National Philanthropy Week 2013
National Philanthropy Week 2013: Students leave words of thanks on book store wall.On a snowy start to the school week, students scrawled their responses to the question "What are you thankful for at Grinnell?" See more photos of the wall signing.

National Philanthropy Week posters on campus. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations placed posters around campus that express some of the fine points about how alumni and others have supported Grinnell College. Go here for a look. Our kudos, by the way, to the staff of the Office of Communications at Grinnell College for designing these great posters!

Digging Deep: David Evans '64

 David Evans '64 with David May ‘65 and Barbara Hunt Moore ‘65, on the Grinnell College campus, celebrating their 45th Reunion Weekend.

I was a kid from a small Nebraska town who learned to think and found fulfillment of my dreams and aspirations within reach.  I pursued a career in public service, and made contributions that were satisfying and significant.  I joined my best friend from our college days, Joe Stiffler, in starting and building a successful business.  In all of those, Grinnell was the linchpin.

        During the years that I worked on the U. S. Senate Education Subcommittee, I learned the importance of student financial aid.  I saw where Pell Grants could help a young black woman get a college degree that led to a profession previously closed to a person of her race and her gender.  I saw adults realize their potential with a community college education made possible by hard work and student aid.  And I saw young men and women, because of grants, loans, and programs like work study, become the first members of their family to get a college education.

        I looked also at Grinnell so see how it measured up.  Over 85% of Grinnell students today receive financial aid without which a Grinnell education could well be beyond their reach.  Over one quarter of Grinnell students receive Pell Grants, which means Grinnell reaches out to the most needy students more than virtually all of our peers.  Of the earnings Grinnell takes from its endowment, 73% goes to student aid, which helps explain why the diversity of its talented student body is a reality and not just a promise.  And the college makes Herculean efforts to hold student borrowing down so that Grinnell graduates have student indebtedness far, far below the average of its peers.

        I look at what I did professionally and I look at what Grinnell is doing.  The two mesh in a very compelling way.  Make no mistake about it, Grinnell is an exceptional school.  I knew that when I went there, and it’s even more true today.  While I am not a wealthy person, I am indeed a very fortunate one.  I’ve been pretty consistent in giving to Grinnell, but I think it’s time to dig a bit deeper.  I’ve pledged $150,000 to the Class of 1964 Scholarship Program, $30,000 in cash over the next five years and $120,000 as a part of my will.  Our 50th Reunion comes only once, and I can’t think of a better time to do this.

        I remember vividly that my parents paid Grinnell $200 a month to pay for my education.  That was truly digging deep for them.  Neither of them had a college education, but they told me that their legacy would be the education they provided for their two children.  I figure that following in their footsteps is a pretty good thing to do, and that Grinnell is a good place to do it.

        I hope very much that you will join me in digging as deep as you can on behalf of Grinnell.