Grinnell College Summer Picnics: Omaha Group Photo
Group photo of the attendees at the Omaha, NE summer picnic.


2017 Summer Picnics

At Summer Picnics in homes and backyards, lakefront parks, and even on one rooftop this year, Grinnellians take pride in welcoming entering students to the Grinnell community and recent graduates to the alumni community. Grace Marengo Sanchez ’10 and Thomas Davis ’10 give a warm welcome with a potluck brunch in San Antonio, Craig Kugisaki ’73 and Martha Wacker ’73 do so with a pu pu platter in Honolulu, and JC Labowitz ’71 and Patti Rounsevell ’71 welcomed entering students of the class of 2021 in Virginia Highlands Park in Arlington, VA.

In each Grinnell Regional Network, the summer picnic is one of at least four alumni-organized events that take place throughout the year. But what sets the picnic apart is the breadth of the community that’s invited: entering students, current students home for the summer or in the area for work or internships, alumni, trustees, friends of the College, and everyone’s families. In areas with smaller alumni communities, the summer picnic might be the one event that brings the entirety of the local Grinnell community together. With turnouts ranging from a dozen to more than a hundred people, this year’s 23 picnics have strengthened the Grinnell network within each region and across the country.

Grinnell College Summer Picnics: LA Group Photo
Group photo of the attendees at the Los Angeles, CA summer picnic.


For Anna Halpin-Healy ’13, assistant director of alumni relations for regional programs, the summer picnics have been a cornerstone to her Grinnell experience since the summer before her first year. She now works with the alumni hosts across the country to organize the picnics and many other events, and is glad to have the opportunity to support a defining part of her Grinnell experience, “Connecting with my local Grinnell community as a student really helped ease the post-graduation transition for me—I was sad to say goodbye to my on-campus Grinnell community but knew that the Grinnell-in-New York community would be there to welcome me as an alumna.”

Each year, entering students meet their fellow future classmates and trade details about their tutorial and residence hall assignments. Current students and alumni weigh in with stories of their time on campus and classes with their favorite faculty members. Alumni tell tales of their Reunion experiences and recommend ways to volunteer with the College. And parents of entering students leave a little less worried about what lies ahead for their new college student.

For your information:

Visit the Summer Picnics page to learn more about hosting or attending a summer picnic next year!