Alumni Council Fall 2017 Summary

The Alumni Council met on campus Thursday, October 26 through Saturday, October 28. President Peter Calvert ’79 led the meetings which were attended by twenty four members of the Council. The following is a brief summary of the weekend’s work:

  1. New Council members Robert Ruhl ’76 (Seattle, WA); Philip Hales ’02 (New York, NY); Brigham Hoegh ’08 (Des Moines, IA) and Graciela Guzmán ’11 (Chicago, IL) were welcomed to their first campus Council meeting;
  2. Council members dined with faculty, staff, and student leaders at a welcome dinner at Relish and later enjoyed a fun trivia night event organized by the Student Alumni Council;
  3. Trustee Ed Senn ’79 provided an update on the work of the Fossil Fuels and Climate Impact Task Force, a committee of Trustees who are working with faculty, staff and students to study the issue of divestment from fossil fuels. Senn shared information on a series of campus dialogues held in September and October. He encouraged Council members to review the recorded presentations and to share thoughts with the Task Force before it makes a recommendation to the Board in April 2018;
  4. The Council heard an update report from Lakesia Johnson, assistant vice president and chief diversity officer and Maure Smith-Benanti, associate dean and director of intercultural affairs on the recent campus climate survey results as well as the work of the Council for Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Intercultural Affairs (ICA). A handout is attached outlining the many new and enhanced programs the expanded ICA staff is now offering to students;
  5. Over lunch, President Raynard Kington shared a campus update and delivered a presentation to the Council on the College’s work with the town of Grinnell to improve the “zone of confluence” or the areas of Grinnell adjacent to campus and those heavily trafficked by students;
  6. The faculty leaders of the Humanities and Social Studies Complex (HSSC) Leaders presented an update on the HSSC project to the Council, Class Agents, and Class Fund Directors and took questions from volunteers regarding the expected enhancements the facility will bring to the teaching and learning mission of the College. The session was led by Jim Swartz, Dack Professor of Chemistry and Keith Brouhle ’96, associate professor of economics;
  7. Council members participated in informal career conversations with students at the Friday evening GRINNELLINK reception co-sponsored by the Center for Careers, Life and Service;
  8. Sierra Silverwood ’18, Zala Tomasic ’18, and Victor Valle-Cruz ’18 reported on the work of the Student Alumni Council and presented the annual challenge to the Alumni Council to provide matching gifts as part of the Steven Kent ’67 Memorial Senior Class Gift;
  9. The Council approved a slate of ten alumni for receipt of a 2018 Alumni Award to be presented at Reunion 2018;
  10. Along with Class Agents and Class Fund Directors, the Council heard an update on Grinnell’s admission and financial aid outlook from Joe Bagnoli, vice president for enrollment and explored opportunities related to managing Grinnell’s brand gap in the higher education marketplace as we seek to recruit best-fit students and inspire alumni and donor support. Debra Lukehart, vice president for communication presented work the College is unfolding with Ologie, a Columbus, OH-based firm to enhance the College’s brand strategy and identity;
  11. The Council joined local alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students and friends for a Grinnell-in-Grinnell reception and dinner on Saturday night at the new downtown Hotel Grinnell.

Please email us if you have any questions or concerns. Our thanks for your continued interest in the work of the Council.

Peter Calvert ’79, alumni council president
Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05, director of alumni and donor relations