Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grinnell College…One of America’s Great Liberal Arts Colleges

For the better part of the past decade, I have had the privilege of serving on the Grinnell College board of trustees. What a fabulous experience! Grinnell College is the rock of our community. GRMC has certainly benefited over the years—both tangibly and intangibly—through relationships with the college.

In early May, the college board held its spring meeting on campus. A special highlight of this meeting was the celebration known as Selah. Orchestrated by the college’s past board chair, Nord Brue, Selah offered a time to pause and take stock of the excellence that Grinnell College has been, currently enjoys, and will be in the future.

We especially enjoyed celebrating the “fourth” rebuilding of the college with outgoing President Russell Osgood. During the 12 years with Russell at the helm, the college has constructed many new buildings. As vice-chair of the buildings and grounds committee, I have enjoyed watching it unfold. A fine arts center, four new dorms, a major addition to the science building, a new campus center, and an athletic and fitness complex, along with several major renovations have all been accomplished in a fiscally prudent manner. We have also witnessed growth in the college’s academic and financial strength. This is a tribute to not just Russell, but also to the faculty, staff, board members, and students.

As Russell departs to teach around the world and return to the Osgood home in New England, we welcome the 13th Grinnell College president. Dr. Raynard Kington is the current deputy director of the National Institutes of Health. He holds a medical degree from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. from the Wharton School of Business. We are excited about Dr. Kington and his family coming to Grinnell this summer to start his tenure at Grinnell. The GRMC medical community is looking forward to the opportunity to interact with Dr. Kington and his partner, Peter Daniolos, M.D. Dr. Daniolos is a child psychiatrist currently practicing at Children’s National Medical Center. He is also on the faculty at George Washington University.

I’d also like to share an interesting side note from the meeting. I am one of a few trustees on the board who is not an alum. At the student forum, we heard five outstanding presentations from student groups. The Scarlet and Black (the student newspaper), snapped a photo of me with several students after the presentations. The photo appeared on the front page of the newspaper with the caption “trustee Todd Linden ’85.” Although I received my undergraduate degree in 1985, it was from the University of Iowa. I have found myself hoping that my name will be called with the rest of the Grinnell College graduates this year. But I will not hold my breath. The S&B does not have that kind of authority!

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