Reunion FAQ

Categories

Reunion Basics

What is Reunion Weekend?
How much does Reunion Weekend cost?
How do I register?
Where do I park?
Where will I stay?
I have a particular need(s) related to accessibility. What should I do?
What is the registration fee for Reunion?

I have made it to campus, what do I do first?

Activities

What is there to do during Reunion Weekend?
Are there going to be family friendly activities?
Will there be alcohol?
I keep hearing about this "Alumni Assembly" - what is that?

Who will be there?

Are non-reunion classes invited?
Are spouses/partners/significant others/kids invited?
Will former coaches and professors be there?
How can I find out if someone from my class is going to be there?
May I bring my Golden Retriever?

Travel and Accommodations

I know my way to campus, but where do I go once I'm there?
So I just remembered Grinnell doesn't have an international airport, how do I get to Grinnell from the airport?
Can I room with my friends?
What is the family dorm?
I wonder if I could carpool with some friends to Grinnell?
What kind of computer and telephone access will be available?
May I use the pool, gym, and other athletics facilities?

Meals

Do I have to purchase meals when I register? Can’t I just wait and purchase them when I get there?
Are there any meals served on Thursday for those who arrive for Reunion?
I didn’t see the Honor G Lunch on the schedule! Was this a mistake?
I have a special dietary need.  Will the College be able to accommodate me?

Other Fantastic Questions

What if the weather is bad?
I didn't pre-register. Can I still attend?
Oh, darn it! I need to cancel my reservation. What do I do?
I'd rather not stay for the whole weekend. Is that okay?
Will the Grinnell College Bookstore be open?
Will I have to pay for my children's meals?
Well, I have read this entire list of questions and my question is still not answered. What do I do now?

Reunion Basics

What is Reunion Weekend?

Reunion is the largest Grinnell alumni event held each year. Alumni return to the College to rekindle connections with classmates, enjoy lively conversations and lectures, explore the current campus, and revisit their past.  

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How much does Reunion Weekend cost?

Please take a moment and review the Reunion and Alumni College fees list.

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How do I register?

Reunion 2018 registration is now open. Alumni will also receive a registration packet in the mail in March. The packet will contain registration forms and information about the schedule of events. If you misplace your registration information, contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at 866-850-1846.

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Where do I park?

Parking is available in several lots throughout campus.  If you arrive during the week, anytime before Friday at 5 p.m., please be sure to park in the student or visitor spaces, or on the street (paying close attention to the signage). During the weekend, anytime after 5 p.m. on Friday, you may also use the faculty/staff parking spaces across campus.

Please review this map of campus with the parking areas listed.

Golf cart service is available throughout the weekend to all Reunion attendees. Once on campus, simply call the Transportation Desk (x4403) from any campus phone or  to request a ride. Golf cart service is available whenever the registration desk is open.

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Where will I stay?

Relive your student experience by staying in on-campus housing (residence halls) during your reunion. Campus apartments are reserved for families with small children.

Accommodations include twin beds (sheets, a blanket, a pillow and towels are provided) and minimal furnishings. There are no private bathrooms. Please note that housing reservations are not confirmed until payment is received. All rooms are single unless specific roommate requests are placed with your registration.

Reunion weekend housing is provided for a cost ($50 per adult and $25 per child). This fee permits alumni and guests to stay in the on-campus residence halls. Most guests arrive on Thursday evening or Friday morning.  Check out is by 1:30pm on Sunday.

Alumni College participants must pay a separate housing fee. Alumni College housing is provided for $50.  Check in begins on Tuesday night and housing is provided through noon on Friday.  

Grinnell tries to keep members of a Reunion class together in the same dorm whenever possible.  Register early to make sure you are with your class.  

If you prefer to stay off-campus, a list of area accommodations is available.

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I have some particular needs related to accessibility. What should I do?

Grinnell College is committed to making its campus accessible to persons with disabilities. However, not all areas of campus are fully accessible. Click here to view a variety of campus accessibility resources. Individuals who have special needs should contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (866) 850-1846. 

