Family Weekend

On behalf of the entire College, the Division of Student Affairs invites all families to Family Weekend 2014. The dates for Family Weekend 2014 are Friday, September 26 through Sunday, September 28. Plan now to attend this fall!

Weekend Activities

Family Weekend 2014 is the perfect opportunity to spend time with your student, meet faculty members, and become better acquainted with Grinnell College. Past Family Weekend activities have included:

  • Academic classroom visits
  • An ice cream social hosted by the Division of Students Affairs
  • Shabbat service and table on Friday night hosted by Chalutzim, Grinnell's Jewish student organization
  • Poster presentations about student research initiatives in the science, social studies, and humanities divisions
  • Campus and community tours
  • Observatory open house to see the stars
  • Family Weekend Parade and Pep Fest
  • Several athletic competitions
  • An outdoor music festival
  • A Family Listserv meet-up/coffee hour
  • An interdenominational Worship Service on Sunday morning
  • A Jazz Brunch on Sunday
Schedule of Events

Friday, Sept. 26

8 a.m.–4:05 p.m.
Class Visits
Families are invited to attend classes and visit informally with faculty members. A schedule of classes that can accommodate visitors is available at the Family Weekend welcome and information desk in the lobby of Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.

8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Campus Office Visit Drop-ins
Please feel free to make an appointment or drop in to various campus offices, including:

  • Admission (interviews for prospective students should be made in advance by calling 800-247-0113)
  • Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS)
  • Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice (CRSSJ)
  • Division of Student Affairs suite
  • Financial Aid
  • Off-Campus Study (OCS)
  • Registrar

8 a.m.–8 p.m.
Family Weekend Registration and Information Desk Open
Please park in the campus lot across from the Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center on 10th Avenue. A map of all campus parking can be found at
Rosenfield Center, lobby

8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Visit the Grinnell College Bookstore
Check out the Grinnell College Bookstore or the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell for great Grinnell insignia clothing and gifts. Be sure to take advantage of the 10 percent discount on selected items.
Carnegie Hall, southeast entrance

9 a.m.
Office of Admission Information Session
Prospective students and families can learn more about Grinnell College. An admission counselor will discuss important information about the Grinnell experience, the application process, and financial aid. There will be time for questions and answers.
John Chrystal Center, second floor

10 a.m.
Admission Campus Tour
Led by a student guide, a campus tour will help portray a sense of Grinnell’s atmosphere by exploring campus grounds and facilities.
Departs from Chrystal Center, second floor

1 p.m.
Office of Admission Information Session
Chrystal Center, second floor

2:15 p.m.
Admission Campus Tour
Departs from Chrystal Center, second floor

3 p.m.
Gumaa Prayer
This weekly session of the Muslim Prayer Group is open for all to observe or participate. Led by adjunct religious leader Kamal Hammouda.
Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice, prayer garage

3–5 p.m.
Ice Cream Social and Resources Fair
Join Grinnell’s staffers from the Division of Student Affairs and other staff from throughout the College for an afternoon ice cream treat while learning about resources available to your student at Grinnell. Representatives from the following areas will be available to meet and answer your questions: Student Government Association; Center for Careers, Life, and Service; Academic Advising/Disability Resources; Student Health and Counseling Services; Campus Safety and Security; International Student Affairs; Residence Life and Orientation; Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice; Athletics; Wellness; and Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.
North Campus Grove between Younker Hall and Rosenfield Center
Rain location: Rosenfield Center, first and second floor lobbies

4:30–6:30 p.m.
Family Weekend Parade and Pep Fest
Cheer on and support student athletes, student clubs, and organizations for the third annual Family Weekend Parade and Pep Fest. Sponsored by the student club [Enthusiasm], the parade will head west on Eighth Avenue and conclude on the Central Campus stage. Music and bouncy castles will make this an event not to be missed!
Eighth Avenue between Noyce Science Center and Rosenfield Center, in the Rosenfield Center courtyard; canceled if inclement weather.

