Featured Events

President Kington

Mar03

Grinnell Presidential Reception
6 - 8:30 p.m.
Grinnell, IA

Mar15

New York Presidential Reception
6 - 8:30 p.m.
New York, NY

Mar30

Twin Cities History Happy Hour
8:30 - 10 p.m.
Alexander Ramsey House

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News from Campus

Alumni News
Writers@Grinnell: Nichelle Tramble Spellman


Nichelle Tramble Spellman, award winning crime novelist, will read from her work and Nichelle Tramble Spellman photodiscuss writing on Thursday, March 2, as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 8 p.m. in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center (JRC) Room 101.


In addition, Nichelle Tramble will lead a roundtable discussion titled, "Writing for Prime Time Television" at 4:15 p.m. March 2nd in JRC 209.


Nichelle Tramble Spellman, a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, is a crime novelist with two published books, The Dying Ground and The Last King (Random House/Ballantine). The Dying Ground, a Best Book of 2001 by both the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle, was also shortlisted for the prestigious Zora Neale Hurston / Richard Wright Foundation’s Legacy Award. Nichelle has also been an Edward J. Albee Writer-in-Residence, and a Writing Fellow at the Ucross Foundation. Nichelle has developed television and feature film projects with HBO, F/X, Dreamworks and Warner Bros.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.


The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.







Students Craft Chopsticks from Campus Trees


Students lined up on the first floor of the Joe Rosenfield ‘25 Center Thursday evening, patiently waiting their turn to make a personal set of reusable chopsticks from wood harvested to make way for the new Humanities and Social Studies Complex.


“This is a great way to recycle wood from campus into something I can keep with me,” said Evan Feldberg-Bannatyne ’20, as he used a hand plane to smooth one of the four sides of one of his chopsticks.


“Plus,” he added, “my roommate is from Shanghai and he promised to help me master the art of eating with chopsticks.”


“This is a fun way to promote Asian culture,” said Rong Guo ’19 of China. “I like watching how the chopsticks are made. I use them, but I never knew how to make them.”


Hoang Cao ’19 puts his chopstick-wielding skills to the test by competing in the timed contest to transfer the most marbles from one bowl to another.While waiting for their turn at one of the four jigs, some students competed to see who could use chopsticks to transfer the most marbles from one bowl to another in 1 minute. Scores ranged from 0 to the winning total of 25.


No previous woodworking skills were needed, but it took most students from 15 to 20 minutes to use a special jig and planer to transform two slender sticks of walnut or sycamore into a smooth pair of chopsticks.


“I was impressed that so many students were willing to wait in line to make their chopsticks,” said Karen Edwards, associate dean and director of International Student Affairs. “They were enthusiastic about the chance to create a meaningful souvenir.


“Due to the popularity of the event,” Edwards added, “it will likely be repeated on other occasions this spring.” The next opportunity for students to make their own chopsticks will be during the Wellness Fair on Saturday, Feb. 25.


Sponsoring the inaugural chopstick-making event were Facilities Management, the Department of Chinese and Japanese, the Office of International Student Affairs, and the Institute for Global Engagement.


Photos courtesy of Takahiro Omura ’17.







Kumail Nanjiani ’01 to be 2017 Commencement Speaker


Los Angeles-based writer, actor, and comedian Kumail Nanjiani ’01 will be Grinnell's Commencement speaker on May 22, 2017.


Nanjiani's comedy special Beta Male made the "best of 2013" lists for Vulture, Village Voice, and the Onion AV Club. It was also chosen best comedy special of the year by Entertainment Weekly.


He's a recurring character on Portlandia, AdventureTime, and The Grinder, among others. He appears often in feature films, including Hell Baby, Sex Tape, Hello My Name is Doris, The Kings of Summer, and Five Year Engagement. Nanjiani currently plays the role of Dinesh on HBO's Silicon Valley.


A native of Pakistan, the computer science major got his comedic start at Grinnell's Bob's Underground Café.







Rainbow Connections


For the past thirty years, the Stonewall Resource Center (SRC) has served as a safe space for the campus’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community and their allies. In addition to community space, the Center offers a 2,000-volume library of queer literature. It is located in the lower level of Younker Hall, a residence hall on the north side of campus.


Student-Run Center Supports Bevy of Colorful Groups


The SRC also offers institutional support for nearly a dozen queer student organizations, which range from the serious to the silly. Some, like Queer Mental Health Group (QMHG), Transgender Advocacy Group (TAG), and Queer People of Color (QPOC), aim to promote activism and form community around specific subsets and intersections of queer identity.


