Stories from the Long and Winding Road: Interview with Maggie O’Connor ’74

23 June 2023

In our interview, classmate Maggie O’Connor reflects on the twists and turns in her life that brought both personal and professional gifts.  Arriving at Carleton from a year with her family in India, Maggie felt out of step with the cultural sea changes underway in the United States of 1970. By graduation she had adopted interests and experiences that re-shaped her identity. Entering a career in medicine in Minneapolis, her awareness of feminism, patriarchy and her own sexuality blossomed, this time ahead of the cultural tide.

Later in her career, Maggie embarked on another frontier, in Palliative Medicine, which fit well with her holistic approach to patient care. Today, in retirement, she has explored and stretched into a range of volunteer activities. Coming full circle, she is exorcizing her writer’s anxiety by writing a science fiction novel – a fine turn for a college freshman who studied biology and elected an oral comprehensive exam to avoid classes with essays. 

Mercy Russell ’74

See the conversation between Maggie and Mercy below.  If you know of other classmates who might like to share their stories, let us know at

Posted In

Appears in Issues: