Kingston Courtyard and the HSSC Atrium on the campus of Grinnell College. The sky in the background is painted with oranges, yellows, and blues as the sun sets.

Humanities and Social Studies Center Celebration

Alumni Recitation Hall (ARH) and Carnegie Hall are iconic pieces of the Grinnell College campus; however, both building were designed and constructed more than a century ago with very different academic needs. 

The Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC) reimagines what an academic building should be in the 21st century while retaining and celebrating the heritage of ARH and Carnegie. The three story, 196,600 square feet center fully opened in 2021. It includes four pavilions — the new North and South pavilions and the restored ARH and Carnegie Hall — all connected by a central three-story atrium.

The HSSC Project Leadership Team, comprised of Grinnell College faculty and administrators along with architects from EYP and OPN, developed a set of goals for the project:

  • Bring all the social studies and non-fine arts faculty into a single complex to support interdisciplinary engagement
  • Create classrooms that were of sufficient size and configuration to support engaged learning
  • Provide support for modern technology
  • Develop spaces for student-faculty research
  • Incorporate spaces that build community
  • Celebrates the historic architecture of ARH and Carnegie
  • Utilize sustainability and principals of universal access throughout the design and construction process

It didn’t take long after opening for students to take advantage of the HSSC’s academic commons, research rooms, team rooms, and 39 technology-enriched classrooms. It has quickly become a premier campus spot to study and collaborate as well as a meeting and community event space. 

Grinnell College is delighted to have the community participate in dedicating the new HSSC facilities. Join trustees, faculty, staff, and students to celebrate the impact the new and renovated spaces are having on our campus community.

HSSC Dedication Weekend Schedule

Please note that this includes a sampling of the many events, lectures, and tours that will be offered. Times and days of specific events are subject to change. We encourage you to check the schedule when you arrive on campus for the most up-to-date version!

Friday, September 30

8 a.m.–4 p.m. - Class Visits, signup in JRC Lobby 
Stop by the registration desk to select a class to visit. Classes are 50-minute periods offered throughout the day on the hour starting at 8 a.m.

4:15 p.m. – Panel Discussion, HSSC Auditorium (Room A2231)
Join our panel as they discuss The Case for, and Impact of the HSSC on Teaching, Learning, and Community in the Humanities and Social Studies.

5 p.m. – Gallery Opening, Grinnell College Museum of Art Gallery
Paper Trails: Works on Paper from the Gaur Collection opening reception at the Grinnell College Museum of Art.

6:30 p.m. – HSSC Dedication Dinner, HSSC Atrium
Please note: This dinner is an invitation only event.

7 p.m. – Women’s Volleyball Game, Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center
The Grinnell Pioneers take on Beloit College.

7:30 p.m. – Jazz Ensemble Concert, Herrick Chapel

Saturday, October 1

9 a.m. – HSSC Open House, HSSC Atrium
Come explore the HSSC and enjoy light refreshments. Guided tours leave from the atrium at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., and 10:15 a.m. 

11:30 a.m. – HSSC Dedication Ceremony, Central Campus, Commencement Stage
Join the community to celebrate the ways the new and renovated spaces support teaching, learning, and collaboration. Rain location: Herrick Chapel

Noon – HSSC Dedication Community Lunch, Kington Plaza
Following the Dedication Ceremony, join us for an all-campus and community picnic in Kington Plaza. Rain location: JRC Marketplace

1 p.m. – Football Game, Rosenbloom Field
Cheer on the Pioneers as they take on Beloit College. 

2 p.m. – Grinnell Symphony Orchestra and Grinnell Singers Concert, Sebring-Lewis Hall, Bucksbaum Room 104
Two of Grinnell’s esteemed musical ensembles will combine forces for their first fall concerts.

2 p.m. – Neverland Players’ Performance, Wall Theatre Lab, Bucksbaum Room 154
The Neverland Players are a student organization who meet with local youth and help bring their imaginative stories to life. Join them for their fall, family-friendly production.

Sunday, October 2

10:30 a.m. – Interdenominational Christian worship service led by Dr. Orlan Mitchell ’55, Herrick Chapel 

1:30 p.m. – Women’s soccer game, Springer Field
The Pioneers take on Luther College.