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

Acting President Kathy Murray

TMW: How has your piano background helped you in this position?

Murray: I didn’t do a lot of solo performing; that wasn’t my thing. But I did a lot of collaborative playing, a lot of chamber music or accompany work. And there’s a certain amount of negotiation while you’re doing that and while you’re preparing. There’s nobody who is in charge in that moment, so you really have to figure it out together and you might have to compromise somehow along the way.

Also, I’m very accustomed to getting up in from of large groups of people. At first when I became an administrator, I wished that there had been a piano there because that was my more comfortable way of being in front of a lot of people. Everyone has a small amount of nerves but I don’t mind being on the spot.

TMW: What are some of the challenges in this job?

Murray: Ultimately, the big decisions are going to come here. But I don’t anticipate a lot of the them this fall; I think things are just bound to be on hold when you’re in an acting role. But if there is a crisis, that’s going to be me, ultimately, who’s trying to figure that out.

Also, I think the pace is different. I had an 8 o’clock conference call and I’ll deal blackjack from 10-11 p.m. I decided on Wednesday, as I was driving home to South Minneapolis where I live, that there’s a reason presidents usually live on campus. So that when you finish at 10 at night, you walk across the street instead of getting in the car and driving home.

TMW: What do you like to do outside of Macalester?

Murray: I love to travel. I really love getting out, seeing new places, meeting new people and understanding things about this country or the world that I didn’t understand before. When I was in college, I had never been in an airplane and I had travelled outside of the midwest only once in my life. My junior year, I got on a plane and I flew to Europe with a study group from my college for just a month. It changed my life because I suddenly realized I could do that and I haven’t stopped.

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