Grinnell hosting first Athletics Reunion that encompasses all sports

July 21, 2022 — Alumni athletes across all sports and class years are invited to return to their alma mater Labor Day weekend for the first Grinnell College Athletics Reunion.

The celebration weekend – held Sept. 2-4 – is being organized by Grinnell College Athletics and the Office of Development & Alumni Relations for alums to reunite with formers teammates, catch up with classmates and coaches, and make connections with other Grinnellians. Registration for the weekend is now open.

In the past, several different team-specific reunions were held throughout the school year. The Athletics Reunion consolidates those gatherings into one event with all former Pioneers present.

Pioneer volleyball players give each other a high five after a point.
The Athletics Reunion will include several chances to watch the Grinnell College volleyball team in action. There also will be ample alumni participation activities taking place.

“Alumni have friends across different sports, so by inviting all athletes back at once they can get re-acquainted and share common experiences over the weekend,” says Jennie Jackson, an assistant director of alumni and donor relations.

Labor Day weekend was selected for the reunion timing for several reasons.  

“We chose Labor Day weekend because the soccer and tennis teams have longstanding traditions of reuniting that weekend, and we thought we could build off of that,” Jackson says. “Also, the extra weekend day on Monday will allow for a full day of events Sunday before people have to head home.”  

The 2022 soccer and volleyball teams have home matches scheduled during the weekend, so alums will be able to cheer on contemporary student-athletes. But this won’t just be a spectator weekend. Participation opportunities will be plentiful for those inclined. 

Hall of Fame induction ceremony and outdoor celebration 2020.
A Hall of Fame induction ceremony and outdoor celebration is being planned for the evening of Sept. 3 during Athletics Reunion.

The still-evolving schedule includes alumni soccer games, a volleyball alumni-student match on Mac Field, a 5K run, an 18-hole golf scramble, and a run/walk/hike with the cross country team at Rock Creek State Park. 

Other events being planned include a Friday evening welcome reception at the Periodic Table (at Hotel Grinnell), a Saturday afternoon athletics facilities tour, and an outdoor celebration and public Hall of Fame induction Saturday evening. Jackson says more events will be added to the weekend schedule in August, so attendees or those considering attending are encouraged to check back to see the updated list. 

Another benefit of having all the sports back for a reunion is it could bolster attendance and excitement for the Grinnell College Athletic Hall of Fame induction. This year’s induction class includes alums who played soccer, football, track, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, swimming, and tennis. Going into the Hall of Fame are:

  • Daniel “Vince” Anku ’65
  • Donald J. Kraitsik ’69/’70
  • Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Reid ’83
  • Jeffrey T. Clement ’99
  • Mark F. Trocinski ’99
  • Sarah E. Evans ’05
  • Kate W. Bowen ’06
  • Claire Reeder Fletcher ’11
  • Michael J. Brus ’14
  • Shirlene S. Luk ’15

“We are incredibly excited to be welcoming back alumni athletes over Labor Day weekend,” says Andy Hamilton ’85, director of athletics and recreation. “While the College has supported other single-sport gatherings for former athletes, we have not invited the entire cohort back to campus, so we are eager to experience the energy and comradery that will occur. The chance for alumni to participate in the Athletic Hall of Fame induction activities should also be moving.”

— by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

Athletics Reunion registration will remain open through Aug. 19. There is a one-time registration $30 fee for each adult. Children under 17 can be registered for free. Those registered will receive a wristband when they arrive on campus that is good for all the events, food, and drinks.

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