Students dancing at a Harris event.

Distinctly Grinnellian

Only here. Only Grinnell.

Grinnell has a history of students marching to the beat of their own drum. Enlivening proud traditions. Creating new ones. Crafting engaging (and often quirky) moments of community out here in all this space.

If you're wondering what it's really like to go to Grinnell, our students can probably explain it to you best. We asked them, "What makes an experience distinctly Grinnellian?" This is what they said.

Yesenia Mozo interviews a student in Spencer Grill

What's distinct about Grinnell?

Student led - year after year.

We have a long history of students who show up and stand out, and it's what makes Grinnell a special place. Student keep it special through self-governance, and organizing principle that enables us to honor favorite traditions and create new ones. Student-led events are some of the most anticipated mainstays of the Grinnell calendar, and every year brings a new set of students to put their stamp on these customs and pass them on to the next generation of Grinnellians.
Titular Head judges and audience

Titular Head

One of the most memorable events of the year - and certainly the most uproarious - is Titular Head, a film festival composed completely of student submissions. "The majority of the student body piles into the Harris Center to watch. These films are always strange and quirky in a very Grinnellian way." says Ben Brim ’23.

Student attempts to build plastic cup tower

Grinnell Relays

The Relays are one of our longest-running traditions, and the event recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Founded in part by our own Professor Wayne Moyer, this is a field day of sorts, where teams of six take to Mac Field to compete in a series of relay-based games. Relays are led by Moyer himself, who dons his golden helm, and is cheered on by hordes of Grinnellians looking to enjoy the sun and some friendly competition.

Student dances with bright orange scarf

ISO Cultural Evening

Every spring, Grinnellians pile into the Harris Center for Cultural Evening, a series of performances organized by the International Students Organization (ISO). It's an inspiring moment of repose as finals approach, and it's one of your many chances to see a friend sing, or play, or put on a set of any kind. "It's always so cool," says Andrew Nickelson ’23. "It also helps that many Grinnellians are incredibly talented."

Extraordinary journeys begin here.

Committed to Access

Access extends to our favorite spots and our most amusing events, because we're at our best when we're all in - all of us. Like Ainsley Yuknis ’25 says, "I think Grinnellians are good at making an event out of anything, and everyone contributes." We're about to let you in on some choice information from future classmates. Just remember that some of the best parts of Grinnell are continually being made. What will you contribute?
Humanities and Social Studies Center HSSC at dusk

Humanities and Social Studies Center

The Humanities and Social Studies Center (HSSC) is unsurprisingly, where the humanities and social studies meet. Students come here to be inspired by innovative learning experiences, in classrooms designed to be truly used and reconfigured. What might surprise you is that this is also where Grinnellians meet biweekly for themed movie nights with homemade treats, new friends, and one massive projector.

Sign says "peace love compost" in the student garden

Student Garden

For a quiet moment and a clear mind, Grinnellians go to the garden. The Center for Prairie Studies established the Campus Garden in 2000 to provide the campus and community with organic, local produce. Students learn about what goes into sustainable food production while making a difference with their hands and meeting like-minded Grinnellians.

two students walking in the loggia

The Loggias

Loggia n. [loh-JA] A covered outdoor corridor or galley.

"The loggias are pretty special to Grinnell," says Elisabeth Kille ’23. "Saying something like 'Let's meet in the south loggia" at the beginning of first year would have made no sense to me, but now I don't give it a second thought." The three dorm clusters each have their own loggia, and each one has a unique personality. With warmer days come bike rides by the north loggia and student performances in the east loggia.

There for each other and the community.

"I love that my friends at Grinnell are so thoughtful and considerate, and they go out of their way to include me. I know that they want the best for me," says MJ Uzzi ’23. Being a Grinnellian means being a thoughtful member of our community, both on campus and off. It means being there for your fellow Grinnellians. Here's how we do that.

A group of students in bright clothing sing enthusiastically

Student Organizations

Grinnellians belong everywhere, but we get to decide where we fit in best. With a collection of over a hundred student organizations that's growing every day, we invite you to find your fit with people who will inspire your curiosity and spark your self-discovery.

rendering of civic engagement quad

Civic Engagement

Acting as a gateway between Grinnell College and Grinnell, Iowa, the Civic Engagement Quad seeks to foster collaboration between the campus and the community, so that each can support the other. Grinnellians value the interdependence of their communities and champion access for all.

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