Nominations/applications underway for five different Grinnell awards 

July 19, 2023 — Several of Grinnell College’s most prestigious alumni honors will be accepting entries through the end of August. 

Nominations are underway for the 2024 Alumni Awards, the 2024 Athletics Hall of Fame, and the 2023 Diversity Champion Award. Grinnellians are encouraged to nominate a fellow alum for consideration. Additionally, applications are being collected for the 2023 Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Award. These should be submitted by the applicant rather than by a nominator.

All four awards have a submission deadline of Aug. 31. 

Grinnell’s newest award – the Social Innovator in Residence – also is accepting applications through Sept. 5.

Further details about each award are below.

Bernard Jackson ‘86 and Susie Kaeser ’690
Alumni Council President Bernard Jackson ’86 presents a 2023 Alumni Award to Susie Kaeser ’69 during Reunion 2023.

2024 Alumni Awards

The Grinnell College Alumni Awards have recognized individuals who embody Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service. Recipients, which date back to the class of 1900, have distinguished themselves by their service to their careers, their community, and/or the College.

Nominations are being accepted for the following classes, who will celebrate their reunions in 2024:

  • 70th Reunion: 1954
  • 65th Reunion: 1959-1960
  • 50th Reunion: 1974
  • 45th Reunion: 1978-1980
  • 25th Reunion: 1999
  • 20th Reunion: 2003-2005
  • 10th Reunion: 2014
  • 5th Reunion: 2017-2019

Complete an online nomination form to share details about the nominee. Current Grinnell College Board of Trustees and Alumni Council members are not eligible for an Alumni Award. Visit the Alumni Awards web page to find more information about the award and learn about past recipients.

The Grinnell College Alumni Council will select the recipients and share the news through an announcement in The Grinnellian e-newsletter early next year. The recipients will be presented with their awards June 1 at Alumni Assembly during Reunion 2024.

2023 Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Award

During Grinnell College’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1996, the Wall Award was established as a tribute to the College’s 150-year tradition of social commitment. The award was named in honor of Joseph Wall ’41, professor of history and longtime dean of the College, who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his students.

Each year, a committee composed of alumni, faculty, and a student choose up to two alumni award recipients and award the $40,000 prizes to either jump-start or complete a project that shows creativity and commitment to effecting positive social change. Any graduate of Grinnell College is eligible to apply, as long as they themselves will act as a principal of the project.

To apply, read through and complete the Wall Service Award application. Additional information about the award and a partial list of past winners can be found on the Wall Service Award webpage

Group photo of most of the 2022 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees.
Jeff Clement ’99 and Mark Trocinski ’99, far right, renew acquaintances before the 2022 Grinnell College Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

2024 Athletics Hall of Fame

The Grinnell College Athletics Hall of Fame was created in 1996 to honor individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to Grinnell athletics and have helped bring excellence and distinction to the College and its athletic program.

Individual candidates are considered based on their athletic and academic achievements while at Grinnell College and their athletic achievements and contributions to the Grinnell community after graduating. The tribute is open to former students, coaches, and administrators who exemplify the Pioneer tradition of excellence. Learn more about eligibility and the criteria for the award, and view an alphabetical list of current inductees.

An online nomination form is available until Aug. 31. Any supplemental documentation should be sent to Jayn Chaney ’05, director of alumni and donor relations, at or via U.S. mail to: Office of Development and Alumni Relations, 733 Broad St., Grinnell, Iowa 50112-1690.

Honorees will be announced early next year and honored at an induction ceremony during Grinnell’s all-sports Athletic Reunion in September 2024.

2023 Diversity Champion Award

The Diversity Champion Award shines a light on the incredible work done by individuals to make the College a more welcoming place for minoritized identities. This honor recognizes the accomplishments of a faculty member, staff member, or alum (individual, teams, or organizations) who provided an important contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion during their time at Grinnell College in behaviors, activities, and/or projects.

The award will be presented during Grinnell College’s Multicultural Reunion in November.

The Diversity Champion Award nomination form is open through Aug. 31. An individual or organization may self-nominate. Additional information and the selection criteria can be found on the award web page.

Hubert Farbes ‘69, left, Roy Walker ‘69, Merryll Penson ’70, Grant Crandall ’69, and Henry Wingate ’69 received the  2019 Diversity Champion Award for their efforts as students to start Concerned Black Students and the Black Cultural Center.
Hubert Farbes ’69, left, Roy Walker ’69, Merryll Penson ’70, Grant Crandall ’69, and Henry Wingate ’69 received the 2019 Diversity Champion Award.

2024 Social Innovator in Residence

The Social Innovator in Residence program is designed to provide world-class social innovators time and space for respite, renewal, and inspiration. Through a range of programming and activities, the social innovator will have the opportunity to continue their primary social innovation work and engage with the community to create lasting social impact. During the five- to seven-week residency in fall 2024, the innovator will also serve as an inspiration and mentor for Grinnell College students.

This innovator program is open to all individuals, including Grinnell College alumni. Individuals working in any sector who meet the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

  • Changemakers working on the cutting edge of social innovation;
  • Leaders creating solutions to social justice issues;
  • Visionaries tackling complex and systemic challenges in a sustainable and equitable way;
  • Mentors inspiring the next generation of social innovators; and
  • Social innovators who would benefit from time and space to further their social innovation work.

Applications for the Social Innovator in Residence program will be open until Sept. 5. Additional information about the residency, criteria, and application process can be found in the Call for Applications web story.

— by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

A full listing of awards involving Grinnell College alumni can be found on the Development and Alumni Relations Awards page.

To read more alumni news, check out our news archive.