5–6 p.m.
Bucksbaum Center 15th Anniversary Celebration and Reception
Join Faulconer Gallery in celebrating its 15th anniversary. Tour an outstanding exhibition, Edward Burtynsky: Water (more information about this exhibit is included toward the back of this schedule). Refreshments will be served.
Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Faulconer Gallery and Rotunda

5:15 p.m.
Kabbalat Shabbat
All are invited to Kabbalat Shabbat, a short contemplative and spiritual service ushering in the Sabbath. Led by Rob Cabelli, associate chaplain and rabbi.
Rosenfield Center, Room 101

6:15 p.m.
Shabbat Table
All are invited to Shabbat Table, the weekly Shabbat dinner of vegetarian/dairy cuisine prepared by Grinnell College students from the student group Chalutzim, welcoming the Sabbath with the spirit of community and peace. For more information, please email Rob Cabelli at cabellir[at]grinnell[dot]edu.
Rosenfield Center, Room 101

7:30–9 p.m.
Jazz Ensemble Concert
Assistant music professor Mark Laver conducts the Jazz Ensemble in a concert featuring performances of jazz works of the large ensemble tradition. This is a new addition to the Family Weekend concert series; and we invite you to come, relax, and take in the harmonies and rhythms of this uniquely American style of music.
Bucksbaum Center, Sebring-Lewis Hall

8 p.m.
Lyle’s Pub Quiz
Test your knowledge with other family teams and compete for prizes in the First Annual Family Weekend Pub Quiz. Appetizers and nonalcoholic beverages are available for purchase. Those 21 and older (photo ID required) may purchase draught beer and bottled craft brews.
Lyle’s Pub, Rosenfield Center, lower level

9–11 p.m.
TENTATIVE: Grant O. Gale Observatory
Dependent upon weather conditions, the Gale Observatory may be open for viewing on an informal basis; no transportation would be provided. This observatory, north of Rosenbloom Field, features a reflecting telescope. If opened, physics professor Robert R. Cadmus, Jr. will be available during viewing hours. Please check with staff at the Family Weekend registration desk to see if the observatory will be open. Please note: Regardless of weather conditions, the observatory will be open Saturday night, complete with shuttle service.
Gale Observatory

Saturday, Sept. 27

8 a.m.
Morning Exercise Class

8–10 a.m.
Parents and Family Email Discussion Group
Meet with other members of the Parents and Family Email Discussion Group and enjoy each other’s company in person. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided.
Rosenfield Center, Laurel Leaf Lounge

8 a.m.–noon
Office of Admission
Interviews for prospective students should be arranged in advance by calling 800-247-0113.
Chrystal Center, second floor

8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Family Weekend Welcome and Information Desk Open
Rosenfield Center, lobby

9 a.m.
Office of Admission Information Session
Chrystal Center, second floor

9–10:30 a.m.
Science Division Poster Session and Coffee Reception
Engage with students as they present their research and summer internships in a scholarly poster session format. Science faculty and staff will also attend.
Noyce Science Center, Ahrens Atrium

9–10:30 a.m.
Social Studies and Humanities Divisions Poster Session and Coffee Reception
Engage with students as they present their research and summer internships in a scholarly poster session format. Social studies and humanities faculty and staff will also attend.
Rosenfield Center, second floor lobby

9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Raku Workshop
Families and students are invited to visit the Grinnell Arts Center in downtown Grinnell for a workshop on raku, a pottery technique which originated in Japan.
926 Broad St.

