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Partnership with The Posse Foundation

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Dear students, faculty, and staff:

In June, I shared with the Macalester community my desire to work on three sets of initiatives to advance our institutional commitments to equity and inclusion. These initiatives include a program to recruit and support the thriving of Black, Indigenous, and other students of color from the Twin Cities and beyond; a program to recruit faculty and staff of color and assure that we create an environment in which they can thrive; and an approach to engage more deeply with partner institutions in and around Saint Paul to contribute to the city’s economic development and the well-being of its residents.

Over the past several months, I’ve shared updates about specific elements of this work. Today, I am pleased to announce Macalester’s partnership with The Posse Foundation, an organization with a strong record of recruiting and supporting students from diverse backgrounds, and working with college and university partners to offer these students access to and support for an outstanding college experience.

The Posse program includes an assessment process to identify students who might be overlooked in typical admissions processes and who have demonstrated potential to excel in college; training and support for small groups of students (“posses”) in their senior year of high school; a four-year campus program for students within the small groups, focused on retention and mentorship; and a structured career program to connect scholars to professional opportunities. Macalester’s first posse will be made up of 10 talented students from the Twin Cities who will receive full tuition scholarships and enroll at Macalester in September of 2022.

This partnership expands on Macalester’s efforts to recruit and support students from the Twin Cities, and will complement other efforts already underway to ensure that students from historically excluded groups find their place at Macalester, and receive the financial and programmatic support they need to thrive. I am excited that, by entering into the Posse Foundation partnership, Macalester will be the first college ever to select a posse from within the state of Minnesota. This strengthens the commitment we made through creation of our Minnesota Opportunity Scholarship Fund over the summer.

Also exciting is that Macalester will be part of a small group of new college partners who will work with the Posse Foundation to expand the organization’s reach and impact. I see this new partnership as one element of our ongoing efforts to ensure Macalester is a campus that is welcoming to and supportive of all its students.

During the first year of the partnership, we will work with the Posse Foundation to identify students in the Twin Cities who will form a cohort. These students will get to know each other, and will work together during their senior year in high school. The students will enroll together at Macalester, and I am eager to see the unique perspectives and experiences they will bring to our Mac family.

I have noted before that there is still much work to be done as we strive to live out our stated commitments to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion. I will continue to keep the campus community updated on our progress, and I welcome your suggestions and comments. You may email me directly at president@macalester.edu.

January 26, 2021