I imagine that others have already pointed out a misidentified freshman class picture on Page 16 of the [Fall 2016] issue of The Grinnell Magazine. Although labeled as the class of 1957, it is actually the newly arrived (in 1957) class of 1961.
Letters to the Editor
I suspect other class members have already alerted you to the incorrect date on the photo on Page 16. I am class of 1961; we came to Grinnell in 1957, and I can clearly recognize myself and many many others in the photo. Another good magazine.
I am a little confused re. your “Then and Now” photo on Pages 16–17 of the Fall 2016 issue of The Grinnell Magazine. The inset photo was taken in the fall of 1957. I am the person second from the right of the people sitting in front on the ground. I always thought we were the class of 1961.
The young people in the larger picture apparently had their photo taken fall 2016 and are designated the class of 2020.
So which is it? Are we the class of 1957 and the youngsters the class of 2016, or are we the class of 1961, and they are the class of 2020? Just checking.
I thoroughly enjoyed Erin Peterson ’98’s “Untold History of Great Grinnell Pranks.” This will add to the record. My classmates were not inert during the 1960s. I recall [a few] events causing local consternation, and at least one wire story.
In a winter of the 1960s, an unusually heavy snowfall blanketed the campus. Being anxious to help with snow removal, a number of young students brought their shovels overnight to the Carnegie building. The next morning, the entrance to the lower level mail room was filled with ice. Many professors in offices above the mail room got to know students better as they trooped through Carnegie Hall, down the stairs, and back up again.
I first heard of the Great Silverware Caper while driving in Minneapolis about 1 a.m. in my mother’s Nash Rambler. The radio reported that “students at Grinnell College, Iowa, awoke this morning to find their dining room silverware being cleaned at the bottom of the chlorine water swimming pool.” Then-Saga Fred [Frederick Huggins Jr., then-director of Saga Food Service] dived for the silver.
It turned out that the caper was incomplete in that some silverware stored in hidden places was missed. Some considered this a blot on an otherwise creative caper.
I was witness to some of these events, but obviously not all. Those my colleagues left me out of grieved me a little at the time. Adolescent energy was expended without anyone hurt, at little cost, and with great, sputtering inconvenience to some. Perhaps those qualities make these good pranks?
Thanks for your great article on the history of "Concerned Black Students" (Summer 2016). I would love to see additional articles about the history of other minority groups at Grinnell.
I’ve noticed that you have made a subtle change to the format for alumni receiving advanced degrees. Previously, it was always at the end of the “Classnotes” section. Now, it is included with news within the person’s class.
As an undergrad, I knew I wanted to attend graduate school. However, my senior year, despite having been accepted at several programs, I decided that I should take a break from academia. This was, in retrospect, a very good decision.
As I got busy with other things, I stopped thinking about graduate school. But I was always a little wistful about it; and you know, there was this whisper in my ear every time I read The Grinnell Magazine.
At first, I saw that the advanced degrees were mostly afforded to people from my class. But if you watched the advanced degrees section as though it were a narrative unfolding, you couldn’t help noticing that even though the majority of the degrees were from the cohort that had recently graduated, one or two random stragglers would come round the bend.
Grinnellians sometimes took nontraditional paths through higher education. Every time I saw that someone who had graduated 10, 20, 30 years earlier was just now finishing their advanced degree, it gave me a little boost of inspiration. It wasn’t that I hadn’t gotten there; it was that I hadn’t gotten there yet.
I finally received my Ph.D. in May of 2015, 30 years after graduating from Grinnell. And I confess I was a little disappointed that my Classnotes announcement was in the classes section rather than in a separate section. I knew that, like me, most people probably only read the notes from their cohort. I had pridefully hoped that my accomplishment might offer some inspiration, or perhaps just a subtle reminder to another alum who might have put it off that their advanced degree is still out there, waiting for them.
From the editor: Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker, gave the keynote address at Stanford University’s 2016 Commencement. Rep. Tom Cole ’71, R.-Okla., spoke at Grinnell’s Commencement. Both addresses are available for viewing on YouTube.
Ken Burns, in his Stanford commencement speech this year, impassionedly told the graduates: “For 216 years, our elections, though bitterly contested, have featured the philosophies and character of candidates who were clearly qualified. That is not the case this year. One is glaringly not qualified…. [one] is against lots of things, but doesn’t seem to be for anything, offering only bombastic and contradictory promises, and terrifying Orwellian statements; a person who easily lies, creating an environment where the truth doesn’t seem to matter; who has never demonstrated any interest in anyone or anything but himself and his own enrichment; who insults veterans, threatens a free press, mocks the handicapped, denigrates women, immigrants and all Muslims; a man who took more than a day to remember to disavow a supporter who advocates white supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan.”
Congressman Tom Cole ’71, recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at Commencement, gave this election advice to the graduates: “It doesn’t matter whether you are on the left or the right. First, look for an institutionalist — someone who believes in the institutions of the country, who believes in fair play, who believes in open elections, who believes in the public process and understands something about the institutions he or she wants to lead.”
Rep. Cole had the audacity to say his words to the graduates while not disavowing the man Ken Burns described above who threatens our institutions. He even urged the graduates that “when you confront something, be willing to take the risk. And be willing to see it through to the end.” I really hope that the congressman’s position has changed by the time you read this, for his sake and our country’s.
As the chair of the committee that proposed the [Mentored Advanced Project] MAP program to the Fund for Excellence during the Osgood administration, I was delighted with “The Essence of Inquiry” focus in the spring 2016 issue. I realize that the subject is too big to cover in a single issue so I look forward to further treatment of the range of MAPs done in the social studies and humanities divisions. We too produce and publish new knowledge.
Many of my student collaborators, for example, have been presenters or co-presenters at one, or preferably two, professional conferences. They also co-author journal articles, book chapters, and newspaper articles. Some of our papers even win prizes from professional organizations.
[The article] plausibly contends that MAPs are one reason why “Grinnell ranks seventh among all private and public national institutions for graduating students who go on to earn Ph.D.s.” This kind of research collaboration is one of the reasons that the Department of Anthropology, among other Grinnell social studies departments, is so highly ranked, third among national institutions for graduating students who go on to earn Ph.D.s in anthropology.
Thanks for the good start to the story of MAP research collaboration at Grinnell.
My copy of the spring Grinnell magazine arrived today, and I have read it cover to cover. The magazine keeps improving, and this one had many of the features I have been hoping for for a long time including small bios of those who have passed on.
Piles of kudos to everyone involved in the redesign of The Grinnell Magazine. It manages to be both more informative/engaging and less stuffy — a fine line to walk. I especially like the combined layout and graphic design of “Classnotes,” Kevin Cannon’s illustrations, the overall size and paper stock, and the Grinnellian feel of the whole thing.
I know undertakings like these aren’t easy, and it can feel like your work disappears into the void with little to no — or only negative — feedback. Consider this a ping from the darkness that your work hit its mark.