus several times, but his most recent trip to St. Paul was part of the inaugural events for the Institute for Global Citizenship in May 2009. He joined the United Nations’ World Health Organization in 1962, and he served as U.N. Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006. With the U.N., he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for founding the Global AIDS and Health Fund to support developing countries. Today, he serves on the Institute for Global Citizenship’s Global Advisory Board as well as other organizations with both international and African focuses. “We all have the power to make choices; we should never doubt that,” he said at Macalester in 2009. “We can choose to be silent and turn away, or we can step forward and take action. Here at Macalester, you have chosen to make a difference.”
Kate Havelin ‘83, St. Paul, Minn., Alumni Service Award which recognizes an alumnus whose significant service and consistent loyalty to the college has set an outstanding example of volunteerism. Nominations for this award are made by Macalester staff. Macalester connections helped Havelin find her first jobs at a Fargo newspaper and at KTCA-TV in St. Paul. Then, for more 10 years, she was a producer for WCCO-TV. Since leaving television, she has written 18 non-fiction books, including two this year on historical fashion. Havelin has served on every one of her Macalester Reunion committees. She has hosted first-year course dinners and has helped Mac students prepare for the future by speaking to classes and serving on career panels. Havelin also volunteers in the broader community. She and her family have provided short-term, licensed emergency foster care for families needing a safe place for their children. She gives her time to St. Paul’s Jackson Preparatory Magnet School and the National Park Service’s Mississippi River Visitor Center. “Kate is a Macalester volunteer that we can count on, always willing to step up and do what needs to be done, with a smile,” according to Alumni Office staff.
Danai Gurira ’01, New York, N.Y., Young Alumni Award which recognizes an alumnus who has graduated within the past 15 years and demonstrated outstanding involvement and achievement in their post-graduate education, community contributions, career advancement and their service to Macalester. Danai Gurira ’01 has used her gifts as an actor and playwright to promote international understanding. Her plays, including Eclipsed, which won best new play at the 2010 Helen Hayes Awards, In the Continuum, which won the Helen Hayes Award for best lead actress and an Obie Award for playwriting, and The Convert, focus on Africa, exploring issues such as HIV/AIDs in women, civil war in Liberia, and Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence. Last August, she won best playwright at the NAACP Theater Awards. The Convert, the first of a planned trilogy about her native Zimbabwe, will premiere at McCarter Theater at Princeton University. She recently received a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant in support of the trilogy and is the recipient of the 2011 Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University for her playwriting. She is a commissioned playwright with the Yale Repertory Theater. Gurira also excels as an actor, starring in the 2008 film The Visitor and on Broadway in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. She has a recurring role on HBO’s popular Treme, set in post-Katrina New Orleans. Currently she plays the lead in the New York Shakespeare Festival’s production of Measure for Measure. Gurira said, “I find great joy in giving voice to the experiences of those rarely heard from.”
The following will receive the Distinguished Citizen Award, which recognizes alumni who have exercised leadership in civic, social, religious and professional activities.
David Bebb Jones ‘56, Downers Grove, Ill. Rev. David Bebb Jones came to Macalester in 1952 as a business major, but found his vocation here as a Presbyterian minister. After leaving Macalester, where Jones met his wife, Ann Beran Jones ’57, he attended McCormick Theological Seminary where he has served as Alumni Association President and a member of the Board of Trustees. He spent 39 years as the pastor of three Presbyterian churches in Illinois. Jones participated in the Selma, Ala., March for Voting Rights with Martin Luther King Jr., cofounded the Tazewell County Human Relations Commission to address racial discrimination and chaired the Interorganizational Task Force for Community Organizations, which advocated for racial minority organizations throughout Illinois. Jones seeks justice for Palestinians and served as convener of the Presbytery’s Middle East Task Force. He also helped develop a covenant between the Chicago Presbytery and Chicago area Muslims to seek mutual understanding. He’s a longtime supporter of the ordination of gay and lesbian ministers and has received numerous awards. As his classmate and roommate Charles N. Johnson ’56 put it, “David Bebb Jones has spent his adult life in the service of others.”
