Campus News

2020 Grinnell Prize Winner

Alexander McLean, founder and director general of Justice Defenders, was selected to receive the 2020 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize. McLean and Justice Defenders provide legal assistance, training, and education to incarcerated people and select prison staff in four African countries. Justice Defenders has reached 50,000 prisoners through legal awareness sessions in the past 11 years and opened Uganda’s first prison-based legal aid clinic to provide free legal advice and assistance.

Loans Eliminated from Need-based Financial Aid Packages

In response to the financial hardship that many families are experiencing because of the pandemic, Grinnell will eliminate student loans in financial aid packages and replace them with scholarships. This no-loan initiative endorsed by the Board of Trustees will be effective in fall 2021 for all new and continuing students eligible for need-based financial aid and is intended to lower the debt burden on students. This initiative builds on Grinnell’s commitment to preserving academic continuity and equal access to education during this time. For more information, see “Less Debt, More Opportunity.”

2020 Community Enhancement through Architecture and Design Award

 Grinnell College received a 2020 Community Enhancement through Architecture and Design Award from the Iowa Architectural Foundation (IAF). IAF noted that Grinnell was selected for the honor in recognition of more than 50 years of outstanding and sustained institutional contributions, vision, and leadership in architecture and planning.

Chemistry Major Wins Competitive Fellowship

Madison Wardlaw ’20 won a highly competitive Woodrow Wilson Pennsylvania Teaching Fellowship for 2020–21. Each fellow receives a $32,000 stipend for the year while enrolling in a master’s degree program. Wardlaw is working in a Philadelphia school district teaching a chemistry class for English language learners.

2020 SPARK Social Innovation Challenge

Sharene Gould Dulabaum ’22 is the winner of the College’s 2020 SPARK Challenge. Gould Dulabaum proposed a new system of centralized waste bins that would standardize and streamline the process of sorting waste, potentially saving the College thousands of dollars. The Wilson Center’s SPARK Social Innovation Challenge encourages students to closely examine the issues affecting their own communities and enables them to make tangible change by working with community partners.

2020 Wall Service Award Recipients

Kaitlin Alsofrom ’10 (left) and Mariam Asaad ’14 (right) received Grinnell’s 2020 Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Awards. Each will use the $35,000 award to further projects that improve the effectiveness of teaching and learning in South African and Pakistani schools, respectively. Since 1996 the Wall Service Award has been presented to 56 individuals who have contributed their time and talents to 50 diverse projects throughout the United States and in eight other countries.

Students on Campus

Class of 2024 students were given the opportunity to live on campus during the first spring term that began Feb. 1. Instruction continued to be delivered primarily online with limited in-person learning experiences. Online events and programming helped maintain physical distancing for everyone and provided a common experience for students unable to return to campus. Conor Martin ’24 (with suitcase), from Berkeley, Calif., got a wintry introduction to Iowa on move-in day

Samuel Huntington Public Service

Angela Frimpong ’20 received this year’s Samuel Huntington Public Service Award. The award provides a $15,000 stipend to graduating college seniors to pursue a meaningful public service activity. Frimpong will develop a youth entrepreneurship program in Gbulahagu, Ghana, that she named EntrepreYearn.

Donna Vinter retires after 40 years

Donna Vinter began teaching in the Grinnell-in-London program in 1980 and was crucial to helping shape the program since 1982, when she became the director. She made it a Grinnell away from Grinnell by fostering a richness of experiences and memories for the many students who attended during her 40 years of service.

Summer school offered to students

The spirit of community and desire to care for students prompted the quick development of summer classes during the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel restrictions went into effect in February 2020, Grinnell leaders recognized that more students than usual would need to remain on campus during the summer. It was the first time since 1947 that Grinnell offered summer courses.