|Latin: Collegium Carleton|
|Motto||Declaratio Sermonum Tuorum Illuminat (Latin)|
Motto in English
|The Revelation / Announcement of Your Words Illuminates|
|Established||November 14, 1866|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Endowment||$792.7 million (2014)|
|President||Steven G. Poskanzer, J.D.|
|Location||Northfield, Minnesota, US|
|Campus||Rural, 1,040 acres (420 ha)|
|Colors||Maize and Blue
|Athletics||NCAA Division III – MIAC|
Carleton is commonly regarded as one of the premiere liberal arts colleges in the United States, often ranked among the top 10 schools of this educational philosophy. In its 2015 edition of college rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked Carleton College as tied for the eighth-best liberal arts college in the United States and number one for undergraduate teaching at a national liberal arts college, ahead of other prestigious institutes such as Vassar College and Wesleyan University.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Student life
- 4 Campus
- 5 Athletics
- 6 In fiction and popular culture
- 7 Notable alumni and faculty
- 8 Points of interest
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
The school was founded on October 12, 1866, when the Minnesota Conference of Congregational Churches unanimously accepted a resolution to locate a college in Northfield. Two Northfield businessmen, Charles Augustus Wheaton and Charles M. Goodsell, each donated 10 acres (4 ha) of land for the first campus. The first students enrolled at the preparatory unit of Northfield College in the fall of 1867. In 1870, the first college president, James Strong, traveled to the East Coast to raise funds for the college. On his way from visiting a potential donor, William Carleton of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Strong was badly injured in a collision between his carriage and a train. Impressed by Strong's survival of the accident, Carleton donated US$50,000 to the fledgling institution in 1871; the Board of Trustees renamed the school in his honor.
On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger Gang, led by outlaw Jesse James, tried to rob the First National Bank of Northfield. Joseph Lee Heywood, Carleton's Treasurer, was acting cashier at the bank that day. He was shot and killed for refusing to open the safe. Carleton later named a library fund after Heywood. The Heywood Society is the name for a group of donors who have named Carleton in their wills.
In its early years under the presidency of James Strong, Carleton reflected the theological conservatism of its Minnesota Congregational founders. In 1903, modern religious influences were introduced by William Sallmon, a Yale Divinity School graduate, who was hired as college president. Sallmon was opposed by conservative faculty members and alumni, and left the presidency by 1908. After Sallmon left, the trustees hired Donald J. Cowling, another theologically liberal Yale Divinity School graduate, as his successor. In 1916, under Cowling's leadership, Carleton began an official affiliation with the Minnesota Baptist Convention. It lasted until 1928, when the Baptists severed the relationship as a result of fundamentalist opposition to Carleton's liberalism, including the college's support for teaching evolution. Non-denominational for a number of years, in 1964 Carleton abolished its requirement for weekly attendance at some religious or spiritual meeting.
In 1927, students founded the first student-run pub in the nation, The Cave. Located in the basement of Evans Hall, it continues to host live music shows and other events several times each week.
In 1942, Carleton purchased land in Stanton, about 10-mile (16 km) east of campus, to use for flight training. During World War II, several classes of male students went through air basic training at the college. Since being sold by the college in 1944, the Stanton Airfield has been operated for commercial use.
In 1963 the Reformed Druids of North America was founded by students at Carleton, initially as a means to be excused from attendance of then-mandatory weekly chapel service. Within a few years, the group evolved to engage in legitimate spiritual exploration. Meetings continue to be held in the Carleton College Cowling Arboretum.
The popular early computer game, The Oregon Trail, was created and refined by students at Carleton in 1971.
In the 2014 Forbes magazine ranking of American colleges, which combines liberal arts colleges and national research universities, the College is ranked 16th. Among liberal arts colleges only, Carleton ranked 9th in the 2014 survey. Kiplinger's Personal Finance places Carleton at 12th in its 2014 ranking of best value liberal arts colleges in the United States. In 2014, Washington Monthly ranked Carleton 2nd best liberal arts college for contributing to the public good. The ranking uses criteria of social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and service (encouraging students to give back to their country).
