Alumni Council Spring 2018 Summary

The Alumni Council met on campus Thursday, March 1 through Saturday, March 3 for its spring meeting. President Peter Calvert ’79 led the meetings which were attended by twenty two members of the Council.

The following is a brief summary of the weekend’s work:

  1. Council members dined with faculty, staff, and student leaders at a welcome dinner at Relish and later enjoyed a fun game night event organized by the Student Alumni Council at Bob’s Underground;  
  2. Over breakfast, President Raynard Kington provided a campus update and took questions from the Council on a broad range of topics. President Kington and Adam Laug, director of development, presented an update on the College’s recent evaluation and revision of the Gift Acceptance Policy and discussed the community conversation unfolding around past gifts from Helen Redmond and Pete Brownell. The Council provided alumni feedback on this complicated topic under consideration;
  3. Under the leadership of Immediate-Past President Angela Onwuachi-Willig ’94, the Council discussed and voted on two changes to the Alumni Awards program which will go into effect in 2019: first, the Council may award up to 15 awards with additional consideration given to nominees from the 50th and 25th Reunion classes which may now have four and three awards respectively. Second, the Council created a three-year waiting period for former Council members before they will be eligible for receipt of an Alumni Award. This waiting period is waived for members whose next reunion will be the 40th or beyond;
  4. The Council spent time meeting with the seven new career communities’ directors from the Center for Careers, Life and Service (CLS). The Council members spent time in small groups and were asked to provide feedback on alumni engagement with this emerging program which is designed to support students’ career exploration. The seven career communities include: Careers in Education, Business and Finance; STEM; Government and Social Services; Healthcare; Law; and Arts, Media and Communications;
  5. The Council joined a diverse group of faculty representing all three academic divisions for an informal lunch on Friday to enhance the Council connections to this important partnership area; 
  6. Council members participated in informal career conversations with students at a Friday evening GRINNELLINK reception co-sponsored by the Center for Careers, Life and Service;
  7. On Friday evening, enjoyed dinner with a broad group of students involved in the Student Alumni Association and Senior Class Gift Committee at the Grinnell Steakhouse.
  8. Each of the standing committees of the Alumni Council presented reports on their work since the fall meeting;
  9. An ad hoc committee, chaired by Lara Szent-Gyorgyi ’89, engaged the Council in a strategic planning discussion focused on ways to enhance the Council’s visibility, representative capacity, and impact. The committee report was accepted and the Executive Committee will work to distribute responsibility for implementation of the report recommendations to the various standing committees for 2018-19;
  10. Daria Guzzo ’19, Zala Tomasic ’18, and Victor Valle-Cruz ’18 reported on the work of the Student Alumni Council and the Steven Kent ’67 Memorial Senior Class Gift efforts so far this year;
  11. The Council re-elected the following Council members to their second terms: Lester Alemán ’07, Claudia Beckwith ’77, Ann Poor Cary ’81, Kelly Clements Hopfer ’96, David Jarvis ’04, Chris Meyer ’70, Howie Schein ’66, and Archie Tyson ’05. The following Council members were elected to a third term: Jim Asplund ’88, Mary Knuth Otto ’63, Ahsan Rahim ’11, John “Fritz” Schwaller ’69, and Rhonda Stuart ’86.
  12.  The Council elected a slate of four candidates for membership beginning in June 2018: Debby Feir ’68 (Atlanta, GA); Debbie Gottschalk ’90 (Newark, DE); Andrea Jackson ’95 (Solana Beach, CA); and Jocelyn Wyatt ’99 (New York, NY).
  13. Ryann Haines Cheung ‘93 was elected Alumni Council President-Elect for 2018-19;
  14. The Council ended the weekend with a celebratory meal. During dinner, the four departing members were honored for their service: Lara Szent-Gyorgyi ’89, Angela Onwuachi-Willig ’94, Saurabh Saraf ’05 and Allison Brinkhorst ’11.

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

Warm Regards,

Peter Calvert ‘79, Alumni Council President
Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations