Campus News

Forbes “30 Under 30” Honorees

Three inspiring Grinnellians, Jen Liang ’14, Albert Owusu-Asare ’16, and Ameer Shujjah ’16 made the Forbes 2022 North America “30 Under 30” list. Liang is a portfolio manager at AIG, where she comanages more than $13 billion in emerging market debt. In 2021 Owusu-Asare and Shujjah co-founded Cadana, which helps African workers more readily access their daily wages.

2021 Wall Service Awards

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Awards, four alums have been chosen as the 2021 award winners. Tovah Flygare ’98, Alok Shah ’04, Rachel Vanwiggeren Walman ’06, and Susan Klumpner ’09 will each receive a $40,000 grant to support education, health, and environmental projects around the globe.

Lesley Wright Honored

The Grinnell College Museum of Art Leadership Council established the Wright Fund for Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion Projects in honor of Lesley Wright, who led the museum since its opening in 1999 and retired in December. Council members committed more than $80,000 to endow the fund, which will provide strategic and flexible projects and programming efforts.

Presidential Inauguration

Plans are underway for President Anne F. Harris' inauguration ceremony on Saturday, May 7, when she will be officially installed as the 14th president in the College's 175-year history. A livestream of the ceremony will be available that day. Visit grinnell.edu/inauguration to find up-to-date information on inauguration news and events.

Grinnell Receives $500,000 Grant

A $500,000 grant from the Clare Boothe Luce Program of the Henry Luce Foundation will support two new Grinnell Clare Boothe Luce Professors — one in mathematics and statistics and one in data science. The Luce program is one of the foremost sources of support for women in STEM in higher education.

New Museum Director

Susan Baley is the new director of the Grinnell College Museum of Art. Baley, who was selected after a national search, had been executive director of 108 Contemporary, a nonprofit arts center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

 

New Dean of the College

Beronda L. Montgomery, an internationally recognized plant biology researcher and expert on mentoring in science, will join Grinnell in July 2022 as the vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. Montgomery currently serves as a professor in the departments of biochemistry and molecular biology and microbiology and molecular genetics, as well as assistant vice president for research and innovation at Michigan State University.

Philanthropy: Career Communities Gifts

Penny Bender Sebring ’64 (LL.D ’15) and Charles Ashby Lewis (LL.D ’15) made a $500,000 gift to extend their support of the Education Professions Career Community, and a $500,000 gift from Mike and Linda Bird Powers, both class of 1967, continues funding for the Health Professions Career Community. Career communities provide students with access to specialized advising, tailored programming, skill-building workshops, and pathways to connect with alumni, recruiters, and other professionals.

A Message from President Anne F. Harris

Beginning again both holds promise and calls for resolve. Entering a third year of a global pandemic, opening a new chapter, rethinking long-lived practices, re-engaging in what had been paused during the height of the pandemic — the stories featured in this edition of The Grinnell Magazine will prompt us to think about what it means to begin again. The combination of promise and resolve in beginning again opens up a space of exploration: What can we do differently this time? What did we learn last time? Who else is at the table now? What other considerations have arisen?

To begin again, to engage with promise and resolve, is an approach that is nurtured by Grinnell’s sense of exploration. To rethink the existing system of general education requirements 50 years ago to create an individually advised curriculum; to redesign how students engage with STEM fields and assemble the Grinnell Science Project 25 years ago; and currently, to reconceptualize how collegiate residence life can be enhanced by a residential curriculum — all ways that Grinnellians have collaborated to create new beginnings.

I now take that lesson to thinking about what Grinnell College can mean to its constituents and to how the College begins again each time it gathers in community — whether at the beginning of a semester, during a class reunion, or in reading the pages of this publication.

In my own practice, the start of every semester calls for beginning again. A new start, a new syllabus, a new roster of students, a new set of possibilities for knowledge and exploration. In teaching art history for many years, I was always fascinated by how a work of art was never static, even if it was still in a museum; how the process of meaning began again with each new viewer and what they brought to it. What Mona Lisa is smiling about is different for everyone; every work of art begins again with every new viewer. I now take that lesson to thinking about what Grinnell College can mean to its constituents and to how the College begins again each time it gathers in community — whether at the beginning of a semester, during a class reunion, or in reading the pages of this publication.

A dynamic of beginning again initiated with the academic rhythms and explorations of the College creates momentum for a lifetime of rethinking and re-imagining. My admiration for Grinnellians who begin again and rethink systems, ideas, and communities is boundless. In these pages, on our campus, and among our alumni are demonstrations of what is possible when Grinnellians bring promise and resolve and renewal as they begin again. I wish you well in all your renewed beginnings.

“I now take that lesson to thinking about what Grinnell College can mean to its constituents and to how the College begins again each time it gathers in community — whether at the beginning of a semester, during a class reunion, or in reading the pages of this publication.”

Grinnellians Continue to Invest in Students

A total of 7,806 donors made gifts to Grinnell College during the past fiscal year, an increase of 180 donors from the previous year. Gifts from alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends of the College, and parents of students and alumni combined to yield impressive participation and contribution totals. The number of alumni donors alone increased 7.6% from 4,979 to 5,358.

Breakdown

Total Gifts and Commitments: $17,907,839
July 1, 2020–June 30, 2021

  • Pioneer Fund: $7,262,781
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: $5,336,814
  • Individually Advised Teaching and Learning: $2,958,690
  • Center for Careers, Life, and Service: $1,326,862
  • Institute for Global Engagement: $87,299
  • World-Class Facilities: $619,880
  • Yet to be Designated: $315,513