Carleton College is part of the Annapolis Group, which has issued a group statement asking members not to participate in ranking surveys. President Robert Oden stated on September 7, 2007, "We commit not to mention 'U.S. News' or similar rankings in any of our new publications, since such lists mislead the public into thinking that the complexities of American higher education can be reduced to one number." Carleton participates in the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)'s University and College Accountability Network (U-CAN), a co-operative effort on the part of colleges to provide data for school comparison on a variety of bases.
Admissions and selectivity
For the class of 2018 (enrolled fall 2014), Carleton received 6,297 applications and accepted 1,434 (22.8%). The number enrolling was 521; the yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who enroll) was 36.3%. Of the 39% of entering freshmen who submitted class rank, 70% were in the top 10% of their high school classes; 94% ranked in the top quarter. The middle 50% range of SAT scores for enrolled freshmen were 660-750 for critical reading, 660-760 for math, and 650-750 for writing. The middle 50% range ACT Composite score was 30-33.
Carleton experienced a sharp increase in applications for the class of 2017, resulting in an acceptance rate of only 21%, making it the most selective year to date. Due to a higher matriculation rate than usual (37%), Carleton over-enrolled the class of 2017 by about 50 students, for a total of 550 students. That incoming class represented forty-six states. The states with the most entering freshmen were Minnesota (92 students), California (64 students), and Illinois (52 students).
Carleton has a strong history of enrolling students who are in the National Merit Scholarship Program, often enrolling more than any other liberal arts college in the country. Its Class of 2016 includes 79 National Merit Scholars (which includes both Carleton-sponsored and external National Merit Scholars).
Among American liberal arts institutions, Carleton College is one of the leading sources of undergraduate students pursuing doctorates per one hundred students. It has also been recognized for sending a large number of female students to graduate programs in the sciences.
The school's nearly 240 active student organizations include three theatre boards (coordinating as many as ten productions every term), long-form and short-form improv groups and a sketch comedy troupe, six a cappella groups, four choirs, seven specialized instrumental ensembles, five dance interest groups, two auditioned dance companies, a successful Mock Trial team, a nationally competitive debate program, seven recurring student publications, and a student-run KRLX radio station, which employs more than 200 volunteers each term.
In five of the last twelve years, Carleton College students received the Best Delegation award at the World Model United Nations competition.
The College's format-free student-run radio station, KRLX, founded in 1947 as KARL, was recently ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the nation's "Ten Best College Radio Stations". KRLX broadcasts continually when school is in session.
In 2009 two Carleton students founded the only comics magazine at Carleton, the Carleton Comics Journal (now known as the Carleton Graphic). It releases an issue once every two weeks and has been generally well received by the Carleton community.
The school has several a cappella groups. The oldest is the all-male Carleton Singing Knights, which has toured and recorded extensively over its more than 50-year history. The Knights performed a version of Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger". Their video on YouTube has received over 4 million views. It was this cover that prompted a student to make a video for the song, titled Daft Hands. The video became an internet sensation; it has been viewed over 53 million times on YouTube and resulted in the student's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a reprise performance.
The Knightingales, one of the all-female groups, are the second oldest a cappella group on campus. They performed on a special radio performance hosted by Garrison Keillor at Dacie Moses House in 2002.
Carleton has numerous student traditions. These include painting the college's water tower. Notably, a likeness of President Clinton was painted on the tower the night before his commencement speech in 2000. Early the following morning, college maintenance quickly painted over it. The administration's view of this particular phenomenon have changed over time. For liability-related reasons, climbing the water tower is now considered a grave infraction.
