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Grinnell College is better known for contributing record percentages of its graduates to Ph.D. programs and the Peace Corps than for its alumni in business careers. But Grinnellians have long applied their innovative minds, independent spirits, wide-ranging curiosities and...

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  Issue:   Spring 2008 Jackie: How did you end up at Grinnell? Tom: In 1982, I was in the process of finishing up my master's degree in counseling. And I was looking to work for a college that would allow me to do counseling and not focus on discipline. So that's one of...
1846 -- Trustee James J. Hill created the College's endowment with a single silver dollar on the table.     1882 -- After a cyclone ravaged the campus just before Commencement in 1882, the College rallied, with the help of local leader J.B. Grinnell, to raise the funds to...
As I sit in my laboratory, the radio plays "Green Grow the Rushes Oh" and I am swept back in an instant to the summer of 1957 when 10 of us wended our way down to the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona, where we spent eight weeks at the Southwest Research Station as part of our...
How did she get to Grinnell? She was a pioneer child who grew up more than 200 miles from Grinnell, on homesteaded lands in northwest Iowa. Born just as the Civil War was winding down, she was the daughter of people who trekked from New England across a country still largely...
Edith Renfrow Smith '37 interviewed by Jacqueline Hartling Stolze, editor of The Grinnell Magazine Early Days at Grinnell               [audio:30266] 16 min, 15MB Get an Education!               [audio:30267] 11 min, 10MB Stories of Slavery               [audio:30268] 14...
Emily Bergl ’97 may be Hollywood’s most famous Grinnellian actor of her generation. Perhaps best known as Annie O’Donnell in the television show Men in Trees, Beth Young in Desperate Housewives, and Tammy Bryant in the drama series Southland, she’s also acted in movies and on...
Issue: Spring 2009 Greetings from a Grinnellian who is living in Obamaland. Did you know I live a block from President Obama's Chicago home? It is incredibly thrilling and exciting. You can't imagine! As I write this before the inauguration, the streets and sidewalks are blocked...
  Issue:  Spring 2009Author: Todd Patrick Armstrong I traveled to Nanjing, China, during spring break 2008 - for the first time as a member of the Russian department. The previous three times had been in my former capacity as director of the Center for International Studies...
Where on campus can you go to hear a vocal group perform, see some improv theatre, enjoy a snack, or even read your creative writing in front of a live audience? If you didn't say "Burling," you clearly haven't been to the library in a while. At Grinnell College, the...
  Service is a time-honored Grinnell tradition--offering assistance to the less fortunate, to those who are least able to help themselves. Every year Grinnell College honors two or three alumni by funding their service projects. The Joseph F. Wall '41 Sesquicentennial Service...
It wasn't real. We black-robed, silly-hatted seniors gathered outside of ARH to wait for the exercises of commencement to start -- which meant we were graduating. And none of us could believe that we were actually graduating, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I thought...
Footing off the tin tunnel into a wanton airport of bouncing black hair, rummage among the piles of passports, papers and endless red stamps Hello! (they will shout) Welcome to China! Come stay here! The "Hello Taxi!" man angles you a sharp and sticky leer that rebounds off the...
Clockwise from top: Harold Kasimow (left) as a child with his family after the war; Celina Karp Biniaz '52 as she prepares to begin school; and Sam Harris '58 (front row, left) with schoolmates. Before the Nazis invaded in 1939, about 1 million Jewish children lived in Poland....
  In medieval art and architecture, Ecclesia and Synagoga were the symbolic representations of the Christian and Jewish faiths, portrayed by two female figures. Ecclesia, representing the Christian church, was proud and triumphant, with crowned head held high and bearing the...
  In the late 1980s, the College was adding Chinese to the curriculum, and the decision to focus on China was both prescient and advantageous. Through the partnership with Nanjing University, Grinnell receives two research scholars from Nanjing each year, along with a visiting...
  [He spent] a brief but fruitful time at the College, where he engaged the lives of students, townspeople, and beyond. Shortly after Glenn Leggett became president, there was an all-campus convocation featuring an extraordinary performance of the Verdi Requiem, led by a not-yet...
Christine Thorburn '92 narrowly missed medaling at the 2008 Beijing Olympic women's cycling competition. "I was fifth in the time trial (3.2 seconds slower than the bronze medalist over 36 minutes of racing!)" Thorburn says. She was 52nd in the road race, after doing the work...
Issue:  Summer 2009 Author:  Claire Reeder '11 The Iowa Room is home to the College Archives, supervised by College Archivist Catherine Rod (right) and Library Assistant Cheryl Neubert. Stepping into the Iowa Room is like stepping back in time: the warm wood tables and high-...
  When China's 8.0-magnitude quake struck the apartment of 23-year-old Zhang Na, she and her husband did exactly what everyone else did. They rushed out of their home without a moment's thought of saving a single possession. It was a desperate move to save their lives. But it...
  The church and, I hasten to add, many other institutions in our society, have trouble with uppity women. This probably explains the bumper sticker, "Uppity Women Unite." Since the church has trouble with uppity women, it obviously has a great deal of trouble with the story...
  Recently, on a sunny September afternoon Jim Hess saw his worlds collide — sort of. Hess, the new director of alumni relations at Grinnell College, was in Washington, D.C., his former home, at a picnic for Grinnell alumni and students. Hess has spent the last 18 years in the...
Pinned, then Dunked! If you saw a group of women looking down from an open window of a South Campus dorm, as the sounds of "Honey, honey bless your heart" drifted up from the lawn below, you would be witnessing the result of a pinning at Grinnell College. Some lucky coed had...
