Alumni Council Spring 2019 Summary

The Alumni Council met on campus Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9 for its spring meeting.  President John “Fritz” Schwaller ’69 led the meetings, which were attended by 22 members of the Council. The following is a brief summary of the weekend’s work:

  1. Council members participated in a welcome dinner at Relish with academic advising faculty and members of the Tutorial Committee. After dinner, the Council met with President Raynard Kington who took questions from the Council on a broad range of topics;
  2. Jen Jacobsen ’95, assistant dean of students and director of wellness and prevention, spoke to the Council about her work at Grinnell in the areas of campus safety, alcohol and drug use issues, belonging, and sexual respect.   This was followed by the introduction of Dr. Eric Wood, the newly hired dean of health and wellness. Wood explained new efforts underway to support diversity, inclusion, and belonging within Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) at the College;
  3. Bailey Asberry, Title IX coordinator, and Jacobsen (noted above) offered dynamic and informative Title IX and Active Bystander training for the Council; 
  4. The Council approved a revision to its by-laws. Amendments included the addition of gender-inclusive language, a non-discrimination statement, and several operational changes enacted over the last year. In addition, the Council approved a new mission statement. It reads, the mission of the Alumni Council is to support purposeful, lifelong relationships among Grinnell alumni and between the alumni and College communities;
  5. 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;
  6. The Council partnered with Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) staff to discuss refinements to the draft volunteer “code of civility” as well as strategies for the Council to share it with the broader alumni volunteer community in fall 2019; 
  7. The Council discussed its role in facilitating communication between alumni and the College when issues of concern to the alumni community arise on campus. A variety of new communication strategies were discussed and will be explored over the course of the coming months;
  8. Jaci Thiede, vice president for DAR, provided updates regarding 2018-19 fundraising progress to date and the comprehensive campaign;
  9. Each of the standing committees of the Alumni Council presented reports on their work since the fall meeting. The Council discussed and agreed to put the Stewardship Committee on hiatus for the 2019-20 academic year to allow focus on other special projects;
  10. Jonathan Gilmour ’19, Kaitie Hess ’19, Bryce Lew ’19, and Dana Watkiss ’19 reported on the work of the Student Alumni Council and the Steven Kent ’67 Memorial Senior Class Gift efforts;
  11. The Council re-elected the following Council members to their second terms: Graciela Guzmán ’11, Phillip Hales ’02, Brigham Hoegh ’08, and Robert Ruhl ’76. The following Council members were elected to a third term: Ryann Haines Cheung ’93, Jeetander Dulani ’98, and Rick Stuck ’82;
  12.  The Council elected a slate of three candidates for membership beginning in June 2019: Robert Gehorsam ’76, Bernard Jackson ’86, and Eric Mistry ’14;
  13. Christopher Meyer ’70 was elected Alumni Council President-Elect for 2019-20;
  14. The Council ended the weekend with a celebratory meal. During dinner, Cameo Carlson ’93 was thanked for her six years of service on the Council.

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

Warm Regards,

John “Fritz” Schwaller ’69, Alumni Council President
Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations