Grinnell is About Connecting with People

David Jarvis ’04, Alumni Council member

When I was on campus for my last Alumni Council meeting in April, I asked several current students what they had enjoyed most about this year. The response I constantly received was some version of “being back on campus with everyone else. Grinnell is about connecting with people.” I could not agree more, and I know that many of you are seeking ways to either stay, or get, connected with Grinnell. I am pleased to tell you that there are many opportunities to get involved, both virtually and in person, most of which do not involve making a trip to campus.

Attend a summer picnic or other regional event.

After a two-year hiatus, Grinnell is hosting 31 summer picnics across the country. These events, which include alumni as well as current and incoming students and their parents, are great ways to get to know alumni and current students in your area and make connections with Grinnell. I will personally be hosting the Portland, Oregon, picnic for the fourth time; it is always a lot of fun. Check out the full list of picnics. There are also multiple regional events around the world throughout the year, including activities such as pub nights, professor visits, and sporting events.

Sign up for Grinnell Connect.

Grinnell Connect is Grinnell’s own version of LinkedIn, a great place to post or find job opportunities, connect with current students to serve as mentor, and expand your professional network. Learn more at Grinnell Connect.

Serve as a Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) volunteer.

If you are interested in providing mentorship or career advice to current students or recent graduates, you can sign up as a CLS volunteer. Being able to provide real-world connections and advice to fellow Grinnellians has been an incredibly rewarding experience for myself and others and feels appropriate given the similar advice and help I was given by alums early in my career. Check out CLS opportunities.

Sign up as an alumni volunteer.

There are a myriad of other volunteer roles available for interested alums, most of which require no more than a few hours a month. You can host events in your area for fellow alumni or become a class agent or class fund director. I highly recommend joining your reunion class committee. Learn more about how to become an alumni volunteer.

Attend a Virtual Event.

Although I understand feeling “Zoomed out,” there are some great virtual events that are being put on by the College or by alumni. They include trivia nights, spelling bees, virtual escape rooms, and much more. Check out the virtual events page to see what is coming up.

In closing, and on behalf of the eight of us that completed our Alumni Council terms this year (six of whom started together back in 2016), I want to say that it has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of the Alumni Council. We were reminded every day why we love Grinnell and saw the community thrive even in incredibly challenging times.

The Alumni Council members whose terms continue, and the new ones, will do a great job both keeping up the Council’s high standards and improving on them. I look forward to reading the next Alumni Council column, written by someone other than myself, and to continuing my service to Grinnell as a lifelong volunteer in a different role than I have held these past six years.

Share / Discuss