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

Campus readies for visit by Kofi Annan '61

By Jack Eisenberg

On the flagpole outside Weyerhauser Chapel, the blue and white of the United Nations flag sway directly beneath stars and stripes, reminding students of Macalester’s focus on internationalism and global consciousness. The flag has also come to commemorate Macalester alumni Kofi Annan ’61 and his position as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Annan is expected to arrive on campus tomorrow to deliver a speech in conjunction with the inauguration of the Institute for Global Citizenship.

Annan should be present at the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. with the raising of the U.N. flag. The Model UN team and members of Macalester College Student Government will assist in the event.

After the raising of the flag, Annan’s speech in the field house will begin around 10 a.m.

Before the speech, participating faculty members will don academic gowns and hoods representing their respective departments and grad schools.

According to Dean of Students Laurie Hamre, President Brian Rosenberg is expected to make a few short remarks before Annan’s speech. The Secretary-General’s remarks will likely reflect with the goals of the Institute for Global Citizenship.

Some students will take an active role in the ceremony. Students who will serve as ushers and flag bearers have already been briefed by U.N. security staff.

A short question and answer period will conclude the event in the fieldhouse. “The questions were developed by students in several classes and will be addressed by the Secretary-General at the end of his speech,” Hamre said.

Hamre predicted, “the fieldhouse will be packed.”

Inside, there will be chairs for 2,000 audience members. There will also be standing room in the back for people not able to secure a seat.

After the ceremony, a lunch will be held with Annan for a select group of people, including trustees and major donors, junior and senior Political Science or International Studies majors, Presidential Leadership Award recipients, Alumni Board members, and members of the Caux Round Table, a group devoted to “an international network of principled business leaders working to promote moral capitalism.”

“[The Caux Round Table] ties in with the Institute for Global Citizenship,” Assistant to the President Sandy Hill said. “They’re good people.”

Security for the entire event is expected to be tight. Annan travels with personal security officers and Secret Service officers, which will be complemented by Macalester’s security officers, Hill said.

Students are anxious for the event. Claire Hipkens ’09 intends to camp out in the Shaw Field dugout with the hope of securing a good seat.

“I am very excited,” she said.

Nishad Avari ’06 said that the school ought to be proud of both Annan and its commitment to the values of the UN. “I almost wish the college would be a little more aggressive, just so that the campus community doesn’t take them and what they represent for granted.”

Two weeks ago, Mac sent postcards to the mailboxes of every student, formally inviting them to Saturday’s ceremony. The postcards were sent on behalf of President Brian Rosenberg, cordially inviting recipients to “an address by His Excellency, Kofi A. Annan.”

“I thought the title His Excellency' was only given to monarchs," said Sam Heidepriem '09 in reference to the invitation.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />"Macalester's academic excellence is deeply rooted in a reverence and respect for other cultures," Annan is quoted as saying on theAfter Macalester’ section of the school’s website. “The focus which I found here has never failed me.”

Macalester students are expected to present their student IDs, and faculty who are not participating in the academic procession need tickets. Alumni and other recipients of invitations will also be present.

Annan, a native of Ghana, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, and currently serves as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations. His second term will end at the end of this year.

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