A bust of Friedrich Schiller, known simply as "Schiller", has made regular appearances, though briefly, at large campus events. The tradition dates back to 1956, when two students absconded with the bust from Scoville Library during the process of vacating books from there to the new library. "Schiller" resided in their dorm rooms for a period, only to have the bust taken from them in turn. Possession of the bust escalated into an elaborate competition, which took on a high degree of secrecy and strategy.
Schiller's public appearances, accompanied with a cry of "Schiller!", are a tacit challenge to other students to try to capture the bust. The currently circulating bust of Schiller was retrieved from Puebla, Mexico in the summer of 2003. In 2006, students created an online scavenger hunt, made up of a series of complex riddles about Carleton, which led participants to Schiller's hidden location. The bust was stolen from the winner of the scavenger hunt. At commencement in 2006, the holders of the bust arranged for Schiller to "graduate." When his name was called at the appropriate moment, the bust was pulled from behind the podium and prominently displayed.
In March 2010, the bust of Schiller appeared on The Colbert Report. The appearance was organized by custodians of Schiller who contacted Peter Gwinn, a Carleton alumnus who was a writer for the program. The bust also appeared on a Halloween broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion on Minnesota Public Radio.
Since 1990, Carleton students have played "Late Night Trivia", a game show broadcast over the college's radio station, KRLX, during the annual Winter Term exam period. Students compete in teams to identify songs and answer questions.
The college campus was created in 1867 with the gifts of two 10-acre (4 ha) parcels from local businessmen Charles Goodsell and Charles Augustus Wheaton. The campus is on a hill overlooking the Cannon River, at the northeast edge of Northfield. To the north and east are athletic fields and the Cowling Arboretum, which were farm fields in the early years of the college. Open land beyond the Arboretum is still largely devoted to agriculture.
The center of campus is an open field called "the Bald Spot," which is used for ultimate frisbee in the warmer months and flooded to form an ice rink for skating and broomball in the winter. Most of the campus buildings constructed before World War II surround the Bald Spot.
Several of Carleton's older buildings have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Willis Hall, the first building on campus, was constructed from 1869 to 1872. Originally the hall contained the men's dormitory, classrooms, library, and chapel. The building was gutted by fire in 1879, after which it was entirely rebuilt within the existing stone shell. The original front of the building became the rear entrance with the construction of Severance Hall in 1928. As new buildings were constructed, various academic departments cycled through the building. Beginning in 1954, Willis served as the college student union, until it was replaced in 1979 by the Sayles-Hill Student Center, a converted gymnasium. It currently houses the Economics, Political Science, and Educational Studies offices. The college's clock bell tower and the main college flagpole, along with the radio tower for KRLX, are located on the roof.
Goodsell Observatory, also on the NRHP, was constructed in 1887 and at the time was the largest observatory in the state of Minnesota. It was named for Charles Goodsell, who donated land for the campus. From the late 19th century to the end of the World War II, Goodsell Observatory kept the time for every major railroad west of the Mississippi River, including Northern Pacific Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad, and the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba railroads. Goodsell served as the headquarters of a state weather service from 1883 to 1886.
Scoville Hall (originally Scoville Memorial Library), completed in 1896, is on the NRHP. Replaced in function by the Gould Library in the 1950's, Scoville was adapted for use as the Cinema and Media Studies department, the media center, and the academic support center.
Four nineteenth-century buildings have been demolished. Gridley Hall (1882) was the main women's dormitory for many years, and was demolished in 1967 for construction of the Music and Drama Center. Williams Hall (1880) was the college's first science building; it was demolished in 1961. Seccombe House (1880) was used for music instruction until 1914, and was located near the site of the current Skinner Chapel. The first Observatory (1878) was replaced by Goodsell Observatory in 1887, and the facility was demolished in 1905 to make way for Laird Hall.
Laird Hall was built for science classes in 1905; the classical-revival building now houses the English department and administrative offices, including the President's office. Sayles-Hill was built as the first school gymnasium in 1910, and converted to a student center in 1979.
