Magazine Homepage Slideshow

In this issue: Spring 2017

Sociology class outside on central campus
Strategy Session

Telling Grinnell’s Story

In 2015 President Raynard S. Kington presented to the community a road map for the College’s future. Called Vision 2030, it seeks to capitalize on the College’s strengths and build the programs that will make Grinnell distinct from its peers (see Kington’s “Strategy Session” on Page 4 of the Winter 2015 issue of the magazine). To support the progress of Vision 2030, the College has been making important strides to strengthen the ways in which we tell the Grinnell story. 

Hai-Dang Phan

Hai-Dang Phan ’03 Receives 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts selects the Grinnell alumnus and English professor as one of 37 recipients.

Ozzie Ercan ’97 on stage during his talk
Campus News

2nd Annual TEDxGrinnell “Bursting the Bubble”

The second annual TEDxGrinnellCollege conference, held Nov. 5, featured five Grinnell alumni and two current professors who spoke to a sold-out audience of students, faculty, staff, and townspeople. Sponsored by Grinnell College and the Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Leadership and Innovation, the talks centered around the theme of “bursting the bubble.”  

Student makes their personal set of chopsticks
Campus News

Students Craft Reusable Chopsticks

Students lined up on the first floor of Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center Jan. 26, patiently waiting their turn to make a personal set of reusable chopsticks from wood harvested to make way for the new Humanities and Social Studies Complex.

“This is a great way to recycle wood from campus into something I can keep with me,” said Evan Feldberg-Bannatyne ’20, as he used a hand plane to smooth one of the four sides of one of his chopsticks.

Demolition of the Carnegie Hall stacks
Campus News

Campus Construction Under Way

Students and faculty returned from winter break to see significant progress at the site of the new Humanities and Social Studies Complex (HSSC). In early January, carefully planned tree preservation and removal was completed, and safety fences were placed around Alumni Recitation Hall, Carnegie Hall, and other areas of the northwest quad that are included in the HSSC’s footprint.  

Kumail Nanjiani '01
Campus News

Familiar Names at 2017 Commencement

Honorary degree recipients at this year’s Commencement will include Kumail Nanjiani ’01, comedian and actor on Silicon Valley; Daniel Werner ’91, attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center; Emily Pfitsch, widow of the late, longtime coach John Pfitsch; Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a migrant farm worker turned neurosurgeon; and Barb Van Ersvelde, local K–12 educator.

Eliza works with student on the observatory telescope
Campus News

Physics Professor Receives Prestigious NSF Grant

Eliza Kempton, assistant professor of physics, recently received a Faculty Early Career Development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Nick and Vinny Curta cheer from the bench

Best of Both Worlds

“Academics was first and foremost in my college search,” Nick Curta ’17 says. “I’ve been lucky enough to grow to 6 feet 6 inches and have some ability on the basketball court, but the academic environment of Grinnell really attracted me. Everybody here wants to learn, and everyone wants each other to succeed.”

Rebecca Wong ’17 canoeing

Turning Grief into a Legacy

In his 48 years of life, physics professor Sujeev Wickramasekara made an immeasurable impact on his peers and his students. When he died in December 2015 at the age of 48 of a sudden cardiac event, his wife Tammy Nyden, associate professor of philosophy, hoped to continue his impact through a memorial scholarship fund.

Peter Calvert ’79 and Linh Pham chat in the JRC Grill

Q & A: Mentoring Current Students

In 2014, the Alumni Student Connections Committee of the College’s Alumni Council initiated a project to facilitate mentoring relationships between alumni and current students. After developing a mentoring handbook, six committee alumni volunteered to mentor six current students on the Student Alumni Council for the 2014–15 academic year. 

Opening of Start by Asking Questions, drawn from the collections of Vernon ’61 and Amy Hamamoto Faulconer ’59 and Howard and Cindy Rachofsky
Back Talk

Conversing With Art

Art is a language. Artists communicate with us through color, form, subject, scale, texture, movement, and symbols. We all know how to “read” this language, if we stop and engage with the art. While many of us believe we can’t understand art, I’ve found that we are usually selling ourselves short. Instead, we can be intimidated by dense verbal discussions of art that leap beyond what is before us to complex interpretations and inferences.

Campus News

In Support of Positive Social Change

The Joseph F. Wall ’41 Service Award was established in 1996 as a tribute to the College’s 150-year tradition of social commitment. The award was named in honor of the late Joseph Wall ’41, professor of history and longtime dean, who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his students.

Campus News

Political Mobilization in Houses of Worship

Danielle Lussier, assistant professor of political science, and her colleagues at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia have won an international collaboration grant from the Global Religion Research Initiative at Notre Dame University, a Templeton Foundation-supported project.