Bruce Feathers ’75, one of the original co-chairs of MCAN, coined the phrase “Circle of Mentorship” to describe all the ways that multicultural alumni could help each other and the College. The points on the circle begin with admissions, an area in which alumni can be critically helpful in encouraging promising students to attend Carleton. Moving around the circle, alumni can serve as mentors to students at Carleton (student life), encourage people of color to consider working at Carleton (faculty and staff recruitment), act as career mentors to students and fellow alumni (careers), raise funds to support the College and participate in reunions. The circle is closed when the student who chose Carleton because of the interest and encouragement of an alum becomes a volunteer also.
MCAN works to identify students of color who might be interested in attending Carleton, and connects with these prospective students in personal and meaningful ways, giving a human face to the intimidating college admissions process.
As volunteer Alumni Admissions Representatives through the Carleton Admissions Office, MCAN representatives meet with prospective students all over the country. They visit college fairs and attend receptions for prospective students of color. Simply by being a friendly face for Carleton, in cities far away from Northfield, Minnesota, MCAN volunteers share a Carleton experience that prospective students of color can begin to imagine.
The MCAN initiated Fly-Back Program, which provided airfare for students of color wishing to visit the campus, has been such a success that it is now a fully funded program of the Admissions Office.