The eclectic styles of the eight buildings that made up the college in 1914, when Donald Cowling became president, where replaced by a uniform Collegiate Gothic style for the nine buildings erected during his tenure. Skinner Memorial Chapel, completed in 1916, is on the NRHP. Three connected western dorms were built for men: Burton Hall (1915), Davis Hall (1923), and Severance Hall (1928), and two residence halls were built for women: Nourse Hall (1917) and Margaret Evans Hall (1927). Evans Hall was notable for decades for its subdivision into adjacent columns of rooms off stairwells, rather than the more typical arrangement of floors of rooms on hallways. In the fall of 2012, Evans was heavily refurbished to modernize the internal layout and increase overall occupancy. Music Hall was built in 1914, and since the construction of the Music & Drama Center in 1967 has been referred to as Old Music Hall. Laird Stadium which stands at the site of the football and track field, was built in 1927. Leighton Hall (1920), originally built for the Chemistry department, now houses academic and administrative offices, including the business office.
The Great Depression and World War II essentially ended the construction boom for two decades. Boliou Hall was built in 1949 in a modernist style, using yellow sandstone as a major element. It was enlarged using a similar style and materials in the early 1990s. The Library was built in 1956 in a similar style, but was expanded in a brick-based style in the mid 1980s. It was renamed the Gould Memorial Library in 1995 for former President Larry Gould. Musser and Myers Halls were built in 1958 as men's and women's dorms respectively, in a bare-bones modernist brick style.
Minoru Yamasaki, most famously the architect of the original New York World Trade Center, designed five buildings at Carleton in the 1960s. Olin Hall of Science (1961) has a distinctive "radiator" grill work on the exterior. Goodhue (1962) and Watson (1966) Halls were built as dormitories. Watson is the tallest building on campus at seven floors. The West Gym (1964) and Cowling Gym (1965) were built to replace Sayles-Hill for indoor athletic facilities, originally for men and women respectively.
Carleton built a new 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) Recreation Center in 2000. A full indoor fieldhouse is located above a fitness center, which includes a climbing wall and bouldering wall.
In the fall of 2011, the Weitz Center for Creativity opened up in a renovated middle school. The Center includes a cinema and a live theater, and is the new home of the Cinema and Media Studies (CAMS) department, and the associated recording and production studios. It is also the home of Presentation, Event and Production Services (PEPS).
The Cowling Arboretum, "the Arb", was initially created from lands purchased in the 1920s by President Donald J. Cowling. As the college was having difficult financial times, it was first called "Cowling's Folly" but later became his legacy. After Carleton Farm was closed, its acreage was added to the Arboretum.
Since 1970 acreage has been removed from cultivation in sections. The Arboretum has approximately 880 acres (360 ha) of restored and remnant forest, Cannon River floodplain, bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) savannah, and tallgrass prairie. The Arboretum is divided by Minnesota Highway 19 into the larger Lower Arb to the north (so called because it includes the Cannon River valley) and the smaller Upper Arb. Pedestrian trails are located throughout the Arb, as well as the school's cross-country running and skiing courses, and a paved mixed-use bicycle/running trail in the Upper Arb.
Carleton is committed to environmentally conscious initiatives. In October 2007, the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a Cambridge, Massachusetts organization, recognized Carleton as a leader in overall college sustainability. In the "College Sustainability Report Card 2008", which evaluates the 200 colleges and universities with the largest endowments in the United States and Canada, Carleton received the highest evaluation grade of A-, putting the college in the category of College Sustainability Leader with Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Brown University, Middlebury College, University of Vermont and University of Washington. The Report Card also cited Carleton as an Endowment Sustainability Leader, along with Dartmouth College and Williams College. A wind turbine located near the campus generates the equivalent of approximately 40 percent of Carleton's electrical energy use; it is configured to sell this power back to the local grid for the most efficient use system wide. Over the life of Carleton’s turbine, it is estimated that the College will reduce CO2 by 1.5 million tons. In late 2011, Carleton installed a second wind turbine that provides power directly to the campus, providing for an additional 30 to 40 percent of the college's electrical energy use.
