Keeping Grinnellians Connected

May 25, 2017 — Another class of students graduated from Grinnell on May 22, 2017. In the flurry of speeches — both formal and informal — they heard that day, one of the most important messages they took away is that graduation is only the beginning of their lives as Grinnellians.

In 11 cities throughout the country, Grinnell’s Planning Committees work to foster a sense of community among alumni, parents, and friends of the College. Every committee hosts a summer picnic, a Global Day of Service project, and a Welcome to the City event, as well as other events tailored to their locations and the alumni in the area. Other past events have included brewery tours, dinner parties, and trips to plays featuring alumni.

We asked regional volunteers what they got out of being involved with their local Grinnell communities:

Brigham Hoegh ’08, Des Moines Regional Planning Committee co-coordinator
“I see the value of the regional networks as facilitating opportunities for alumni to continue to explore and enjoy the reasons they attended the school — the school’s values of social responsibility and lifelong learning, as well as the people. Why stop meeting Grinnellians when you leave campus?”

Jake Joseph ’11, Front Range Regional Planning Committee member
“When I applied to colleges, my dad told me to spend as much time looking at the ways a college’s alumni connect with students and each other as I did looking at rankings and facilities in making an admission decision. He told me the in the long haul of having a degree from a college, those networks mattered much more than any curriculum, cool looking dorm, or even a specific degree. For this reason, the connection alumni have to Grinnell, it became my early decision college choice, and dad was right!”

Kat Gregersen ’09, Puget Sound/Seattle Regional Planning Committee member
“The regional networks connect Grinnellians who otherwise wouldn't connect to one another. The summer picnic is one of several events that help remind us of the unique experience we have shared. We hope that coming together a few times a year can make the Grinnell experience more relevant to our current lives.”

For your information

If you are interested in working to foster your local Grinnell community, connect with Anna Halpin-Healy ’13, assistant director of alumni relations for regional programs, at or 641-269-3186.