Macalester Today Fall 2010

Benjamin “Ben” Bernard ’14
Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts

Ben Bernard came to Macalester at least in part because Will Sheff ’98, front man for one of his favorite bands, Okkervil River, is a graduate. Sheff also happens to be the son of Ben’s high school guidance counselor. “So I really heard about Macalester through a lucky coincidence based on nerd-love for one of my favorite bands,” he says.

Nerd-love was truly a fortunate fluke, because Ben claims that not a single other person at his Massachusetts prep school had ever heard of Macalester. Their loss, he says, as he contemplates taking classes that are “a mix of the academic and intellectually rewarding and the appropriately bizarre. I am probably most looking forward to my first-year course on vampires. Any class where you watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer as homework has already won me over.”

Besides Buffy and some classes in literature and geology, Ben isn’t too sure what his academic path holds. “I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but unless I have a sudden and unprecedented understanding of science, that probably won’t happen,” he says. “English major, maybe?”

He knew he’d like the college when, on his campus visit, “the first thing I saw was two kids fighting with medieval staves on the quad.” Being a New Englander, he has no weather worries and is excited about living in the Twin Cities. Says Ben, “As I keep having to explain to snickering friends who are going to places like New York and San Francisco, Minneapolis and St. Paul are actually awesome cities.”