Grinnell’s commitment to social justice and serving the common good is reflected in the College’s strong philosophy of student self-governance and personal responsibility, as well as in campus programs and initiatives that encourage students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the larger community to learn about civic issues and effect positive social change. Each year through various scholarships, fellowships, and awards, the College recognizes individuals for outstanding commitment and innovation in serving the common good.

Alumni Awards

The Grinnell College Alumni Council selects up to fifteen alumni to receive Alumni Awards at Reunion every year. The Alumni Award recognizes individuals who embody Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service. Recipients have distinguished themselves by their service to their careers, their community, and/or the College.

Alumni Senior Awards

Members of the graduating class nominate potential honorees from among their classmates. This award honors those students who best exemplify the Grinnell spirit and to whom the class will continue to look for leadership as they become the newest members of the alumni community. 

The Alumni Senior Awards are announced and presented by the Alumni Council at Baccalaureate prior to Commencement.

Joseph F. Wall ’41 Service Award

During Grinnell College’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1996, the Joseph F. Wall ’41 Service Award was established as a tribute to the college’s 150-year tradition of social commitment. The award was named in honor of Joseph Wall '41, professor of history and longtime dean of the College, who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his students.

Lori Ann Schwab '95 Prize for Community Service

The Lori Ann Schwab ’95 Prize for Community Service is a $1,800 award given annually by Grinnell College to recognize a senior student's service to the campus and local community during their time here. Although there are no restrictions on the use of the award, the recipient will be strongly encouraged to donate at least $500 to an organization with which they volunteered while at Grinnell. The recipient is announced during the Commencement weekend Baccalaureate program.

Lori Ann Schwab '95 Alumni Grant

Lori Ann Schwab '95 was committed to making the world a better place by helping others, but her life was cut short by a sudden illness while she was studying in London in 1994. The Lori Ann Schwab '95 Alumni Grant recognizes the ongoing community service of Grinnellians who were at the College with Lori. The grant provides stipends to support specific projects or fulfill the needs of nonprofit service organizations or public schools in which these individuals are significantly involved.

Grinnell Prize

The Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize (The Grinnell Prize) honors individuals who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment, and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each prize carries an award of $100,000, half to the winning individual(s) and half to their organization.

Athletic Hall of Fame

The Grinnell College Athletics Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding alumni athletes whose performance in their sport(s) was exceptional. The Hall of Fame also may honor those Grinnell coaches, staff personnel, and others in the College community who have made extraordinary contributions to Grinnell athletics by means other than varsity competition.