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Keith Edwards ‘graduating’ from Macalester at end of school year

Director of Campus Life Keith Edwards will be leaving Macalester at the end of the year, after eight years in his current position.

Edwards will not be taking a position at another college. Instead, he will work on different projects independently, saying on his blog that “it is time for me to graduate as Director of Campus Life.”

“I’ve been here for eight years, and I really feel like the Mac students … who are ready to take all that they’ve gained from their experience and do the next thing. And that’s how I feel. I’ve had a wonderful, transformative, awesome experience,” Edwards said. “I’m ready to take that with me and do the next thing.”

Edwards announced his departure from Macalester last Thursday night, in a post on his personal blog. He followed up with another post, announcing his plans for after Macalester.

Edwards will continue his research on college men’s gender identity development, coding and analyzing data that he collected over the past few years. Ultimately, he hopes to publish a book on that subject. In addition, Edwards will continue his speaking and consulting work on social justice education and sexual violence prevention.

“I want to invest in my own leadership development in new ways,” Edwards said.

Edwards credits his strong experience at Macalester as the reason for him not wanting to work on another college campus.

“It is largely because Macalester has been such a wonderful place for me that I’ve decided not to pursue opportunities at other institutions. If I wanted to continue working on that similar set of problems, I’d want to do it at Macalester. I’m seeking an entirely different set of problems to focus on in this new adventure,” Edwards wrote on his blog.

Edwards hopes that this career change will allow him to try new projects and take his work down a different path than he would be able to take at Macalester.

“Ever since I started sharing this about a week ago, I’ve had people suggesting possibilities and things I haven’t even thought of. I’m mostly excited about the things that I don’t even know about.”

Edwards’ position as Director of Campus Life has allowed him to be involved in many different aspects of Macalester, including Residential Life, Orientation, Campus Activities and Operations and Campus Center management. As for highlights of his time at Macalester, Edwards points to the relationships he has built with his staff and students.

“I’m very proud of the work that the staff I’ve worked with has done over time. They’ve done some things that have gained national notoriety, and have done really great things.But the biggest have been day-to-day connections with students that they value so much, which has been really great,” Edwards said.

The summer after this year will be the first time in over 21 years that Edwards has not worked actively on a college campus, which he anticipates will be a strong adjustment.

“It’ll be a huge adjustment to not being on a college campus. If you’re going to work somewhere, I think there’s no better place to work than a college campus with young people that have energy and ideas and are learning about the world, and have fresh eyes and creativity.”

Despite all the opportunities Edwards will have after finishing his time at Macalester, leaving Macalester will be hard.

“I will not be a disinterested neighbor. [Macalester] is a special place, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it for 8 years,” Edwards said. “I am looking forward to seeing what happens after I move on to other things.”

February 20, 2015

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