Other groups are more playful, like All Boys Cinema (ABC) and Lesbian Movie Night and Organized Procrastination (LMNOP). In addition to hosting regular queer-themed movie nights at the SRC, ABC/LMNOP humorously co-opt Grinnell’s obsession with acronyms.


Groups shift from year to year, depending on student interest and involvement. “Last year, somebody realized that we didn’t have an active ‘men who like men’ group, so they started one,” says Lily Galloway ’17, SRC director. “They called it the Wilde Milk Society, after Oscar Wilde and Harvey Milk. It’s one of our most creatively named groups.”


Once approved by the Student Government Association, each group gains a spot on the Queer Leadership Council and is encouraged to plan activities during Pride Week and Queer Cultures Week. In prior years, these weeks have featured workshops, free HIV testing, body positive photoshoots, and keynote speakers like famed trans activist Janet Mock — to name a few.


For many Grinnellians, queer and straight alike, the high point of Pride Week and Queer Cultures Week is Drag Show. This biannual night of raucous, inclusive, gender-bending performances is sponsored by QPOC, and all proceeds are donated to organizations that advance social justice. Last year, funds went to a local reproductive health clinic; this year, to protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline.


The SRC Looks Forward


While the SRC has made great strides in the three decades since its founding, it still faces obstacles—both practical and ideological. Looking forward, Grinnellians are eager to secure the Center’s future for the next 30 years and beyond.


According to Galloway, top priorities include increasing the Center’s accessibility and visibility. With the recent and upcoming improvements to campus, Galloway would like to see the SRC move from its current, dated location to a newer spot that is more easily accessible to individuals with disabilities as well as to faculty, alumni, and other visitors.


“The fight is never going to be over,” says Galloway, “but hopefully we can be a small part of providing resources that [queer individuals] need, on an institutional and social level, to deal with the social shifts in attitudes that aren’t going to come in our lifetimes.”


Activating the Queer Alumni Community


Chris Wilde ’88 and other alumni are eager to help current students achieve these goals.


When Wilde was a student, he participated in the protest that led to the creation of the SRC in 1986. Thirty years later, he is encouraged by the progress he has observed on campus.


“As a Grinnell student, I was sort of naïve in thinking, oh yeah, someday we’ll be free,” he says. “But in those moments in the ’80s, it didn’t hit home in the way that it does now, when I come back to campus and see things like Drag Show, which is now this established tradition and one of the focal points of the year.”


Despite these victories, Wilde is quick to point out that much work remains to be done. In particular, he would like to strengthen connections between the campus community and the queer alumni base.


Rather than sit back and wonder “what if,” Wilde set out to create change. “I learned activism at Grinnell, and it altered my DNA in that way,” he explains. “In the spirit of what we did in the ’80s, I want to be active. If you don’t see the change that you want, be the change.”


Wilde partnered with Dan Davis ’16 to launch a private Facebook group for self-identified queer alumni. He has also worked with current SRC staff and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to ensure that Grinnell Connect, the College’s new networking platform, offers options for users to connect over shared identities. Users may search for mentors by affinity groups, and alumni can indicate that they are willing to mentor students from underrepresented populations.


Grinnell is also expanding its efforts to facilitate face-to-face connections among queer students and alumni. At the 30th anniversary celebration for the SRC, current students, staff, and faculty mingled with alumni, learned about the history of queer life at Grinnell, and discussed life after Grinnell through an LGBTQ lens.


Like the SRC itself, the anniversary weekend fulfilled a variety of purposes: some events sought explicitly to educate and activate, while other, less structured activities created space for cross-generational community-building.


“We’ve got such amazing talent within the queer alumni pool at Grinnell that has gone untapped until now,” Wilde says. “People want to be a part of this, and they are really excited to be able to finally be out and open, and also to connect with other people.”







John Price '60 to Speak on Republican Party


​The Path to Eisenhower: The Struggle for the Soul of the Republican Party


4 p.m. Thursday, December 1


Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101


John Price '60Find out about the history of the Republican party and hear first-hand experiences from the White House by John Price '60. Price is a life trustee of Grinnell College, former special assistant to President Nixon, and retired President and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.


Sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.


Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from Conference Operations and Events.


Important: The College welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases the College expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of College personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.







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