Alumni Awards

The Grinnell College Alumni Council selected ten alumni to receive Alumni Awards at the College’s 2016 Reunion. The Alumni Award recognizes individuals who embody Grinnell College’s mission of lifetime learning and service. Recipients have distinguished themselves by their service to their careers, their community, and/or the College.  

Recipients were honored during Alumni Assembly at Reunion 2016. This year we honored the following individuals:

David Palmer ’62
Caroline Tollefson Owens ’62
Susan Scholl Folstein ’66
James Randall ’66
David Gillcrist ’81
Laura Cleveland Shepherd ’82
Scott Shepherd ’82
Daniel Werner ’91
Luna Ranjit ’00


The Pioneer Award is a distinctive Alumni Award which recognizes noteworthy alumni who have graduated from Grinnell College within the past ten years. These honorees offer inspiration as models for their demonstrated commitment to the values and mission of Grinnell in such a short time. In 2016, the Pioneer Award was presented to:

Mrinalini Watsa ’06


Alumni Awards are presented each year during Alumni Assembly over Reunion Weekend. For a slideshow of this year's presentation of Alumni Awards, as well as other events at Reunion 2016, check out this Reunion recap.

§ Click here for the online Alumni Awards nomination form.*
We are currently accepting nominations for 2017. Nominations are due August 31, 2016.

Reunion 2017 classes will be: 65th Reunion Classes (1952, 1953), 60th Reunion Classes (1957, 1958), 50th Reunion Class (1967), 30th Reunion Classes (1986, 1987, 1988), 25th Reunion Class (1992), 10th Reunion Class (2007), and the 5th Reunion Classes (2011, 2012, 2013).

§ Nominations can be submitted during any year, not just during your Reunion year. Nominations received will be kept until the nominee's next Reunion, and will be available for the selection committee for two consecutive Reunion cycles in which the nominee is eligible for an award. If you would like to update a previously submitted nomniation, please call the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (866) 850-1846 (toll-free), or email us at

§ Current trustees and current Alumni Council members are not eligible for an Alumni Award. Nominations for alumni from non-reunion classes will be accepted but held until the appropriate Reunion year. Alumni who have received a Pioneer Award in the past are not eligible for an Alumni Award.


§ 2012 Alumni Award Recipients
§ All Previous Alumni Award Recipients (PDF) (Updated June 22, 2016)

The Alumni Council each year honors two seniors who have distinguished themselves through their donations of time and talent to the College, community, and fellow students.
Read more information and complete our online nomination form. (Not currently available.)

Return to the Reunion and Alumni College page.