Monday, Jun. 2, 2014 3:53 pm

Grinnell, Iowa - Two Grinnell College alumni have been awarded Joseph F. Wall Alumni Service Awards of $25,000 each for service projects in their selected non-profit organizations. The awards were presented at Grinnell College’s reunion celebration the last weekend in May.

The 2014 Wall Alumni Service Award winners are:          

  • Laura Ruth Johnson, a 1992 graduate who lives in Chicago. Johnson will use her $25,000 Wall Service Award to support Proyecto Atabey, a project she founded to provide mentorship and support to young Latina and African-American mothers in Humboldt Park, Ill. This intergenerational mentoring project will take place at an alternative high school serving young people aged 16-21. Through Projecto Atabey, mothers in the community who were themselves teen parents will offer presentations sharing their experiences and advice. The project will also provide mentoring, activities and workshops designed to help participants finish high school, become more independent, and achieve educational, professional and personal success.
  • Scott R. Porter, a 1980 graduate who now lives in Orlando, Fla. Porter will use his $25,000 Wall Award to expand two complementary programs that he leads in Orlando, Fla., to help disabled athletes access adaptive sports equipment.  Through the first program, Porter and other challenged athletes operate adaptive sports clinics that help recently disabled athletes discover and become active in new sports activities.  The second project will add five handcycles to an equipment-lending program that allows challenged athletes to experiment with equipment before applying for funding to purchase their own handcycles.  Together, the two programs help newly disabled individuals select and acquire adaptive sports equipment that leads to a higher quality of life, a sense of accomplishment, and the possibility of hope after accidents and loss.

About the Wall Alumni Service Awards

The Wall Alumni Service Awards were established during the college's sesquicentennial celebration in 1996 to honor the college's long commitment to social responsibility and public service. The awards are named in honor of the late Joe Wall, a professor of history at Grinnell who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his Grinnell students. The Wall Awards provide financial support for Grinnell graduates to engage in service projects, programs and organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of others. Projects may be original or supplement existing projects or programs; they may be local, regional, national or international in scope; and may be carried out domestically or internationally. Since the inception of the Wall awards in 1996, more than $850,000 has been distributed to the service projects of more than 36 Grinnellians.

The Wall Alumni Service Awards are open to all graduates of Grinnell College with a service commitment to benefit others. For more information, go to

About Grinnell College

Since its founding in 1846, Grinnell has become one of the nation's premier liberal arts colleges, enrolling 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries. Grinnell's rigorous academic program emphasizes excellence in education for students in the liberal arts; the college offers the B.A. degree in a range of departments across the humanities, arts and sciences. Grinnell has a strong tradition of social responsibility and action, and self-governance and personal responsibility are key components of campus life. More information about Grinnell College is available at