9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Visit the Grinnell College Bookstore
Check out the Grinnell College Bookstore or the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell for great Grinnell insignia clothing and gifts. Be sure to take advantage of the 10 percent discount on selected items.
Carnegie Hall, southeast entrance

10 a.m.
Admission Campus Tour
Departs from Chrystal Center, second floor

10 a.m.
Torah Study with Rabbi Rob
We invite all who are interested or curious to a Torah study session marking the period of self-reflection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We will look at texts relating to the challenge that all human beings face, individually and collectively — the challenge to grow, adapt, and change.  Torah study is an open-ended conversation, a way of grappling for meaning through the lens of Judaism’s wisdom literature.
Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice, prayer garage

 10 a.m.–noon
Grinnell Farmers Market
Come enjoy the Grinnell Farmers Market in downtown Grinnell and support local foods.
Fourth Avenue and Broad Street

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Trip to Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA)
Join biology faculty and staff members in touring the College’s biological field station including the wind turbine and educational center. Space is limited. Please sign up at the Family Weekend welcome and information desk in the Rosenfield Center lobby.
Departs from Rosenfield Center, lobby

11 a.m.
Admission Campus Tour
Departs from Chrystal Center, second floor

11 a.m.
Men’s Soccer vs. Illinois College
Jane Springer Soccer Field

11 a.m.–noon
Grinnell Community Walking Tour
Join Grinnell College students and Grinnell Chamber of Commerce staffers for a walking tour of downtown Grinnell.
Departs from the south entrance of the Chrystal Center

11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Grinnell Women’s Golf Invitational
Grinnell Golf and Country Club
13th Avenue and Park Street

Dine around Grinnell
The Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce encourages families and students to enjoy one (or more!) of the several dining establishments in town. For a complete listing of local restaurants and eateries, please visit the Chamber table in the Rosenfield Center lobby next to the Family Weekend welcome and information desk.

Noon–3 p.m.
[Freesound] Outdoor Music Fest
Bring your lunch and come enjoy the talents of student musicians as they provide an outdoor concert on Central Campus. Sponsored by [Freesound], a collaborative community of Grinnell College artists.
Central Campus stage; canceled if inclement weather

1 p.m.
Football vs. Macalester College
Rosenbloom Field

1:30 p.m.
Women’s Soccer vs. Illinois College
Springer Soccer Field

1:30–3 p.m.
Community Day at the Faulconer
Join Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and community outreach, for water-based art activities including marbling and cyanotypes. Tour the Faulconer Gallery’s exhibition, Edward Burtynsky: Water; participate in a scavenger hunt; and enjoy refreshments. People of all ages are welcome.
Bucksbaum Center, Faulconer Gallery and courtyard
Rain location: Bucksbaum Center, Faulconer Gallery and rotunda

2–3:30 p.m.
Grinnell Symphony Orchestra Concert
The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with Schützenkapelle Holzheim, presents a concert sponsored by the Grinnell College Music Department and Public Events Series. Schützenkapelle Holzheim ​is a wind orchestra from Germany. As part of its U.S. tour, this concert will feature performances of traditional German oom-pah music and combined performances with both ensembles. Eugene Gaub, associate professor of music, will also performing Mozart’s “Piano Concerto in E-flat, K. 271.” This musical collaboration is conducted by Eric McIntyre, associate professor of music, and special guest conductor Marius Galvin.
Bucksbaum Center, Sebring-Lewis Hall

3:30–4:30 p.m.
Walking Historical Tour of Grinnell College
Hear George Drake ’56, professor emeritus of history and former president of the College, provide a historical walking tour of Grinnell College. The tour will start with a brief presentation in Rosenfield Center, Room 101, and then depart for a brief one-block walking tour.
Departs from Rosenfield Center, Room 101

3:30–4:30 p.m.
A Cappella Concert
Hear the student vocal groups Con Brio, GTones, and Noteworthy perform songs from their repertoires.
Herrick Chapel

4 p.m.
Grinnell Meditation Group
Open to all who are interested, regular meditators and beginners alike, the Grinnell Meditation Group invites you to join others in meditation. While not affiliated with any particular religion, this group occasionally explores unique meditation styles within various practices.
Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice, prayer garage

4:30–5:15 p.m.
President’s Reception
Meet President Raynard S. Kington for an informal reception held in your honor. Brief remarks will be made at 4:45 p.m.
Central Campus stage
Rain location: Bucksbaum Center, rotunda

