Numerous events for Grinnell alumni, friends on tap for 2019

Jan. 28, 2019 — Along with a new year, come new opportunities to connect with fellow alumni as well as students, faculty, staff, and friends at Grinnell College events.

The Office of Development Alumni Relations will host or partner on numerous 2019 events both in Grinnell and around the United States (not to mention occasional events held overseas). Some events are held annually while others are new or happen every few years.

While you may be aware of large-scale events like Reunion weekend or your local summer picnic, there are also numerous other events that are less widely known, but nonetheless contain excellent opportunities for connections, reminiscing, enlightenment, and fun. Most of the events are free or have a nominal charge.

Get your calendar ready, as you may want to consider making a note about some of the following event dates.

Feb. 17 – Grinnell-in-Des Moines: Lecture on Josiah Grinnell and the Underground Railroad

Grinnell Regional Planning networks are thriving in a dozen U.S. cities. Regional Planning Committees, like this one in Des Moines, hold several events throughout the year. Some get-togethers are service themed while others are social outings. All are great at building alumni affinity and connections. For details, check with the program coordinators or find the groups on social media.

Feb. 23, March 4, March 5 and April 4 – Grinnell Presidential Receptions in Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle and Washington D.C. (respectively)

President Raynard S. Kington is hitting the road for four receptions this winter and spring. DAR invites alumni, friends, parents, and prospective or future students to attend to learn about the latest happenings at the College. More cities will be added later to the schedule for fall receptions.

May 30-June 2 – Reunion and Alumni College

Although Grinnell alumni are welcome at Reunion any year, in 2019, we will celebrate the following classes: 1959-60 (60th Reunion), 1969 (50th Reunion) 1979-80 (40th Reunion) 1983-84-85 (35th Reunion), 1994 (25th Reunion), 2003-04-05 (15th Reunion), and 2009 (10th Reunion). The theme for Alumni College is Diversity is about all of us. Registration for both events opens Feb. 1.

June 8 – Global Day of Service

For the fifth time, Grinnellians around the world will celebrate their collective commitment to social responsibility with a day of service. Group projects typically take place in several cities or alums can complete independent service work. In 2018, over 250 Grinnellians completed more than 1,300 hours of service for Global Day of Service.

Reunion attendees ride through the streets of Grinnell.
Reunion attendees ride through the streets of Grinnell.

Summer picnics and RAGBRAI

Each summer, DAR partners with alumni around the country to host 20-25 summer picnics. A list of 2019 summer picnics will be added to the Summer Picnic page in late spring. Another entertaining Iowa summer tradition is RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa). For the past six years, Team Grinnell – a group of Grinnell College alumni and friends of the College – has rode their bikes across Iowa together. RAGBRAI 2019 will be July 21-27.

Sept. 13-14 – Will and Evelyn Freeman retirement celebration

An era is coming to a close in Grinnell cross country and track & field with the retirement of Will and Evelyn Freeman who have coached at the College since 1980. Will leads the men’s teams while Evelyn coaches the women’s squads. They have led the Pioneers to an incredible 51 Midwest Conference cross country and track championships. Their many accomplishments will be celebrated during this weekend in Grinnell.

The Multicultural Alumni Committee meet during Volunteer Weekend 2018
The Multicultural Alumni Committee meet during Volunteer Weekend 2018.

Nov. 8-10 – Multicultural Alumni Weekend

Alumni are invited to Grinnell for the second Multicultural Alumni Weekend. Diversity and inclusion have long been core values of Grinnell College. This weekend is designed to strengthen relationships between the College, alumni of color, LGBTQIA+ alumni, alums with disabilities, international student alumni, Jewish alumni, and first-generation alumni. Participants will build community by sharing their individual and collective stories with each other, students, faculty, and staff.

—by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations keeps an up-to-date alumni and friends events calendar, which includes links to event and registration details. More information about DAR’s signature events can be found here

To read more alumni news, check out our news archive.