The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Board elects three new trustees

By Zac Farber

This summer the Board of Trustees elected three alumni as new members for three-year terms. The board elected Jennifer “Jo” Wilhelm ’96 of Seattle, Wash., and Maura Donovan, ’85, of St. Paul, Minn., at its May 15 meeting and elected the Rev. Jon Walton on Aug. 20.The new members were each assigned to three board committees, and will begin their terms when the board meets on Oct. 1.

Wilhelm, an ecologist for the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, surveys wetlands and streams in the Seattle area.

“I remember spending lots of time at labs at Ordway [the off-campus nature reserve owned by the school] when I was at Macalester,” Wilhelm, a biology major at Macalester, said, “and that was definitely a huge part of my education.”

In 2006, with her husband, Kevin, she founded a scholarship that helps a freshman from the state of Washington per year.

Wilhelm said that her youth was also a contributing factor in her election to the board; the board’s by-laws require the Alumni Association to nominate at least one potential trustee each year who has graduated from Macalester within the last 15 years. She is the board’s youngest member.

Donovan, who holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology, is the vice president for corporate research and development at Fridley-based Medtronic, where she coordinates the development of new medical devices. She holds 18 patents.

Her father, William Donovan, taught classics at Macalester from 1966 to 1992. During her time at the college, she majored in chemistry and Russian.

She could not be reached as of press time.

Walton serves as senior pastor for The First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, an almost 300-year-old church near Greenwich Village and New York University that counts as one of its former pastors Jonathan Edwards, the Great Awakening preacher who wrote “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.”

In 1965, when Walton was a public high school student in St. Joseph, Mo., he remembers a Macalester recruiter visiting St. Joseph and telling him, “If you would come to Macalester and take a look, we’ll do everything we can to help you out financially.” He received a $2,000 per year full academic scholarship and said he has since been grateful toward the school.

In the early 1970s, with seminary school completed, he served as pastor for a congregation in New Canaan, Conn., and volunteered as a regional screener for prospective Macalester students.

“So much generosity made it possible for me to go to Mac,” he said, “so even though I don’t have a great deal of financial means, nonetheless it seems important to me to continue to be a supporter of the college.”

Medtronic, the employer of Maura Donovan, is based in Fridley, not Bloomington as was stated in this article. The Mac Weekly regrets the error. Wilhelm will not be the only scientist on the board, as she was quoted as saying in a previous version of this article. The Mac Weekly regrets not verifying this statement.

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