Darwyn Linder ’61, Tempe, Ariz. Darwyn Linder describes his career in turning points, starting in 1959 when he stayed at Macalester to major in mathematics instead of transferring to an engineering program. He thrived in the small classes with one-on-one faculty interaction, a model he would carry with him for the rest of his career. Linder later learned math wasn’t his calling and enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s PhD psychology track. Linder went on to teach at Duke University before tackling one of his biggest challenges in 1972, when he moved to Arizona State University to teach and serve as the founding director of the Social Psychology Graduate Training Program. There Linder guided many honors program students through their undergraduate honors theses and many master’s and PhD candidates through their graduate work. He has published extensively, coauthored an introductory psychology textbook, and served as department chair for eight of the 33 years he spent at ASU. “Having the opportunity to develop that program from scratch was a real turning point,” he says. “The fun part of the work is watching students become capable and independent. It never gets old.”
Douglas W. Laube ‘66, Madison, Wis. Douglas Laube is a physician, teacher and volunteer. He was named president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2006 and was selected as one of ten Jefferson Science Fellows for 2010–11. He has spent the year working for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Office of Population and Reproductive Health and in the Office of Maternal and Child Health of the Bureau for Global Health. For 30 years he taught at the University of Iowa’s medical school and chaired the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His devotion to education was such that he earned a master of education degree in health science education in order to improve his teaching. Laube has volunteered at maternal, walk-in, and free clinics and has been instrumental in developing educational programs in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan, and consulted on a project with six Central American countries on medical residency curricula. “To me, Doug embodies the idea of a life of service,” wrote classmate John Gregor Mihelic ’66. “He has put his training and knowledge into service to the worldwide community. We are all the beneficiaries.”
Marcia Zimmerman ’81, Minneapolis, Minn. When Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman was a sophomore at Macalester, she attended an event at Hebrew House featuring a woman who was becoming a rabbi. “I had heard of women becoming ordained, which began in 1972, but that was the first time I had ever met a woman on that path,” she says. “I call that the beginning.” After graduation, Zimmerman began a program in rabbinic studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained in 1988. She joined Temple Israel in Minneapolis that year and was named senior rabbi in 2001, the first woman to serve as senior rabbi of one of the 10 largest synagogues in the United States. Zimmerman is also the president of the Minnesota Rabbinical Association and is on the United Way board, as well as a member of the ethics committee at Children’s Hospital. She is a founding member of the Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights. “Macalester opened doors for me that I never could have imagined, and the liberal arts education opened my mind to incredible experiences of learning.”
Paul Raushenbush ‘86, Princeton, N.J. From launching the religion section of The Huffington Post to working as an original editor of beliefnet.com to publishing a book for teens about faith, Rev. Paul Raushenbush is a key part of the national conversation about religion. In his work with The Huffington Post as the senior religion editor, Raushenbush emphasizes interfaith understanding and civil discourse. At Princeton, he was associate dean of religious life and the chapel from 2003-2011 and served as co-director of the Program on Religion, Diplomacy, and International Relations at the Liechtenstein Institute. In 2007, Raushenbush, an ordained American Baptist minister, edited the 100th anniversary edition of his great-grandfather’s book Christianity and the Social Crisis. He was also the president of the Association of College and University Religious Affairs. Five years ago, he started a national interfaith conference called Coming Together, which Macalester students attend annually. “Paul has long been one of the most innovative religious educators in the country,” campus Chaplain Lucy Forster-Smith said, adding that Macalester’s Multifaith Council grew out of the experience students had at the conference. At Macalester, Raushenbush cultivated a deep international perspective that he applies to his work daily. “I learned that we should do whatever we do with an eye toward alleviating suffering and bringing more peace, more justice, and more understanding to the world.”
This year’s award ceremony, an all-class alumni celebration and breakfast, will be at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 4, in the Leonard Center Alumni Gymnasium.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu