Three students lay on the grass talking and smiling. Text: Thank you, Grinnellians!

Our community provided life-changing experiences for students

Fueling Grinnell College students’ seemingly endless supply of curiosity, ambition, and innovation is a big job – one bolstered immensely by the commitments and partnership of donors.

Gifts to Grinnell pave the way for a student to take part in a research project that solves a complex world problem, embrace the culture of another country on a global learning experience, talk shop over lunch with an industry expert in their field of study, find their voice by volunteering for a social justice organization, or make lifelong friendships through involvement in a student club. The list of incredible opportunities could stretch on a mile long. 

Thanks to the generosity of alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of the College, more than $22 million in philanthropic gifts and commitments was raised in fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023).

This continued philanthropy helps sustain a vibrant learning environment where students thrive.

Grinnell College President Anne F. Harris
    President Anne F. Harris

“Looking back at the accomplishments of the past year, I’m filled with pride about the numerous triumphs our students experienced, many of which stemmed from high-impact opportunities made possible by the generosity of donors,” says President Anne F. Harris. “The ongoing participation, engagement, and financial support of alumni and friends of the College serves as a catalyst, gives life to ideas, and has a lasting impact. I’m extremely thankful for the broad and far-reaching support of the Grinnellian community. As illustrated in this celebratory announcement, it makes so much possible.”

The Numbers

Text and graph. Text: FY23 Gifts and Commitments Total: $22,123,367. Circle graph: Green - Documented Planned Gift Commitments - $10,146,846 (46%), Purple - Cash Gifts $9,603,194345 (43%), Yellow - Pledges $2,373,327 (11%)
Text and graph. Text: FY23 Receipts Total $13,806,595. Horizontal Bar graph: Green - Restricted $4,465,670, Blue - Capital $3,886,739, Purple - Endowment $3,684,311, Yellow - Pioneeer Fund (Unrestricted) $1,769,874.

Large Text: 4,663 Grinnellians. Small text: Came together in community at 180 virtual, hybrid, and in-person events including the 2nd largest Reunion in history.
Text and graph. Text: Donor gifts were made to many programs. Below are the top 5 FY23 designations. Bar graph: First four bars increase slightly with the fifth bar being much taller. Bar 1: Humanities and Social Studies $340,150, Bar 2: African Diaspora Studies $360,583 Bar 3: Scholarships and Financial Aid $379,561. Bar 4: Global Learning $383,862. Bar 5: Pioneer Fund $1.769,874.

Text and graph. Text: 4.5 donors supported each currently enrolled student. Circle graph: Yellow - Alumni 4823 (63%), Green - Parents 1,421 (18.5%), Blue - Friends 1,087 (14%), Purple - Others 345 (4.5%)
Large Text: 1,486 Volunteers. Small text: Alumni, parents, students and friends support our Grinnell community facilitating connections, philanthropy, and student experiences.

5 Big Things You Made Possible

7 conference championships won by Grinnell athletics teams this year, including titles by 5 women’s teams.

Gifts supported a wide assortment of sporting spheres, such as assistant coaches’ salaries, equipment, travel, DEI initiatives, first-class facilities, and much more.

Amanda Ramirez '23

“I think the history we made is what I’ll remember most about the 2023 season along with the friendships with my teammates. Everything we did felt so special. Our coaches did a great job of preparing us. They believed in us when we needed to believe in ourselves. I don’t think they ever doubted we could win a championship.”

–    Amanda Ramirez ’23
a biological chemistry major and shortstop for the Pioneers softball team, which won a Midwest Conference title and an NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history

Creation of an African Diaspora Studies Department by securing resources for an endowed chair position.

“It is truly a collective celebration that we will soon launch an African Diaspora Studies Department at the College, a program that will speak directly to Black intellectual tradition and the study of Black life. It’s gratifying so many alums wholeheartedly joined the effort to fund an endowed chair. I think it matters to say to the people we are recruiting for this chair that so many alumni have enthusiastically supported this endeavor. To be recruited into the middle of Iowa, it matters that there’s broad support and excitement to do this work and an appetite from Grinnellians to support, read about the work, and celebrate the many coming successes.”

–    Beronda Montgomery
vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College

Dean Beronda Montgomery

Grinnell awarded $67.5 million in institutional gift aid to 90% of Grinnell’s students. Of this, $8.6 million came from designated and endowed scholarship funds created by donors!

Katie Paek ’24

“My scholarship has enabled me to fully devote myself to my academics and to challenge myself in all my classes. I am also able to better focus on contributing to the campus culture, whether that be creating art or mentoring younger students.”

–    Katie Paek ’24
English major from San Diego

92 students received funding to pursue unpaid or low-paid summer internship experiences. The average award was $5,000 per student.

“My internship at the Iowa Center for Economic Success equipped me with so many skills that are needed for future employment and helped me network with many people within and outside of the organization. It bridged the gap between a liberal arts college education and a career.”

–    David Zhonghong Dai ’23
(pictured third from the right), an economics and political science major who now works as an analyst in Chicago.

David Zhonghong Dai ’23 (pictured third from the right), poses with his co-workers from his internship with the Iowa Center for Economic Success.

The 104 Mentored Advanced Projects researched by Grinnell students and faculty members were supported by over $53,300 in donor gifts.

Kailee Shermak ’25

“During our summer MAP, I’m part of a team studying making artificial intelligence that replicates the human thought processes. It’s a lot of neuroscience and philosophy along with computer science. It’s very interdisciplinary, which appealed to me. It’s given me a good feel of what research is like and got me thinking about whether I want to do more projects like this in the future. It’s also been good making connections with my professor [Fernanda Elliot] and my peers.”

–    Kailee Shermak ’25
sociology major from Bloomington, Minnesota