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Yarn Bombing the Peace Grove

A guerilla art project knits together a group of students, townspeople, and local alumni

“I was working on my calculus homework in the math lab, and one of the tutors got sidetracked and started to tell me about an article that she had read about ‘yarn bombing’  — people knitting sweaters for trees to decorate public places — and I was seriously intrigued. I’d never knit anything before, but women in a knitting group in town [including Joan Baker ’51 and Dorothy Palmer ’62] welcomed us into their Sit ’n’ Knit group and taught us how. They have us over to their houses every Thursday night for knitting sessions! Almost half of the students in my tutorial joined the project, and we set up a knitting station in Burling so anyone could take a break and knit on one of the sweaters.” —Cassie Miller ’16

“At first people were hesitant about the project, sometimes thinking that we were trying to keep the trees warm. After we explained it was more of a public art installation that we were initiating as part of our tutorial [anthropology professor Jon Andelson ’70’s Our Prairie Town: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives], they were much more enthusiastic. At the public knitting station in Burling, people were knitting like crazy. That sweater turned out to be much longer than the rest and was full of different knitting styles and patterns, representing, however cheesy this may sound, all the different people who worked on the project. I like thinking about people walking up to the library feeling stressed about school or life in general and smiling when they see our tree sweaters. —Sophie Neems ’16

Katherine Kraft Harris '38

Sun, 2013-02-03 02:24 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Katherine Kraft Harris ’39 died at Westminster Canterbury Richmond (Va.) on April 23 at the age of 93. Katie, as she was called, was born in Des Moines, Iowa and educated in the public schools there. She attended Grinnell College for her freshman year and then transferred to the University of Iowa, where she was chosen Pep Queen for 1936. She was a member of the Beta Zeta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and earned a B.A., with a certificate in journalism, in 1938. She continued her studies in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where one of her professors was Douglas Southall Freeman, the well-known editor of the now-defunct Richmond (Va.) News Leader, who traveled by train to New York City once a week to teach a rigorous course that covered world history since the end of World War I. Quite fortuitously, Katie would meet and marry Dr. Freeman's wife's young cousin, Dr. William H. Harris Jr. of Richmond, within a year of graduating from Columbia. After graduation, Katie did research and publicity for Carl Byoir & Associates, the New York City public relations firm that had developed the March of Dimes campaign for President Franklin Roosevelt. She married Dr. Harris in June of 1940, and when his service in the Army Medical Corps took him to the Aleutians and then the Philippines during World War II, Katie returned home to Des Moines. She soon obtained a position with the Des Moines Register & Tribune newspapers, doing research for the Iowa Poll. After the war Katie and William settled in Richmond, where they raised three sons--Tyler, Harry, and John. Katie was an active member of numerous cultural, social, and service organizations in Richmond. She also was a successful artist, working in the media of watercolor and acrylic. In 1964 she served as the interim society editor for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She was buried in Richmond's historic Hollywood Cemetery. She is survived by her three sons, all residents of Richmond; two daughters-in-law; four grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation & Leadership

Gain real-world experience, explore opportunities in business, government, and nonprofits, and learn from alumni. The Wilson Center supports interdisciplinary, discovery-mode liberal arts courses, funds mentored student internships in organizations throughout the world, and invites college alumni to return to campus to offer insights and salient experiences derived from creative careers and responsible leadership.

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Dr. Raynard S. Kington was appointed President of Grinnell College in August, 2010. Prior to coming to Grinnell, he served in a range of positions at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including NIH Principal Deputy Director and NIH Acting Director, NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Grinnell Prize

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