Editor Notes: Liberal Arts, Applied

When I met with class agents at last year’s alumni volunteer weekend in October, several of them suggested that The Grinnell Magazine produce a special issue on Grinnell and business. We are delighted to oblige.

In the following pages, you’ll hear from a biology major who led Amazon’s retail revolution; a sports agent who chooses his athlete-clients as much for what they give back as for what they earn; a consultant and former Peace Corps volunteer who changed the face of American business; a scientist who is helping develop a new scientific discipline while working for an enterprise analytics company; and many more.

You’ll discover alumni business professors and M.B.A. students who are transforming how business is taught and practiced. And you’ll discover Grinnell faculty, staff, and alumni mentors who are helping Grinnell students explore diverse private-sector careers.

You’ll also be reminded that Grinnellians in business careers are much like their fellow alumni who have chosen supposedly more-common Grinnellian vocations in nonprofit, academic, or service fields. All of us are using our Grinnell-developed independence, intellectual rigor, and wide-ranging curiosity to make a difference in the world through the organizations we work for. We are all doing what Bruce Weindruch ’78, founder and CEO of a heritage management company, calls “liberal arts, applied.”

Lynn Fortney ’72, a division director for an information services company, agrees. “When I was on campus for reunion, I had lots of lightbulb moments about why I am the way I am,” she says. “And so much of it goes back to Grinnell.”

We hope you enjoy these stories — and as always, we welcome your emails and letters.

Dan Weeks ’80, editor