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International flags fly on the Great Lawn at Macalester

Imagine! Macalester’s 150th Signature Events Series

In 1874 Macalester was officially chartered, and for 150 years, the college has remained true to the values that form its foundation. Join us as we look back on our history—one that includes changemakers, community and business leaders, philosophers, and everyone in between who wanted simply to make the world better.

Join President Suzanne M. Rivera with members of the Macalester community as they reflect on moments of transformation, struggle, and joy while exploring our past and building toward the future in this limited series, Imagine.

Imagine, How is Macalester advancing opportunity?

October 16, 2024, San Francisco

At Macalester, we recognize higher education is a ladder of opportunity. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling banning race-conscious admissions last year, we’re affirming our commitments to equity and justice, and doing everything we can within the law to assemble a diverse student body. Our strategic plan goals include increasing the number of students, faculty, and staff from historically underrepresented groups in higher education, and identifying and remedying institutional barriers and inequities that exist on campus, so every member of our community can flourish and thrive. Learn more about how Macalester responded to the court’s decision, and our efforts to create access and foster belonging for students from all backgrounds.

Imagine, What is the role of activism in changemaking?

October 24, 2024, Twin Cities

For generations, Macalester’s mission and values have attracted students who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. In and out of the classroom, students practice listening closely, learning about the world around them, advocating for their beliefs, and putting their education into action. Long after graduation, those skills shape how alumni advocate in their communities and workplaces. Learn about the lessons Mac alumni carry in the collective, enduring effort to build a more just and peaceful world.

Past Events

Imagine: Global Engagement

February 8, 2024, Washington, DC

Global perspectives are at the heart of Macalester’s values. We were the first college to fly the United Nations flag on campus, and today’s students represent more than one hundred countries. Throughout our history, Macalester students, faculty, and staff have fostered opportunities for self-reflection and self-exploration to impact social change. Join in a discussion about how Macalester’s global focus helped shape worldviews, and explore what it looks like to prepare students to be global leaders.

Imagine, What Do We Mean by Academic Distinction?

April 4, 2024, Chicago

At its core, Macalester offers a distinctive liberal arts experience that prepares students for lives of purpose. Students come to Macalester because they are curious and driven to create impact with what they learn—and the education they receive is transformative. Through a curriculum designed to develop critical thinking, creativity, and an equity-focused mindset, Mac students are empowered to navigate complex problems with an interdisciplinary, nuanced perspective. No matter where they live and work, our alumni put their education into action, and strive to create change. Come hear how Macalester distinguishes itself from other colleges and universities through its signature curriculum, vibrant metropolitan location, and commitment to global citizenship.

Imagine, What does it mean to be a leader in sustainability?

May 15, 2024, New York City

At Macalester, environmental sustainability has been woven into the college’s mission and values for decades. For nearly fifty years, the college has offered an interdisciplinary focus in environmental studies, equipping students with skills to navigate environmental challenges at local, national, and international levels. Today, our Sustainability Office is a hub to catalyze, convene, and champion urban sustainability and environmental justice ideas and actions, across campus and beyond—and Macalester was recently recognized as a top performer in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2023 Sustainable Campus Index. Members of our alumni community are challenging the misperception that sustainable policies are too costly, by developing climate solutions that also spur economic growth. Learn about how Mac students, faculty, staff, and alumni are engaging in sustainability initiatives—and the impact their work is making.

Two people walk past the Bell Tower.
Mac at 150

The Bell Tower

1928: The Bell Tower is funded and built by the Classes of 1927 and 1928. In 1978, the bell is mysteriously removed on Christmas Eve and found later at House of Hope Presbyterian Church, about a mile from campus. It sparks other bell-related traditions for decades.