Whether you are a student looking to connect to the community in a meaningful way, a member of the faculty wanting to add a service component to one of your courses, or staff member interested in a new project, the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Office can assist you in connecting with local organizations that could use your help. Susan Sanning, the Assistant Director of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, (sannings[at]grinnell[dot]edu) is happy to make an appointment to talk with you and help you explore opportunities that match your
Our town has repeatedly named as one of the best and coolest college towns in America – alongside places like Berkeley, Boulder, and Cambridge. Grinnell combines the artful intellectual buzz of a college town with the genuine warmth and friendliness that defines "Iowa nice." And we love it.
The Grinnell community has no borders. Everything from the curriculum to the day-to-day conversation in the residence halls is open-ended in context and consideration.
For those who want to add geographic dimension to that intellectual latitude, the cities of Des Moines and Iowa City are just an hour away, and one can be in Chicago, Minneapolis, or Kansas City in less than five hours. But for most students, the 120-acre campus and the town of Grinnell provide more than enough opportunities for exploration and entertainment.
Grinnell sits in the middle of a vast and dynamic environment known as prairie. Tall grasses, flowering plants, deep root systems, soil, and fire comprise the ecosystem. The complex root system means that two-thirds of the prairie lives below ground, and that fire will destroy only the dead matter above ground. This ecosystem is responsible for creating the rich Iowa soil that agriculturalists have enjoyed for generations.
"Grinnell put us together. This is the meeting place," says Serbian Kristina Duric '13. She and Californian Cynthia Amezcua '14 talk about international friendships, the global Grinnell family, and living abroad.
At Grinnell getting around requires nothing more than your own two feet. A vibrant, walkable downtown full of restaurants, stores, and services is just two blocks away. And when you need to travel further, we’ll help you get there.
The Center for Prairie Studies uses Grinnell’s location as a teaching and learning resource and a place to engage in service. The Center’s diverse programs encourage the exploration of large themes as they play out in this particular setting: human interactions with nature, food and agriculture, artistic
The Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement supports the College’s core mission by helping our hometown to become an even stronger place to live, work, and study. Serving as a liaison between Grinnell College and the surrounding community, the office administers the College’s gifts and grants, and actively facilitates other town/gown connections to enhance the experience and vitality of life in Grinnell.
Buzzing with social, cultural, and academic activities, the Black Cultural Center (BCC) preserves and celebrates black history, culture, and diasporas of people who identify with African heritage. Built in 1970, it was later renamed the Conney M. Kimbo Black Cultural Center in honor of Kimbo, dean of student affairs from 1970–73. Today, the BCC remains a multicultural center and educational resource for the Grinnell community.