Alumni Council Spring 2023 Summary

The Alumni Council met on campus Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11 for its Spring meeting. Past President Lester Alemán ’07 presided over the meeting given the unexpected need for current President Robert Gehorsam ’76 to participate virtually, along with several other members of Council whose travel was impacted by the winter storms. 

A group photo of the Alumni Council taken fall 2022.
Alumni Council photo taken in November 2022.

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

  1. President Anne F. Harris met with the Council to provide a comprehensive overview of the Civic Engagement Quad and Renfrow Hall projects and answer questions on a variety of topics related to the residential experience as well as the opportunity this incredible space provides for civic engagement and community collaboration;
  2. Adam Laug and Jayn Chaney ’05, co-interim vice presidents for development and alumni relations, led a session mapping the timeline and early groundwork for our upcoming campaign, including discussion of the Alumni Council’s role in this work;
  3. Council members participated in informal networking conversations with student participants at a Friday evening reception sponsored by the class of 2024 and 2025 class ambassadors;
  4. The Council met with Paul Chrisman ’99 from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR) to review and discuss the results of the fall 2022 alumni attitudes survey which will inform future engagement and communication strategies for both DAR and the Council;
  5. Student leaders from the Class Ambassador program and the Senior Class Gift Committee, along with Victoria Harris, assistant director of DAR student programs, provided an overview on the shift in DAR student programs following the pandemic, including the revitalization of the Stephen K. Kent ’67 Senior Challenge, a challenge the Council wholeheartedly embraced for 2023;
  6. Each of the working task forces and committees of the Alumni Council presented final reports on their work for this year and the Council deliberated over a series of 14 proposals submitted by Council members and staff regarding prospective projects for the 2023-24 year. The College applauds the work of this year’s task forces which engaged in a comprehensive review of the Grinnell Connect platform, including recommendations for future alumni and student career mentorship and connection as well as the development of the faculty town hall event, “Real Talk with Grinnell Faculty: The View From Grinnell” program. We were disappointed to have to postpone the View From Grinnell virtual event planned for March 9 due to weather and look forward to re-tooling this event as a “live” event for Reunion 2023;
  7. The Council re-elected the following Council members to their second terms: Dawn Helsing Wolters ’87, Kate Goddard ’91, and Anton Jones ’02. The following members were re-elected to their third terms: Robert Gehorsam ’76 and Bernard Jackson ’86;
  8. The following new members were elected to the Alumni Council to begin in June 2023: Ken Schofield ’71, Stephen Macfarlane ’82, Shelley Aggeler Harper ’87, Tony Pham ’03, and Grisel Hernandez ’17;
  9. Scott Shepherd ’82 was elected Alumni Council President-Elect for 2023-24;
  10. The Council ended the weekend with a celebratory meal. The four members completing their Council terms, Tom Triplett ’69, Robert Ruhl ’76, Phillip Hales ’02, and Lester Alemán ’07, were honored and 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,

Robert Gehorsam ’76, Alumni Council President
Jayn Bailey Chaney ’05, Director of Alumni and Donor Relations