Seeing and Believing in Macalester
Macalester has been a good neighbor to Janice O'Keefe-and now she's giving back.
Janice O'Keefe didn't attend Macalester, but she lives a few blocks away from campus and walks her boxer, Zoe, around campus nearly every day, circling Shaw Field and the tennis courts. Students gravitate to the popular pup: they approach the duo, tell Janice they miss their pets at home, and ask if they can pet Zoe. Those interactions-as well as regular updates from the college about upcoming events-connect Janice to the Mac community.
"You feel like you belong, when you're just a neighbor out walking your dog," she says. "Macalester is part of the neighborhood, not an isolated entity, and people around here really appreciate it."
Reviewing her estate last year prompted Janice to think about adding Macalester as a beneficiary on to the annuity she established to support education. In appreciation of Macalester's contributions to the neighborhood, the retired professor and St. Catherine University alumna did just that.
Through her walks with Zoe-always more enjoyable when students are on campus, she says-Janice sees today's Mac students thriving at 1600 Grand. "There's something about the community that develops on a small campus," she says. "For four years of your life, this is your home and family, not just your education."
And she knows that the future is bright for them: "A liberal arts education is the beginning of everything. You can go in almost any direction-it teaches you to think critically, whatever profession you choose. It introduces you to lifelong joys."