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What is the registration fee for Reunion Weekend?

The registration fee is a nominal charge assessed to all attendees. Grinnell College strives to make Reunion and Alumni College affordable and accessible events for all participants and the registration fee partially subsidizes general costs like golf cart rentals, student worker wages, refreshments, the Reunion family carnival and the Reunion dance. This registration fee, along with other fees you may pay to attend Reunion Weekend and specific events, by no means covers the overall cost to the College for the Weekend. If you have further questions about the reunion registration fee, please contact Reunion coordinator Paige Everly at everlypa@grinnell.edu or (866) 850-1846.

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I have made it to campus, what do I do first?

When you arrive on campus, your first stop should be the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center (JRC), 1115 8th Ave., to visit the registration desk and pick up your Reunion materials. The hours for the registration desk are as follows:

  • Tuesday (Alumni College arrivals): 3:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: (Reunion arrivals begin): 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 8:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Late Arrivals: If you arrive after the registration desk has closed, please visit the Security Office (1432 East St., corner of East St./10th Ave.). You will be let into your room, but you will need to come to the registration desk the next morning to pick up your registration materials.

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Activities

What is there to do during Reunion Weekend?

Reunion Weekend includes many different events. You can participate in some or all — it's up to you. Among the weekend activities and programs are the following:

  • Campus tours, featuring the new and renovated buildings on campus
  • Alumni Assembly, featuring the Alumni Award winners
  • Musical performances
  • Faculty and alumni panels, lectures, and workshops
  • Receptions and dinners with classmates, including an all-Reunion picnic on Friday night.
  • Evening entertainment each night
  • 5K Walk and Run

Be on the lookout for the preliminary schedule in January close to the registration opening February 1. 

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Are there going to be family friendly activities?

Bringing the whole family to Reunion? Join in some family activities on Friday afternoon: a family-friendly scavenger hunt, and Family Fun Time. There will be inflatables and lots of other activities for all ages. Child care will also be available with a variety of activities for each age group.

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Will there be alcohol?

Drinks are complimentary at the Saturday night social hour, dinner, and dance. For all other Reunion events, alumni and guests must provide their own alcohol.

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I keep hearing about this "alumni assembly"--what's that?

On Saturday afternoon, classes gather in Herrick Chapel for the Alumni Assembly. The ceremony recognizes outstanding alumni with the presentation of the annual Alumni Awards and includes remarks from President Raynard S. Kington. All alumni, family members, and guests are encouraged to attend.

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Who will be there?

Are non-reunion classes invited?

Yes, alumni who are not part of an official reunion class but who would like to attend are welcome to do so.

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Are spouses/partners/significant others/kids invited?

Absolutely! We encourage returning alumni to bring their entire families. Most activities and programs are open to anyone who is on campus for the weekend.

In fact, we have many program offerings specifically geared to families and children.  If you enroll your child in one of our children's programs (available at an additional charge), your child will enjoy a scavenger hunt to help them get to know the campus, special crafts, and other activities designed to make sure they have just as much fun as you do at Reunion! There is a traditional childcare program for young children starting at 6 weeks, Camp Grinnell for school age children, and a teen program.  See our Child Programs page for more details.

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Will former coaches and professors be there?

Yes. Faculty, coaches, and staff are invited to attend various meals and functions during the weekend. Additionally, each class committee selects honored faculty and staff to attend the class/cluster social hour and dinner on Saturday night. Inquire with your class committee on who will be the honored guests at your class dinner.

Also, many former and current coaches attend the Pioneer Athletics Reception at the Grinnell College Golf Course on Friday afternoon. Register for this special event to get some time with your favorite coaches and hear a brief update about Grinnell athletics today.

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How can I find out if someone from my class is going to be there?

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will regularly post and update a list of Reunion registrants on the Reunion website. This list will be available in mid-February after registration has opened.

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May I bring my Golden Retriever?

Service animals are welcome at Reunion. For safety reasons, please do not bring pets or other non-service animals to Reunion. It can be harmful for the animals, as well as the people who encounter them.

