Strategy Session

For the first time in 50 years, Grinnell faculty have approved a new requirement as part of the individually advised curriculum. The new course, First-Year Experience: Connections, is discussion-based and experiential and introduces students to important ideas about wellness, diversity, and respectful dialogue across difference. It delivers on the College’s stated mission and core values.

Monica Chavez-Silva and Caleb Elfenbein, strategic planning co-leads, discuss the strategic planning process.

In November, the College announced that it would eliminate student loans in financial aid packages and replace them with scholarships.

This fall, Grinnell will announce its first comprehensive fundraising campaign in 20 years.

This spring, I had the extraordinary privilege to speak to 70 Grinnell students and recent alumni who applied for competitive external fellowships this year. These remarkable people had summoned the courage to apply for awards like the Fulbright, Watson, Truman, Marshall, or Rhodes scholarships.

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.

In August 2018, 463 first-year students representing 46 states and 20 countries matriculated at Grinnell. They are one of our most diverse classes ever: 19 percent are international students; 15 percent are first-generation college students; and 28 percent are domestic students of color, a record-setting number at Grinnell.

When John Kispert ’85 and Jill Goldberg Kispert put the final arrangements together for a gift to support intercollegiate athletics, it helped the College gain more focus about how designated giving would strengthen programming across campus.

— Originally published in The Grinnell Magazine, Summer 2018.

In October of 2017, I had the pleasure of speaking with alumni volunteers on campus during Volunteer Weekend about the work of the admission and financial aid offices.

In the spring of 2017, Patricia Jipp Finkelman ’80, chair of the Grinnell College Board of Trustees, appointed a Fossil Fuels and Climate Impact Task Force to explore related issues including possible fossil fuel divestment in an

Developing a comprehensive diversity plan is an iterative process that requires considerable time, attention, and care, especially when gathering and evaluating confidential feedback. Because of this, it has not been a quick process.