Intercollegiate Athletic Competition During Fall Term 1

June 29, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Following a series of conversations and consultations, we write to update you on Fall Term 1 competition within the athletics experience at Grinnell College.

We have approached every decision about the coming school year, including this one, using a public health framework that prioritizes the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community. Based on the best currently available public health information, we have decided that while there will be athletics at Grinnell this year, we will not compete against other colleges during Fall Term 1. Given the College’s location in a small, rural area, our value of social responsibility, our need to maintain a small campus population this fall, and the inherent risk of transmission associated with competition and travel, we feel this is the safest choice in an enduringly challenging situation. 

Currently, this decision applies only to sports with schedules that occur within the first fall term. Daily, we learn from media and public health reports how the virus is disrupting hopes of restarting athletics competition this fall at every level across the country, from professional to collegiate to high school. We will continue to closely monitor the latest research and reports and will announce our decisions about Fall Term 2, Spring Term 1, and Spring Term 2 as those terms draw nearer.

Since we all departed campus in March, the pandemic continues to disrupt lives, and our longing to be together again only grows. The resurgence of the virus across the country in recent days is an indicator of further shifting conditions to come. And so, we know that we must reimagine how we experience life together in the wake of the pandemic, especially as epidemiologists and medical experts learn more about the lasting damage the virus has on people of all ages.

With this decision, the College is positioned to research alternatives that honor athleticism for our student-athletes. We have the utmost confidence that the talented faculty, coaches, and students who make athletics at Grinnell a vibrant part of so many student experiences will discern and design these meaningful alternatives. 

Let us reassure you that the Board of Trustees and administration of Grinnell College are committed to the success of our student-athletes and the entire athletics program. This was not a decision reached lightly by any of us whose responsibility it is to make. Please know, we made it with your health and future and the well-being of the entire Grinnell community in mind.


Raynard S. Kington, President
Anne Harris, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

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