Featured Events

President Kington

Feb 24

Denver Presidential Reception
6 – 8:30 p.m.
Denver, CO


Grinnell-in-DC Knitting Party
3 - 5 p.m.
Washington, DC


Seattle Presidential Reception
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Seattle, WA

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News from Campus

Alumni News
Kumail Nanjiani ’01 to be 2017 Commencement Speaker

Los Angeles-based writer, actor, and comedian Kumail Nanjiani ’01 will be Grinnell's Commencement speaker on May 22, 2017.

Nanjiani's comedy special Beta Male made the "best of 2013" lists for Vulture, Village Voice, and the Onion AV Club. It was also chosen best comedy special of the year by Entertainment Weekly.

He's a recurring character on Portlandia, AdventureTime, and The Grinder, among others. He appears often in feature films, including Hell Baby, Sex Tape, Hello My Name is Doris, The Kings of Summer, and Five Year Engagement. Nanjiani currently plays the role of Dinesh on HBO's Silicon Valley.

A native of Pakistan, the computer science major got his comedic start at Grinnell's Bob's Underground Café.

Rainbow Connections

For the past thirty years, the Stonewall Resource Center (SRC) has served as a safe space for the campus’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community and their allies. In addition to community space, the Center offers a 2,000-volume library of queer literature. It is located in the lower level of Younker Hall, a residence hall on the north side of campus.

Student-Run Center Supports Bevy of Colorful Groups

The SRC also offers institutional support for nearly a dozen queer student organizations, which range from the serious to the silly. Some, like Queer Mental Health Group (QMHG), Transgender Advocacy Group (TAG), and Queer People of Color (QPOC), aim to promote activism and form community around specific subsets and intersections of queer identity.

Other groups are more playful, like All Boys Cinema (ABC) and Lesbian Movie Night and Organized Procrastination (LMNOP). In addition to hosting regular queer-themed movie nights at the SRC, ABC/LMNOP humorously co-opt Grinnell’s obsession with acronyms.

Groups shift from year to year, depending on student interest and involvement. “Last year, somebody realized that we didn’t have an active ‘men who like men’ group, so they started one,” says Lily Galloway ’17, SRC director. “They called it the Wilde Milk Society, after Oscar Wilde and Harvey Milk. It’s one of our most creatively named groups.”

Once approved by the Student Government Association, each group gains a spot on the Queer Leadership Council and is encouraged to plan activities during Pride Week and Queer Cultures Week. In prior years, these weeks have featured workshops, free HIV testing, body positive photoshoots, and keynote speakers like famed trans activist Janet Mock — to name a few.

For many Grinnellians, queer and straight alike, the high point of Pride Week and Queer Cultures Week is Drag Show. This biannual night of raucous, inclusive, gender-bending performances is sponsored by QPOC, and all proceeds are donated to organizations that advance social justice. Last year, funds went to a local reproductive health clinic; this year, to protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The SRC Looks Forward

While the SRC has made great strides in the three decades since its founding, it still faces obstacles—both practical and ideological. Looking forward, Grinnellians are eager to secure the Center’s future for the next 30 years and beyond.

According to Galloway, top priorities include increasing the Center’s accessibility and visibility. With the recent and upcoming improvements to campus, Galloway would like to see the SRC move from its current, dated location to a newer spot that is more easily accessible to individuals with disabilities as well as to faculty, alumni, and other visitors.

“The fight is never going to be over,” says Galloway, “but hopefully we can be a small part of providing resources that [queer individuals] need, on an institutional and social level, to deal with the social shifts in attitudes that aren’t going to come in our lifetimes.”

Activating the Queer Alumni Community

Chris Wilde ’88 and other alumni are eager to help current students achieve these goals.

When Wilde was a student, he participated in the protest that led to the creation of the SRC in 1986. Thirty years later, he is encouraged by the progress he has observed on campus.

