Scarlet & Give Back Day Raises $772,000

Surpasses expectations
Cindy Deppe

April 6 was a red-letter day for giving to Grinnell. The third annual Scarlet & Give Back Day was also a red hair day for Andy Hamilton ’85, director of athletics and recreation. 

Mike and Linda Bird Powers ’67, members of the 50-year reunion class, first issued a strong challenge to motivate Grinnellians:  If 3,000 alumni, students, parents, faculty, and staff would contribute during the 24-hour giving period, the couple would commit $500,000 to the College’s Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS), with emphasis on health professions.

“As we decided on making the commitment financially, we became particularly enamored by the CLS programs,” said Mike Powers. “Looking back at our Grinnell experiences, we both could have benefited from what the CLS has now and what it has the potential to offer with continuing support.”

Andy Hamilton getting his hair dyed redHamilton then posed his challenge to current and former athletes, parents, coaches, and athletics staff: If 750 individuals with a relationship to Pioneer athletics gave to Grinnell on April 6, he would dye his hair scarlet.

Donors responded to both challenges, Hamilton dyed his hair, and at the end of Scarlet & Give Back Day, 3,064 donors, including 806 with ties to athletics, invested more than $772,000, surpassing expectations.

Mae Parker, director of annual giving, said that Scarlet & Give Back Day is a “strong piece” within the College’s annual giving program.

“Whether on campus or around the world, Scarlet & Give Back Day brings the larger Grinnell community together for one day to support the place they’ve called home at one time or another in their lives.”

For Hamilton, who continues to sport varying shades of scarlet hair, the giving day offers the opportunity to connect with former teammates and athletes he’s coached. “Grinnellians invest in each other as part of teams while they are here, and we want the department to continue to provide this type of connection and engagement with current and former athletes and their parents.”

The date for the annual giving day is chosen within the campus’ spring “I ❤ GC Week.” Current students participate through events hosted by the Student Alumni Council, which works throughout the year to develop class affinity and the practice of philanthropy.

Scarlet & Give Back Day was introduced in 2015 and has generated a combined 6,440 donors and $3,010,140.80 during the annual 24-hour giving celebrations. To contribute before the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2017, contact 

the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 866-850-1846 or use the online giving form at

Scarlet and Give Back Day Celebrations


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