Aerial photo looking down on Gates Tower. Text: Parents and Family Giving

Family Capstone Giving

As you prepare to watch your student walk across the stage during Commencement and complete their transition from student to graduate, you’ll likely spend some time pondering the people and experiences that led to this moment: The professor who challenged them and pushed them out of their comfort zone; The research they conducted that introduced them to new ideas; The international travel and global learning that expanded their mind and opened their heart; The personal mentoring that instilled them with a new confidence.

These things — along with so many others — made the unique Grinnell experience that prepared your student for a meaningful life, rich with purpose, inquiry, passion, and engagement.

Today, creating future generations of Grinnellians to go forth into the world is more important than ever. To do so, we must ensure that the students of tomorrow have access to the same personalized education, professional opportunities, and meaningful experiences that are the hallmark of a Grinnell education.

A special way to celebrate your student while staying connected to Grinnell College and enriching the experience of students for years to come, is through Family Capstone Giving.

You are invited to honor your student and all their accomplishments by establishing a named family fund that supports an area of the College that is meaningful to your family. Family Capstone Funds are established with a minimum gift of $25,000 ($50,000 for endowments), which can be given over a five-year period. Please see this story for a wonderful example of a previous capstone gift by Hopkins Kaneoka Family honoring their graduating senior, Sean Hopkins ’22.

Once this initial commitment is realized, your family can continue to grow your fund for as long as you would like, and can be designated to support any number of campus priorities, including the Pioneer Fund, scholarships, transformational experiences, and athletics and club sports. 

Todd Kopelman ’96, Quinn Kopelman ’23, and Robin Cook Kopelman ’95.Kopelman Family

Todd Kopelman ’96, Quinn Kopelman ’23, and Robin Cook Kopelman ’95

“We wanted to honor Quinn's time at Grinnell by giving back to important spaces for him at the college, as well as showing our appreciation for the family Grinnell helped us create and the people we are all continuing to become because of our time there.”

A commencement cab features the Grinnell College Laurel Leaves Logo and a thank you message for the wearer's parents.

Pioneer Fund

Making greater things possible, by addressing the greatest needs and unforeseen opportunities. The Pioneer Fund provides unrestricted funds to Grinnell’s operating budget, which the College can expend as needed and as opportunities arise.


Students ride in the back of a rickshaw.

Transformational Experiences

The Grinnell College student experience simply wouldn’t be what it is today without an outstanding array of opportunities that enhance the classroom experience. From internships to study abroad, undergraduate research, or civic engagement, your family can further strengthen the robust co-curricular elements of a Grinnell education.

Two students and a professor in eye goggles interact in a chemistry lab.


An investment in scholarships helps make the Grinnell experience a reality for more students. It helps to create the leaders our world needs and ensures a diverse cohort of peers that enhances every student’s experience. Need and merit-based scholarships help Grinnell College shape a student body with capable, independent thinkers, doers, and creators, and helps us maintain our commitment to need-blind admissions and no-loan financial aid.


The Pioneer Women's Basketball team look cheer their teammates from the sidelines.

Athletics and Club Sports

From official NCAA varsity basketball to Ultimate, Grinnellians represent many different sports and all kinds of athletes. The student-athletes at Grinnell are top-tier competitors who commit themselves to competing for championships, preparing to be the leaders of tomorrow, and making fans everywhere proud of the scarlet and black.

Getting started

Grinnell College families who participate in Family Capstone Giving celebrate their student’s accomplishments, say thank you to the people who made a difference in their lives, and honor the fact that graduation is just the beginning of a life well lived. Thank you for joining us.

To establish a Family Capstone Fund or for more information, please contact Tina Popson ’97, associate director of parents and families program, at or 515-612-8477.