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In Memoriam: Former Grinnell College President A. Richard Turner

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

 

Former Grinnell College President A. Richard Turner died on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, at the age of 79, following a battle with cancer. He was president of Grinnell College from 1975 to 1979. His inaugural address recommitted the College to “an ongoing examination of the nature of truth,” “flexibility of spirit,” and the development of “men and women who … are broad-gauged enough to adjust to changing circumstances while maintaining a humane perspective.”

These words might describe Turner’s life, calling, and character as well. Turner was born in New Bedford, Mass. in 1932 and received bachelor’s, master of fine arts, and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton University. He was a Fulbright scholar; before coming to Grinnell, he was an instructor in fine arts at the University of Michigan, professor of art and archaeology at Princeton University, and dean of the faculty and professor of fine arts at Middlebury College. Following his Grinnell presidency, he finished his career at New York University, where he held a number of positions, including director of the Institute of Fine Arts, dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, professor of fine arts, director of the New York Institute of Humanities, and Paulette Goddard professor chair in arts and humanities.

Turner was a Leonardo da Vinci scholar, an expert on the Florentine Renaissance, and the author of a number of books, including Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy; Art of FlorenceInventing Leonardo;Renaissance Florence: The Invention of a New Art; and La Pietra: Florence, a Family, and a Villa.

He was very active in a number of organizations, serving on the board of directors of New Jersey Audubon Society and the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. He was a member of the College Art Association, the Century Association, Phi Beta Kappa, and Princeton Project 55.

Photography and birding were two of Turner’s greatest passions. He honed his skills as an amateur photographer over the years and was an avid bird watcher and devoted to the Cape May Bird Observatory, where he volunteered countless hours and made many friends.

In addition to his wife Jane of 56 years, he is survived by his sons, Louis of Minneapolis and David of Sarasota, Fla.; a sister, Betsy Turner of Newfoundland, Pa.; six grandchildren; and two stepgrandchildren.

A memorial for family and friends will be held on Oct. 22, 2011 from 2–4 p.m. at the Cape May Bird Observatory, 600 Route 47 North (Delsea Drive), Cape May Courthouse, N.J.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in Turner’s name to New Jersey Audubon, 9 Hardscrabble Road, Bernardsville, NJ, 07924.

For further information or to send condolences, contact Spilker Funeral Home, Cape May, N.J.

2012 nominations for Social Justice Prize open through Nov. 14

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell, IA 9/7/11

Grinnell College today announced the call for nominations for the 2012 Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. This prize program, now in its second year, honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Up to three $100,000 awards will be divided evenly, with half going to the individual(s) and half to the organization(s) committed to each winner’s area of social justice.

Last year’s winners of the Grinnell Prize, selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, include Boris Bulayev, president, and Eric Glustrom, executive director, Educate! (shared award); James Kofi Annan, executive director, Challenging Heights; and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, co-founder and director emeritus, Encounter. They will receive their awards on campus at the Social Justice Prize Symposium October 25-27.

Grinnell encourages entries for 2012 from across a wide range of fields, including science, medicine, the environment, humanities, business, economics, education, law, public policy, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross these boundaries. Nominations are also encouraged from areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. Nominees may be U.S. citizens or nationals of other countries; no affiliation to Grinnell College is required.

A selection committee will evaluate the nominations based on how candidates have embraced the values of a liberal arts education, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, free inquiry and commitment to using and sharing knowledge to better humanity. The selection committee will be chaired by George A. Drake, a 1956 graduate who served as Grinnell’s president from 1979 to 1991. Committee members are recognized individuals who work for social change in various capacities – largely Iowa-based – and represent the college’s faculty, student body, alumni, staff and trustees, plus prominent individuals not formally affiliated with Grinnell.

The Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize program directly reflects the College’s historic mission to educate men and women “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.”

The idea for the Grinnell Prize originated with Grinnell’s president, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., who began his tenure as the college’s thirteenth president in August, 2010. “Given the college’s longstanding belief in social justice as a core tenet of its liberal arts academic mission, I am proud to recognize and honor young individuals who embody our values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world,” said Kington. “With this award, we’re honoring those who practice what we teach. Our 2011 winners have made extraordinary contributions in the pursuit of positive social change, and I look forward to an even larger group of outstanding candidates for our 2012 Prize program.”

Nominations for the 2012 Prize are due by November 14, with winners to be announced at the beginning of the academic year in 2012. In the fall of 2012, the college will hold a special symposium on campus featuring public lectures by prize recipients regarding their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative social change. Details of the program and its nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.

Two alumni receive Wall Awards for service projects

Monday, Jun. 13, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA
 
6/13/11

Two Grinnell College alumni have been awarded Joseph F. Wall Alumni Service Awards of $25,000 each for service projects in their selected non-profit organizations.

The Wall Alumni Service Awards are named for the late Joseph F. Wall, a Grinnell College alumnus and long-time professor of history who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his Grinnell students. The awards provide financial support for Grinnell graduates to engage in service projects, programs, and organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of others.

Since the inception of the Wall awards in 1996, more than $750,000 has been distributed to the service projects of more than 30 Grinnellians.

The 2011 Wall Alumni Service Award winners are:

Wall Award winner Leah Bry '04• Leah Bry, a 2004 Grinnell graduate, who works with GreenLeaf, a Denver-based organization encouraging youth to grow fresh foods. The young people also grow by challenging themselves in an environment that creates lasting, just and sustainable social change, in addition to health and nutrition knowledge.

 

 

Wall Award winner Jeff Mok '02• Jefferson Mok, a 2002 Grinnell graduate, who developed radio programming in Burundi to open information flow to citizens in the civil war-torn country. The radio show offers a sustainable public forum and community participation in sharing of perspective and individual experiences of life in Burundi.

The Wall Alumni Service Awards are open to all graduates of Grinnell College with a service commitment to benefit others. For more information, go to:http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/socialcommitment/awards/wall/.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.

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"The Contingency Plan" premieres Oct. 7-10

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA—The Grinnell College Department of Theatre and Dance will premiere the U.S. production of “The Contingency Plan” by British playwright Steve Waters, Oct. 7-10, in Flanagan Arena Theatre in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell campus.

The play, which debuted in London and was hailed by critics as a “massive achievement,” focuses on current debates about responses to environmental disasters caused by climate change. The production combines elements of family drama, farce and thriller, with a conservative British government in power and a young, maverick glaciologist predicting catastrophe.

The Grinnell premiere is an adaptation of Waters’ BBC radio play, redesigned for the stage by director Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre and dance. Waters, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham (England), collaborated with the Grinnell student cast during a two-week campus residency which was sponsored by the college’s Center for International Studies and included a playwrighting short course.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. for the Oct. 7, 8 and 9 performances and 2 p.m. for the Sun., Oct. 10 performance. Tickets are required for this free event and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts ticket office beginning Oct. 4 from 12-5 p.m. daily. The Bucksbaum Center for the Arts is located at 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell College campus. Box office and ticket information is available at http://web.grinnell.edu/theatre/facilities/box_office.html or by calling 641-269-4444.

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Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize announced

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College today announced the creation of a $300,000 annual prize program to honor individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize will carry an award of $100,000, half to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice. One to three awards will be given each year for a total of up to $300,000 in prize monies.

The program directly reflects Grinnell’s historic mission to educate men and women “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.” Nominees may be U.S. citizens or nationals of other countries; no affiliation to Grinnell College is required. Entries are encouraged across a wide range of fields, including science, medicine, the environment, humanities, business, economics, education, law, public policy, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross these boundaries. The program will make a special effort to seek nominations of individuals who work in areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business.

The idea for The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize originated with Grinnell’s new president, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., who began his tenure as the college’s thirteenth president in August, 2010. “I was attracted to Grinnell, in part, by the college’s longstanding belief in social justice as a core tenet of its liberal arts academic mission,” said Dr. Kington. “In creating this prize, we hope to encourage and recognize young individuals who embody our core values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world.”

Details of the program and its nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize. Each year, Grinnell will assemble a diverse panel of judges to evaluate the nominations and select winners who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, commitment, collaboration and extraordinary accomplishment in advancing social justice within their chosen fields. Judging criteria will also focus on how nominees embrace the values of a liberal arts education, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, free inquiry and commitment to using and sharing knowledge for the common good.

“This prize represents a significant expansion of Grinnell’s educational philosophy,” said David White, chair of the board of trustees and Grinnell College class of 1990. “It extends the college’s mission beyond our campus and alumni community to individuals anywhere who believe, as we do, in the importance of social justice throughout the world.”

Nominations for the 2011 Prize are due by Feb. 1, with winners to be announced in May 2011, as the capstone of President Kington’s inaugural activities. In October of 2011, the college will hold a special symposium on campus featuring public lectures by prize recipients regarding their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative social justice programs.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.

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Two third-year students awarded competitive Goldwater Scholarships

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell, IA

3/30/11

Two Grinnell College students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships for up to $7,500 toward tuition and expenses for the 2011-12 academic year. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.

