What is the Wilson Center?

Endowed by Grinnell alumni Donald 1925 and Winifred Wilson 1927, the Wilson Center is the hub of innovation and leadership at Grinnell College. We sponsor curricular and co-curricular programming that:

  • Develops Knowledge: enhances a critical understanding of the key traits of leadership and innovation and how success in these areas is affected by social and historical contexts.
  • Encourages Practice: creates opportunities both on and off-campus for students to develop and practice skills critical to leadership and innovation.
  • Inspires Action: motivates students to embrace the challenges of innovation and leadership.
  • Promotes Reflection: assists students in recognizing their own aptitudes and interests for leadership and innovation.
  • Reveals Synergies: helps students to recognize the common traits between their liberal arts education and leadership and innovation.
  • Provides Mentorship and Modeling: introduces students to successful leaders and innovators, with particular attention to our own alumni.

We seek to engage students from different areas of study and diverse backgrounds for one common purpose: to inspire and prepare students as innovators and leaders.

Jeff Blanchard

Jeffrey Blanchard

Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Director, Donald and Winifred Wilson Center for Innovation and Leadership

Stephanie Peterson

Stephanie Peterson

Program Coordinator 

Visiting Short Course Instructors

  • Jenny Samuels, Spring '24, WIL-101-01 Law and Social Change
  • Kevin Allen, Fall ’23, WIL-101-01 Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Katy Wells, Fall ’23, WIL-101-02 Creating Marketing Campaigns


Leadership Council

Kevin Allen
Founder and CEO of EI Games Incorporated

Barb Baker
Director—Advertising and Community Relations at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance

Terri Brady ’79
Executive Director of Professional Development at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy

Kathy Clemons-Beasley ’95
Global Head of Leadership and Manager Development at BlackRock Fund

Robert Gehorsam '76
Start-up founder and advisor to early-stage companies and venture funds in digital media, climate, behavioral health, immersive technologies, online education, and interactive entertainment 

Ajuna Kyaruzi ’17
Developer Relations at Datadog

Wesley Schrock ’99
Senior Investment Officer, Latin America, at Kiva


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