  I have just finished my second cycle at the "Brain Injury Day Treatment Program" at the Rusk Institute of NYU Medical Center. Before I started this training, I was unaware and didn't think I had any problems. I thought I could go right back to college. My family disagreed. At...
  The road to El Silencio is bumpy and covered with gray rocks. It is lined by dense rows of African palm sparsely interspersed with the teal and pink homes of plantation workers. Young men on tractors bob up and down towing behind them beds filled with palm fruit. After an hour...
  John Stoessinger '50 first heard of Grinnell College from a young American serviceman whose shoes he was shining. "He had said the magic word--America," Stoessinger remembers. "And I began to tremble." "I went to a college called Grinnell College," Lt. Peter Dalameter told the...
  In mid-September of the ill-fated "Bartman" play-off year, 2003, I wrote the following: I'm a rational human being. Right? Wrong! I'm a Chicago Cubs fan. I'm also a college history professor and a former college president, but that hasn't insulated me from the pathology of the...
  Ever since he saw March of the Penguins, Mark Rosenberg '11 has been a big fan of the birds who seem to go everywhere in formal dress. It's fitting, then, that the new business Rosenberg has helped create brings together his love for movies and penguins. The idea for "...
  Grinnell College president emeritus George Drake '56 looks back on the 100-year history of Grinnell's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Beta of Iowa. You are here because you've made a habit of excellence. Occasional brilliance will not get you into Phi Beta Kappa. You are not one-...
  News Director Linn Davis '08 led a group of dedicated student producers to create the 30-minute broadcast, modeled after public radio's This American Life. Listen Hear includes an always-varying lineup of news, feature stories, and interviews. Recent programs include stories...
When Ramiro Carillo '07 first arrived at Grinnell College from the tough streets of Los Angeles, being smart wasn't the problem. His problem was being too smart for his own good. "In my high school in L.A., you don't study," Carillo says. "You do homework while the teacher talks...
  He spent a brief but fruitful time at the College, where he engaged the lives of students, townspeople, and beyond. Shortly after Glenn Leggett became president, there was an all-campus convocation featuring an extraordinary performance of the Verdi Requiem, led by a not-yet-...
  Died May 14, 1997 For many decades, it had become unfashionable, even rather awkward, for Hawaiians to speak Hawaiian, their own language. The language was dying. But then Sam Elbert '28 came on the scene and recognized the importance of keeping the Hawaiian language alive....
Arriving in London in early August, I expected to see less about the U.S. election campaign in the British media than at home in Iowa. The amount of election campaign coverage, however, seemed almost as great here as in the United States. I should have remembered how intensely...
  Issue:   Fall 2008 Author:   George Drake '56   Originally presented to the Grinnell Fortnightly Club on Feb. 25, 2008. "When I went down for the first time into the steerage, no one said a word of cheer, no one waved farewell. I left strangers...
When Sam Harris '58 was a student at Grinnell, he did not talk about the first 12 years of his life. At Grinnell, Sam was a popular, well-liked, social kind of guy. He studied hard, having transferred from the University of Michigan after just one year because fraternity life...
  Tenure: on its face, not the loveliest of words. But there are few as sweet in the ears of an early-career academic. Tenure signifies job security, the acceptance of one's senior colleagues, a feeling of belonging and - perhaps most importantly - support for a life's work. But...
It's mid-morning on a Tuesday and the Faulconer Arts Outreach (FAO) in the Parks program is in full swing. Children from toddlers to pre-teens scamper (or stumble) around the Ahrens Park shelter, buzzing from the fabric tub to paints, dodging around the glittery "Sparkle Truck"...
  St. Peter and I is "a volume of Edward A. Steiner's writing which would present the underlying basis for his conversion from Judaism to Christianity, an act which lay at the heart of his life as lecturer, minister, and teacher." However, the collector of these writings,...
  I didn't even recognize him when I arrived on campus. My own kid, whom I had come to take home for the summer. Sailed right past him to the Plat du Jour station, where I asked a woman with her hair tucked under her cap, "Is Benjamin Dodd working tonight?" "Ben Dodd?" She...
  On Sept. 20, 1975, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played to a packed house at Grinnell's Darby Gym, virtually rockin' the place down. A month later, Springsteen simultaneously appeared on the covers of Time andNewsweek, hailed as the future of rock and roll. In the...
  Perhaps we've all had a flash of inspiration that we were positive would lead to success: the million-dollar idea, the can't-miss business concept, the surefire solution to a vexing problem. While most of us never get those great ideas off the drawing board, the...
  It is not difficult to trace the roots of Edward A. Steiner's pacifism. Born into a Jewish family in the Slovakia area of Austria, Edward "grew up in a staunchly anti-militaristic family and lost both his father and an older brother in wars of the Austro-Hungarian Empire."...
  September 2, 1990 It is quite appropriate this first Sunday of a new school year to include the word "strange" in my sermon title, especially for new students. You have come here to a strange country or a strange state, a strange college, dorm, fellow students, classes,...
January 29,1989 In my 30 years of preaching, I have never done a sermon on the passage just read, Jesus walking on water. (Mark 6:45-52) Why? One commentator says, "It's a story difficult for modern readers." How's that for understatement! The miracle story of Jesus walking on...
  Everyone has a different reason for pulling out the checkbook and writing a check to Grinnell. We asked several Grinnellians for their thoughts on philanthropy and the College. Joel Spiegel '78 Why give to Grinnell? Trustee Joel Spiegel says the College needs to stress how...