Carleton is a member of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III and participates in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC), re-joining the conference in 1983. Carleton was a founding member of the MIAC in 1920, but left in 1925. The athletic department sponsors 18 teams, ten each for men and women.
The student-run Ultimate frisbee clubs have had the most competitive success; most notably, the school's top men's team, Carleton Ultimate Team (CUT), and women's team, Syzygy, are perennial national contenders in the USA Ultimate College Division. CUT has qualified annually for nationals since 1989, and won the National Championship in 2001, 2009, and 2011. Syzygy has qualified for women's nationals all but one year since 1987, and won the National Championship in 2000. The other men's Ultimate team, the Gods of Plastic, won the 2009, 2010, and 2012 Division III National Championship tournaments, and the second women's Ultimate team, Eclipse, won Division III nationals in 2011.
In the fall of 2011, the women's rugby team was undefeated in their league and region. This led them on to win Division 3 national playoffs. After winning their league, the team continues to regularly dominate their region, as well as compete at state and national levels every year.
The spring intramural softball league is known as Rotblatt, in honor of baseball player Marvin Rotblatt. Once a year a day-long game, also known as Rotblatt, lasts the same number of innings as the number of years since Carleton's founding. In 1997, Sports Illustrated honored Rotblatt in its "Best of Everything" section with the award, "Longest Intramural Event."
In fiction and popular culture
- Pamela Dean set her fantasy novel Tam Lin (1991) at a fictional "Blackstock College", based on Dean's alma mater, Carleton. Dean's author's note begins, "Readers acquainted with Carleton College will find much that is familiar to them in the architecture, landscape, classes, terminology, and general atmosphere of Blackstock." Blackstock's buildings were given names that reference their counterparts at Carleton (e.g. Watson Hall becomes Holmes Hall, referring to Sherlock Holmes; Burton Hall becomes Taylor Hall, referring to the marriages of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor).
- Carleton College is mentioned in scene five of Wendy Wasserstein's 1988 Pulitzer-Prize winning play, The Heidi Chronicles.
- As mentioned, the Schiller bust was briefly featured on the TV show The Colbert Report on March 29, 2010.
- On June 2, 2010, an unknown group of students transformed Goodsell Observatory into a giant R2D2. Maintenance staff did not respond positively, and the decorations were removed a few hours later, but not before students took some widely circulated photographs and videos.
- A group of Carleton students set a Guinness world record for the largest number of people spooning (529) on June 4, 2010.
- Ben Wyatt from the TV series Parks and Recreation is a fictional Carleton alumnus.
Notable alumni and faculty
Notable graduates of Carleton College include economist Thorstein Veblen (1880), US Supreme Court Justice Pierce Butler (1887), research chemist Ray Wendland (1933), US Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird (1942), geologist Walter Alvarez (1962), geneticist Mary-Claire King (1967), and editor-in-chief of Politico John F. Harris (1985).
Notable faculty have included Ian Barbour, winner of the 1999 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion; Laurence McKinley Gould, Antarctic explorer; and Paul Wellstone, U.S. Senator from Minnesota 1991–2002.
Points of interest
- As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014". National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2015.
- "Carleton College Class of 2016 Profile". Carleton College. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "Carleton College Common Data Set 2014-2015". Carleton College.
- NAICU – Member Directory
- "National Liberal Arts Colleges - Best Undergraduate Teaching". U.S. News & World Report. 2014.
- "Best Colleges – National Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. 2015.
- "From Northfield Historical Society history of early Carleton". Archived from the original on August 2, 2007.
- Carleton College archives timeline
- Mark A. Greene, "The Baptist Fundamentalists Case Against Carleton, 1926-1928", Minnesota History magazine, Spring 1990, pp. 16-26, Minnesota Historical Society.
- "Carleton History". Carleton University.
