Alumni ready to return Grinnell for Reunion weekend

May 27, 2022 — Grinnell College alumni from 42 different classes – ranging from 1961 to 2016 – are set to take part in Reunion 2022. 

Grinnell College’s 142nd Alumni Reunion Weekend is taking place June 2-June 5 throughout numerous venues on campus as well as in and around Grinnell. At last count, 1,118 alumni, friends, and family members have registered to attend.

Reunion is the largest Grinnell alumni event held each year. Alumni return to the College to rekindle connections with classmates, enjoy lively conversations and events, explore the campus, and revisit their past.

Student workers assist a Reunion attendee during Reunion 2019.
Student workers assist a Reunion attendee during Reunion 2019. The registration desk in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center is a good first stop for alums arriving on campus. 

This year’s festivities will have some differences than past reunions. The pandemic forced the cancellation of reunion in 2020 while Reunion in 2021 was held virtually. Reunion 2022 will mark the first in-person, on-campus Reunion since 2019. It’s also the first reunion to have three classes celebrating their 50th reunion concurrently.

“The Class of 1970 began planning for our 50th Reunion in the spring of 2019, more than three years ago,” says Chris Meyer ’70, a 1970 Reunion Class Committee member. “We have had to adapt to multiple postponements as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, we have lost several classmates in the two-year interim since our original schedule. However, the Committee and members of the class are both looking forward to this June with heightened anticipation. We will have the opportunity to hold our reunion in a cluster celebration with the classes of 1971 and 1972. Our classmates have many friends and acquaintances from those classes – some even have spouses. It will truly be a unique event in Grinnell history.”

This year’s other Reunion classes celebrating milestone reunions are the classes of 1952, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2002. Alumni from any class are always welcome and some alums attend every Reunion as part of the GRA/EY – Grinnell Reunion Any/Every Year – contingent. This year’s registered attendees are from 47 states, Washington D.C., and eight foreign nations: Canada, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

“We are ecstatic to welcome so many alums back to Grinnell for this joyful and highly anticipated reunion weekend,” says Jaci A. Thiede, vice president of Grinnell College development and alumni relations. “We realize this reunion has been a long time coming for some classes and there have been numerous obstacles to get to this celebration, so we hope everyone is able to have a wonderful time re-connecting with their classmates and the College.”

As usual, Reunion weekend is brimming full of activities, lectures, parties, and family fun. Attendees will have a variety of event options to choose from. On opening night June 2 there will be a Multicultural Reception, Pioneer Bookshop Open House: Featuring Grinnellian Authors, Music in the Park with the band Lincoln Highway, and a Grinnell Pub Quiz.

Alumni Assembly held in Herrick Chapel during a past Reunion.
Alumni Assembly is one of Reunion’s signature events. This year’s assembly will be on June 4 at Herrick Chapel. It will also be livestreamed.

Activities will take place all day Friday, including a Bike Ride Around Grinnell, a trip to Conard Environmental Research Area, the Pioneer Athletics Reception, and a Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC) Open House. A new event, the Reunion Block Party, highlights Friday evening. The party includes numerous food trucks, carnival style games and competitions, arts and craft activities, and live music by two alumni bands.

As for May 31, Grinnell College will switch to a modified green activity level, which means wearing masks are optional during Reunion. Attendees may choose to wear a mask though at any time based on individual preference, perspective, and circumstance.

Saturday is jam-packed with 31 different activities on the tentative Reunion schedule. Everyone will come together for the Alumni Assembly at 4:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel. President Anne F. Harris will give an address and Alumni Council members will present Alumni Awards. The Council selected 13 recipients this year who have distinguished themselves by their service to their careers, their community, and/or the College.

This year’s recipients are:

  • 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
  • Julian Zebot ’00

Alumni Assembly will be livestreamed this year for those unable to attend in person.

After Assembly, the all-Reunion dinner will be held. Several parties and socials round out Saturday’s events. A farewell breakfast and interdenominational worship service Sunday morning close out the weekend.

While advanced registration is closed, alumni still can register in person at the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center (JRC) during Reunion. A late fee will be applied and some amenities, including meals and rooms, may not be available.

Alumni who have already registered also should make their first stop the JRC, 1115 8th Ave., to pick up materials. The registration and help desks will open at 8 a.m. on June 2 and be available throughout Reunion.

— by Jeremy Shapiro

For your information:

Curious about who has registered to attend Reunion 2022? See the list of registrants. Attendees also can view a list of Frequently Asked Questions and stay up to date on Reunion news, view photos, and share their experiences on the Reunion 2022 Facebook Event page. A Reunion app is in development and should be available when Reunion gets underway.

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