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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Embarks on $150 Million Capital Campaign
Over Two-Thirds Already Raised

St. Paul, Minn. – Oct. 20, 2008– Macalester College has publicly announced a $150 million comprehensive campaign – the largest in the college’s history.

“Step Forward, the Campaign for Macalester,” aims to raise $150 million in gifts to ensure the continuing quality of academic programs, to sustain accessibility through increased support for scholarships, to engage students in meaningful local and global learning activities and to build a healthy campus community.

The college has raised more than $100 million in gifts and pledges during the quiet phase of the campaign, which began in May 2006.  The public phase of the campaign will run through May 2011.

Campaign Chair Jerry Crawford ’71 said the campaign will help align the college’s resources with its goals and potential.

“I am convinced that Macalester is squarely among the top 15 liberal arts colleges in the country based on the quality of the experience and the quality of the people—students, faculty, and staff,” Crawford said.  “But in terms of financial resources available for them to do their work, Macalester is near the bottom of its peers. Think how much more this college can provide with the right resources to support our mission.”

The college’s last campaign in the late 1990’s raised $55.3 million for new scholarships, endowed professorships, student-faculty collaborative research and the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center.

“Step Forward” is building on that process.

“This campaign is ambitious; it will advance the college and strengthen its special qualities allowing us to stay ahead of a changing world,” Macalester President Brian Rosenberg said.

“And in this campaign, a much larger group of alumni, friends, and parents is stepping forward to accept responsibility and ownership for the well-being of Macalester.”

Alumni giving has set new records for the past three years, according to David Wheaton, Macalester’s vice president of administration and finance. The college annually operates with a balanced budget, and recently its endowment has enjoyed above-market returns superior to most of its peer institutions, results that show stewardship of the college’s resources. 

“Step Forward: The Campaign for Macalester”
Step Forward: The Campaign for Macalester will bring Macalester’s financial resources to a level commensurate with the college’s peers.

In addition, donors will have helped erect three buildings—the Leonard Center, the Institute for Global Citizenship building, and an expanded and renovated Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center—and will have bolstered unrestricted Annual Fund support.

“Step Forward” priorities are as follows:

ž Scholarships and Student Opportunities $43 million: Macalester commits a greater share of its resources to financial aid than virtually any of its peers. Last year, nearly two-thirds of first-year students received a financial aid package averaging more than $25,000. The campaign goal of $33 million in new endowed scholarship funds will generate an additional $1.65 million for financial aid each year.

The Macalester experience, which links the classroom with the community and the world, will have additional endowed funds allowing students to participate in meaningful community-based learning opportunities, study abroad programs and student-faculty collaborative research. 

ž Endowed Professorships and Program Support $25 million: An endowed chair, which supports the salary and activities of a selected faculty member, is often used to recognize an exceptional faculty member, to strengthen an existing program, or to add expertise in a new curricular area. In 2007-08, the college had 23 endowed chairs; five additional professorships and fellowships have already been established as part of “Step Forward.”

ž New Excellence in the Arts for the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center $26 million:
Macalester’s programs in visual arts, music, theater, and dance have outgrown the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, and new teaching methods in these fields require new kinds of space. The campaign will allow that facility to be expanded and modernized, making it possible for faculty to bring new levels of quality to the college’s fine arts programs.

ž Preparing Global Citizens through the Institute for Global Citizenship $10 million: Macalester’s mission of preparing engaged citizens is given new focus by the work of the Institute for Global Citizenship, which brings together programs in international studies, study abroad, community-based learning, and internships, while sponsoring conferences, civic leadership programs and other joint activities. A $10 million goal will help support these programs and unite them in a building currently under construction on the northwest corner of Grand and Snelling Avenues.

ž A Healthy, Cohesive Community in the Athletics and Wellness Complex $26 million: The new Leonard Center, which opened in August, integrates first-rate fitness and athletic facilities with comprehensive health and wellness programs. It was built with the help of $26 million in contributions.

ž Increased Annual Giving to the Annual Fund $20 million: Gifts to the Annual Fund are included in the campaign, and increased Annual Fund giving to an annual level of $4.35 million by 2012 is a priority. The Annual Fund supports daily operations including scholarships, faculty salaries and program expenses

“We all have the power to make choices,” said 1961 graduate, Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and a 2000 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, speaking on campus in April 2006.  “We can choose to be silent and turn away. Or we can step forward and take action. Here at Macalester, you have chosen to make a difference.”  Annan’s quote inspired the campaign’s theme.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,884 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.