Monday, Apr. 19, 2010 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College President Russell K. Osgood will deliver his final Scholars’ Convocation address on Thurs., Apr. 29, at 11 a.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell campus. The convocation is also the annual recognition of the college’s new Phi Beta Kappa scholars.

Osgood, who will retire from the Grinnell presidency on July 31, will discuss the importance of the humanities in a liberal-arts education. “Today’s students need the best possible education for the dramatic employment changes they will face over their lifetimes,” Osgood said. “The humanities teach ethical reasoning, critical thinking, civic responsibility, and introduce other cultures, arts, and religions.

“The Phi Beta Kappa scholars who will be recognized at the convocation exemplify the opportunities that come with deep, broad education that supports personal growth and contributions to open societies.”

Osgood was named Grinnell’s 12th president in 1998 and has led the nationally ranked liberal-arts college through a period of growth in academic programs and facilities. One hallmark of his tenure is the enhancement of the college’s generous financial aid program, which amounted to a financial aid budget of more than $34 million in the 2009-10 academic year.

During Osgood’s presidency, the college built state-of-the-art science and fine arts facilities, a new student center and residence halls, and an athletic center and natatorium. Osgood also focused on strategic planning and faculty growth and development to support innovative academic programs in international studies and humanities, biological chemistry, neuroscience, and experiential education and mentored advanced projects for Grinnell students. Osgood will continue his Grinnell connection this fall by teaching in the college’s study abroad program in London.

Phi Beta Kappa is a national honorary society devoted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits. Grinnell’s Beta of Iowa chapter celebrated its centennial in 2007-2008 and currently includes more than 50 student members in the classes of 2010 and 2011.