the grand societyAnnual giving at the leadership level–$1,600 and above each year—is indispensable to the growth of the Annual Fund. Although fewer than 6 percent of Macalester donors are members of the Grand Society, this special group contributes 66 percent of all dollars given.

Macalester’s academic excellence and programmatic innovation require Annual Fund investment; members of the Grand Society are full partners in creating a bright and accomplished future for Macalester.

Members at all levels will receive benefits that include periodic insider updates from the president, invitations to special Macalester events, and a gold pin to wear with pride.

If you graduated within the last decade, we've made it easier for you to become a member of the Grand Society. Learn how to become a member of the Grand Society, even if you are currently unable to give at the $1600 level.

The Annual Fund Grand Society

Grand Society membership has five levels for leadership annual giving.


GlenMembers give $1,600–$2,499.

Scotland’s legendary glens are still, peaceful, deep valleys. Donors at this level have carved out their commitments to the college, deepening their generosity.

Glen level donors create countless opportunities in and out of the classroom: Twin Cities internships, summer research experiences, civic engagement projects, and more.

All Grand Society members receive insider updates from the president, special event invitations, and a gold pin to wear with pride.


ScotMembers give $2,500–$4,999.

One of the key reasons for Macalester’s Scottish heritage is Charles Macalester, a Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist who was one of the first to pledge support for the college.

The thistle, part of a Scottish legend, marks this society. Leadership donors like those at the Scot level provide key support for Macalester’s historic commitment to access.

Scot level members will also receive a unique and personalized note from a current student.


TartanMembers give $5,000–$9,999.

In 1948, the chief of the Clan MacAlister in Scotland adopted the college into the Clan. Ever since, the college’s pipe band has worn the authentic tartan of Clan MacAlister, to represent the college’s Scottish origins.

Members at the Tartan level enable the college to set and attain new levels of excellence.

Tartan level members receive an annual mailing of written student works.


HighlandMembers give $10,000–$24,999.

Like the Scottish Highlands, Macalester enjoys proud traditions and a rich cultural history. The heather wreath is a symbol of Scotland’s highlands, where this plant thrives.

Members at the Highland level show their vigorous endorsement of Macalester’s work and investment in the lives of students.

Highland members receive Mac’s Book of the Year, written or chosen by a Macalester community member.


PiperMembers give $25,000 or more.

The music of a single piper opens and closes many Macalester events, and many alumni never forget the thrill of marching into Commencement behind the college’s pipe band.

Those at the Piper level step up to play a leadership role through their generous support of the teaching and learning at Macalester. Their exemplary participation provides significant support and inspires others to give generously.

Piper donors receive a piece of student art.

Participation Societies

The Summit Society

The Summit Society recognizes regular giving. When you have given an Annual Fund gift five years in a row, or when you contribute in your senior year at Macalester, you become part of the Summit Society. Your membership will continue as long as you continue to give each year.

Building and stewarding a committed group of Annual Fund supporters is key to maintaining a solid financial foundation for the college. The continued generosity of our alumni, parents, and friends gives Macalester the resources to provide an excellent academic experience for any student, regardless of financial situation. For this reason, we recognize and celebrate the Annual Fund donors loyal in their support of the college.

Donors who support the Annual Fund for five or more consecutive years, or who have made a gift every year since graduation, are recognized through membership in the Summit Society. All members receive a special designation in the Advancement Report.

The Old Main Society

Membership in the Old Main Society is extended to living individuals who have donated for any purpose in 25 or more fiscal years.

Built in 1884, Old Main stands as a stalwart symbol of permanence and strength. The building symbolizes, perhaps more than any other landmark on campus, the beginnings of this magnificent college. As the very first building, Old Main was the foundation for the campus we know today.

The Old Main Society exists to thank living individuals who have provided a financial foundation by donating 25 or more fiscal years. Like Old Main, members of the society provide invaluable leadership to Macalester, by providing steady, consistent support to the college.

Members of the Old Main Society, valued members of the Macalester community, will be recognized in such publications as the donor report and receive invitations to select events.

General Giving Societies

Bell Tower Society

Membership in the Bell Tower Society is extended to living individuals whose giving to the college for current or capital purposes amount to $100,000 or more in a given year. Membership is renewable each year (Macalester's giving year is June1 - May 31).

Edward Duffield Neill, who founded Macalester in 1874 as a place to educate leaders for the nation’s new frontiers, venerated the sense of tradition found in the best colleges in the East. Neill, who had already established public education at every level in the Territory of Minnesota, obtained a bell for his new private college. It was manufactured in 1855 and is believed to be the oldest bell in St. Paul. The bell received a permanent home when the Classes of 1927 and 1928 contributed the Bell Tower that now stands as a campus landmark.

For years, the bell has called the community together for convocations and official events. Its deep, clear tone reverberates across campus in a timeless summons to community.

Responding to the call of the bell is one of the first ways in which students learn to participate in the life of Macalester College.

The Bell Tower Society: Commitment and Leadership

Members of the Macalester College Bell Tower Society have participated in the life of the college in countless important ways. The Bell Tower Society exists to recognize their extraordinarily generous financial support in the form of outright gifts for current, capital or endowment purposes.

To support the college at this level is to exercise exemplary and steadfast leadership in the life of the college. These gifts make possible significant and tangible educational benefits such as student financial aid, faculty salaries, important educational programs, and facilities. Moreover, they inspire others to be generous in their own contributions.

Like the historic bell in its landmark tower, members of the Bell Tower Society, by their example, invite others in the community to participate more deeply in the life of Macalester College.

Tokens of Appreciation

Members of the Bell Tower Society will be recognized in the annual donor report. Members will receive invitations to select events, including a trustee dinner each year, as well as a special President’s letter and use of the Alumni House.

Charles Macalester Society

Membership in the Charles Macalester Society is extended to living individuals whose lifetime giving has reached or exceeded $1 million.

Charles Macalester was a philanthropist of the highest order.  He was a trusted advisor and friend to many U.S. Presidents including Jackson, Van Buren, Polk, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, and Grant.  A fervent supporter of the arts and educational enterprises, Macalester left a tremendous legacy by giving a title to a hotel in Minneapolis, which was sold to pay for land in St. Paul.

Members of the Macalester College Charles Macalester Society have participated in the life of the college in countless important ways, helping to build a strong financial foundation.  The Charles Macalester Society exists to recognize their extraordinarily generous lifetime financial support.

Members of the Charles Macalester Society will be recognized in such publications as the donor report and a Charles Macalester Society roster.  Members will receive invitations to select events, including a trustee dinner each year, as well as a special President’s letter and use of the Alumni House.  A unique memento will be given to each Charles Macalester Society member to honor their generosity.