ONE OF THIS fall’s first-year students made a special effort to visit Macalester before applying for admission. Bethany Catlin ’19 (Franklin, Ind.), who was “particularly intrigued by Macalester because of its artsyness, cool mail, and international focus,” hopped on her bike last summer and, accompanied by her father, Dan, rode 700 miles to see the school for herself.

She also used her multi-state ride to raise money for the Arthritis National Research Foundation, an organization close to her heart because of her own struggles with juvenile arthritis. “The ride was a challenge for my creaky joints,” says Catlin, “so it seemed appropriate to make it not just about me but also about setting a precedent for getting kids with juvenile arthritis out of the mindset that they’re fragile.”

Admittedly, Catlin and her father stopped to see a few other colleges along the way, but Mac was their final destination and the school that was already tops on Catlin’s list. Its favorite status was only confirmed by the warm reception she received at 1600 Grand, says Catlin. “This college, and all its people, really got my bike ride,” she says. “A host of students, staff, and even the president came out to welcome me. They had TV stations there, sent me a Mac bike jersey to wear when I arrived, helped me plan my route, followed my blog, and gave me a personalized tour.

“I knew 15 minutes after arriving on campus that Macalester is a place where people make things happen, where they work toward big dreams, and where they not only encourage but provide support for one another’s hopes and aspirations.”

No surprise then, that Catlin said yes to Mac last spring, and arrived on campus with the rest of the Class of 2019 in August.

November 5 2015

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