St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester College has publicly launched a $100 million fundraising campaign to support the most high-impact aspects of its mission, and deliver on what’s most important to the college: access through financial aid and scholarships, and excellence through faculty, academic, and co-curricular program support.

During the quiet phase of the campaign, the college secured $80 million in commitments toward its overall goal.

“At this moment in history, as we wrestle bigger, global challenges, the world needs Macalester graduates who can work as empathetic leaders and change makers,” said President Brian Rosenberg. “This is our opportunity to define the Macalester experience for new generations. During this campaign, our goal is to engage as broad a group of donors and volunteers as possible to support both the growth of the Macalester Fund and an endowed investment in access and excellence.”

The name of the campaign was inspired by the 2016 commencement address delivered by actor and award-winning playwright Danai Gurira who graduated from Macalester in 2001. In her speech, she asked students about their Macalester moment and shared her own: one in which she knew she wanted to build a future focused on telling stories of African women rarely heard.

“For us, this campaign is personal,” said campaign co-chair Annette Mortinson Whaley ’75. “As students who benefited from financial aid, my co-chair Michael Huber and I came to Macalester through the generous support of previous donors.”

“Through this campaign, we hope all members of the Macalester community see what we see: that the vibrancy of Macalester continues to grow, that this community is more important than it has ever been, and that the college can’t thrive without the engagement of all of our alumni,” said campaign co-chair Michael Huber ’90.

The campaign priorities are a reflection of the college’s strategic plan and include:

The Macalester Fund $20M
The recently renamed Macalester Fund provides essential support to the college’s operating budget, allowing for innovation, while providing funding for the most fundamental elements of the liberal arts experience. New designations allow donors to choose where their gifts are directed.

The goal is to increase annual giving to the Macalester Fund to $5 million by May 31, 2019. This represents a significant increase of 7.3 percent over last year’s record-breaking $4.66 million.

Financial Aid $40M
Since its founding, a deep commitment to financial aid has been a defining value at Macalester. Raising $40 million in endowed financial aid support will increase endowment earnings by $2 million annually for the financial aid budget.

Faculty and Academic Support $20M
Increasing endowed support for faculty will allow the college to enrich Macalester’s academic excellence through new professorships, student/faculty research, and resources for innovative, multi-disciplinary teaching and curriculum development.

Program Support $20M
Program support will focus on three key areas:

  • Endowed support for a vibrant Career Development Center, which is focused on guiding students through a progression of programming during their academic career, not just in their senior year. That progression includes: exploration, designing their professional presence, learning to network, and launching their careers.
  • Endowed funds to fuel the growth of the Entrepreneurship program, which equips students with the tools to put their ideas for changing the world into action. The college’s expanded focus on entrepreneurship has seen rapidly increasing student demand, and as the program has grown, alumni have provided critical mentorship support.
  • The construction of a new theater/classroom building featuring expanded studios, updated technology, a flexible theater space, and 11 flexible classrooms that physically link arts and sciences through a skyway to Olin-Rice. The space, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2019, will provide Macalester with a new home for the performing arts and alleviate current pressure on classroom space.

To learn more about The Macalester Moment campaign, how donors can contribute, and for a progress update, visit:

October 5 2018

Back to top