Community Honors Dacie Moses' Birthday

January 30, 2005 at 11:00 am
By Colin McLain '07

On January 30th, dozens of students, faculty, staff, alumni and Northfield
community members pack the former home of Dacie Moses for a birthday
celebration of her dedication to the Carleton.

Dacie Moses, a longtime Carleton staff member, opened her home and her kitchen to Carleton students. Upon her death, she gave her home to the College to be used as a respite for students.

Observing the 122nd anniversary of her birth, everyone spoke about how Dacie's open and welcoming house provided a temporary respite from the intense academic rigors of Carleton. Dixon Bond, class of 1959 and one of the original member of the Knights a cappella group, remembered when Dacie first allowed Carleton's famed singers to practice in her home. Alumni from the 70s and 80s recalled how even as she aged Dacie would fix bran muffins or some other baked good for students who dropped in. Current students spoke of the atmosphere Dacie's home now provides, a quiet nook of campus free from computers and wireless networks where the most high tech device is the refrigerator.

But not only Carleton students have been touched by the life and legacy of Dacie Moses. One elderly community member evoked a different side of Dacie. For him, Dacie wasn't the little old lady who baked for students any time of day or night; instead she was the woman who gave him a place to take his youngest child while his wife taught Sunday School. He came so often that he began bringing his own food, special "Cecil bread" to share with Dacie.

Even Interim Dean of Students Hudlin Wagner had her own fond memories of Dacie's home even though she did not know Dacie and was never a Carleton student. She told how on Sunday morning she would often wake to find that her young son had seemingly disappeared and upon searching would inevitably find him at Dacie's home, where he had spent several hours helping students prepare brunch.

In addition to fond recollections, celebrants at the birthday brunch also
enjoyed the music which seems to always emanate from Dacie's home. Two women offered an Ojibwa song of thanksgiving on the festivities. Carleton's Knights and Knightingales both performed their well-known a cappella songs. And of course, everyone, young and old, students and community members, long acquaintances and first time visitors, joined in a spirited "Happy Birthday" chorus for the woman whose dedication will live on for many years.