By Julie Hessler ’85 / Images Courtesy Of Macalester College Archives

A recent Macalester Today reader survey revealed that Class Notes is one of the most widely read sections of the magazine.

A part of our collective story, these notes have appeared in college publications throughout nearly all of our 150-year history.

As we begin our yearlong celebration of the college’s sesquicentennial, we share a selection of notes published in The College Echo, the Macalester College Bulletin, the Mac Weekly, and Macalester Today.


Harry Greenlee, one of Mac’s first students, called on some of the boys at the college building last Thursday.


W. P. Kirkwood ‘90 breakfasted at the dorm on the 24th. We would be pleased to see more of our friend, but when the baseball season is fully underway, he will no doubt favor us with frequent calls and impart an occasional injunction to aspirants on the diamond field.


After two years of successful teaching in Pelican Rapids Miss Millacent Mahlum ’01, was called to her hometown—Brainerd—to the department of Latin in the high school. Latin language and literature find in her, we are sure, a highly creditable interpreter. We are glad to learn that besides her excellent work in the high school at Pelican Rapids she won high praise in the community as a teacher of piano.

No doubt justice is a little better administered in the state because Paul A. Ewert ’94 was some time since made assistant to the attorney general. There are two articles in Ewert’s political and professional faith: “Put the criminals in (the pen),” and “Put the rascals out.”


G. Welbon ’97 of Korea, and Paul Doeltz ’99 of the Philippine Islands, have been visiting with friends in the Twin Cities. Mr. Welbon spoke at Chapel and preached at the Macalester Church.

Miss Anna M. Dickson ’98 entertained the members of the senior class at a Valentine party at her home.


Margaret Defiel ’15 is teaching in Hills, Minn., having entire charge of the English Department. She took the physical geography class on a hike the other day, fell into a muddy creek, and was chased by a pig. She didn’t say who won.


Fuku Hyashi ’14 visited at the hall Sunday.


April 28, 1918. Fremont Taylor ’17 is with me here, and last night we had a great time recalling people and events back at college. Of course we remembered the pushball contest, in which we so thoroughly beat the present senior class. I would like to be back there for Commencement. I wanted to be there last year but couldn’t make it. Maybe next year I can do better. I’ll try and fix it up with the Kaiser. —Your Friend, Carleton E. Ralph ’17, Artillery School Detachment, American Expeditionary Forces, France


Paula Doerman ’19, was a visitor at Mac last Friday. Paula teaches at Austin, Minn., but her school has been having a flu vacation.


Margaret Doty ’14, Walter Teller ’21, Roy Grieg ’19, and Enrique Sobrepena ’23 all spent the summer doing research at Columbia University.


Marjory L. Hanson ’11 called at the college January 7. An injury received from a bucking Korean pony necessitated her return to America, though she declared that leaving her teaching in the Bible Institute in Andong, Korea, was very hard for her. She is thoroughly absorbed in her work, and full of enthusiasm.


Barclay Acheson ’10, secretary of the executive committee of Near East Relief, writes, “A young woman had been working in this office for several months. I realized that she was exceptionally good, but of course had no way of knowing the explanation. In looking up my name in some reference book she saw I was a Macalester graduate and then she herself explained that she too was a graduate of that noble institution. The moral is obvious.” Mr. Acheson’s very efficient secretary is Marian Eastlee ’29.


Beryl Brownlee ’16, Sheridan, Wy., writes that she is fascinated by the book she is reading: Live Alone and Like It. She is teaching geometry and dramatic art, having put on Mr. Pim Passes By recently.

Ilma Ruohmaki ’24 is in the employ of the government of Finland in the Finnish Travel Information Bureau in New York. She recently booked Arthur Hunt ’11 for a trip to Finland.


Our May 24 alumni meeting was held at New York University as guests of Dean George R. Collins. The speaker was Dr. Catharine Lealtad ’15. Her subject: “I Doctor Sick Folks in Harlem.”

