This has been a spectacular year for students and administrators at Macalester College. Last year’s incoming class brought students to Minnesota from 42 states (and the District of Columbia) as well as from 47 countries around the world.
This year, Macalester applications are up by over 40 percent for the class of 2015, with 6071 students competing for slightly over 500 spots.
And Macalester students are doing great things.
In 2010, students volunteered 76,416 hours—that’s pretty good for a college with fewer than 2000 students. Undergrads won prestigious awards—Fulbright grants, National Science Foundation fellowships, as well as Goldwater, Truman, Beinecke, and Udall scholarships.
And fundraising has never gone better as Macalester is well on its way toward successfully concluding an historic five-year campaign to raise $150 million.
So Macalester President Brian Rosenberg has good reason to celebrate Presidents’ Day in a very big way, which he did in a wonderful video produced last year in honor of the holiday.
“Being president of Macalester isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle,” said Rosenberg. “But this is the best job in the world.”
There’s no rest for the weary in Rosenberg’s world. He sleeps in a Macalester club tie and wakes to bagpipes blaring through his alarm clock. Then he’s off to clear snow, make deliveries, and lead campus tours. He takes meals with students, poses for a studio art class, appears as the school mascot, and gamely participates in fundraising (which we already know he does very well).
For 2011, Macalester decided against a sequel to the YouTube classic and posted instead a video about bad ideas for sequels. To celebrate the day, however, Rosenberg plans to call 18,000 alumni, parents, and friends—all at the same time. The call will be the largest in school history and will feature a few special guests including former Vice President Walter Mondale and author Tim O’Brien—both Macalester alums.
A Charles Dickens scholar, Rosenberg began his career at The Cooper Union in New York and passed through Allegheny College and Lawrence University on his way to Macalester. He’s clearly found home in Saint Paul.
If you’re not one of the 18,000 to receive a call from Macalester’s president, celebrate the day with a slice of cherry pie and an insider’s view of what it’s like to be president of an amazing college in Minnesota by viewing the original Presidents’ Day video on the school website, YouTube, or by simply clicking left.