March 21, 2016
The quick answer, if someone asked you who Eugene McCarthy was, would be to say he was a politician.
You would be correct, of course. He served Minnesota as a U.S. Representative (1949-59) and Senator (1959-71), and ran for president several times, most notably in 1968.
But McCarthy was more than that. He was a writer, poet, athlete, teacher and coach - and a 1935 graduate of Saint John's University.
Now, the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement is celebrating McCarthy's Centennial (he was born March 29, 1916, in nearby Watkins, Minnesota) with a series of events.
The capstone event is a celebration Monday, April 11, at SJU. At 5 p.m. outside Guild Hall, a gathering will be held to announce legislation to name the Collegeville U.S. Post Office to the Eugene McCarthy Post Office. At 5:30 p.m., the celebration moves to Alcuin Library (upper level) for a reception. Then, at 6:30 p.m., a dinner and program will be held in the Great Hall.
Tickets for the dinner are free and available to the public, but only a limited number of tickets are available. Please RSVP online to JoAnn Matheny firstname.lastname@example.org or calling at 320-363-2592 by April 4.
Other events in the celebration include:
Judging will be based on poetic technique, effectiveness, style and creativity. Winners will receive a prize, and will present their poem during the reception April 11 at Alcuin Library.
McCarthy started writing poetry in the 1960s. His growing political prominence led to increased interest in his published works. "If any of you are secret poets, the best way to break into print is to run for the presidency," he wrote in 1968.