Featured Events

Hands reached into a huddle


Multicultural Alumni Weekend
November 10 - 11
Grinnell, IA


Fall Athletic Weekend
September 1 - 3
Grinnell Campus


Bay Area Presidential Reception
6 - 9 p.m.
San Francisco, CA

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News from Campus

Alumni News
CULTURE. Exhibit

CULTURE.” Is now on display in Burling Gallery on the lower level.

Using a wide range of materials from Special Collections and Archives, this exhibit looks at black culture at Grinnell College and in Des Moines from the period of 1967 to 1973. CULTURE. highlights individuals that were dedicated to fighting for social justice and black consciousness. It also explores the legacy of these people and movements.

This exhibit was curated by Erik Henderson ’19.

Writers@Grinnell: Benjamin Percy

On Thursday, August 31, thriller author, comic book writer, and screenwriter, Benjamin Percy will read from his work and discuss writing as part of the Writers@Grinnell series at Grinnell College.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will start at 6 p.m. at the Pioneer Bookshop, located at 933 Main in downtown Grinnell.

In addition, Percy will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public, at 4:15 p.m. August 31 in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 209.

Benjamin Percy is the author of four novels — mostly recently, The Dark Net (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) — two books of short stories, and a book of essays. He writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series for DC Comics, and James Bond for Dynamite Entertainment. His fiction and nonfiction have been published in GQ, Esquire, Time, Men's Journal, the New York Times, and the Paris Review. His honors include a Whiting Award, an NEA fellowship, the Plimpton Prize, two Pushcart Prizes and inclusion in Best American Short Stories and Best American Comics.

Writers@Grinnell: Roy Scranton

Writers at GrinnellAward winning author, Roy Scranton will read from his work and discuss writing on Thursday, September 7, 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 Burling Lounge.

In addition, Scranton will lead a roundtable discussion, which is free and open to the public at 4:15 p.m. September 7 in the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 209.

Roy Scranton is the author of Learning to Die in the Anthropocene: Reflections on the End of a Civilization (City Lights, 2015) and the novel War Porn (Soho Press, 2016). His essays, journalism, short fiction, and reviews have appeared widely. In addition, Roy co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War (Da Capo, 2013). Roy's New York Times essay “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene” was selected for The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014, and his essay “The Terror of the New” was selected as a notable essay in Best American Essays 2015. He was the recipient of a Mrs. Giles G. Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities (2014–2015), won the Theresa A. White Literary Award for short fiction (2009), and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences at Rice University (2016). Roy’s current project, The Politics of Trauma: World War II and American Literature, is a critical genealogy of American World War II literature, tracing how a complex array of texts exploring the problem of the hero in industrial capitalism was obscured and displaced, during and after the Vietnam War, by a literary canon centered on narratives of American trauma.

Culmination of Chemistry's 2017 Summer Research Program

After training together, participating in group presentations, and working full time on research projects for ten weeks, the chemistry summer research students and their faculty mentors are a close-knit group. On July 27, 2017, the 35 summer research students in chemistry presented posters about their projects to the department and other curious people who wandered into the area near the entrance to  Burling Library. Before the department poster session, the group of students and faculty posed for the photograph below in T-shirts designed by the students. Then they celebrated the end of the research period by having lunch together at a local restaurant.

Some of these students will also take part in a poster session during Grinnell College's Family Weekend on September 23, 2017, and some will travel to an Undergraduate Research Symposium in physical sciences hosted by the Midstates Consortium for Mathematics and Science in November.


Students designed the group T-shirts seen in this photo of the chemistry summer research students, faculty, and staff.


The Black Experience at Grinnell College Through Collected Oral Histories and Documents, 1863-1954

Stuart A. Yeager ’85 was a student at Grinnell College when the 120th anniversary of the admission of the first black student was being celebrated in fall of 1983. Yeager gives the student body a composition that helps them fathom the life of a black student in a time when black Americans were looked at as a menace to society. Over the course of two and a half years to get the information needed for his manuscript, Yeager had personal interviews with black and white alumni of Grinnell College and towns members of Grinnell and got most of his information about the school from the students and going through documents found in the libraries. This project was inspired by him because he wanted to show his appreciation of the legacy left by black students to Grinnell College.

Yeager believes that the history of blacks in Grinnell prior to 1954 can be divided into three periods of time:

  • the ground-breaking era [1863-1913],

  • the inter-war years [1918-1937], and

  • the Hampton period [1947-1954].

During the fall of 1863, the acting principal of Iowa College was faced with a difficult decision of deciding if they were going to admit the institution’s first black student. He wrote to the Trustees for help with the decision; feelings differed between the Trustees but in the end they decided to admit the student. Although the first black student was admitted in 1863, Hannibal Kershaw 1879 became the institution's first black graduate. Today, a dormitory on East Campus is named after Kershaw. Between 1931 and 1937, the institution had only one black student on the campus, and then there was none enrolled between 1937 and 1947. To enhance the amount of black bodies on campus, the institution began the Hampton Exchange Program [1947-1954] which brought in up to three black students each spring semester. The institution enrolled forty-two students during that period. 

We encourage anyone with an interest to drop by Special Collections and look Yeager’s work in person. Special Collections and Archives summer hours are 1–4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment.

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