Rev. Ernest R. Armstrong ’28, pastor of the Brighton Park Presbyterian Church in Chicago, writes, “I hesitate, as no doubt most of the others do, to send the editors any personal data for the reason that no great or notable events have transpired. As the pastor of this church, my time is filled with such things as study, sick calls, various meetings at church, weddings, finding jobs for men out of work, funerals, talking over problems with perplexed folks—so that some days my wife and seven-year-old daughter hardly see me at all. But through it all there is a sense of satisfaction in feeling that I’m right where I belong. Best wishes to you all.”


Pfc. Elwin J. Reps, age 23, was killed in action in Germany on April 5. Reps was serving in the infantry. He left Macalester, where he was a cheerleader, in the spring of 1943. His home was St. Paul.


Mrs. L.C. (Fei-Man Wang) Tzu ’25, Lanchow, Kansu, China, writes that the Alumni Bulletins have been received there, despite poor transportation. Mrs. Tzu is still head of the department of Home Economics, National Teachers College.


Dr. Joseph W. Cochran ’99, Nantucket, Mass., only living member of the Class of 1899, delivered on Sept. 22 the historical sermon in the American Church of Paris on the one-hundredth anniversary of the founding of the church. The French government on that occasion awarded him the decoration “Palmes Academique.”


In celebration of Founders Day on March 9, forty Macalester alumni clubs across the nation held meetings simultaneously. Clubs in Mexico City, Honolulu, and Beirut also held meetings. The new bagpipe band appeared at the local meeting.


The Chicago Mac Clan made a gift of $150 to establish a Kindergarten Book Corner at the college’s library. Sixty-one books were purchased. The group specified that the books be in the elementary field and the committee laid special emphasis on science books that would be of special help to teachers who want to make young Americans more science-conscious.


Virginia Zontelli ’60, former Homecoming Queen, paid a recent visit to the Twin Cities to recruit hostesses for Pan American World airways. Ginny went to work for Pan Am following graduation and is now making trans-Atlantic flights. Her knowledge of Italian and the fact that she is a licensed private pilot helps in her career.


Classmates of Al Giddings ’61 will be interested to know that he has been at Danang, South Vietnam, since July. Al is a helicopter pilot and a captain in the Marine Corps.

Dallas Rae Lindgren ’63, who is continuing work on her MA in political science at the University of Minnesota, was a civil rights volunteer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in their Summer Community Organization and Political Education (SCOPE) program. She worked with other volunteers from Minnesota in Peach County, Georgia, with the Black community in voter registration, community organization, and political education.

Felipe Garcia-Beraza ’44, Mexico City, is the new bulletin editor for Centro Mexicano de Escritores, a nonprofit writers organization. His book City Built on a Lake, a history of Mexico City, will be published next year.


Gene M. Takei ’49, Richmond, Calif., is general sales manager of Yasutomo and Company, San Francisco. He had the unique experience of introducing to the US the first fiber or nylon-tipped marker pen, “Pentel.”

Douglas S. Young ’49 has been named executive director of the state’s most politically active citizen conservation group, the Minnesota Environmental Control Citizens Association (MECCA).

Phelps “Flip” G. Schulke ’54 won first place in magazine photography in the twenty-sixth annual pictures of the year competition with his Life Magazine cover page picture of Mrs. Martin Luther King. The portrait showed Mrs. King while attending the funeral services for her husband.

Richard S. Nutt ’07, Grover City, Calif., reminisced on the St. Thomas/Macalester baseball game in 1907 when the final score was Mac 2, and St. Thomas 1. He stated that people pushed streetcars off their tracks, and even policemen from their horses. Some game enthusiasm! Mr. Nutt is president of the Canadian, US, Mexican Highway Association.


Monte M. Mason ’71 is currently residing in a garret, selling choral music at Schmitt Music in Minneapolis, and directing the choir at Salem English Lutheran Church.

George Perry ’70, Atlanta, has completed one and a half years as a conscientious objector working as the director of a community cultural center in St. Louis. He is now studying at Atlanta University for graduate degrees in Afro-American Studies.


