By Catherine Kane ’26

Dr. Karen Kaufman-Codjoe ’74 is chair of the Alumni Board’s Virtual Programming Task Force. A biology major, Kaufman-Codjoe went on to practice medicine in Texas, Ohio, and Tennessee. She spoke with Macalester Today about some of the task force’s ongoing programming and what she’s looking forward to when she celebrates her 50th Reunion, June 6-9, 2024.

How did the Virtual Programming Task Force come about?

We first did some virtual programming during the pandemic. The programs were well received and we realized how virtual programming reached so many people, even alumni living outside the US, despite the time difference. This proved to be an effective tool for fulfilling our mission to engage alumni.

What are some examples of virtual programming?

We presented an anti-racist parenting session which had over 200 participants. We had panelists and several breakout rooms where aspects of the topic were explored further. With the strategic plan, everybody’s looking at the importance of a liberal arts education. In March, we had an online panel discussion called “Liberal Arts at Macalester: What Still Fits Under the Big Tent.” Panelists from the Class of 1973, Class of 1998, Class of 2022, and a current student discussed how important Macalester was to their career/future career (because everything does fit under the big tent). The age contrast provided a fruitful discussion.

What are you looking forward to at your 50th Reunion?

I’m looking forward to being inducted into the Golden Scots Society. That will be special. The Sounds of Blackness will be having a concert, which I am also excited about. It is always nice to visit with friends. Minnesota weather is so pleasant during the summer.

Why is staying connected to Macalester important to you?

I think our process of continually looking at ourselves and seeing how we can best address the issues that the college is facing is important. President Rivera says alumni are the biggest branch of the college tree. We number in the thousands. That is a lot of assets. Being an asset is important to me.

May 17 2024

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