Macalester College is a
private, coeducational liberal arts
college located in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
It was founded in 1874 as a Presbyterian
-affiliated but nonsectarian
college. Its first class entered September
. The college is located on a 53
acre (21.4 ha
) campus in a historic
residential neighborhood and includes seven academic buildings, ten
residences, a library, and a technology center. Notable alumni
include Kofi Annan
, Walter Mondale
, DeWitt Wallace
, Alexander Wendt
, Peter Berg
, Tim O'Brien
. Macalester enrolls approximately 1,850 undergraduate
students. The school is known for its large international
enrollment and has one of the highest percentages of foreign
students in the United States.
Weyerhauser Memorial Chapel
Macalester had its beginnings in the mid-to-late 1800s due to the
efforts of the Rev. Dr. Edward
Duffield Neill, who had founded two schools in Saint Paul and
nearby Minneapolis which were named after M.W.
builder and friend of Neill's.
intention of turning his Saint Paul Baldwin School into a college,
Neill turned to Charles Macalester, a businessman from Philadelphia, for sponsorship. Macalester donated a
building near Saint Anthony
Falls, and the college was chartered in 1874.
college moved to its present location in 1885 after building an
endowment and seeking the help of the Presbyterian Church
. The College first
admitted women in 1893, and despite being affiliated with a
religious institution, remained open to students of other
Macalester was largely carried through financial hardship and
brought to prominence by Dr. James Wallace, father of DeWitt Wallace
. Wallace was acting president
of the college from 1894 to 1900, president from 1900 to 1906, and
professor until just before his death in 1939. After World War II
, the college developed a
reputation for internationalism
presidency of Charles Turck (later the namesake of Turck Hall), who
recruited overseas and created a more diverse student body.
Macalester's positive reputation grew during the 1960s, when it
consistently drew many National Merit Scholars
to come in at the country's top ten; during this time the college
also benefitted heavily from DeWitt Wallace's success with Reader's Digest
. Macalester continued to
develop into the '90s
, building its endowment
and adding new facilities and equipment.
Modern Macalester College logo, used
on many college documents.
Macalester's reputation has grown within the last 20 years with the
addition of newer facilities, such as the DeWitt Wallace Library,
among the largest among liberal arts colleges in the United States.
college has also extensively developed its ties to the Twin
Cities, with an extensive focus on community service and
Recent years have brought much new development
as well as controversy. Many buildings have been extensively
renovated and a new athletic facility (The Leonard Center) opened
in the fall of 2008. In addition, Macalester has recently created
the Institute for Global Citizenship. The Institute and other
administrative decisions, however, such as the college's highly
charged decision to cease need-blind admissions, have led to some
level of student protest and anger on campus.
Macalester's stated mission is to be a preeminent liberal arts
college with high standards for scholarship, and with special
emphasis on internationalism
, and service to society
Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
In the past 10 years, Macalester students have earned honors
including Rhodes Scholarships
British Marshall Scholarships, Fulbright Scholarships
Government Grants, National Science Foundation Fellowships, Truman
Scholarships, Watson Fellowships, Mellon Fellowships and Goldwater
Currently Macalester's admittance rate is 39%.
It is considered "Most Selective" by
News & World
Rankings. For the class of 2012, 5,040 applications
resulted in one of the lowest acceptance rates ever for the
Macalester is the primary financial contributor and sponsor of the
Institute for Talented Youth
, which was founded in 1967 and has
its main facilities in the Lampert Building (which is across from
Macalester's North Quad on Snelling Avenue). MITY provides three
different gifted education
during the summer months. Macalester also participates in Project Pericles
As a member of the Cooperating Libraries in Consortium (CLIC), the
Macalester library provides students with academic resources
outside of the College's library. Through the consortium, students
have access to books, articles, and other media available from
liberal arts colleges in the Twin Cities. Students also have
access to the University of Minnesota libraries, and can obtain copies of papers and
articles therefrom on campus.
However, there is no guarantee
as to when a student might actually gain access to these
International students represent 90 different countries and
comprise 14% of the student body. In 2005, 4% of students were dual
citizens or permanent residents of foreign countries. U.S.
students, 20% of whom are of color, come from all 50 states and the
District of Columbia.
