$5 Million Gift Supports Global Grinnell Program

Alumna wants to expand global opportunities at Grinnell
Lisa Lacher

Carolyn “Kay” Swartz Bucksbaum ’51, former chair of the Grinnell College Board of Trustees and now life trustee, has committed $5 million to support the expansion of the College’s Global Grinnell program.

“The program is close to my heart because of my own global views and experiences,” Bucksbaum says. She adds that her desire to make this commitment was influenced by various aspects of her own life, including having foreign visitors living in her family home, her mother’s world travels, and her own daughter’s involvement in the international arena.

“Kay Bucksbaum’s generosity will enhance Grinnell’s commitment to global engagement by providing increased opportunities for students to develop valuable leadership skills and global experiences throughout their education,” says President Raynard S. Kington. “The development of the Global Grinnell program will continue to set Grinnell apart from our peer institutions.”

“I believe in the leaders of the College and their vision for the future. I want to see Grinnell College increasingly recognized, and measured accordingly, for its leadership among similar colleges in my lifetime.”

— Carolyn “Kay” Swartz Bucksbaum ’51

“This commitment gives us the chance to pursue an integrated and sustainable global strategy,” says Michael E. Latham, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College. “Our large and diverse international student population, excellent off-campus study opportunities, inquiry-led curriculum, internship programs, alumni network, and external partnerships around the world have made Grinnell a profoundly international institution.”

Bucksbaum’s gift will establish two endowments. The first funds the creation of a chief global officer position to promote and ensure an integrated and innovative approach to building and expanding international education across the College.

The second endowment will create a Global Distinctiveness Fund that will enhance programs and student opportunities, including internships abroad, scholarships for global course work and language studies, and faculty and student research focused on collaborative, international projects exploring global problems and challenges.

Bucksbaum has also agreed to serve as honorary chair as Grinnell College prepares for a comprehensive fundraising campaign.

“We are currently organizing the College fundraising priorities in advance of the launch of a campaign, and Kay’s leadership arrives at a pivotal point in the life of this endeavor,” says Shane Jacobson, vice president for development and alumni relations. “Kay’s generosity links the legacy of our previous campaign with our renewed effort to invest in students, faculty, staff, programs, and facilities.”


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