In Herrick Chapel there is a bronze plaque recognizing the 11 Congregational Ministers who, as the Iowa Band, followed their deacon's vision and founded Grinnell College.
On June 10, 1846, Iowa Band members envisioned founding an exemplary college. Amid debates concerning the formation of Iowa College (now Grinnell College), James J. Hill ceremoniously laid a silver dollar before those assembled and sounded a call to action.
Hill said his single dollar would be the first step, the cornerstone of a tradition of giving to support outstanding students and faculty. With that simple act, Grinnell College became a reality. More than 150 years have passed since Hill challenged the Iowa Band to secure the future of Grinnell College as a superb liberal arts college with a tradition of distinguished excellence.
Today, Grinnell College still relies on philanthropic support to fulfill its mission. The College uses resources with the same vision of long-term strength. Each year the Annual Report and the Honor Roll recognize the importance of alumni, parent, and friend donors.
The Pioneer Fund is an annual program that encourages unrestricted gifts to Grinnell College. These gifts are a direct part of the College's current operating budget. The College uses the Pioneer Fund to support annual expenses.
Alumni, parents, and friends acknowledge their relationship to the College by making gifts. Grinnell also engages the surrounding community's committed support for the College. The intention of the College is to invest in young people for the good of society. Your financial support invigorates the College's ability to provide activities, facilities, staff, faculty, and services for all Grinnellians.