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  • Illustration 2 people in forest
  • Latona Giwa speaks with a mom
  • Microphone in front of sound waves on computer

In this issue: Spring 2019

Arctic lights on Rawson Gates Tower
Alumni Council News

Energized by the Student Alumni Council

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.
sounds waves

How to Produce a Podcast

  1. You’ll need a computer with a broadband Internet connection, a decent microphone, a set of earphones, and a reasonably quiet place to record.

Books in library

NBN Connections to Grinnell

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

ken Krimstein self portrait

I Think, Therefore I Draw

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.
Two women sword fighting

Fight Club

Next time you’re challenged to a sword fight, call Ricki G. Ravitts ’70, a fight director who has taught stage actors around the world how to parry, thrust, and stab for almost 25 years.

Brian Cavanagh-Strong selfie

Artistically Adventurous

When Brian Cavanagh-Strong ’09 landed himself in the New York University Tisch School of the Arts graduate program for musical theatre writing, it was, he says, “like a dream.”

Ali Wade Benjamin ’92, Brian Ross ’82, and Samuel Ross ’16
Grinnell Connection

In the Wild

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.” 

Basket of apples
Grinnell Connection

Apples to apples

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.

Students study in JRC Grill
Campus News

Best Qualified Pool of Applicants

Applications to Grinnell College have risen dramatically since 2012, when the number was 3,131, the largest at that time. For 2019, the figure is 7,961, a new application record.
Campus News

Studying How Galaxies Grow

Charlotte Christensen, assistant professor of physics, recently received a $484,300 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Microphone in front of computer
Campus News

Grinnell Has a Podcast

Longing for a taste of campus life? Then give All Things Grinnell ( a listen. Hosted by Ben Binversie ‘17, the podcast features interviews and stories with students, faculty, alumni, staff, community members, and visiting speakers.

Class held in the HSSC
Campus News

Open for Learning

Spring semester classes in humanities and social studies are taking place in the newly constructed portion of the Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC).

Carlos Mendoza

New Biology Chair Created

Guillermo Mendoza served as a pre-med adviser to hundreds of future physicians during his distinguished 34-year teaching career at Grinnell College.

Group during tennis court naming

Pioneer Tennis Honors Its Own

Distinctive for a tradition of lifelong connections among alumni, Grinnell’s athletic teams instill an abiding sense of community that Ishan Bhadkamkar ’13 understood before he even enrolled.

Don Pollard '81, Jeanne Pinder ’75, Jaci Thiede, and Henry Wilhelm ’68 in New York City
Strategy Session

Welcome to the Grinnell Community

As I considered the possibility of accepting a position to lead Grinnell’s development and alumni relations team, I asked myself a number of questions.

Four Grinnell friends in Italy
Back Talk

The Power of Grinnell

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.