Pioneer Women’s Weekend: A Celebration of the Lost Generation of Grinnell Athletes

Pioneer Women's Honor G - 1950

From the beginning, women have been Grinnell athletes. But their playing fields were not always equal. It took the implementation of 1972's federal Title IX legislation to create formalized women's athletics teams. For decades, most women at Grinnell (and elsewhere) competed at great disadvantage and only for love of the game.

Whether or not you considered yourself an athlete at Grinnell, plan to participate in this special weekend celebrating and honoring the College's Pioneer women, whose efforts to compete — at the club level or through intramurals — paved the way for generations of proud Pioneer women student-athletes.

During the weekend, you will attend games and practices, tour campus and our new athletic facilities, enjoy the opportunity to reflect via our panels and keynote speakers, and spend time visiting with current student-athletes, coaches, and fellow alumnae athletes at our special celebratory receptions and meals.

Please consider joining us this spring for a wonderful weekend celebrating our Pioneer pride. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus!

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The Pioneer Women's Weekend Planning Committee

Anne Brineman Anderson '64
Connie Sloop Archea '67
Martha Grodzins Butt '64
Dee Fairchild, former athletic director
Ellen Brodsky Fuller '64
Pat Stahl Hubbell '64
Barbara Benda Jenkins '64
Phil King '64
Judy Kintner '85
Leanne Hoepner Puglielli '66

K. Allison Wickens '94

Weekend Activities

The Pioneer Women's Weekend is the perfect opportunity to spend time on campus with fellow alumni and to help share the story of pre-Title IX women's athletics with our current students. During the weekend, you'll have the opportunity to:

  • Attend a variety of physical education (and other) classes on Friday to assess how the curriculum has changed since you were on campus.
  • Rediscover what's changed and what has stayed the same by taking a tour of campus.
  • At our Friday evening welcome reception and dinner, visit with women who are current team captains and athletic leaders.
  • Explore the history of women's athletics at Grinnell and the evolution of our women's athletic program through two keynote presentations and a variety of alumnae panels.
  • Attend and watch a variety of women's athletic practices and contests.
  • Enjoy a special reception and banquet on Saturday evening celebrating all of our Grinnell women athletes.
  • Explore the Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center (Bear Center) which offers many facilities including recreational gymnasia, a running track, a state-of-the art fitness center and pool, and courts for basketball, racquetball, and tennis. Weekend participants will have full access to the center throughout the weekend, including special private swim hours.

Keynote Speakers

Karen BlumenthalKaren Blumenthal

Friday, 7 p.m.

Blumenthal is a long-time journalist and the author of 10 nonfiction books for adults and young people. She was a reporter, editor, and Dallas bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal for two decades and also wrote a personal finance column for the paper. Her first book was published in 2002; she has since written about a wide range of topics, including Starbucks, prohibition, Steve Jobs, and Title IX. Her award-winning book Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX was the first true history of this significant law.

Judy Lutter '61Judy Mahle Lutter '61

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.

Lutter exemplifies the Grinnell sprit of equality in sports and wellness. There were no opportunities for women to participate in sports when she was a Grinnell history major. After Grinnell, she discovered she was a talented runner; her 16th-place finish in the 1978 Boston marathon would give her a platform to pursue answers to many important questions that had never been asked about women’s health. In 1982, she co-founded the Melpomene Institute, with the goals of bringing cutting-edge health research to ordinary women and girls and developing programs to engage them in leading healthy lives. Lutter’s impact on Grinnell has been inspiring women for more than 35 years to be informed about their own health and has empowered them to ask questions and seek answers. A 2016 Grinnell College Athletics Hall of Fame inductee, Lutter has spent her career encouraging women of all ages and abilities to find the joys and benefits of a physically active life.


For your convenience, we have secured a discounted block of hotel rooms at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Grinnell. This rate expires April 7, 2017. To book your room, please contact the hotel directly at 641-236-5236 and indicate you are with “Pioneer Women’s Weekend” when making the reservation.

If you would like to make other arrangements, please check out a list of local accommodations.

Shuttle Information

Complimentary shuttle services to and from the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids airports will be available and can be reserved when completing your weekend registration. Complete flight information — including airline, flight number, and arrival/departure times — will be required if you need a shuttle.

A shuttle service between Grinnell-area hotels (near I-80) and the campus will be available Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. through 10 p.m. on an on-call basis. Detailed information about this campus shuttle will be provided upon arrival.