Reunion 2022 Slideshow

Student staff check in alumni at the registration desk.
Student staff check in alumni at the registration desk.


Alumni relish reuniting throughout riveting Reunion 2022

June 9, 2022 — After their 50th reunion got pushed back a couple times by the pandemic, Pat O’Conner ’71 said her classmates were “holding their breath” about being back in Grinnell for Reunion 2022.

“Are we going to actually have it in 2022 or will it be another disappointment?” O’Conner said about their mindset. “Now that it’s a reality, it’s really nice to be here. After what we’ve been through the last couple of years, I think all of us needed this spiritually and emotionally.”

Reunion 2022 was the first in-person, on-campus Alumni Reunion Weekend since 2019. In numerous conversations throughout campus, alums mentioned how good it was to return to their alma mater and spend time with their classmates. The sunshine and mild temperatures added to the enjoyment of the festivities. 

Reunion attendees dance during the Friday Picnic.
Dancing was almost required with the sweet sounds coming from the alumni band She Man and the Masters of the Universe at Friday’s Block Party.

“The weather just smoothed out all the bumps,” said Jon Petitt ’01 “The sun kept on shining.”   

The 142nd Alumni Reunion Weekend, held June 2-June 5, was attended by around 1,100 alumni, friends, and family members. Alumni from 42 different classes – ranging from 1961 to 2014 – took part. This year’s registered attendees were from 47 states, Washington D.C., and eight international countries: Canada, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Reunion 2022 was the first reunion to have three classes celebrating their 50th reunion at the same time. Because of the cancelation of Reunion 2020 and being unable to gather in person for Reunion in 2021, the classes of 1970, 1971, and 1972 all celebrated their 50th reunions jointly.

Other Reunion classes celebrating milestone reunions were the classes of 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2002. 

Throughout the weekend, alumni attended presentations, participated in activities, toured the campus and community, and formed bonds over shared experiences at events and meals.

“This is my eighth time for Reunion, and it’s different every time,” said Dave Cameron ’86. “The reason to come is to see people and reconnect. It’s been fantastic. You can go back in time and have a good time.”

Cameron and Jeri Langham ’65 co-led an early morning birding excursion, an event sponsored by the classes of 1965 and 1966.

“I got to take what’s been a big part of my life post-Grinnell and share it with people who are new to it,” Cameron said. “That was exciting to do. Reunion is about sharing the love and joy. I just had a long conversation with a guy I never met before from the class of 1971. He was a freshman when I was 3. But the age gap at Reunion doesn’t matter.”
Janey Brunton-Muñoz ’76 also liked talking with alums at Reunion whom she didn’t know well. “The neat thing you discover is even if you didn’t know each other well as students, I still have more in common with them than I do with my next door neighbor at home.”

Dick Knapp ’76, left, stands next to Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes to You, as they talk about downtown Grinnell businesses during the a walking tour Friday.
Dick Knapp ’76, left, stands next to Craig Cooper, owner of Bikes to You, as they talk about downtown Grinnell businesses during a walking tour Friday.

Brunton-Muñoz was one of about 60 Reunion attendees that took a downtown walking tour hosted by Dick Knapp ’76. The tour included stops at several downtown merchants where business owners came out to talk about their establishments. Additionally, Knapp and President Anne F. Harris discussed the meshing of Grinnell’s campus and downtown. 

“Like a lot of us on the tour, I had fun trying to figure out where things were when I was a student,” Brunton-Muñoz said. “It’s pretty different now. There was a Pizza Hut and Conoco gas station over there. We lived off campus and called our place the Conoco House because it was right next door.”

On Saturday alumni and friends of the College gathered at Herrick Chapel for Alumni Assembly. Alumni Awards were presented to 13 recipients who have distinguished themselves by their service to their careers, their community, and/or the College. Current and former Alumni Council members presented the awards to Jim Lowry ’61, Kate Stephan Villers ’61, Ron Gault ’62, Alan Cohen ’72, Jodie Levin-Epstein ’72, Dick Knapp ’76, Katherine “Kit” Wall ’77, Rebecca Quirk ’86, Rhonda Stuart ’86, Sherry Davis Gupta ’88, Karmi Anna Mattson ’97, Samuel Sellers ’00, and Julian Zebot ’00. A replay of the Alumni Assembly livestream is available to watch at anytime. 

“It humbles you,” Lowry said about receiving an Alumni Award. “It’s really great to be back. I’ve had such a long affiliation with Grinnell. When you come back, you see many things that have stayed the same and many that have changed. You see the growth of Grinnell. I’m feeling a lot of great pride in the school.”

— by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

The 143rd Annual Alumni Reunion will take place June 1-4, 2023. Classes celebrating milestone reunions are the following: 1953, 1963-64 (cluster), 1967-69 (cluster), 1973, 1981-83 (cluster), 1992-94 (cluster), 1998, 2006-08 (cluster), 2012-13 (cluster).

To read more alumni news, check out our news archive and like the Alumni & Friends Facebook page.