“I like knowing that I can enable new students to enjoy those same kinds of opportunities.”
It all started by bravely forging a path from the forested mountains of Norway to a new home on the Midwestern prairie.
Endre Veka ‘97, like many others, set foot on the campus of Grinnell College when the prairieland of Iowa in late summer was one big oven. However, the blistering arrival actually marked the beginning of a lasting and warm Grinnell relationship for Veka.
Veka is among the College’s generous contributors. His appreciation for Grinnell includes a growing realization of Grinnell’s uniqueness—a realization that underpins a passion for giving.
“I feel fortunate to have had the unique opportunities I did,” Veka says. “Being able to give back to the place that has given me so much is an honor. I like knowing that I can enable new students to enjoy those same kinds of opportunities.”
Veka, a physics and economics double major at Grinnell, recalls enjoying many opportunities, from Grinnell’s intimate classroom experience to the expansive excursions sponsored by the Grinnell Outdoor Recreation Program, to cultural events as varied as a continuing stream of movies and fine arts films as well as a string of concerts by favorite bands.
An opportunity that Veka could not pass up was Grinnell’s generous financial aid offer, which made his decision to leave a small mountain town in Norway a little easier. Not that there were not growing pains.
“The Iowa heat in August is tough for anyone,” says Veka, whose grandmother and great uncle also attended Grinnell. “Imagine coming to that from Norway, on top of the other adjustments of getting used to a new country and a new roommate.”
Through his gifts to Grinnell College, Veka, now a resident of Portland, Ore., has helped ensure that his former Midwestern prairie home remains as warm and welcoming as ever.