First year students from the class of 2021 receive their medallion's during a ceremony at Herrick Chapel

Tradition

Sure, we’re well known for our strong academic legacy. But for true Grinnellians, our name brings to mind a few other traditions.

There are the picturesque loggias. The jungle gyms built into Burling Library. The train tracks that cut right through campus. Our campus, with its mix of historical and modern architecture, is one that Grinnellians are proud to call home.

  • Three students hold candles outdoors at dusk

    Traditions

    We’re a quirky bunch.

    We’ve built a legacy of social activism. But as a group of creative, passionate individuals, we’ve also got a few traditions that you won’t find anywhere else.

    • Dressing up in our finest fashions for the winter or spring waltz.
    • 2 a.m. bakery runs, or ice cream and corn nuggets at Dari Barn. Not to mention Pagliai’s pizza.
    • A little lighthearted competition at the Grinnell Relays.
    • Adding to the graffiti collection covering the library bathrooms.
    • Dial-a-Johns.
    • Mattress sledding in ARH. (You heard that right.)
    • Our Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir. (And yes, any student can join.)
  • Medallion on a printed Grinnell College seal

    History

    With the College preparing to celebrate its quartoseptcentennial (that's 175 years), there's a lot of material to cover. From its abolitionist roots to the incubation of the Social Gospel movement, Grinnell has a deeply meaningful history and a legacy of activism.

  • Student walking in front of ARH in spring

    Notable Alumni

    Some of the greatest go forth from Grinnell.

    Activism and public service. Arts and entertainment. Business. Literature, science, and mathematics. Education. Government and politics. Journalism and media. Medicine and law. Retail, fashion, and sports. Pretty much any subject you can think of, there are Grinnellians who have made their mark.

  • Two singers and a director

    The Grinnell Songbook

    Songs about Grinnell, written by Grinnellians, evoke the traditions and timeless essence of the college. Except some of them are quite dated and very funny.

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide a better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and to opt-out of cookies at any time, please refer to our website Privacy Policy.