Marge McPherson dies at 60

By Matt Day

Margaret “Marge” McPherson, wife of former Macalester President Mike McPherson, died Saturday in Chicago from complications following surgery. She was sixty.”We are all very saddened at the death of Marge,” Dean of Students Laurie Hamre said in an email to the Mac Weekly. “She was a warm, kind woman with a great sense of humor.”

President Rosenberg in a statement said Marge was “a great friend to many and a passionate supporter of the college.”

Rosenberg confirmed a memorial service will be held at Macalester in the coming weeks. The date of the service has not been announced.

Marge was a familiar face on campus during her husband’s seven-year tenure.

“She showed genuine interest in everyone she met,” Hamre said, “her commitment to know the name of everyone at Mac endeared her to members of this community.”

Marge was known for taking her beloved poodle Gracie on walks around campus. “She would get everyone laughing with her Gracie stories,” Hamre said.

Mike McPherson was President of Macalester until he resigned in spring 2003 to become President of the Spencer Foundation in Chicago. He was succeeded at Mac by President Rosenberg.

Mike McPherson’s work for the Spencer Foundation is a testament to the couple’s lifelong commitment to education. The Foundation has written educational grants totaling nearly $250 million since 1971.

A graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago, Marge taught primary school in Chicago and Williamstown, Conn.

Marge is survived by her husband, two sons Steven and Sean, as well as siblings Ellen Fyffe and Joseph Moran.

In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting donations made to Roosevelt University or a charity.

A small memorial for family and friends will be held Saturday in Chicago.

The Mac Weekly’s November 1997 feature, “Catching up with Marge McPherson, First Lady of Macalester,” is available online.

“Marge’s concern for others, unending generosity and sharp wit will be missed,” Hamre said.