Yes! Macalester

By Soham Banerji

Step back. Relax. Breathe. I know midterms are around the corner. You have papers to write and capstones to present. You also have six different meetings lined up with various organizations and groups, not to mention the constant pressure of figuring out what in the world you will be doing 11 weeks from now. The winter wind is also biting. You’re probably thinking, “Thanks for pointing this out, Soham.” But here is the silver lining: we’ve been through it seven times before! We are prepared. We are geared up for the final stretch and beyond because Macalester has given us the opportunity to grow in our respective fields and take on responsibility like never before! This would not be possible without the generous contributions of its donors, who gave $14.7 million in 2008-2009.

Imagine your life without Macalester. No Founder’s Day. No Spring Fest. A Macalester without Bad Comedy, Trads, Sirens or Scotch Tape. Imagine a Macalester without engaged faculty and staff. Imagine the Campus Center, the Leonard Center, the IGC all vanish into oblivion. All this and much more hasn’t been funded by tuition alone, but by alums and friends of the college who thought it fruitful to give back to Macalester and enrich the experiences of numerous students.

In a few short weeks, we the Class of 2010 will join more than 9,000 alums in this tradition of giving. This year, like the last, all contributions to the Senior Class Gift will be allocated to the Annual Fund to show our support and belief in a long standing and most noble of Macalester traditions.

As a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee, I think it only appropriate that we support the Annual Fund. Without the help and support given to me by Macalester’s generous financial aid, I would not have been able to attend Macalester and meet great friends from all corners of the globe, travel to Greece to study Hellenistic ruins on an archaeological dig, or to do a field study in Bangladesh to understand the complexities of economic development and microfinance. There is no better way to show my appreciation than by giving to Macalester to help future generations experience not just the same but perhaps far better opportunities than I have had.

Though giving to the Annual Fund might feel intangible at first we have to consider the tremendous impact it has had in our daily lives. The Annual Fund not only supports numerous research initiatives, civic engagement programs and on-campus activities, but it also helps retain great professors and staff without whom Macalester would be a mere shell. I am deeply indebted to my professors for giving me the opportunity to learn and for guiding me through my four years at Macalester, as I am sure all of us are.

I earnestly urge my cohort from the Class of 2010 to continue our most meritorious of traditions by giving back and contributing to the Senior Class Gift. Showing your support and participating underscores your commitment and satisfaction in Macalester’s values and traditions. Every small gift counts and your gift may be used to honor an individual or a group at your discretion. Staff, faculty, parents, friends and other members of the student body are encouraged to participate as well. Please visit to learn more and to give to the Senior Class Gift.

We have 11 weeks left. I implore you to step back, imagine and say Yes! Macalester.

Soham Banerji ’10 can be reached at [email protected]