- Stanton Airfield site, with history
- Sciolino, Elaine (2000-06-11). "Transition in Syria; A New Hurdle to Peace". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Carleton accreditation site".
- "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 30, 2014.
- "Best Liberal Arts Colleges 2014". Forbes. July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
- "Best Values in Private Colleges". Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
- "Liberal Arts College Rankings 2014". Washington Monthly.
- Oden, Robert (2007-09-07). "President's Letter About College Rankings". Carleton College. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
- "Admissions: Class of 2017 Commits to Carleton". 5 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "Carleton Merit Scholars". Carleton College & Admissions. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Gravois, John (January 7, 2005). "Number of Doctorates Edges Up Slightly". The Chronicle of Higher Education 51 (18): A24.
- Baccalaureate Origins Peer Analysis, Centre College, accessed February 23, 2008
- National Science Foundation| url=http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/infbrief/nsf08311/
- Wilson, Robin (May 5, 2006). "A Hothouse for Female Scientists". The Chronicle of Higher Education 52 (35): A13.
- "Homepage". The Princeton Review. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- "Carleton Graphic's online presence". Retrieved 7 December 2010.
- "Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (A CAPPELLA!?)". YouTube. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Dan Kagan-Kans '10. "Daft Hands Does L.A.". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Schiller "Bust of Schiller". Carlwiki.org.
- "Homepage". Wehaveschiller.com.[dead link]
- "Sign Off - Friedrich Schiller - The Colbert Report - 2010-29-03 - Video Clip | Comedy Central". Colbertnation.com. 2010-03-29. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
- Benshoof, Sam (2008-05-09). "The Carletonian: 2008 Spring Issue 5". Apps.carleton.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
- "Schiller appears on the live Halloween broadcast of â€œA Prairie Home Companionâ€? hosted by Garrison Keillor, right, accompanied by Rich Dworsky". Apps.carleton.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
- "Late Night Trivia Home".
- Soth, Lauren; Jim Shoop (2003). Architecture at Carleton: A Brief History and Guide. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. p. 3.
- "Economics department history of the building". Retrieved 18 September 2010.
- "Carleton College: Archives: history 1866-1891". Carleton College Archives. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- Soth, Lauren; Jim Shoop (2003). Architecture at Carleton: A Brief History and Guide. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. p. 4.
- Soth, Lauren; Jim Shoop (2003). Architecture at Carleton: A Brief History and Guide. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. p. 5.
- Soth, Lauren; Jim Shoop (2003). Architecture at Carleton: A Brief History and Guide. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. pp. 8–9.
- Soth, Lauren; Jim Shoop (2003). Architecture at Carleton: A Brief History and Guide. Northfield, MN: Carleton College. p. 9.
- "College Sustainability Report Card 2008". Sustainable Endowments Institute. Retrieved 23 February 2010.
- Heinz, Gloria. "Carleton College: Facilities Management: The History of Carleton's Wind Turbine". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- Heinz, Gloria. "Carleton College: Facilities Management: Carleton's Second Wind Turbine". Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- MIAC Athletics history
- "College Open Division". Usaultimate.org. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
- "College Women's Division". Usaultimate.org. Retrieved 2012-03-11.
- "UPA Division III College Championships". USA Ultimate. Retrieved September 21. Check date values in:
- "D-III College Championship -- Sunday Women's Recap". USA Ultimate. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Video". CNN. 28 April 1997.
- Dean, Pamela (1991). Tam Lin. New York: Tom Doherty Associates. ISBN 978-0-312-85137-8.
- Wasserstein, Wendy (1990). The Heidi Chronicles. New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc. ISBN 978-4-400-00516-2.
- "Sign Off - Friedrich Schiller". Colbertnation.com. March 29, 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Hart Van Denburg (June 3, 2010). "Carleton students love R2-D2 so much they turn a building into the droid". Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- "Guinness World Records". Retrieved 24 January 2011.
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