Giving as a Class

July 6, 2017 — This year Grinnell College will award more than $5.25 million in designated and endowed scholarships from 280 individual funds to students. One scholarship that will be offered for the first time in the 2017–18 academic year is the Class of 2006 Endowed Scholarship. Many classes actually have established endowed scholarships.

For a scholarship to be spendable, it has to have a $50,000 designation with $25,000 in hand and invested in the endowment by the end of the fiscal year to be awarded in the next calendar cycle.

Class Fund Directors Patrick Waldo ’06 and Mary Parker ’06 led the charge to raise $50,000 by their class’s 10th Reunion in 2016. When the day arrived, they were still $13,000 short. But over the course of the last year, with a lot of phone calls and meetings, Waldo, Parker, and classmates filled that gap. All gifts will be invested in the College’s endowment in fiscal year 2017, and the first scholarship will be awarded in the 2017–18 academic year.

“Some of my classmates were reluctant to give,” says Waldo. “By endowing a scholarship, we can use the power of the endowment to our advantage and use it as a tool to accomplish exactly what we want to.”

Once the funds are invested in the endowment, “they spin off 4 percent of a 12-quarter trailing average of their fair value” according to Brad Lindberg, assistant vice president for enrollment and director of financial aid. “As a result, the smaller funds kick out under $1,000 per year.” Some of the larger funds return thousands of dollars.

Scholarships — particularly those that are only restricted to students with demonstrated financial need, like the Class of 2006 Scholarship — help the College to maintain its commitment to need-blind admission and meeting 100 percent of admitted students’ demonstrated need.

For your information:

If you would like to learn more about Grinnell’s need-based scholarships, email your questions to the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at