Alumni Council News

In 2017 President Raynard S. Kington approached the Alumni Council with the idea of creating an Alumni Community Cookbook.
Grinnell’s 26-member Alumni Council came together on campus March 7–9. The weather was typical Iowa — snow, rain, ice, and some sun — but indoor spaces in both the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center and the partially finished Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC, now shortened by students to “husk”) were warm and welcoming.
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.

As members of the Alumni Council’s 2017–18 Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Saurabh Saraf ’05, Howie Schein ’66, and I agreed to tackle the challenge of connecting traditionally marginalized students with alumni. We were assisted by Sarah Smith-Benanti, assistant director of alumni and donor relations for diverse communities. Our group agreed early on that this program should be shaped by student needs.

I never knew I was a member of something called the Grinnell College Alumni Association. I became a member after completing my first semester, as does everyone who completes 16 credits at Grinnell.

A highlight of the spring Alumni Council meeting was the presentation focusing on Grinnell’s career communities, a recently launched addition to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS).

If you’ve ever stopped someone wearing a Grinnell sweatshirt or slightly stalked a vehicle with a Grinnell College bumper sticker, it’s probably because you know the delight a conversation with a fellow Grinnellian can bring.

As an Iowan who left the state forever after graduating from Grinnell, I’m delighted that my membership on the Alumni Council brings me back more frequently.

Diversity and inclusion have long been core values of Grinnell College. Today, 26 percent of the College’s students are domestic students of color, 18 percent international students, nearly 17 percent are first-generation students, and many are students who openly identify as LGBTQIA+.