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Travel and Accommodations

I know my way to campus but where do I go once I'm there?

Your first stop should be the Reunion Registration Desk, located in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, directly on 8th Avenue. Upon arrival, alumni can check in and receive a packet with housing and meal information, maps, weekend schedules, class memorabilia, discount coupons to the Grinnell Bookstore, and nametags.

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So I just remembered Grinnell doesn't have an international airport, how do I get to Grinnell from the airport (or train station)?

Shuttle service is available for Reunion Weekend attendees who are arriving or departing from the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids airports. Shuttle service is also available for the Ottumwa Amtrak station. Please call our office toll-free at (866) 850-1846 to make arrangements for an Amtrak shuttle. Please visit our airport shuttle page for more information.

Please also check out our Ride Share board. Please note, you must be logged in to see the Ride Share board.

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Can I room with my friends?

Yes, alumni may request to be paired with a roommate for the weekend.  Be sure that you both request each other as a roommate when you register!  

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What is the family dorm?

The family dorms are dorms specifically set aside for families with young children.  We try to ensure that families can have access to shared kitchens and living spaces where kids can have a little more freedom to run and be kids.  Family may be placed in the apartment style dorms where they share the common areas with just one or two other families or on traditional dorm floors, where they share a common kitchen, bath, and living space with other families.  Either way, the atmospheres are more conducive to small children, where naptimes and quiet evenings may be necessary.  

If you need accommodations for your family, please select "Family Dorm" on your registration form. Please note that these rooms/apartments are extremely limited.  If you desire a family dorm, please register early.  We also ask that you be considerate of the small number of these special rooms available and only request the family dorm if you are traveling with children. 

If you have special requests, please call 866-850-1846 and ask to speak to Paige Everly. We are happy to make every effort to find suitable campus accommodations for your family.  

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I wonder if I could carpool with some friends to Grinnell?

Visit the Ride Board to post your travel plans and connect with others in your city or area who might be traveling to Reunion and interested in sharing a ride. 

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What kind of computer and telephone access is available?

The residence hall rooms are no longer equipped with telephones but each dorm floor will have a common phone for on campus and local calls only. Other public phone access on campus is limited and will only be available on campus during standard business hours except in case of emergency.

Burling Library will be open throughout Reunion weekend for computer use. Computers will also be available near the help desk, in the JRC, for printing of boarding passes and other travel documents. If you choose to bring your personal computer to campus, you will need to pick up information regarding the Grinnell College guest username and password at the Reunion Registration Desk.

Each residence hall room has internet access available with a standard Ethernet port. Wireless internet for laptops is available in the first-floor lounges of all residence halls and in all academic buildings. Instructions on how to connect to the internet will be provided in your Reunion instruction packet when you arrive on campus.

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May I use the pool, gym, and other athletics facilities?

Grinnell's athletics facilities are available for returning alumni and their guests. Take a swim, play racquetball, or use the indoor track in the Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center. Free weights, exercise bicycles, treadmills, and rowing machines are available in the fitness center. Play a tennis match at the outdoor courts. Times vary and will be available when you arrive on campus.

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Meals

Do I have to purchase meals when I register? Can’t I just wait and purchase them when I get there?

We do have a limited number of tickets for all meals available for purchase at Reunion. However, meal tickets purchased on site will cost an additional $5 per ticket.

Less food and resources are wasted when people purchase their meals ahead of time. This practice allows us to plan food quantities and preparation appropriately throughout the weekend.

If you are thinking of waiting to purchase your meals, we advise you to, in the least, purchase dinners and any special meals your class might be hosting, in advance. This includes your class dinner and may include (depending on your Reunion year) the 50th or Golden Luncheon, or the 25th Reunion breakfast. For these meals, it is important to be able to judge what space is needed, how many tables will need to be set up, and how much product to buy and produce to make the meal and create the experience that our alumni have come to expect. For these reasons, extra tickets for these meals are extremely limited.

For most breakfasts and lunches, which are “through the line” at the Marketplace in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, we have larger numbers of tickets available for purchase on site.

