Atlanta physician inspired to give back to Grinnell College

Feb. 21, 2018 — Evan Michael ’99 had never seen Grinnell College before arriving here to start classes as a transfer student in January 1997. To make matters more complicated, he arrived during a blizzard.

Needless to say, Michael’s first impression was not ideal. Fortunately, the weather and his feelings about Grinnell quickly soon improved. Michael made his first significant gift to the College during 2017 Scarlet & Give Back Day, an annual day to celebrate Grinnell College through philanthropy.

Evan Michael '99
   Evan Michael '99

“The College provides fantastic opportunities to all students,” he says. “The excellent science facilities help lay the foundation for my decision to obtain advanced degrees and subsequent cancer research fellowships.”

Today, Michael lives in Atlanta and works as a dermatopathologist, a highly trained physician who specializes in diagnosing disorders of the skin under a microscope. In May, he’ll be returning to clinical dermatology. While he’ll still be reading diagnostic slides to a lesser extent, Michael will mostly be seeing patients.

“I’m looking forward to returning to direct patient interaction,” he says. “The ability to navigate the interplay between the underlying science of skin disorders and their personal impact builds directly on the well-rounded liberal arts and science education I received at Grinnell.”

Michael started his higher education at Colorado College in Colorado Springs where his mother worked in development. Wanting to experience something new, he heard about Grinnell from a friend, Catherine M. Williams ’99. Sight unseen, he enrolled Grinnell to study biology.

He went on to earn a doctorate in cellular and molecular biology as well as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Michigan Medical School. Next was an internship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, followed by his residency in dermatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Michael then obtained a fellowship in dermatopathology at the combined Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Those stops in Ann Arbor, New York and Birmingham allowed Michael to connect with a number of different Grinnellians. He’s attended regional picnics and kept up with the College through emails and the Grinnell Magazine.

Conversations with a College development officer triggered his 2017 gift to the Pioneer Fund, which provide unrestricted funds to the operating budget.

“I wanted my donation to help the widest range of students and activities,” he said. “Alumni donations enable the College to provide tremendous opportunities for its students.”

—by Jeremy Shapiro & Robert Ruhl '76

For your information:

Evan Michael was one of 3,064 donors who gave during the 2017 Scarlet & Give Back Day. This year’s Scarlet & Give Back Day is coming up on April 5. Mark your calendars.