Caring and sharing are joyous Grinnell traditions

President Anne F. Harris is grateful for all the ways alumni and families show care to Grinnell College students.

Dear Grinnell Alumni and Families,

It is a joy to share the gladness that alumni care packages for students brought this year, both for those of you who make the packages, and for those learning about this most wonderful of Grinnell traditions. These packages come in just as students are facing midterm exams and projects (affectionately known as “mid-sems”), when the Iowa weather is challenging, and when spring break is still a few weeks away. The volunteers who come to campus to hand them out – especially those who drive in from outside of Iowa! – can attest that this tradition is a source of joy. Some packages are comforting and useful, others are fun and whimsical, and all are appreciated. I sincerely hope that the warmth and generosity that you share with Grinnell students come back to you in your own life. 

Atavia Whitfield ’06 talks with a student during ECN Care Package distribution on Feb. 20
Alumni Council member Atavia Whitfield ’06 talks with a student during ECN Care Package distribution on Feb. 20. She was one of several alums who volunteered to help hand out the care packages.

There are many reasons to thank you for your partnership with faculty and staff on campus in supporting our students. Contributions to the Center for Careers, Life, and Service provide mentorship, help with career exploration, and support for students seeking internships. These connections combine with the enduring impact of annual donors to the Pioneer Fund or the creation of endowed funds to support students with financial need.  

As we gear up for an exciting Scarlet and Give Back Day on April 10-11, some of you have established giving challenges within your class or friend groups and others are participating in team competitions or spreading the word as advocates. Grinnellians make things happen! 

Meeting you and seeing and hearing how much you care about students affirms the power of the Grinnell alumni and family community to change lives. It is my honor to share with you at every event where we gather how we are working together to provide access to a Grinnell education and continually enhance how these smart, ambitious, creative, and determined young people experience the College and change the world. They are inspired by your vibrant legacy. Thank you for all the ways that you care, and all that you do. 



Anne F. Harris