The main campus newspaper is the student-run The Mac Weekly
, which has a circulation
of up to 1,600 and was established in 1914. Almost all the
newspaper staff works on a volunteer basis. The paper publishes 12
or 13 volumes, ranging from 16 to 24 pages, each semester. A
satirical section, The Mock Weekly
, is added to the last
issue of each semester. The paper has published a magazine three
times, in April 2006 and March and November 2007.
over 100 student clubs and organizations on campus, including the
college radio station WMCN, the
Macalester Peace and Justice Committee, the Experimental College,
Student Labor Action Coalition, African Music Ensemble, Macalester
Gaming Society, Macalester Mock Trial, Mac Dems, Mac GOP, Mac
Greens, Bad Comedy, Fresh Concepts,
The Trads and other a cappella groups, Cheeba, MacBrews, MacBike,
the Macalester Outing Club, the Macalester Climbing Club,
Macalester Conservation and Renewable Energy Society (MacCARES),
Macalester International Organization (MIO), MacPlayers, NARAL Pro-Choice Macalester, Queer Union, Macalester
for Justice in Palestine, Macalester Young Artists for
Revolutionary Needlework (MacYARN) and Mac Rugby.
Macalester College is a member of the Minnesota
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
(MIAC). The college's team
nickname is the Scots.
team, after many years of
poor performance in the MIAC, has competed independently since
2002. The college actually dissolved the football program in 1906,
pronouncing, according to the Mac Weekly: "Thoroughly aroused to
the evils, real or imaginary, of this game, the public is clamoring
for the entire abolition or reform on this 'relic of barbarism.'"
After reinstated the Macalester football team found itself in a
record 50-game NCAA losing streak that lasted six years during the
mid-1970s, attracting national media attention. The losing streak
ended on September 5, 1980, with a 17-14 win over Mt. Senario College.
has always been a popular sport. Both
men and women's teams remain competitive, appearing in multiple
NCAA playoffs since 1995. The women's team won the NCAA
championship in 1998.
The Cross Country Ski
became a club team in 2004, when skiing was eliminated as an MIAC
sanctioned sport. It was the first team to be dismantled since
was cut (and turned club) in the
1970s. A women's hockey team formed in 2000 and continues to play
at the club level.
Macalester Athletics compete in a new athletic facility, the
Leonard Center, which opened in August 2008. The $45 million dollar
facility is the largest NCAA Division III athletic facility in the
country. The Leonard Center also includes a health and wellness
center for the college community. Materials from the former
facility were disposed of in environmentally friendly ways, and
some materials were incorporated into the new structure.
As at many small liberal arts
, students at Macalester are required to live on
for their first two years.
- Dupre Hall, which houses first-year students and sophomores, is rumored to
be able to withstand a hurricane. The building plans were
supposedly bought for a discounted price from a Macalester graduate
because they were originally designed for a coastal climate. Dupre
is located on the corner of Summit and Snelling Avenues, and was
built in 1962. Renovated in 1994, Dupre houses about 260
first-years and sophomores and is Macalester's largest residence
- Turck Hall was built in 1957 and most recently remodeled in
2004. It houses nearly 180 first-year students.
- Doty Hall was built in 1964 and is one of two residence halls
on campus to feature single-sex floors. Doty also houses only first
- Bigelow Hall is on the corner of Grand Avenue and Macalester
Street. Built in 1947 and most recently remodeled in 1992, it is
connected via tunnels to Wallace, Doty and 30 Macalester Street and
features single-sex and co-ed floor arrangements. It is also
connected to Turck via a skyway, and houses
- George Draper Dayton Hall (GDD) houses sophomores, juniors and
seniors, typically in suites of four to six occupants.
- 30 Macalester Street is one of the newest residence halls on
campus, and is more handicap accessible than other residence halls
and houses small amount of students.
- Wallace Hall is the oldest residence hall on campus, built in
1907 and renovated in 2002. It houses mostly sophomores.
Kirk Hall at Macalester, an upperclass residence hall.
This building is also home to the Hebrew House.
- Kirk Hall houses upperclassmen and is located between the
Campus Center and the Leonard Athletic Center.
- With the opening of the Institute for Global Citizenship,
Summit House, which previously housed the International Center, has
been converted into a residence hall housing 16 students.
- There are three cottages on campus.
- Veggie Co-op
- Cultural House
- Hebrew House (part of Kirk
- All-gender housing (part of Kirk Hall)
- Language Houses, where students are expected to speak the
language of their particular house as much as possible. Currently
there are six Language Houses, focusing on German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin.
