Campus News

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.

Grinnell Education Partnership Funding

logo for Grinnell Education PartnershipFunding from the John M. Campbell Trust totaling $250,000 will help the Grinnell Education Partnership expand from exclusively youth-based projects to economic empowerment interventions aimed at the whole family. Grinnell College and the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation will help evaluate and facilitate initiatives while community organizations bring their respective resources, access, and knowledge to the programs.

Norris Renovation Recognition

The Norris Hall renovations completed last fall created more comfortable space for students, with the addition of new windows and newly designed kitchens and lounges. New ADA rooms and an elevator were added to make the building accessible for all. An unexpected bonus was the “Masters Award” recently bestowed by the Master Builders of Iowa for exceptional efforts in executing the project.

Social Innovator in Residence Program Launched

A Social Innovator in Residence Program initiative that will bring world-class innovators to campus to inspire students and promote civic engagement was announced in April. After a one-year hiatus to evaluate lessons from a decade of the Grinnell Prize, the College is transitioning from a singular prize to a broader experience that offers expanded opportunities for collaboration and learning. The program will allow students to engage with inspiring leaders who are making an enduring difference in the world. Applications are being accepted until Sept. 5, and the residency will begin in fall 2024.

Grinnell College National Poll

Since 2018, the Grinnell College National Poll (GCNP) has partnered faculty and students with nationally renowned pollster J. Ann Selzer to probe the political attitudes of the American public. Today, the poll is a trusted source of information for journalists and the public, a platform for innovative teaching in the classroom, and a vital way for Grinnell College to join the national conversation about our nation’s future. Among other top-level findings from the latest (March 2023) GCNP:

  • 68% oppose allowing businesses to refuse services to LGBTQIA+ customers.
  • 60% oppose the Supreme Court’s decision that overturned the precedent set by Roe v. Wade.
  • 57% say it is not appropriate for public school teachers to speak their minds about politics in the classroom.

Read more about the Grinnell College National Poll and latest poll results.