Media relations

10 Alumni Award winners recognized during Reunion Weekend

Monday, Jun. 4, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College recognized the professional accomplishments and service contributions of 10 alumni during Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 1-3 on the Grinnell campus. Alumni Award winners are members of reunion classes who have distinguished themselves in their careers and communities and embody Grinnell’s mission of life-long learning and service.

The recognized alumni include:

  • Audrey “Bunny” Howard Swanson, a member of the class of 1943 from Belle Plaine, Minn., for her dedicated service to Grinnell and the League of Women Voters.
  • Linda Miller Staubitz, a member of the class of 1962 from Highwood, Ill., for her volunteer service to the college and local opera.
  • James Holbrook, a member of the class of 1966 from Salt Lake City, for his efforts in international dispute resolution.
  • Jacque “Jack” Reynolds, a member of the class of 1968 from Olathe, Kan., for sharing his medical expertise through local community service.
  • Mark Hamilton, a member of the class of 1971 from Ames, Ia., for advancing community journalism.
  • Barry Zigas, a member of the class of 1973 from Washington, D.C., for his advocacy in low-income housing policy.
  • Kimberly Kuncl, a member of the class of 1987 from Atlanta, for local and national work in women’s healthcare.
  • Anthony Weeks, a member of the class of 1991 from San Francisco, for his award-winning second career in filmmaking.
  • Devora Kimelman-Block, a member of the class of 1993 from Silver Spring, Md., for her work in community-supported food production.
  • Seth Gitter, a 2002 graduate from Silver Spring, Md., for his global development work.

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. -30-

Bowen Scholarships awarded to four Iowa high school graduates

Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Four Iowa high school graduates will soon benefit from the generous Howard R. Bowen Scholarship program at Grinnell College. Bowen Scholars are selected on the basis of a written scholarship examination and an on-campus interview and are awarded a $25,000 scholarship each year ($100,000 total during four years at Grinnell).

The Bowen Scholars entering Grinnell College this fall include:

  •  Emily Hackman, daughter of Adrian and Lisa Hackman of Mason City. While a student at Mason City High School, Hackman participated in speech and debate, community service, marching band, symphonic band, varsity swimming, and an exchange program in Germany.
  •  China Mauck, daughter of Kent and Sheila Mauck of Des Moines. While a student at Roosevelt High School, Mauck participated in community service activities, jazz band, orchestra, Des Moines Youth Symphony, and dance.
  •  Rebecca Rasmussen, daughter of Ned and Carole Rasmussen of Des Moines. While a student at Roosevelt High School, Rasmussen participated in varsity volleyball, varsity bowling, community service, and National Honor Society.
  •  Charles (CJ) Ray, son of Charles and Brenda Ray of Ottumwa. While a student at Ottumwa High School, Ray participated in varsity tennis, debate, and math competition team.

The Bowen Scholars were among more than 80 Iowa students who competed for the scholarship, which was established in 1987 to honor Dr. Howard R. Bowen, former president of Grinnell College. The Bowen Scholarship competition is open to all Iowa high school seniors who are United States citizens and eligible to attend Grinnell. For more information about financial aid at Grinnell College,


Faulconer Gallery exhibits portfolios from college's permanent collection

Saturday, Jun. 2, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Print and photography portfolios from the Grinnell College Art Collection will imbue the summer exhibition at Faulconer Gallery, opening June 15. “Portfolio: Artists Work in Series” features artists Edward Burtynsky, Tacita Dean, Glenn Ligon, Catherine Opie, Shahzia Sikander, Kiki Smith, and Kara Walker, whose works are part of the college’s permanent art collection.

“While Faulconer Gallery regularly exhibits travelling exhibitions by national and international artists, it isn't often that we get to fill the space with works from our own collection,” said Daniel Strong, associate director of the gallery and curator of exhibitions. “The Grinnell College collection has grown considerably since the gallery opened in 1999, and many of the works in “Portfolio” are on display for the first time.”

The Grinnell collection, comprised primarily of works on paper, is also rich in portfolios, which allow an artist to elaborate on a theme throughout a group or series of prints. Strong points to “Portfolio” examples such as Canadian photographer Burtynsky, who is represented in the show with a photography portfolio taken at the shipbreaking yards of Bangladesh in 2000. All of the Burtynsky works were acquired in the past year and are exhibited in Grinnell for the first time. A portfolio by the late painter and printmaker Michael Mazur features 20 etchings and accompanying texts based on Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” also on view in Grinnell for the first time.

Faulconer Gallery will host the following public events this summer surrounded by these artists’ portfolios:

• Fri., June 15, 7 p.m. Exhibition opens with sounds of Too Many Strings Band, including traditional bluegrass, folk ballads, Irish music covers, and original compositions.

• Tues., June 26, noon: Gallery talk with curator Daniel Strong.

• Thursdays, June 21-Aug. 16, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: yoga with Monica St. Angelo.

“Portfolio” is open June 15 through Aug. 19 during summer gallery hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Monday and July 4. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit


Summer fun sponsored by Faulconer Gallery outreach

Thursday, May. 31, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery is offering free hands-on art activities for area children and families throughout June and July.

The Faulconer Arts Outreach in the Parks will offer children a choice of activities at each session held on-campus and in city parks. Activities include ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, truck glittering, sculpture, and more, according to Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach. No registration is required, and parents are welcome to participate with their children.

The Faulconer Arts Outreach program schedule includes:

• June 18 10:30 a.m. – noon Arbor Lake Shelter House

• June 20 10:30 a.m. – noon Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side

• June 25 10:30 a.m. – noon Merrill Park West Shelter

• June 27 10:30 a.m. – noon Drake Community Library

• July 2 10:30 a.m. – noon Bailey Park

• July 9 10:30 a.m. – noon Ahrens Park Shelter #1

• July 11 10:30 a.m. – noon Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side

• July 16 10:30 a.m. – noon Central Park

• July 18 10:30 a.m. – noon Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side

• July 20 10:30 a.m. – noon Poweshiek County Fairgrounds

• July 23 10:30 a.m. – noon James Miller Park

• July 25 10:30 a.m. – noon Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, north side

On Thurs., Aug. 2, from 5-6:30 p.m., Faulconer Gallery will host “Defining Moments,” an exhibition and reception for young artists who created work during these summer outreach programs.

Faulconer Gallery is also partnering with Drake Community Library, City of Grinnell Parks and Recreation, Grinnell Community Day Care/Preschool Day Camp, Davis Stars, the Galaxy and Galaxy’s new programs at Montezuma and Brooklyn on a variety of events. Registration is required for some of these events, and more information is available from the individual organizations.

For more information on the Faulconer Arts Outreach in the Parks program, contact Tilly Woodward at 641-269-4663 or


More than 1,300 expected for Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 1-3

Thursday, May. 24, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

More than 1,300 Grinnell College alumni, friends and family will return to campus for the 133rd Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 1-3, travelling from as far as South Africa, Switzerland and Hong Kong to enjoy a full weekend of programming.

Alumni College, which begins Wednesday preceding Reunion, gives former students a chance to return to the classroom with courses on activism and entrepreneurship taught by Victoria Brown and Sarah Purcell, history; Doug Caulkins, anthropology; Mark Montgomery, economics; Kesho Scott, sociology; and Barb Trish, political science.

The Alumni College program will open with an “excursion” through the town of Grinnell to reacquaint alumni with the community and its many volunteer and service organizations. The town tour will be led by Grinnell students involved in community groups.

George Drake, president emeritus and professor emeritus of history, will present the annual faculty lecture, “Grinnell College, Then and Now,” at 8:30 a.m., Sat., June 2, in Alumni Recitation Hall, Room 302. Alumni Awards for service to professions, the college, and community will be presented to 10 honored members of reunion classes on Sat. at 3:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel. Other weekend highlights include music by alumni bands; the traditional bakery run; an oral history project; and tours of new campus buildings.

For a complete schedule of reunion activities, go to


Record number of Grinnellians win Fulbright awards this year

Thursday, May. 17, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

A record number of Grinnell College seniors have accepted Fulbright assistantships for international teaching and research assignments next year—11 who will graduate on Mon., May 21, plus one recent graduate, making a total of 12 Fulbrights for Grinnellians this year.

The prestigious Fulbright international education exchange program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries and is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. State Department.

“This has been a banner year for Grinnellians in the Fulbright competition,” said Doug Cutchins, director of social commitment. “Grinnell has consistently been a top producer for the Fulbright program, but this year we exceeded even our own expectations.” Cutchins said that a record number of Grinnell students applied to the Fulbright program (55) and a record number received offers (15) or were named alternates (7).

Grinnellians and their country assignments for 2012-13 include:

• Elizabeth Behr, a French and anthropology major from Edina, Minn., will teach English in South Korea.

• Jared Dye, a Russian major from Mount Vernon, Ia., accepted an English teaching assistantship in Russia.

• Marco (Max) Fulgoni, an anthropology and Spanish major from Kalamazoo, Mich., accepted an English teaching assistantship in Malaysia.

• Laura Glass, a religious studies major from Albuquerque, N.M., will teach English in Nepal.

• Claire Griffith, a political science major from Westminster West, Vt., accepted an English teaching assistantship in Macedonia.

• Kristen Moreland, a Russian major from Pella, Ia., accepted an English teaching assistantship in Russia.

• Christopher Neubert, a 2008 graduate from Des Moines, Ia., will conduct independent research and field work in Sri Lanka.

• Hannah Taylor, a German and English major from Williamsburg, Va., accepted an English teaching assistantship in Germany.

• Noah Tetenbaum, a philosophy major from Amherst, Mass., will study Arabic in Egypt.

• Emily Ullberg, a psychology and Chinese major from Prairie View, Ill., will work with the Rural Education Action Project in China.

• Justin Wedell, a political science major from Pepper Pike, Ohio, has accepted an English teaching assistantship to Turkey.

• Robin Wetherill, an anthropology major from Indianapolis, Ind., will teach English in the Czech Republic.

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.


Iowa story "Mayberry" on stage in Roberts Theatre May 4

Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

“Mayberry,” an Iowa story with national implications by playwright Sean Christopher Lewis, will be on stage at Grinnell College, Fri., May 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Roberts Theatre of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell campus.

Lewis created “Mayberry” to explore the impact of Iowa City’s growing African American population and the dynamics of communities in transition. Grinnell is the second stop for this Hancher Auditorium-commissioned production. Members of Iowa City-based Working Group Theatre will perform the new work that is intended to embrace the challenges and opportunities of a growing, diverse, enlightened community. The production includes adult language and themes.

Tickets are required for the Grinnell performance and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts box office, beginning Tues., May 1, noon-5 p.m. Limited tickets are also available from the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell. For ticket questions, call641-269-3101 or go to

The “Mayberry” performance at Grinnell is sponsored by the college’s Public Events Committee. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts is located at 1108 Park St. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or


Caribbean novelist Jamaica Kincaid to speak at May 21 Commencement

Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012 12:00 am | Contact: *Editor's note: release distributed as "the college's 166th Exercises of Commencement;" should have read "Exercises of Commencement in the 166th year of the college."

Grinnell, IA - Caribbean novelist Jamaica Kincaid will address the Grinnell College Class of 2012 at the college’s 166th Exercises of Commencement, on Mon., May 21, at 10 a.m. on Central Campus.*

Kincaid, known as a “significant voice in contemporary literature,” is the author of “At the Bottom of the River,” “Annie John,” “A Small Place,” “Lucy,” “Autobiography of My Mother,” and “My Brother.” Her “highly personal, stylistic, and honest writings” are considered loosely autobiographical from her upbringing in Antigua, with strong images of “tenuous mother-daughter relationships amid themes of anticolonialism.” Kincaid was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 for her works of short fiction, novels and essays which have also appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times Magazine and Kenyon Review. She currently holds the Josephine Olp Weeks Chair as professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, Calif.

As commencement speaker, Kincaid will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree from Grinnell. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to Grinnell alumni Pat Irwin, longtime performer with the B-52s art music group, and Carolyn Swartz Bucksbaum, cultural and civic activist, philanthropist and Grinnell trustee.

Grinnell College, which annually confers B.A. degrees on more than 400 students, 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.

In the event of inclement weather, the May 21 commencement ceremony will be held in the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center. The ceremony will also be livestreamed at For further information about Grinnell College commencement, go to


Mateo Jarquín awarded Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study

Saturday, Apr. 14, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell IA -  

Grinnell College student Mateo Jarquín has been awarded a $34,000 competitive Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study. Jarquín, a third-year history major from Nicaragua, was nominated by Grinnell for the national competition based on his academic record, post-graduate plans and financial need.

Jarquín’s career goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Latin American history and to become a professional commentator on Latin American affairs.   As a Grinnell student, Jarquín was selected as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and has conducted research on the relations of Latin American revolutionary regimes with the U.S. government. He has also served as a Spanish tutor, writing mentor, technology consultant, research assistant at Burling Library, and as a member of the history department’s student educational policy committee. 

The Beinecke Scholarship, administered by the Sperry Fund, “enables highly motivated students . . . to pursue opportunities and to be courageous in the selection of study in the arts, humanities and social studies.” Since the scholarship program began in 1975, more than 500 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions have been supported by the Sperry Fund.

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.



Briefly: upcoming events

Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - >Grinnell Singers to perform Duke Ellington jazz Fri.

On Fri., Apr. 20, the Grinnell Singers will perform Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts” with the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble and the Grinnell Oratorio Society. The concert at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall will also feature baritone Christopher Johnson and soprano Graciela Guzman. Ellington declared the "Sacred Concerts" to be the most important work he had ever done. This masterwork combines elements of jazz, gospel, classical, blues, and tap.  The Singers will also perform the Ellington works in downtown Des Moines on Sun., Apr. 22 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 600 6th Ave.

Student groups raise awareness to prevent sexual assault

Several student groups will co-sponsor events during the week of Apr. 23 to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual assault.  On Tues., Apr. 24 at 8 p.m. in JRC 101,  Real Men will host author and speaker Katie Hnida to share her story of sexual assaut by a teammate, years of silence and now spreading awareness. On Sat., Apr. 28, Real Men will join with Iowa Valley Community College (IVCC) to "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," a march to end sexual assault and domestic abuse.  The walk begins at Drake Community Library, 5th and Park, at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the walk go to Poweshiek County Emergency Serivces. Real Men would like to thank the Department of Athletics, SGA, Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice, Community Enhancement and Engagement, and Prof. Laura Armstrong at IVCC for supporting these activities.

Global Brigades chapter plans event to promote trip to Honduras

The campus chapter of Global Brigades will hold a fundraiser on Apr. 25 in Quad Dining of Main Hall to support a medical relief trip by 25 Grinnell students to Honduras in May.  Global Brigades, the world's largest student-run global health and sustainable development organization, sends brigades to Honduras, Panama, and Ghana to focus on developmental work. The Grinnell brigade will work with licensed physicians who will provide free medical and dental services to members of a rural community and local orphanage in Honduras. Each Grinnell brigader is expected to contribute $1,700 to cover the cost of housing, airfare and a contribution to Global Brigades for the May 21-27 trip. Tickets for the fundraiser may be purchased by contacting Xioaxi Yang ’14, Lisa Eshun-Wilson ’14, and Joseph Abraham ’14.

 UMOJA Conference Apr. 27-29

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More than 100 students from 36 Midwest institutions will join the Grinnell College African and Caribbean Students Union (ACSU) on campus Apr. 27-29 for the annual Umoja Conference.  The conference works to promote unity among the black student diaspora in the Midwest, encourage networking and host discussion on the experiences and challenges on campuses. The conference theme, according to ACSU organizers Alicia Afrah-Boateng ’12 and Nikeisha Sewell ’12, is ubuntu, the Bantu philosophy of “I am who I am because of who we all are.”  The weekend conference will feature a keynote speaker, guest performers and academic workshops.  Check out the various public events on the calendar.      


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