Alumni Council Spring 2020 Summary

The Alumni Council met on campus Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7 for its spring meeting.

President Ryann Haines Cheung ’93 led the meetings, which were attended by twenty six members of the Council. The following is a brief summary of the weekend’s work:

A group photo of the Alumni Council taken fall 2022.
Ahsan Rahim ’11 gives students advice about budgeting during a personal finance workshop on March 6.

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

  1. The Council met with Ben Newhouse, dean of students, and Terry Mason, the new dean of health and wellness, to hear an update on the work of the Student Affairs, and Student Health and Wellness teams; 
  2. The Council discussed and agreed upon a new communications initiative designed to create direct connection between Council members and alumni. In decade clusters, the Council will be emailing alumni in advance of, and in follow up to, all meetings inviting questions and sharing information about campus events and issues; 
  3. Jaci Thiede, vice president for development and alumni relations, along with Mae Parker, director of annual giving, provided an overview on progress to date, and future plans, regarding the Campaign for Grinnell College and the upcoming Scarlet & Give Back Day; 
  4. Friday evening, member Ahsan Rahim ’11 led the Council in hosting a student workshop on Personal Finances, which was attended by more than 60 students; 
  5. The Council offered guidance regarding operational challenges faced by the Office of Development and Alumni Relations in respect to rising volunteer engagement costs and no-show rates at events. This guidance will help inform revised policies for the next academic year; 
  6. Jen Jacobsen ’95 led the Council in an active bystander training designed to specifically support volunteer leaders as the Council continues its work to uplift its new Code of Leadership: A Commitment to Shared Values with other volunteer groups; 
  7. Each of the standing committees of the Alumni Council presented reports on their work since the fall meeting; 
  8. Gabi Gryc ’20, Kate Irwin ’20, and Ayyad Jacob ’20 reported on the work of the Student Alumni Council and the Steven Kent ’67 Memorial Senior Class Gift efforts so far this year;
  9. The Council re-elected the following Council members to their second terms: Debby Feir ’68, Debbie Gottschalk ’90, Andrea Jackson ’95, and Jocelyn Wyatt ’99.  The following Council members were elected to a third term: Howie Schein ’66, Chris Meyer ’70, Claudia Beckwith ’77, Ann Poor Cary ’81, Kelly Clements Hopfer ’96, David Jarvis ’04, and Lester Alemán ’07.  
  10. The Council elected a slate of five candidates for membership beginning in June 2020: Becky Reetz Neal ’65, Ed Atkins ’66, Tom Triplett ’69, Scott Shepherd ’82, and Ben Vaughn ’15.  
  11. Lester Alemán ’07 was elected Alumni Council President-Elect for 2020-21; 
  12. The Council ended the weekend with a celebratory reception and meal. During the evening, the Council honored President Raynard Kington for his service to the College. The five members completing their Council terms, Mary Knuth Otto ’63, Fritz Schwaller ’69, Rhonda Stuart ’86, Jim Asplund ’88, and Ahsan Rahim ’11 were also thanked for their 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,

Ryann Haines Cheung, Alumni Council President
Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations