On Founder's Day, June 10, Grinnellians worldwide sported their Grinnell gear. They also shared their small world stories. Here is a sampling:
A year after graduation, I was at the Fasching (Mardi Gras) parade in Munich, Germany, and ran into a fellow graduate, Alice Sims-Gunzenhauser '74. Six weeks later I ran into her again on a street in Copenhagen. We Grinnellians get around! -Elise Kolbjornsen Anton '75
While hiking through a small town in remote western China on the way to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, I hear a hearty "Hello, Ryan" from the upper floor of a nearby guesthouse. Yep, Kevin Pollpeter '90 just happened to be there. There is no escape. -Ryan McNaughton ‘92
Within an hour of arriving at my new home just after my plane landed in Dhaka, I asked the sari-clad old woman who was there to welcome me if she’d ever been abroad. Her response? "Oh yes, I’ve been many places: New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco in California, Iowa -- Grinnell..." -Julia Tabbut '02
We were in Gorky Park in Moscow on the first May Day after the fall of communism, with several hundred Americans and their Russian hosts. Next to me was a young woman, a newspaper reporter, writing with a Grinnell pen. She was a Grinnellian of course. -Nancy Adler Davis '59
Several years ago when I was running for election to the Berkeley city council for the first time, I decided to knock on as many doors as possible in my district and hand out a flyer. It indicated I was a graduate of Grinnell College. On a number of occasions the person opening the door said, "Why, I'm a graduate of Grinnell, too -- how can I help?” It turned out that I was elected by a very small margin -- I call it the Grinnell margin. -Alan Goldfarb '52
In San Francisco with my sister, we emerged from the subway on a long escalator. An older woman in a power suit leapt at us from out of nowhere. "Grinnell!" she screamed, "I love Grinnell." I glanced at my befuddled sister and noticed she was wearing a Grinnell T-shirt I had given her for Christmas years earlier. Then I looked up and the woman was gone--dashing off across the crosswalk under a blinking "don't walk" sign. My sister, a U Chicago alum, said, "That happens all the time." –Nick Lloyd ‘04
Read more Grinnell small-world stories.