Grinnell College facts and figures - more on Grinnell 2010 Profile
By offering an education in the liberal arts, Grinnell College asserts the importance of lifelong learning characterized by sustained intellectual curiosity and an open mind for assessing the unfamiliar. At the same time, by using critical thinking to identify assumptions, to test logic, to evaluate evidence, to reason correctly, and to take responsibility for the conclusions and actions that result, a student of the liberal arts can grow personally as well as intellectually.
In the Grinnell College curriculum, the only requirements for graduation are completion of a First-Year Tutorial, 124 credits, and the academic major. This flexibility places significant responsibility on each student to design a coherent and compelling course of study, in conversation with a faculty adviser. Each student declares an academic major at some point during the first four semesters of enrollment. In consultation with an adviser, the student plans a comprehensive program that can incorporate options such as mentored research, off-campus study, teaching certification, an internship, or an interdisciplinary concentration.
Grinnell College has an attractive 120-acre campus of spectacular academic facilities that include the Noyce Science Center, featured in architectural journals; and the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, designed by Cesar Pelli. The College also owns the 365-acre Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), located about 14 miles from the campus and used on a regular basis for research and teaching.
The city of Grinnell is a community rooted in agriculture, but also benefits from a long history of international commercial connections and civic pride, leadership, and accomplishment. Grinnell's buildings are rich in architectural interest. Thirteen sites in town are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Louis Sullivan "Jewel Box" bank building and the Walter Burley Griffin "Ricker" house. The city of Grinnell offers members of the campus community a chance to enjoy the quality of life that has earned it a place among the 25 "Best Small Towns in America" in the book of that title.
Outdoor recreational activities include lakes, prairie preserves, cross country ski trails, and a paved bicycle path connecting Grinnell and Rock Creek State Park. In town, attractions include a downtown triplex cinema, eclectic downtown shopping, coffee shops, bed-and-breakfast inns, weekend antique auctions, restaurants, and diverse city parks.
From Grinnell, it is less than an hour's drive to Des Moines and about an hour to Iowa City, a university community with vibrant cultural attractions and a renowned teaching hospital. The urban amenities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago are all accessible within a four- to five-hour drive.
Grinnell is a residential college, and campus life is an essential part of the student's individual development. Just as the residential living system encourages self-reliance and social responsibility, extracurricular activities and events provide opportunities for students to expand their intellectual, cultural, social, and recreational interests.
To ensure participation and experimentation, no admission fee is charged for any campus event. The College sponsors a variety of programs and activities, but many others depend upon student imagination and initiative. A single year's calendar lists as many as 100 visiting lecturers; 60 concerts and recitals by guest artists, students, and faculty; more than a dozen folk, jazz, and rock concerts; 15 major and minor theatre productions; 150 movies, documentaries, and special film series; nearly two dozen conferences, symposia, and special-topic weeks and weekends; and a full schedule of parties, dances, and other all-campus recreational events arranged by student groups.