For students whose parents didn’t complete a four-year college degree, getting into Grinnell is just the first hurdle. Figuring out how to survive, much less thrive, is a whole series of hurdles. And it’s less a sprint over a brightly lit track than a marathon through a dark tunnel with blind curves, switchbacks, and alarming obstacles.
When she was an expectant mom, Monique Hagan knew the risks that she faced: African-American women are twice as likely to experience pregnancies that result in early delivery, low birth weight, or even infant death, according to National Vital Statistics.
Hearing from the Student Alumni Council (SAC) is always a highlight of both our fall and spring Alumni Council meetings; the students’ ideas, enthusiasm, programs, and organizational abilities are inspiring. SAC became an organization on campus in 2013, emerging from an earlier organization, the Student Alumni Association (SAA), created in 2000.
Grinnellians in the New Books Network catalog include current, past, and retired professors Andrew Hsieh, who was interviewed (along with co-author Sherman Cochran) about The Lius of Shanghai (Harvard University Press, 2013); Scott Cook, who chatted about his book The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation (Cornell University East Asia Series, 2012); and Edward Cohn, who discussed his work The High Tit
As a young copywriter working at a New York City ad agency, Ken Krimstein ’80 had a routine. Each Wednesday he would walk around the corner to the offices of The New Yorker, drop off a batch of his cartoons, and hope that the editor would like one enough to publish it. Ten years and 400 cartoons later, his first one was accepted by the magazine.
Ali Wade Benjamin ’92 writes, “Wore my Grinnell T-shirt for a hike up Koko Head on Oahu, Hawaii, on Nov. 16. As I put it on, I wondered if I’d meet any Grinnellians. Sure enough, when I got to the top, Brian Ross ’82 recognized the shirt. He was hiking with his son, Samuel Ross ’16. The world always seems smaller and friendlier when I’ve got my Grinnell T-shirt on.”
In the fall of 2018, Toby Cain ’12 mailed packages of rare apples to alumni across the United States for only the cost of shipping. She sent 21 different varieties, and everyone received 10 apples. The apples came from the organic orchard at Seed Savers Exchange near Decorah, Iowa, which has a collection of more than 1,100 different apples. Freeda Brook ‘07 helped Cain pick the 500-plus apples.
Longing for a taste of campus life? Then give All Things Grinnell (grinnell.edu/podcast) a listen. Hosted by Ben Binversie ‘17, the podcast features interviews and stories with students, faculty, alumni, staff, community members, and visiting speakers.
We have all experienced meeting Grinnellians in unexpected places. Our group of four Grinnell friends took this to an international level during a trip to Tuscany to celebrate our collective bicentennial. We were visiting Lucca, Italy, in 2018 and taking a cooking class. While learning from Chef Giuseppe how to roll the perfect gnocchi, we chatted with our classmates — when lo and behold, we discovered a fifth Grinnellian in our midst.