There is the option of ordering a sandwich or purchasing a premade salad or sandwich in the Spencer Grill, also located in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Although they are not set up to accommodate a large number of people for meals so, at times, waits may be long.

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Are there any meals served on Thursday for those who arrive for Reunion?

Although you are welcome to arrive on Thursday, there are no meals served for Reunion attendees until breakfast on Friday.

We do offer a shuttle to downtown Grinnell every half hour from 3-9 p.m. on Thursday. This is a great time to try one of our local restaurants. In addition, the Spencer Grill in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center is open in the afternoon. You can purchase light fare, including salads and sandwiches at the Grill. Finally, there is the option of having something delivered. Delivery information will be available at the Information Desk when you arrive.

You can check out the variety of local restaurants before you arrive or make a reservation if you would like to plan ahead.

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I didn’t see the Honor G Lunch on the schedule! Was this a mistake?

We no longer offer the Honor G Lunch at Reunion.

Based on several years of feedback from alumni, who wanted more social time and less sit-down meal time, we replaced the luncheon with the Honor G Reception after the Golf Outing on Friday afternoon.

In 2018, we changed the name of this event to the Pioneer Athletics Reception to reflect the broad range of athletes that we welcome at this reception – including women athletes who were not in Honor G, and our many alumni who, as students, participated as team managers, worked in athletics, or who were active in intramurals, but may have not been a formal member of Honor G. Anyone who is interested in Grinnell athletics is encouraged to attend this reception which begins at 3 p.m. on Friday.

We do ask that people pre-register for this event, although there is no additional cost to attend.

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I have a special dietary need. Will the College be able to accommodate me?

We do our best to accommodate special diets and we are happy to provide vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, and gluten free meals and options. We are also happy to accommodate most allergies. Please make sure you let us know on your registration so that we can plan appropriately.

That being said, we realize that some diets are so specialized we may be unable to make proper arrangements within our food service. However, we will still try to help individuals attend reunion by making other accommodations within reason. For instance, we can make sure people have access to a kitchen in a dorm where they can prepare their own food. If you have very specialized needs, please contact Paige Everly, associate director of alumni and donor relations.

Please note: If you or someone in your family has a nut allergy, please be aware that our kitchen does prepare nuts and we do offer peanut butter at every meal. Although we do our best to keep these ingredients separated from other ingredients, there is the possibility of cross-contamination.

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Other Fantastic Questions

What if the weather is bad?

Some events may be moved inside, but with traditional Pioneer spirit, our Reunion celebrations will continue rain or shine.

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I didn't pre-register. Can I still attend?

Yes, although alumni are strongly encouraged to register in advance. Some events have limited capacities and sell out quickly, and we cannot guarantee the availability of rooms or dining services if you have not registered in advance.

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Oh, darn it! I need to cancel my reservation. I'm sorry, but what do I do?

If cancellation of an on-campus room or a Reunion reservation is necessary, please call the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (866) 850-1846.

Please note that we confirm reservations for meals, linens, etc. based on your reservations by Friday, May 4. Therefore, individuals will be refunded in full for cancellations made prior to Friday, May 4, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. If you cancel after this date and before Friday May 11 at 5 p.m. Central time, you will be refunded for half of the overall cost of your registration. Cancellations received after Friday, May 11 5 p.m. Center time will not receive a refund. 

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I'd rather not stay for the whole weekend. Is that okay?

Yes. All Reunion event and meals can be done on an a la carte basis. You may sign up for only those events which you are able to attend.

All registrants, regardless of the length of their stay, will pay the registration fee. Also, please note that housing is a flat fee and cannot be prorated.

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Will the Grinnell College Bookstore be open?

Yes!  The Bookstore is open during Alumni College and Reunion. The specific hours will be available in your schedule booklet when you arrive on campus.

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Will I have to pay for my children's meals?

Children 4 years old and younger eat for free.  For children 5-17, meals are available at a discounted rate.

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Well, I have read this entire list of questions and my question is still not answered. What do I do now?

For more information, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (866) 850-1846 or by email.

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