5–7 p.m.
Intercultural Family Dinner
The Multicultural Leadership Council, Student Government Association All-Campus Events Committee, Black Cultural Center, and the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership cordially invite the College community, faculty, staff, athletes, coaches, and families to a family-style barbecue.
Conney M. Kimbo Black Cultural Center

7:30–9 p.m.
Grinnell Singers and Oratorio Society Concert
John Rommereim, Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, conducts the Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society in a combined concert.
Bucksbaum Center, Sebring-Lewis Hall

8:00 p.m.
(Weekend) movie - TBD
Harris Center Cinema

9–11 p.m.
Grant O. Gale Observatory
The Gale Observatory, north of Rosenbloom Field, features a reflecting telescope. Physics professor Robert R. Cadmus, Jr. will be available during viewing hours.
Gale Observatory; a shuttle will depart every half-hour in front of the Joe Rosenfield Center.


Sunday, Sept. 28

8 a.m.
Yoga in the Gallery
Connecting breath and movement, this 40-minute yoga practice offers a relaxing way to start the day while viewing an outstanding exhibition, Edward Burtynsky: Water. Enjoy warming and invigorating poses, finishing with a period of relaxation. For beginners and experienced practitioners alike. Mats provided.
Bucksbaum Center, Faulconer Gallery

9:30–11 a.m.
Bagel Brunch
Chalutzim of Grinnell College invites you to a taste of multicultural, polyglot America, the complete lox ’n’ bagel brunch (with all the trimmings).  Food, drink, and good company will be served. Due to the great popularity of this event, please register on the Family Weekend registration website to ensure there is enough food for all.
Rosenfield Center, Room 209

10:30 a.m.
Interdenominational Christian Worship Service
Worship service led by Deanna L.K. Shorb, College chaplain.
Herrick Chapel

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Jazz Brunch
A relatively new yet cherished tradition, this jazz brunch serves as the capstone event for Family Weekend. Families and students are invited to a festive brunch that will include jazz music, provided by Grinnell College students and alumni, and a variety of brunch fare. For those not on the College’s board plan, meals may be purchased at the door ($10 per person). As there is no scheduled program, please feel free to dine whenever is convenient.
Rosenfield Center, Marketplace Dining Hall

1:30 p.m.
Women’s Soccer vs. Cornell College
Springer Soccer Field

General Information

Contact the Division of Student Affairs at 641-269-3700.

Wireless Internet Access
Guests may click on the wireless icon for their operating system (Windows or Mac) and choose GrinnellFamilyWeekend.

If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Services Desk at

Parents and Family Email Discussion Group
Grinnell College has a Parents and Family Email Discussion Group. The purpose of the discussion group is to provide an avenue of communication that will extend and enhance your relationship with Grinnell College through conversations with current Grinnell parents and family members. Whether your Grinnell student is a first-year or a graduate, you are encouraged to use this resource to share stories and advice and ask questions of fellow Grinnell parents and family members.

Please note: While College staff may “listen in” at times to get a feel for your concerns and ideas, this is NOT a forum through which to seek answers from College administrators. Please do not hesitate to contact an alumni relations staff member at 866-850-1846 should you have questions regarding the group.

If you would like to join the group, send a message to alumni[at]grinnell[dot]edu with your name, the name of the list (grinnellparents), and the email address under which you wish to subscribe.    

If you have questions or problems with any of these items, please contact Jayn Chaney ’05 at 866-850-1846 or

Recreational Opportunities
The Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center offers many facilities open to families including recreational gymnasia, a running track, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and courts for basketball, racquetball, and tennis. Athletic equipment and general information can be obtained at the equipment room in the lower level of the Bear Center. The center also offers daily swimming hours in the natatorium.

Bear Recreation and Athletic Center
Friday: 6 a.m.–11 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 7 a.m.–11 p.m.

