Founder's Day changes

By April DeJarlais

This year’s Founders’ Day, Macalester’s biggest annual event and birthday party, is getting progressive – by going retro. Founders’ Day, usually a semi-formal event celebrating Macalester’s general history, has been narrowed to focus on Macalester in the 1970s. Special events coordinator Andi Wulff said the Founders’ Day planning committee wanted to “reenergize the event, and [make sure] it wasn’t the same event over and over.”

The event will also be slightly different for the over-21 crowd than in the past. A $15,000 budget cut for the celebration forced planners to change the open bar to a cash bar. Attendees will have to pay for alcohol and will receive no drink tickets.

Founders’ Day is the last Macalester event to switch to a cash bar, following the decisions about Springfest and Fallfest.

“We had to make some difficult choices, and be fiscally responsible. We could go back to birthday cake and a lecture,” Wulff joked.

The total budget for Founders’ Day is difficult to calculate due to the many divisions of the total cost and the lengthy planning process, special events coordinator Lea Barron said. The open bar was the first to go because of the hard-to-predict demand for alcohol.

“Something’s got to give,” Barron said.

The idea for the 70s theme stemmed from the choice of music for the event, which students helped choose: a band called Boogie Wonderland.

Other 70s themed and historical events leading up to Founders’ Day include a lecture from John B. Davis (in John B. Davis Hall), disco dance lessons, karaoke, pushball and links to 70s media on the Founders’ Day website – including pictures of Macalester faculty and staff in all their 70s glory.

The planning committee, comprised of students and staff, had its first meeting in October and has been meeting weekly since January. The Founders’ Day website has been a main focus for this year, and is being developed and added to as the celebration approaches.

Founders’ Day has been a Macalester tradition since 1958, when the first celebration was held to honor James Wallace. Attendance is usually upward of 1,000 members of the Macalester community, but exact numbers are not available. The event will be held in the Campus Center March 5 at 8:30 p.m.

Founders’ Day Events:

JBD in JBD: March 1, 4:30 p.m., John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

Disco Lessons: March 1, 9:15 p.m. – 10:15 p.m. and March 2, Noon – 1:00 p.m. AGH Ballroom, Kagin Commons

70s Karaoke Night: March 2, 10:00 p.m., Mary Gwen Owen Stage, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center

Pushball: March 5, Noon, The Quad