Macalester Professor Serie passes away

By Matt Day

Jan Serie, the O.T. Walter Professor of Biology and a fixture in curricular development and teaching at the college for 25 years, died Sept. 17 at age 56 of ovarian cancer. President Rosenberg informed the campus community of Serie’s passing the following day in an email bulletin.

“Words cannot express what Jan has meant to Macalester for the past quarter-century or how deeply many of us feel now and will continue to feel her loss,” Rosenberg said in his statement.

The campus flag across from Weyerhauser Chapel was flown at half-mast on Sept. 18 to honor her.

Serie earned several teaching honors during her time at Macalester, including awards from the Minnesota Academy of Science, the National Association of College Biology teachers, and two from Macalester, including the Thomas Jefferson Award for teaching. She was the inaugural director of Macalester’s Center for Scholarship and Teaching , which started helping professors with curriculum development and best practices in teaching in 2002.

Serie’s cancer was diagnosed two years ago. She retired from her position at the CST in the summer, and was succeeded by Politcal Science Professor Adrienne Christiansen.

Serie is survived by her longtime partner Lin Aanonsen, sisters Joanne (Charlie) Keyes and Connie (Steve) Gill, nephews Michael Keyes (Erin Jansa), and Kerry Zimmerman, nieces Sarah Keyes (Jason Aulizia), Melissa Gill (Mike Ennis), Wanda Zimmerman and Diane Zimmerman, two grandnephews, Owen and Milo Keyes, and two grandnieces, Brooke Aulizia and Brianna Lawler. She was preceded in death by father Joseph Serie, mother Beatrice Bogle Serie, and sister Teresa Zimmerman. Jan and Lin have been grateful for the love and support of family, friends, colleagues and former students, and for the skilled and compassionate medical care Jan received from her doctors, nurses, and health care attendants during her illness.

Visitation is today from 4 to 8 p.m. at O’Halloran & Murphy Funeral Home Highland Park Chapel at 575 South Snelling Ave. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28 in the Chapel.