Board names two new trustees

By Soham Banerji

Ahead of its annual fall meeting Macalester’s Board of Trustees welcomes two new members—Lee A. Nystrom ’73, Senior Vice President of Aon Consulting, Inc. and John G. Taft, President and CEO of RBC Dain Rauscher.

Nystrom has been involved with the college ever since he graduated. He has been the Assistant Football Coach and President of the M Club, the alumni sports association. He has also been a part of various fund-raising activities.

“I have been involved with Macalester for a long time now. Almost 37 years. And being thus involved my name then came up and I was offered the post through the President and the Board Chair and I accepted it,” Nystrom said.

“We would deal with various fund raising issues–gathering additional money for the Athletic Center and money for the improvement of the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center,” Nystrom said when asked what issues the Board expects to deal with in the upcoming year.

“Our main goal would be in maintaining and improving the standards of excellence here at Macalester,” he added.

Nystrom has also been asked to serve on two different committees–the Academic Affairs Committee and the Advancement Committee, which focuses on fundraising from alumni.

Nystrom said he is an outdoor person who likes to swing his golf club and cast his fishing rod in his free time.

“I was at Macalester at the height of the Vietnam War and have been involved in various student protests. It has been a long period and Macalester has witnessed lots of changes,” Nystrom said.

“Being a Trustee I would want to see that Macalester maintains its standards of excellence. I am very optimistic and positive that the College is going in the right direction,” Nystrom said.

Nystrom joins the Board of Trustees as his daughter, Ali Nystrom ’10, begins studying here.

“It’s pretty cool that he is a part of the Board,” Ali Nystrom said of her father. “It’s great to know that he’s involved.”

“I in turn get to meet him more often and I get to know what’s going on around campus. I don’t feel any different, I’m like any other person going to college,” she said.

Taft’s connection to Macalester dates back to the 1960s.

“I was an assistant to the mayor then. I became familiar with people at Macalester,” he said. “I worked with then-Mayor George Latimer for 15 years. In fact he introduced me to [President] Brian Rosenberg and that’s how I made the connection.”

Taft spoke of how Macalester appealed to him.

“I admired its internationalism,” he said.

Of accepting the challenges of serving as a trustee, Taft said: “My father was Dean at Yale College and I always wanted to learn more about the challenges of an institution.”

When asked what he would want to accomplish as a trustee, Taft said: “We haven’t had our first meeting yet but I would want to support the College in every way possible.”

In addition to being an athletic person, Taft writes poetry and collects contemporary art. He has also been a reporter for 5 years.