Message from the Grinnell Alumni Council Officers

Please read this message from the Alumni Council Officers in response to recent events in Grinnell.

Sent October 20, 2022

Dear fellow alumni,

We – the officers of the Grinnell College Alumni Council – wanted to share with you some thoughts and resources regarding the recent occurrences of racist harassment against Black students on the Grinnell College campus and in the town of Grinnell.  As a reminder, the Alumni Council is an independent, all-volunteer advisory group of 26 alumni whose mission is to help strengthen the bonds between alumni themselves as well as between alumni and students, faculty, and the administration and staff. 

We are not going to recount all the facts surrounding the recent incidents, but for background, here are links to several communications from the College and from the City, including some joint communications from both.   Our focus is on supporting the affected students and sharing with you this information about what both the College and the City are doing in immediate response.  The City and the College are also in discussions about longer-term, sustainable efforts to unite against racism.  

We know that you may want to provide support in various ways; what we see is that the College is seeking to take a deliberate approach to center the experiences of Black students in all efforts to formulate and implement solutions that work for them. Clearly, this approach takes time for discussion, for dialogue, for understanding and for defining the steps that need to be taken.  We’re sure there will be ways alumni can support this work, and as we learn more we will share these opportunities with all of you.

We also look forward to supporting the College in its continued partnership with the City of Grinnell as they prioritize our students’ safety and well-being and ensure that all students, present and future, feel welcome and safe on the campus and in the City of Grinnell. We will continue to provide updates and communications about this work as it unfolds. 


Robert Gehorsam ’76, President
Bernard Jackson ’86, President Elect
Lester Alemán ’07, Past President