Honoring Joan Mondale’s contributions to the arts, St. Paul’s Macalester College on Monday renamed its newly expanded studio art building after her.

The college approved the decision last month to re-christen the building the Joan Adams Mondale Hall of Studio Art.

“The building seems to be the perfect intersection of her passions,” said Macalester President Brian Rosenberg.

Mondale, who died Feb. 3 at age 83, was the nation’s second lady during Walter Mondale’s time as vice president from 1977 to 1981.

She was an alumna of Macalester and later served for 21 years on the college’s board. Known for her pottery and her dedication to the arts as much as for her status as second lady, Mondale was frequently referred to as “Joan of Art.”

About 400 people attended Monday’s noon ceremony, Rosenberg said. Walter Mondale and Joan’s sister Jane Canby spoke for the dedication.

After a year of renovation ending in January transformed the arts hall into a more flexible and spacious studio, the $20.5 million building opened in early March, giving students and faculty more space to engage in a variety of arts.

“There couldn’t be a more fitting dedication than to have this building at the heart of Macalester,” Rosenberg said.


Elizabeth Hustad is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.