Recently, Macalester has made news by offering limited gender open
housing options for juniors and
seniors. George Draper Dayton Hall, the Grand-Cambridge Apartments,
Kirk Hall, and the six cottages are all gender open. Gender-open
housing options still do not provide the opportunity for students
of opposite sexes to share a room without a door between. Hence,
gender-open housing is only available in suites and cottage type
living situations and has not been integrated into the main
residence hall buildings. However, this does mean that students of
different biological sex still cannot share a room together,
without a locking door between them. There is no current concrete
administrative plan in place for moving to a gender-open by room
living situation. Student-led groups are working to increase these
options and make gender-open bathrooms available, particularly for
incoming first-year students. As of 2007 no first-year residence
halls offer any gender-neutral bathroom options.
Food services on campus are provided by Bon Appétit
, a national
company. The cafeteria, located in the Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus
Center, is named "Café Mac." There are three meal plans for
students who live on campus (except those in theme houses or
co-ops). The standard option (and the mandatory one for new
students) is 19 all-you-can-eat meals per week. For the same price,
10 or 14 meal plans are available that offer additional flexible
"dining dollars" for a la cart meals. Cafe Mac offers vegan options
at all stations. For those students who live off-campus, there is a
75 meals per semester plan available for Café Mac.
Macalester is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration
and the American
College and University President's Climate Commitment, the latter
obligating the college to work toward carbon neutrality. In April
2003, Macalester was able to install a 10kw Urban Wind Turbine
on-campus thanks to that year's senior class gift donating the
installation cost and Xcel Energy donating the tower and
turbine.The student organization MACcares is currently developing a
proposal for Macalester to invest in a Utility-Scale Wind Turbine
in the range of2MW. Other projects include the Eco-House, a student
residence with a range of green features and research
opportunities; a rain garden which prevents storm water from
running-off into ground water, a bike share program, and a veggie
co-op. Recently, the Class of 2008 designated its senior class gift
to a Sustainability Fund to support initiatives to improve
environemntal sustainability on campus and in the greater
In the 2009 College Sustainability Report Card published by the
Sustainable Endowments Institute, Macalester earned an overall
grade of"B+". Only 15 schools earned a higher grade.
Awards and recognition
- Ranked 16th (as of 2005) in the nation by Washington Monthly College Guide, based
on criteria that "should be engines of social mobility, they should
produce the academic minds and scientific research that advance
knowledge and drive economic growth, and they should inculcate and
encourage an ethic of service."
- Named "America's Hottest Liberal Arts College" by the 2006
"How to Get into College" Guide. According to the magazine,
America's Hottest Colleges "have one attribute in common: they're
creating buzz among students, school officials and longtime
observers of the admissions process...each reflects a place that is
preparing students well for a complex world."
- At a fall 2005 school assembly, Macalester President Brian C.
Rosenberg summarized these rankings and honors by saying Macalester
students are "cheap smart hotties with a conscience." The phrase
now appears on t-shirts worn by a number of students.
- In 2007, Princeton Review rated
the college "#1 best quality of life" and "#1 gay community
- Macalester won the National Cross Examination Debate
Association Debate Tournament in 1986 and 1987.
- Macalester College ranked 25 for Liberal Arts Colleges in U.S.
News and World Report College Rankings 2009.
Notable alumni and faculty
the notable alumni and faculty of Macalester college include
architect Cass Gilbert, political
figures Kofi Annan and Walter Mondale, businessman and
philanthropist DeWitt Wallace,
writers Tim O'Brien, Walter Kirn (transferred to Princeton
University after his first year) and Wang Ping, musicians Bob Mould and Will
Sheff, sculptor Anthony Caponi,
talent agent Ari Emanuel, and actors
Peter Berg and Carl Lumbly.
Weyerhauser Hall (college
Among the past and present
faculty have been people such as Hubert
, Jack Weatherford
- Shelman, Jeff (March
6, 2008), "Macalester seeks to attract more foreign students",
- About Macalester: Macalester's History
- Macalester College Catalog: College Seal
- Time Magazine: Meritorious Macalester
- U of Minnesota PFF Mentoring
- Institute for Global Citizenship
- The Mac Weekly: Do We Really Want to Abandon Need-Blind
- Macalester College Mission Statement
- About MITY
- Students Macalester College
- Washington Monthly Rankings
- Kaplan and Newsweek: How to Get into College
- Princeton Review: Macalester College: