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


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


    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


    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.

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