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Message from Macalester Board of Trustees Chair Jerry Crawford 71

To the Macalester Community:

This morning, on behalf of the Macalester College Board of Trustees, it is my great honor to introduce you to Macalester’s 17th President, Dr. Suzanne Rivera. On Friday, Dr. Rivera received the unanimous approval of the Board of Trustees. She joins us from Case Western Reserve University where she currently is the Vice President for Research and Technology Management, and will begin her service to Macalester this summer.

Dr. Rivera has distinguished herself through her work as an ethicist; her record of advancing the values of service, internationalism, and multiculturalism that define our institution; and her accomplishments as a senior leader in academia.  Her depth of knowledge and strategic thinking, as well as her ability to inspire, will serve the Macalester community well as we look to the opportunities and challenges of the future.

You can learn more about her academic and professional background here, but I’d like to tell you what we as a Board found so overwhelmingly impressive and believe will make her an exceptional leader at Macalester.

During the interview process, those who met Dr. Rivera came away deeply impressed with her understanding of the college and its mission; with her passion for the critical role of education, and the liberal arts in particular, in our society; with her experience and expertise as an administrator listening and leading through complexity; and with her energy, optimism, and ability to inspire. 

In conversations with the Presidential Search Committee, as well as with faculty, staff, students, and trustees who were involved in the search, Dr. Rivera talked at length about the importance of the student experience. She is deeply committed to the role of higher education as, in her words, a “ladder of opportunity.” That ladder of opportunity was life-changing for her personally and instilled in her, as she stated to the Board, “a deep conviction about the importance of creating a learning community where all members feel included, welcomed, deserving, appreciated, supported, and capable of flourishing.”  

I would like to thank the Presidential Search Committee for all of the time and energy they put into this important work, with a special thanks to Trustees Carrie Norbin Killoran ’94 and Michael Huber ’90 who so effectively served as committee co-chairs. In addition, thank you to the many faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents who responded to our request for input during the search process. Your feedback and participation was invaluable in guiding the committee’s work.  

We look forward to welcoming Dr. Rivera to Macalester, introducing her to you, and having her assume leadership of the college beginning this summer. Please watch for an invitation to faculty, staff, and students to hear from and meet Dr. Rivera as she visits campus in person later this spring. 

Lastly, I would like to express the Board’s deep appreciation to President Rosenberg for his incredible leadership and unyielding commitment over the course of the past 17 years, for strengthening the college on our upward trajectory, and for enabling us to plan for a smooth leadership transition.

With pride in the college and excitement about our future,


Jerry Crawford ’71
Chair, Macalester College Board of Trustees

(February 3, 2020)