Fitness Center
Friday: 6 a.m.–9 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Natatorium open swim hours
Friday: 6 a.m.-9 a.m., 11 a.m.–1 p.m., and 6:30–9 p.m.
Saturday: Noon–9 p.m.
Sunday: 1–5 p.m.

Climbing Wall
Friday: 4:15–6:15 p.m.

Grinnell College Bookstore

College Bookstore (Carnegie Hall)
Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Pioneer Bookshop (823 Fourth Ave.)
Friday: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Be sure to visit the College Bookstore during Family Weekend to receive a 10 percent discount on clothing, emblematic gifts, and books (excluding textbooks). Some other exclusions apply.

Campus Dining
Families who wish to dine at the Rosenfield Center Marketplace may purchase meals at the door.

Marketplace Dining Hours and Prices

Continuous dining: 7 a.m.–7 p.m. (You are welcome to dine at your convenience.)
Hot breakfast ($8): 7–10 a.m.
Continental breakfast ($6): 10–11 a.m.
Lunch ($10): 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Light lunch ($9): 1:30–5 p.m.
Dinner ($13): 5–7 p.m.

Continental breakfast ($6): 9–10 a.m.
Lunch ($10): 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Dinner ($13): 5–7 p.m.

Brunch* ($10): 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Dinner ($13): 5–7 p.m.

*The Marketplace will not be open for breakfast on Sunday morning. Instead, a jazz brunch will be served.

Cash or Visa, MasterCard, Discover accepted.

An ATM is near the campus mail services on the east side of Rosenfield Center.

The Spencer Grill
Located in Rosenfield Center, The Spencer Grill is the place to grab a quick bite to eat or a cup of coffee.
Friday: 7:30 a.m.–midnight
Saturday, Sunday: 1 p.m.–midnight

Other Facilities

Hours Bob’s Underground Coffeehouse
Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m.-noon

Lyle’s Pub
Friday: 7 p.m.–midnight

Burling Library
Friday: 7:45 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.–1 a.m.

Kistle Science Library
Friday: 7:45 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday: 1–5 p.m.
Sunday: 1 p.m.–1 a.m.

Grinnell College is committed to supporting guests with disabilities throughout Family Weekend. Please call 641-269-3700 to request an accommodation. For locations of doors with operators, parking, elevators, and accessible paths, please check the Campus Accessibility Map on the back cover.

The following buildings listed in the Family Weekend schedule are wheelchair-accessible: Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Charles Benson Bear ’39 Recreation and Athletic Center, Harris Center, Herrick Chapel, Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, John Chrystal Center, and Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center.

Sound boosters are available in Darby Gymnasium, Herrick Chapel, and Rosenfield Center.

Special accessible seating is available in the front pew of Herrick Chapel and south side of Darby Gymnasium.

Visit an Art Exhibition

Burling Gallery
Burling Library, lower level
Friday: 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

The War and Peace Project
The War and Peace Project is a collaborative fusion of literature and art, consisting of 747 individual collages that form a unique work based on Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, War and Peace.

Faulconer Gallery
Bucksbaum Center
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Edward Burtynsky: Water
Over the past five years, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky traveled across the globe, from the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Ganges, weaving together an ambitious representation of water’s increasingly fragmented life cycle.

John Chrystal Center Gallery
Chrystal Center, lower level
Friday: 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

In the lower level of John Chrystal Center, the JCC Gallery presents several visual art exhibitions throughout the year. 

Smith Gallery
Rosenfield Center
Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: Open upon request (ask Rosenfield Center receptionist)
Works by Abby Lowe ’15
As the newest gallery on campus, the Smith Gallery features student art year-round. In the Rosenfield Center, next to the dining hall, the gallery gets a lot of foot traffic.


You may register online starting July 1, 2014.

Housing Accomodations

There are several lodging options in and around Grinnell. For a list of hotels and bed & breakfasts, please click HERE.  Make your reservation today!

We look forward to welcoming families on campus this fall (Sept. 26-28, 2014)!