Founded in 1874, Macalester College is a private Presbyterian institution in urban Minnesota. Mac, as it is often known, is based in Saint Paul, Minnesota’s capital city, twinned with the state’s largest, Minneapolis. It follows a liberal arts-based curriculum and has been ranked among the best 25 liberal arts colleges in the US.
The state’s culture and business capitals, the Twin Cities host teams in the top division of each of America’s four major sports: baseball, basketball, American football and ice hockey. They also enjoy high levels of youth employment. Mac’s campus is easily accessible from the city centre by bus or bicycle – the Twin Cities are often considered the best in the country for cycling.
The most popular courses include social sciences, literature, biological and biomedical sciences, linguistics and psychology.
The United Nations flag has flown on campus since 1950, and the highly internationalised institution is attended by students from more than 90 different countries. French, German, Hebrew, Arabic, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Latin, Greek and Japanese are all taught at Mac.
Its list of alumni includes Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize winner, and Walter Mondale, the 42nd vice president of the United States who served under Jimmy Carter, and the unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate in 1984. DeWitt Wallace, founder of Reader’s Digest and publisher of the first issue in 1922, and Olli Rehn, a Finnish government minister and long-serving European Union commissioner, are among the others.