Back Talk

Typical January temperatures in Fairbanks, Alaska, hover near 20 below zero. Some of my jogging friends would brave the cold and continue their pastime outdoors. I chose an alternative venue, a narrow track circling the Olympic-size hockey rink at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

Grinnell has always impressed me by having few glitzy, headline-hogging alums. I’d like to think the College instead produces serious, hardworking leaders in all sorts of fields; the kind who do, rather than boast about doing.

Richard Tillotson ’66 lives in Honolulu, where he worked for many years in advertising and now focuses on his own creative writing; his most recent novel is What You Will On Capitol Hill.

After graduating college, I spent a long time searching for the perfect job. Most important in my search was finding a job where I felt like part of a team that was pushing me to be the best I could be.

As a 12-year-old polio victim in the early 1950s, I faced isolation, closed school doors, and bullying, including a common use of the circular motions recently used by the now president of the United States against a partially disabled writer. 

Art is a language. Artists communicate with us through color, form, subject, scale, texture, movement, and symbols. We all know how to “read” this language, if we stop and engage with the art.

I recently became a U.S. citizen; and the day I took my oath, I voted in my first presidential election.

This past spring, I and 14 fellow first-year students enrolled in a semester-long course of a lifetime.

A Grinnellian’s transformation.

Grinnell is at the forefront of a new approach that colleges and universities can use to handle risk.