Dr. Surender Singh ’56, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, has been elected president of Hardoi Educational Society in Northern India. The Society is dedicated to establishing schools, libraries, and village uplift projects in India, where Singh is manager of two schools, established with the help of his wife and their friends, which provide education for 500 children.

Tower chimes continue to play on Sunday mornings at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis because John A. Fulton ’34 has rung them for twenty-two years.


Manuelita Mendez ’74, San Antonio, Texas, was selected as one of the Outstanding Young Women of America for 1974.

Ira A. Cummings ’73, St. Paul, one of the original EEO students to graduate from Mac, is working in the criminal justice program in conjunction with the Governor’s Crime Commission. He is with the Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities area, Regional Planning Agency for a seven-county area.


Richard Handeen ’73 and Audrey Arner ’73, Montevideo, Minn., are “students of the universe, tending to a garden, making pots, chopping wood, and sharing love with David, born last year.”

Edward J. Willow ’27 is consultant to the Minnesota Republican Finance Committee, with primary responsibility for the development of the “Elephant Fund,” the larger gifts. He is executive director of the Minnesota Society for the Prevention of Blindness.


Nancy Conklin ’73, Anchorage, Alaska, is the first female installer for the floor-covering union and does freelance photography in the arctic wilds.

Marlene Johnson ’68, St. Paul, is seen in Lutheran Brotherhood’s Bicentennial film, The New Patriots. Her expression of patriotism is a commitment to working within the American political system. She’s chairperson of the Women’s Political Caucus in St. Paul.


Charles M. Young ’73 is an associate editor of Rolling Stone where he is the resident expert on punk rock. After receiving his master’s degree from the Columbia School of Journalism in 1975, he freelanced for the Village Voice, Crawdaddy and the New York Times.

He’s written about Harlem, the Sex Pistols, prison reform, Bugs Bunny, Mel Brooks, Kiss, and the Grateful Dead, among other subjects.

Martha Whiting ’71, Houston, has served as a field representative for Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE) in Kenya, acting as spokesperson for both women’s rights and for an increased concern for women in economic development planning. She was involved with a project that provided clean, safe drinking water to the villages of western Kenya in the Rift Valley area. The project was assisted with a grant from the Agency for International Development. Martha supervised the initial phases of the CARE water project that linked the villages of the area to new sources of water. She earned a master’s degree in public and international affairs in 1974 from the University of Pittsburgh.


Matthew L. Friedman ’80 is a piper with the twenty-three-year-old First Salinas Valley Highlanders bagpipe band in Salinas, Calf. He’s also assistant transportation study coordinator with the Monterey County Transportation Commission.

“I wish I had an impressive list of accomplishments for you,” writes Linda Jerabek Miller ’65 from Champion, Wis., “but alas I am still happily rearing my six children, writing to my stepchildren and my 22.8 grandchildren, chopping wood in the summer, stacking it all fall, and burning it all winter.”

The Class of ’43 produced a bumper crop of playwrights! Mary Ella Goins Randall’s play The Day Judge Whipper Went to Jail won first prize (and $1,000) in a Baltimore television station’s fourth annual competition for Black playwrights. Chosen among eighty plays submitted, Randall’s creation is based on a historical account of a Black judge who settled in South Carolina after the Civil War—and who adopted the grandfather of Randall’s husband. It was produced by the Arena Players and aired last February on WMAR-TV. Randall is adjunct professor of English at the University of the District of Columbia.


Many Mac alums volunteered for “It’s time, Minnesota,” a statewide grassroots organizing lobbying effort which won passage during the 1993 legislative session of amendment to include sexual orientation in Minnesota’s Human Rights Act. Among them were campaign co-chair C. Scott Cooper ’90, who works for Sen. Paul Wellstone, and media committee co-chair David Enyeart ’90.


Cynthia J. Smith ’76 is the community educator for Sexual Offense Services of Ramsey County, a rape crisis center. Cynthia occasionally speaks at Macalester, and writes “I have the good fortune of working with numerous Mac students who volunteer on our crisis phone line.”

Deborah Sengupta ’95 plays bass in a seven-piece, all-female hip-hop/funk band called Buttah-Fly. “After six or seven months playing, we were just voted as one of the top 10 hip-hop/soul bands in the Austin Music Awards.”

