Campus News

Class of 2027

This fall’s incoming first-year class of about 460 new students comes from 40 different states and 34 countries and joins an already stellar student body attracted by the College’s outstanding faculty, individually advised curriculum, and opportunities to gain skills both in and outside the classroom. For the second consecutive year, the first-year student body comprises a multicultural majority, reflecting the College’s academic mission and commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

Take a closer look:

49% of first-year students enrolling identify as white U.S. citizens or did not specify a racial background, while 51% represent a diverse array of identities.

Grinnell’s international student population makes up 20% of the incoming class.

23% identify as students of color with another 7% of students identifying as being from two or more racial backgrounds.

Notably, 10% of class members identify as dual citizens.

Major NSF Grant

Associate Professor of Chemistry Andrew Graham was awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) grant from the Mid-Career Advancement program (EAR-2322048) for $237,317. This significant achievement reflects the NSF’s recognition of Graham’s outstanding contributions to the scientific community and his potential to lead groundbreaking research in the field of biogeochemistry. New research opportunities enabled by the NSF grant will enhance the education and experiences of Grinnell students, as Graham aligns his teaching and research projects with crucial issues such as climate change.

African Diaspora Studies

This fall, with the recommendation of the faculty and approval by the Board of Trustees, Grinnell announced the launch of a new academic program, the Department of African Diaspora Studies (ADS). The field of Black studies is not new at Grinnell. It has experienced cyclical investment over the last 50+ years and has included an Africana Studies concentration offered from 1997 to 2005. The new ADS program, to be led by a senior-level endowed chair with two additional planned tenure-track faculty lines, will provide permanence and continuity for Grinnell students and faculty working in this important academic area.

Grinnellian Adventures: Social Justice and the Olympic Movement

Alumni trips will return with an Oct. 18-29, 2024, exploration of the intersection of social justice and the Olympic movement throughout history. Senior Associate Professor of Physical Education Will Freeman and Senior Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies Kesho Scott DSS ’21 will lead the immersive tour of ancient and modern Olympic sites in Germany and Greece. Learn more about trip highlights, itinerary, and pricing options. Space is limited to the first 25 guests to register.

Marc Reed, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Marc Reed has served in these roles in an interim capacity since September 2022. Reed has supported and led the pursuit of equity and social justice through developing and implementing DEI strategic plans, resulting in increased representation and engagement of individuals from under-represented identities.

JC Lopez, Interim Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs

JC Lopez was appointed interim vice president of the Division of Student Affairs in August. Lopez, who describes himself as a passionate advocate for higher education, a first-generation college graduate, and proud Latinx individual, brings extensive experience in higher education administration to Grinnell. The College is conducting a national search for a new vice president of student affairs.

Holly Roepke, Director of Athletics and Recreation

Director of Athletics and Recreation Holly Roepke also serves as chair of the Department of Physical, Education, Athletics, and Recreation. Roepke re-joined Grinnell from California Lutheran University, where she served as the director of athletics. Earlier in her career, she was Grinnell’s assistant athletic director for diversity, equity, and inclusion. In her new role, she will work to weave athletics and recreation deeper into the fabric of experiences at Grinnell.

Bernadine Douglas, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations

Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Bernadine Douglas has a wealth of experience and expertise in all areas of leadership, with a particular focus on fundraising and operational objectives within higher education. Her experiences at Barry University and Berea College have reinforced her belief that education is a force for real change.

Forging Connection

What marks the moment when you know that you are in community, in a partnership, in a friendship? Is community a matter of happenstance or careful planning? Each fall at Grinnell College we are prompted to consider these questions, as we welcome new and returning students, faculty, and staff, having just a few months prior cheered our newest alumni with the good wishes of “Go Forth, Grinnellian!” As you will see in the stories presented here, Grinnell, in both enduring and revelatory ways, is a place where people can build and redefine community and connection, shaping and reshaping the College as they do so.

The friendship and collaboration of faculty colleagues Kesho Scott and Will Freeman show that serendipity and a willingness to approach others with an open mind can lead to an incredible partnership that — over and over — empowers Grinnellians to consider their own journeys and where they might belong.

You can also explore Grinnell’s vibrant, varied and very distinctive student clubs, where friendships thrive and interests are nurtured. Exploring just a small handful in the pages of this magazine gives a glimpse into student life and connections formed beyond the classroom. They highlight the very human experience of learning something new or taking joy in competition, collaboration, and community.

In these pages, we also have a welcome chance to deepen our understanding of humanity and the impact of one extraordinary person on multiple communities through Harold Kasimow’s remarkable journey as a Holocaust survivor, religious scholar, faculty member, mentor, and passionate advocate of interfaith dialogue. His humanity and his journey have fostered belonging and connection and served as inspiration for generations of Grinnellians.

I hope that these remarkable stories will inspire you to think about how you have become part of a community, how you made community happen, how and where you have felt a sense of belonging, and how your connection to Grinnell College and the extraordinary people and experiences that have marked your journey — or even set you on a new course — have shaped your life, as you have shaped those of others.

I am filled with joy to be, once again, meeting alumni and friends in cities in the United States, in London, and beyond. It is an honor and an inspiration to hear your stories and forge connections with remarkable Grinnellians, and I look forward to all our moments in community.

Scarlet & Give Back Day

Grinnellians demonstrated the power of collective impact during Scarlet & Give Back Day when more than 2,550 donors made gifts totaling over $1,250,000, helping ensure current and future students can enjoy the benefits of a Grinnell education. Our community took full advantage of an anonymous donor’s $500,000 match pledge as well as a $100,000 giving challenge by the Board of Trustees.