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The honor of giving to Grinnell (#975)

Topics/tags: Grinnell

Toward the end of this year, I received a notice from Grinnell that some people had donated to Grinnell in my name [1]. A bit later, I was reading through the 2018-19 Honor Roll of Giving [2] and noticed the section on Honoraria [3]. The donations were repeated in that section, as were the many other gifts that people gave in honor of someone or something. It was good to see so many of my students, alums, friends, and colleagues honored.

Then I realized that when I donate to Grinnell, I could have an extra impact by choosing someone to honor with the donation. The additional impact is small; the primary effect is it makes someone feel good. However, I consider that worthwhile. I know from my experience that it feels good to see that someone took the time to designate you as an honoree.

You might suggest that such gifts shouldn’t make a difference, given that we were going to donate to the College in any case. However, you can try to choose parts of the College that the folks you are honoring would appreciate [7]. I will admit that it felt nice to think of folks and say to myself [8], We appreciate this person; where would they like money to go in their honor?

I must note that our choices of who to honor were somewhat ad hoc; there are hundreds of people worth honoring at Grinnell; I mostly went with the first ones who came to mind. I wish we’d been able to do more than the half-dozen or so we chose.

If you give to Grinnell, and I hope you do, I encourage you to consider using the in honor of field when you donate. It’s a fun way to add a bit extra to your donation.

[1] Thank you to those who have done so. Thank you, also, to those who show me honor and respect in other ways, most frequently through your actions.

[2] No, I don’t know why we password protect the honor roll. You can try asking the folks in Development and Alumni Relations for the password. We used to have printed copies, which seems pretty public.

[3] Here’s the preface to that section.

Each year, Grinnell receives gifts that are made specifically in honor of meaningful Grinnell memories of living Grinnellians [4], including alumni, students, faculty and staff [5]. Between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019, the following individuals and organizations were honored through gifts and pledges to Grinnell. Please note the list is in alphabetical order by last name of the honoree [6].

[4] There is a separate section for memorials.

[5] I don’t know why there is no Oxford comma.

[6] Or by the name of the organization.

[7] Do folks we honor get notified of anything other than that there was a donation in their name? I’m not sure. Do the departments to which the donations go get notified? I’m also not sure of that, either. You think that I would know since there have been donations in my honor and I’ve been a department chair. However, these kinds of issues don’t seem to stick in my brain.

[8] Or say to ourselves.

Version 1.0 released 2020-01-03.

Version 1.2 of 2020-01-03.