Image: Hands stacked as if in the middle of a huddle. Text: Chicago Logo: Grinnell College / Campaign

Toni Siragusa '94 and Raynard Kington
Toni Siragusa '94 and Raynard Kington



Alumni and friends from the Chicago area took part in a lively celebration Wednesday at the Palmer House Hilton that introduced The Campaign for Grinnell College.

Hosted by Kay Swartz Bucksbaum ’51, life trustee and honorary campaign co-chair, the event demonstrated how Grinnellians come together to serve the College and the greater good.

Many of the 179 alumni and friends of the College in attendance reflected on what Grinnell has meant to them over the years. Bucksbaum led off the conversation by sharing how Grinnell opened her eyes.

“I remember beginning philosophy class, when lively Professor Neal Klausner was hopping around, explaining how history would bear looking at – how what we thought of as facts, could be interpreted in different ways by different people. Although we talked about what was going on in the world at our family dinner table, this style of critical learning was entirely new to me. And endlessly exciting. At Grinnell. I took delight in one area of study after another, new worlds constantly blossoming.”

In her heartfelt speech, Carrie Stallings ’19 told the audience she was able to thrive at Grinnell for a key reason.

“I had people within Grinnell who cared,” she says. “Not just people doing their jobs, but rather people who consciously overextended themselves on my behalf because they gave a damn, because perhaps they too realized how precarious and fragile the existences of students like me in spaces like Grinnell are.”

Stallings says she will always be conscious of the inequality in the world and to do whatever she can to change it.

“I learned at Grinnell that when you want something to change, you vote, protest, write letters, talk to your friends, do whatever it is you can to put what you learned from Grinnell, inside and outside of the classroom, into practice,” she says. “Fighting for what you believe is the only way anything is ever going to change.”

The comprehensive campaign encompasses all gifts made to the College from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2021. There are six philanthropic campaign priorities: Scholarships and Financial Aid; Individually Advised Teaching and Learning; the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS); the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE); World-Class Facilities; and the Pioneer Fund.

Event attendees also had a chance to directly interact with College leaders at several engagement zones. Joe Bagnoli, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid, chatted about scholarships and financial aid, while Mark Peltz, Finkelman Dean of Careers, Life, and Service, discussed how CLS staff members work with students to design a life that encompasses their personal, professional, and civic ambitions. Shuchi Kapila, assistant vice president and senior global officer, explained how Grinnell’s approach to a global education has helped students navigate societies and cultures, and understand and speak languages. President Raynard S. Kington talked with guests about the campaign and the opportunity to get involved.

Thank you for being with us. With your partnership, we are ensuring current and future Grinnellians have the kind of life-changing opportunities and experiences that will enable them to pursue their purposes, passions, and make a meaningful difference in the world.

We truly believe that together, we are greater.


For your information:

Learn more about the campaign by visiting