Boanne MacGregor, a third-year math and physics double major from Fairfield, Ia., and Emily Blythe, a third-year biological chemistry major from Kalamazoo, Mich., received Goldwater Scholarships to complete their Grinnell educations.

MacGregor plans a career in theoretical physics and to teach at the university level.

As a Grinnell student, MacGregor has served as a teaching assistant and member of the student educational policy committee for the physics department and as a volunteer for Grinnell Women in Science.

 

Blythe plans a career in biomedical or pharmacological research.

As a Grinnell student, she has been involved in the Student Environmental Committee; Grinnell Women in Science; the student educational policy committee for biological chemistry; Grinnell Swing Society; a contributing artist to the student literary magazine; and an actor for the Neverland Players.

Kevin Jennison, a third-year biology major from Lake Geneva, Wisc., received honorable mention in the national scholarship competition.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.

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Winners announced for 2011 Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize

Thursday, May. 5, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College today named the winners of the first Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize: Boris Bulayev, president, and Eric Glustrom, executive director, Educate! (shared award); James Kofi Annan, executive director, Challenging Heights; and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, co-founder and co-executive director, Encounter.

The Grinnell Prize, which received more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change. Each winning entry receives $100,000, half to the individual(s) and half to an organization the winner(s) designates for a total of $300,000 awarded this year in prize monies. The inauguration of Grinnell College's 13th president Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. marks a transition point for the college. The prize commemorates the occasion and celebrates Grinnell’s historical and future commitment to positive social change.

“The winners of the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize are outstanding examples of people who saw a huge social need and then worked creatively to meet that need and make the world a better place,” Kington said. “Since its founding, Grinnell has encouraged students to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good. Boris, Eric, James and Melissa exemplify this core Grinnellian value, and their stories and achievements will inspire students at Grinnell and around the world.”

The pool of nominees for the Grinnell Prize spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, disaster relief and accountability, childhood education, economic development and the environment, literacy, community-produced news, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, restorative justice, public access to healthcare delivery, children’s mental health, urban agriculture and global peace, among many others.

Details of Grinnell College Prize winners are as follows:

Glustrom started Educate! at the age of 17 after filming a refugee settlement in Uganda for a documentary. Bulayev became involved while both were attending Amherst College. Today, both have built Educate! to empower 1,400 youth across Uganda, where over half of the population is under the age of 15. Their organization provides social entrepreneurship training, long-term mentorship and access to capital to help youth create and lead solutions to poverty, disease, violence, environmental degradation and the highest youth unemployment rate in the world.

The government of Uganda recently asked Educate! to incorporate its social entrepreneurship course into the national education system. It will reach 45,000 youth annually and be the world’s first national social entrepreneurship curriculum.

A survivor of child trafficking, Annan established Challenging Heights to provide education and rehabilitation for children who have returned from slavery and horrific forms of child labor.

From the age of six to 13, he worked as a child fisherman in more than 20 villages before he finally escaped and returned to his home. At the time he could neither read nor write, but he befriended kindergartners so that he could use their schoolbooks and teach himself to read. He worked to feed himself and pay for school. Annan later rose to become a university graduate and manager at Barclays Bank of Ghana. In April 2007, he resigned from the bank to devote his full-time efforts to promote the mission of Challenging Heights – his multi-faceted approach includes addressing the root cause of child trafficking by providing education, health and advocacy programs for formerly enslaved and vulnerable children and their families.

Weintraub co-founded an organization training Jewish leadership to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by providing Jewish leaders with firsthand exposure to Palestinian narratives and realities on the ground. Encounter’s flagship program has brought more than 1,000 influential Jewish leaders on trips to Palestinian cities, representing the only significant non-military Jewish presence in Palestinian areas of the West Bank in the last decade. Encounter’s target audience—rising and prominent leaders, opinion-shapers and decision-makers—have wide-ranging constituencies, and therefore access to hundreds of thousands of hearts and minds. Melissa’s bold, transformative approach stresses civil discourse across political divides within the Jewish community, attracting "unusual suspects," supporting influential leaders on the right and left to gain a more nuanced understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and accordingly, to reshape their funding priorities, advocacy efforts, and policy decision-making.

On October 26 and 27, 2011, the winners will visit the campus to participate in the Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium and awards ceremony. Through public lectures and interactions with students, they will share their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative programs that effect positive social change. In addition, Morris Dees, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and noted civil rights lawyer, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.

Three seniors win competitive Watson Fellowships

Tuesday, Mar. 15, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Three Grinnell College students have been awarded prestigious Watson Fellowships for one year of independent study and travel abroad.