Masashi Nagadoi ’87 reports that his short film, Moment Cafe, won the Gold Award at Houston’s prestigious World-Fest Film Festival. Masashi is currently in pre-production of his first feature film.


Willie “Bill” Bettelyoun ’72, who has lived with AIDS for thirteen years, was profiled in the Sioux Falls, S.D. Argus Leader last June. “I’ve had this so long, I guess I’ve beaten the odds,” the Rosebud native told the newspaper. “But all my friends are gone, and I’m sure my days are running out.” Willie lives at Berakhah House in Sioux Falls, which cares for people with AIDS. “On the days I’m not completely sick, I can look at myself, see the value of friendships, of spirituality, the value of compassion,” he said. “I never would have gotten that at Berkeley or through any book. I had to learn it myself.” [Editor’s note: Willie died on March 17, 2003.]

Brady Robinson ’95 recently got back from Pakistan after attempting to climb K7. The team ran out of food and spent five days waiting out a storm in a hanging tent designed for two people. “Storms kept us from the summit, but everyone returned home friends, with fingers and toes intact, so it was a success,” he writes. He offered his best wishes to all his friends in the US and Pakistan as the world struggles to deal with the Sept. 11 attacks. Brady is currently working as a program director in Chile for Outward Bound.

Jo Modahl Morrill ’56 wrote, “Retire— doesn’t sound like me! Rediscover, rethink, remake, perhaps!”

Joanna Kepka de Fernandez ’95 received a doctorate in geography from the University of Oregon in June 2000. In January 2001, Joanna and her husband, Alfredo, welcomed their first son, Milosz Juan Pablo. They traveled to Poland, Germany, Thailand, and Malaysia last summer. In Poland, Joanna saw Agnieszka Brzeska ’94, who was visiting from the Congo, and in Bangkok she caught up with Constanze Ruprecht ’96 who was working on a project in northern Thailand.


Art Bell ’40 and Fran Tripp Bell ’39 of Chanhassen, Minn. celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary last June.


Barbara Phillips ’71 and her son Charles traveled in Israel and Palestine with a delegation from the Social Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.


Abaki Beck ’15 was among the twenty-five young Montanans who received this year’s Forward Montana Foundation’s 25 Under 25 Award. She was recognized for her research regarding food sovereignty and traditional ecological knowledge of the Blackfeet Reservation as well as for her previous work on health care and Native American issues for the US House of Representatives.

Last spring, Margaret Uppgren Ely, Mary Ann MacDonald Huelster, Paul Siegler, and Ruth Booman, all Class of 1947, met for breakfast in St. Paul to celebrate reaching or passing the age of ninety.


Ann Millin ’69 has retired from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, where she had served as a historian since 1999. She is the 2018–19 Distinguished Visiting Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Richard Stockton University.

Ariel Estrella ’15 has begun the doctoral English program at Cornell University. They will focus their research on queer of color lyricism.

River, a solo installation by artist and poet Jen Bervin ’94, was presented at the Des Moines Art Center from October 2018 to January 2019. Jen created the piece over twelve years, sewing the sequined 230-curvilinear-foot-long sculpture by hand. The piece is installed on the gallery ceiling and “maps” the length of the Mississippi River at a scale of one inch to one mile.


Abass Noor ’13 and Hannah McIntire ’13 welcomed their first child, Elias Abas Mohamud, in March 2020. “Elias loves that he was able to quarantine with his parents for the first few months of life!” writes Hannah. “We all look forward to seeing Mac friends after the pandemic.”


Daniel Hellerman ’81 wouldn’t quite say he’s become a farmer, but he does have 125 acres near Enosburg Falls, Vermont, with a barn and house that are about as old as Macalester, and he does get muddy and produce some food. During the winter he retires to Chapel Hill, NC.


We would love to hear from you. What three things would you most like the Macalester community to know about you? Tell us about yourself by sharing a Class Note with Macalester Today during our sesquicentennial year. Email [email protected].

February 16 2024

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