Grinnell’s Oldest Surviving Group Awards Six Scholarships

October 16, 2018

The Ladies Education Society (LES), founded in 1862, has awarded scholarships to six seniors on the basis of academic excellence, character, leadership, and financial need.


The 2018-19 LES scholarship recipients are:

  • Ruth Brindel ’19, a biology major from St. Louis, Missouri;
  • Acadia Broussard ’19, a history and French major from St. Louis, Missouri;
  • Hanna Kessel ’19, an English and gender, women’s and sexuality studies major with a global development studies concentration from Cave Creek, Arizona;
  • Nora Madrigal ’19, a chemistry and classics major from Trenton, New Jersey;
  • Anna Tuchin ’19, an English major from Fair Lawn, New Jersey; and
  • Keli Vitaioli ’19, a political science major with a global development studies concentration from Wheeling, Illinois.

The society annually awards scholarships totaling approximately $15,000. The scholarships are designed to reduce the amount of the recipients’ student loans when they graduate.

The oldest surviving organization at Grinnell College, LES was established 156 years ago to grant educational loans to encourage young women to pursue a college education at Grinnell College. Young women who were college graduates were needed as teachers because so many men were serving in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and most of the teaching positions had been filled by men.

In 1914, in addition to the loans offered, LES established a scholarship to be awarded annually to a single young woman. Over time, as the endowment has grown, the single scholarship has been replaced by multiple awards to senior women, usually four to six per year. The society no longer provides loans.

Officers of the LES Board are:

  • Dr. Peter Daniolos, president;
  • Jan Gross, acting president;
  • Harriet Adelberg, vice president;
  • Leslie Lyons, secretary;
  • Lynn Cavanagh, treasurer; and
  • Sue Drake ’58, historian.

Daniolos, spouse of Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, fulfills the original tradition of inviting the college president’s spouse to serve as president of LES. For the second consecutive year, he hosted the fall tea, where scholarship recipients were honored and had the opportunity to network with LES officers and members.

Four new faculty members have joined LES upon being elected by the board. They are:

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