A sketch of the new planned outdoor gathering space at the Hannah Alumni House.

Hannah Alumni House

1527 Broad Street

Grinnell College is proud to announce the purchase of 1527 Broad Street, a beautiful and historic home located two blocks northwest of Grinnell’s campus. This incredible space is the future home of the first Grinnell College Alumni House. 

At Grinnell College, we believe our alumni are the fabric of our institution, tailors of a rich and storied legacy that stretches nearly 200 years. The Alumni House will be a celebration of our history and a symbol of our bright future, a bridge connecting Grinnell alumni with cherished faculty, staff, and with new generations of students. 

Designed to welcome alumni and make their campus visit special, the Alumni House will be a gathering place for Grinnellians. The Alumni House will be the place for all Grinnell alumni to relax, socialize, network, and reminisce in a comfortable lounge among a collection of historical objects, artifacts, and photographs from the Grinnell College Archives. It’s a place that commemorates the exceptional legacy of our alumni, as well as the rich history of Grinnell College.

Honoring the Past

Jesse Fellows, Class of 1901
   Jesse Fellows,
   Class of 1901

The home was built by Jesse and Maude Fellows, both 1901 graduates of Grinnell College. Jesse Fellows was a principal partner in the Grinnell Washing Machine Company and an important leader in the growth of Grinnell in the early 20th century. Construction on the home was started in 1914 and was completed in 1918.

The exterior is a stunning European design with extensive outdoor space for for events and guest enjoyment. The Fellows House interior borrowed a great deal from the arts-and-crafts movement which was popular at the time of its construction. Leaded glass bookcases line the living room walls on both sides of the tile fireplace; stained-glass doors separate the dining room from the hall; and crafted oak woodwork decorates the entire interior, including the dining room where a leather-like material lines the walls above the chair rail and built-in cupboards.

The Fellows hosted many events at their beautiful home for College faculty, students and alumni. It is thus a fitting tribute to the hospitality of the Fellows that the College has purchased this home as a welcoming and inclusive space that fosters lifelong connections and meaningful interactions among alumni and the College community.

Renovation Details

The College is undertaking renovations to the Alumni House in two phases. Phase 1 started spring 2024 with significant changes to the home’s exterior, including landscape design and repairs to make both the inside and outside more accessible.

During phase two, several interior spaces will be transformed, creating opportunities for small, intimate gatherings, designing an alumni meeting room, establishing space for alumni archives, and furnishing modern guest rooms. 

An photo taken of the Fellows' home at 1527 Broad Street taken in 1915.

Fellows House (ca. late 2010s)

An photo taken of the Fellows' home at 1527 Broad Street taken in 2023.

Fellows House (2023)

A Place to Stay, Connect & Reminisce

Comfort and Convenience

The home features 5 guest rooms and amenities that will make a comfortable and enjoyable stay for our guests. The simple reservation process, similar to that at Grinnell House, will increase accessibility for our alumni visitors to stay near campus during their visits to Grinnell. 

Fostering Connections

We are dedicated to nurturing strong relationships among students, alumni, family, and friends with a primary focus on relationships between alumni and the campus community and among alumni. Through a myriad of events, programs, and initiatives, we facilitate the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and insights that can speak to both current and future generations of Grinnellians.

Celebrating Tradition

We honor the legacy of Grinnell College alumni by preserving their history and celebrating the College’s milestones through their experiences and achievements. We invite you to experience exhibitions of Grinnell artistic works by Grinnell alumni that highlight their creative talents as well as a curated collection of historical artifacts, objects and photographs from the Grinnell College Archives. 

Promoting Inclusivity

We are committed to creating a space that is open, accessible, and respectful of all voices and identities. Inclusivity is at the core of our mission, ensuring that every Grinnellian, past and present, feels valued and welcomed. 

Centered on Philanthropy

First floor layout of the Hannah Alumni House showing the planned meeting rooms, lounge and gallery area, dining room, and the guest apartment.
Second floor layout of the Hannah Alumni House showing the planned guest rooms.

For many years, we have desired to have a Grinnell Alumni House and the Fellows House is a wonderful opportunity moving us closer to that dream. Moreover, we can make this beautiful space work for a fraction of the cost it would take to construct a new building.

But, even at this stage, we cannot do it alone. This is where you can help.

We invite you to honor a fellow Grinnellian, or your own Grinnell experience, through a philanthropic investment in this unique project. We hope you will give serious thought to partnering with the College in providing your fellow alums a space that welcomes and celebrates them. For your consideration, the naming options are below and can be fulfilled over a three-to-five-year period:

$1M (RESERVED) – In recognition of a $1 million gift by Mary Emily Hannah ’58, the home will be called the Hannah Alumni House. The gift established an endowment that will support ongoing maintenance and programming. 

$150,000 (RESERVED) – A gift by Karmi Mattison ’97 will name the exterior garden event space behind Alumni House, which will be home to many future alumni and student events and gatherings.

$100,000 – Name the first-floor lounge and gallery where Grinnellian art and historical ephemera will be on display. 

$75,000 – Name the first-floor meeting room, guest apartment, or the dining room where generations of Grinnellians will gather for unique programming and events.

$50,000 – Name the kitchen or one of the home’s five guest bedrooms, which will welcome Grinnellians and provide a comfortable space for guests to stay during their campus visit.

For more information about how you can partner in our effort to celebrate Grinnell’s outstanding alumni, contact: 

Susan Kriegel 
Grinnell College, Office of Development & Alumni Relations
(641) 269-4955 or kriegels@grinnell.edu