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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Donation for identity project

On Monday, Feb. 4, the College announced that Trustee Steve Holtze ’68 and his wife, Elizabeth Alexander Holtze ’68 made a donation of 300,000 dollars to Grinnell to support the College’s Institutional Identity Project.

The gift comes on the heels of a similar donation by Patricia Jipp Finkelman ’80 and Daniel Finkelman ’77 of 1.5 million dollars intended for the Center for Careers, Life, and Service.

Whether the money is intended for general academic support or a specific department, fund or endowment, the recent gifts highlight the importance of alumni donations as a significant source of revenue for Grinnell, as the College works to maintain its academic distinction and long-term institutional stability.

“Steve and Elizabeth Holtze have been very generous to Grinnell over the years,” wrote Director of Donor Relations Meg Jones Bair in an email to the S&B. “In making this particular gift, the Holtzes made their pledges specifically to the Institutional Identity Project.”

The Institutional Identity Project, as the name suggests, is a project proposed last summer which aims to better understand and define Grinnell’s distinctive identity in ways that will be attractive to prospective students, while at the same time remaining authentic to the best aspects of Grinnell.

According to Bair, the College is now working with Crane MetaMarketing, an Atlanta-based marketing firm, to undertake this initiative.

Crane founder and CEO Patti Crane and her team made two campus visits last fall in October and December. As part of their work, they did a series of evaluations, interviewing students, faculty and staff members, touring campus and visiting classes. The team has been working on a paper that reflects on and assesses the College’s values and characteristics.

As of now, the Office of Communications is partnering with the Office of Admission on this project, which has already involved a large number of students, faculty and staff across the campus, Bair wrote.

The Holtzes’ gift not only helps promote the College’s academic reputation for excellence, but it also fundamentally influences how Grinnellians view themselves.

“The College is grateful to Steve and Elizabeth for demonstrating their commitment to Grinnell through such [a] generous gift to a project that will benefit the entire Grinnell community,” Bair wrote. “Through this work, those of us who care about Grinnell will be able to better articulate why Grinnell is special and describe the ways in which Grinnell is different from other colleges.”

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