Spencer Clark

Spencer’s Journey


Spencer Clark


English and Anthropology


Bettendorf, Iowa

I thought I wanted to go to a big-city school until I visited Grinnell. Once I stepped foot on campus, I fell in love with Grinnell. I loved how Grinnell had a very personalized experience that was well-resourced, fun, and nerdy.

What really sealed the deal for me to commit to Early Decision was how Grinnell had a warm and welcoming student body. People would wave to me when I was lost on campus, smile and open doors for me, and include me in conversations in dining halls. Strangers being kind was one of the biggest reasons why I chose Grinnell. 

Me holding up my Grinnell bag the summer after freshman year of high school


As a new first-year starting at Grinnell, I was hoping to meet some new friends, get along well with my swim team, and figure out my major, since I was super undecided going in. 

I can safely report that all of those — but especially making friends — have not been an issue at all. Everyone is super friendly; I immediately made friends from my Tutorial class, and some of my best friends have come from the swim and water polo teams.

Especially on the swim team, it has been impossible to not get close to them. We spend so much time together, and as a first-year on the swim team, I was taken under the wing of third- and fourth-year swimmers and divers. They even included me in the Dungeons and Dragons group they had when I told them I wanted a nerdy experience!


First Class (Tutorial)

My first class was “Flat Earth, Ancient Aliens, and Other Crypto-Sciences,” which was a super fun, out there, nerdy class that got me out of my comfort zone. I loved that my first experience in a college class wasn’t like “traditional” academia, and it helped me realize that college can be very fun environment to learn in.

Grinnell is an awesome space where you can study anything you want — everything is conducive to what you are most passionate about.

Summer with Students!

During the summer after my second year, I interned for Grinnells admission office. Touring campus as a high schooler, I had had a great experience, and I wanted to pay that forward.

This was also a place where I found real passion working and interacting with people. I gave tours to high schoolers and families who were curious about Grinnell. It was so cool to meet people from all over the country and world and to help them find their homes for the next four years.

Two people I gave tours to are now on the swim team at Grinnell. I joke with them that I’m the reason why they came to Grinnell, and they don’t disagree!

Me looking at the camera at the front desk, with Grinnell logo in background


My junior year, I studied abroad on the Grinnell-in-London program. It’s a program taught by Grinnell professors, and this year my anthropology adviser was teaching a class. I really liked how the program aligned with my majors (English and anthropology) and combined my interests. 

During my time in London, I researched and interviewed Polish immigrants about their experiences with community after Brexit. I got firsthand accounts on how anthropology can bring real impact to conversations, and I met tons of amazing people this way.

And most importantly, the warmth and compassion I experienced in London showed me that the friendliness that I thought was “Iowa nice” was far more universal than I thought!



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I am a J.D. candidate at the University of Iowa College of Law. I went into law like I came to Grinnell: super undecided, but excited for what's to come! As long as I am working with people, I will be very happy.

I hope to travel more. Although I love the state of Iowa, going abroad has shown me there’s so much more out there.

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