Saint Paul, MN
About Our College
Macalester College was founded by Rev. Dr. Edward Duffield Neill in 1874 with help from the Presbyterian Church in Minnesota. Neill had served as a chaplain in the Civil War and traveled to Minnesota Territory in 1849. He became connected politically and socially. He went on to found two local churches, was appointed the first Chancellor of the University of Minnesota and became the state's first superintendent of public education. In leaving the University of Minnesota Board of Regents he desired to build a religious college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church that would also be open to other Christian church members. The college's original name was Baldwin College; it was affiliated with the Baldwin School, a Presbyterian secondary school. After a large donation from Charles Macalester, a prominent businessman and philanthropist from Philadelphia, the institution was renamed Macalester College. Macalester donated a hotel, the Winslow House, as the first permanent classroom building. With additional funding from the Presbyterian Church and its trustees, Macalester College opened for courses in 1885 with five teachers, six freshmen, and 52 preparatory students.