Council Work Aims to Strengthen GC Pride

Health services, communications, personal finance workshop, and Code of Leadership addressed
David Jarvis ’04

If you’ve been to a Grinnell sporting event on campus in the past few years, you’ve heard this two-word phrase shouted as a rallying cry: “GC Pride!” Right now, when everything seems uncertain, I continue to be filled with GC Pride.

The response to Grinnell’s decision to send the vast majority of students home and conduct the rest of the semester online has been inspiring. More than $100,000 has been raised for the new Supporting Our Students (SOS) Fund, which helped students get home and get the resources they needed to continue their education. In the midst of this pandemic, I have never felt more GC Pride than I do right now.

The Alumni Council spring meeting took place just days before the College announced its transition to distance learning. During the meeting, the council focused on four main activities.

First, the council met with Ben Newhouse, dean of students, and Terry Mason, the new dean of health and wellness, to hear an update on the work of the student affairs and the student health and wellness teams. This includes work to increase access to mental health services on campus, including telemedicine, as well as proactively working with students on harm reduction strategies.

Second, the Alumni Council, led by its Alumni Engagement and Communications Committee, adopted a new communications plan. A chief goal in this plan is a more directed effort on behalf of the Alumni Council to reach out to fellow alumni and to provide communication before and after each meeting, so we can gather input on topics to be discussed and report on results. This plan will be rolled out starting in the fall.

Third, the Alumni Council, led by Ahsan Rahim ’11, developed and hosted a workshop on personal finance skills. The workshop covered topics like signing a lease, and it was attended by more than 60 students. This work helps prepare students for life after Grinnell.

Finally, the council’s Ad Hoc Civility Committee continued to refine and develop the new Code of Leadership, a statement of shared values for our alumni volunteers. This code was created to articulate the importance of a professional, respectful, and kind environment for all Grinnell College community members.

On behalf of the entire Alumni Council, I want to thank all of you for stepping up to support Grinnell’s students during this difficult time. We should all feel great GC Pride at how we are handling this moment.

Membership Updates

This meeting marked the final one for five members:

  • Mary Knuth Otto ’63
  • Fritz Schwaller ’69
  • Rhonda Stuart ’86
  • Jim Asplund ’88
  • Ahsan Rahim ’11

Their contributions greatly enriched the alumni community, and they will be missed.

The council also elected Lester Alemán ’07 president-elect and five new members to terms starting in June:

  • Becky Reetz Neal ’65
  • Ed Atkins ’66
  • Tom Triplett ’69
  • Scott Shepherd ’82
  • Ben Vaughn ’15

The council will continue to support alumni and students through this uncertain time and into a new era following President Raynard S. Kington’s departure at the end of the academic year. We would love to hear your ideas of how we can best do so.

The Grinnell College Alumni Council supports purposeful, lifelong relationships among Grinnell alumni and between the alumni and College communities.

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