The three Grinnell seniors were among only 40 students from 23 colleges nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation: Natalie Ngoc Truong, a political science and English double major from Davenport, Ia.; Alex Reich, a biology major from Mahtomedi, Minn.; and Courtney Sheehan, an independent major in visual culture from Ohio.

The Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside of the U.S. to foster effective participation in the world community. Since 2000, 17 Grinnell students have won Watson Fellowships; not since 1991 have three Grinnell seniors won in one year.

Natalie Truong

Truong plans to study speechwriting in the governments of India, South Africa, Vietnam, and Australia, comparing how politicians in each country advance their political goals and help construct their nation’s images through words. “With the Watson, I want to explore how politicians in democracies and non-democracies use symbolic language in speeches to reinforce values and power,” Truong said. “I will study in countries with stark current issues, cultural beliefs, and nationalistic tendencies and see how they relate to the context, appeal, and style of speeches given in those societies.”

Truong has written for several of Iowa’s politicians and assisted with speechwriting in the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama last summer. Her other Grinnell activities include political organizing in Iowa’s Asian American communities.

Alex Reich

Reich will use the Watson Fellowship to work with environmental research and cultural organizations in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, and Russia. “I am eager to gain insights into the impact of climate change on traditional food systems,” Reich said, “so I will assist scientists as well as community activism groups in the Arctic with indigenous health initiatives and food security projects.”

As a Grinnell student, Reich co-founded EcoHouse, a sustainable living student residence; coordinated a local foods effort and community garden; and participated in cross country and track. He plans to work in science policy to promote effective social solutions to environmental issues.

Courtney Sheehan

Sheehan plans to use the Watson Fellowship to study the politics of film festivals in Croatia, India, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Netherlands. At Grinnell, Sheehan has been heavily involved in programming for the campus films committee, filmmaking camps for children, and reviewing films for the student newspaper. She also completed internships with the Boston Jewish Film Festival, the Children’s Film Festival in Seattle, and a film magazine.

“My Watson project stems from my constant desire to approach film from new angles and directions,” Sheehan said. “The film festivals in each country represent distinctive political contexts, and I will draw on my past experience with festivals in the U.S. to volunteer at these international festivals.”

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.

Activist artist to discuss "Intervention and Public Art" at Dec. 2 Scholars' Convocation

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 12:30 pm

GRINNELL, IA—Artist and activist Steven Kurtz will deliver the final Grinnell College Scholars’ Convocation of the fall semester on “Intervention and Public Art,” Thurs., Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus.

Kurtz, who is professor of visual studies at State University of New York-Buffalo, will review models for presenting art in public, including the use of tactical media, “artivism,” neo-avant-gardism, and other public forms of cultural provocation. He will illustrate his lecture with examples from the internationally acclaimed art and theatre group Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), of which he is a founding member.

CAE is a collective of tactical media practitioners who focus on exploring the intersections of art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. The collective has produced a variety of projects for international audiences at diverse street, museum, and Internet venues. The group has also written six books, including “The Electronic Disturbance” (1994); “Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media” (2001); “Molecular Invasion” (2002); and “Marching Plague” (2006).

A screening of “Strange Culture” about Kurtz’s personal journey through bio-art and persecution is scheduled for Tues., Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 302 of Alumni Recitation Hall, 1226 Park St., on the Grinnell campus. Kurtz will also speak at the University of Iowa on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Shambaugh Auditorium.

Kurtz’s Grinnell lecture is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact the event’s sponsoring organization as soon as possible to make a request.

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Copyright expert Jane Ginsburg to deliver Phi Beta Kappa lecture Apr. 21

Thursday, Apr. 7, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Jane Ginsburg will deliver a Scholars’ Convocation lecture on “The Author’s Place in the Future of Copyright,” Thurs., Apr. 21 at 11 a.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell College campus.

A recognized copyright expert, Ginsburg is the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary and Artistic Property Law at Columbia University, where she also directs the university’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts. She has co-authored and edited established texts on international copyright, trademarks and brands, intellectual property, and copyright and piracy. Her legal background extends from family lineage as the daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Martin Ginsburg, international tax expert, both of whom also served as members of the Columbia law faculty.

The Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program makes available distinguished scholars to the 100 colleges and universities with chapters of the honorary society to contribute to the intellectual life and idea exchange among the lecturers, students, faculty, and staff.

Newly elected members of Grinnell's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, Beta of Iowa, will be recognized at the lecture, as well as the winner of the annual Joseph F. Wall Scholar's Award competition.

Ginsburg’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please call 641-269-3235 as soon as possible to make a request.