“As a Grinnell student, I was sort of naïve in thinking, oh yeah, someday we’ll be free,” he says. “But in those moments in the ’80s, it didn’t hit home in the way that it does now, when I come back to campus and see things like Drag Show, which is now this established tradition and one of the focal points of the year.”

Despite these victories, Wilde is quick to point out that much work remains to be done. In particular, he would like to strengthen connections between the campus community and the queer alumni base.

Rather than sit back and wonder “what if,” Wilde set out to create change. “I learned activism at Grinnell, and it altered my DNA in that way,” he explains. “In the spirit of what we did in the ’80s, I want to be active. If you don’t see the change that you want, be the change.”

Wilde partnered with Dan Davis ’16 to launch a private Facebook group for self-identified queer alumni. He has also worked with current SRC staff and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to ensure that Grinnell Connect, the College’s new networking platform, offers options for users to connect over shared identities. Users may search for mentors by affinity groups, and alumni can indicate that they are willing to mentor students from underrepresented populations.

Grinnell is also expanding its efforts to facilitate face-to-face connections among queer students and alumni. At the 30th anniversary celebration for the SRC, current students, staff, and faculty mingled with alumni, learned about the history of queer life at Grinnell, and discussed life after Grinnell through an LGBTQ lens.

Like the SRC itself, the anniversary weekend fulfilled a variety of purposes: some events sought explicitly to educate and activate, while other, less structured activities created space for cross-generational community-building.

“We’ve got such amazing talent within the queer alumni pool at Grinnell that has gone untapped until now,” Wilde says. “People want to be a part of this, and they are really excited to be able to finally be out and open, and also to connect with other people.”

John Price '60 to Speak on Republican Party

​The Path to Eisenhower: The Struggle for the Soul of the Republican Party

4 p.m. Thursday, December 1

Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101

John Price '60Find out about the history of the Republican party and hear first-hand experiences from the White House by John Price '60. Price is a life trustee of Grinnell College, former special assistant to President Nixon, and retired President and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

Sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.

Important: The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

Firsthand Stories from Standing Rock

7:30 p.m. Monday, November 28

JRC 101

November is Native American Month, and the World is watching. Grinnell College has an opportunity to hear firsthand stories about the fight to protect Mother Earth and the water — "Mni Wiconi: Water is Life."

Listen to Tyler Lasley, Mary YoungBear, Quinton Pushetonequa, Bewan Wanatee, LaVern Jeffereson, and Leah Slick-Driscoll from the Meskwaki Nation; Jenna Thomas from Rosebud Sioux, Rev. Wendy Abrahamson, pastor at St. John’s Episcopal Church, and students from Grinnell share their experiences and their involvement at Standing Rock.  

Also joining the frontlines, Prolific the Rapper, a Native American artist who has been an active participant in the Standing Rock Movement. He has incorporated the events from Standing Rock into his music and videos, as seen here on YouTube. Prolific the Rapper will perform his music and share his unique story regarding his involvement with the pipeline and the local officials.

Program Sponsors: Co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program, SGA, Peace and Conflict Studies, and the Education, Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Art Departments

Writers@Grinnell: Gabrielle Calvocoressi

Award winning author Gabrielle Calvocoressi will read from her work and discuss writing onGabrielle Calvocoressi Image Thursday, Nov. 17, as part of Writers@Grinnell. The event, which is free and open to the public will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

In addition, Calvocoressi will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 17 in Rosenfield Center, Room 209.

Gabrielle Calvocoressi is the author of The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart and Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A recipient of awards and fellowships from, among others, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, The Paris Review, Civitella di Ranieri, and The Lannan Foundation, she teaches in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and UNC Chapel Hill. She is Senior Curator at the Voluble, a new online maker's space for artists and critics and an editor at large at Los Angeles Review of Books. Her third book of poems, Rocket Fantastic, is forthcoming in 2017. She is at work on a memoir entitled, The Year I Didn't Kill Myself. She is an LGBTQ human living in the state of North Carolina.

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