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The Scarlet & Black

Bucksbaum ’51 gives to Global Grinnell fund

Kay Bucksbaum has committed $5 million to the Global Grinnell program. Photo contributed.

Megan Tcheng, Staff Writer

Carolyn “Kay” Bucksbaum ’51, member and former chair of the Grinnell College Board of Trustees, committed to the Global Grinnell program last week in a campus-wide memo. An alumna and life trustee, Bucksbaum pledged $5 million dollars to support the College’s international education program.

“[Bucksbaum’s gift] really was an extension of her longstanding commitment to the college … By investing in and supporting Global Grinnell, [Bucksbaum] partnered with us to elevate the distinctiveness of our Global Grinnell program,” said Shane Jacobson, Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs.

The Global Grinnell program began two years ago when President Kington commissioned a task force to address Grinnell’s international education policies.

“We decided … to think more comprehensively about what Grinnell’s strategy should be for international education,” said Michael Latham, Dean of College and member of the Task Force.

Kay Bucksbaum has committed $5 million to the Global Grinnell program. Photo contributed.
Kay Bucksbaum has committed $5 million to the Global Grinnell program. Photo contributed.

Before the dissolution of the team at the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, members of the Global Grinnell Task Force will present President Kington with a set of recommendations, such as increasing the number of international career opportunities and study abroad experiences.

With so many changes in store, Bucksbaum’s recent gift comes at an especially opportune time. Offering extensive support and flexibility, the partially endowed gift will help to fund the program’s long-term and short-term initiatives.

As outlined in the campus memo, Bucksbaum’s gift directly establishes two endowments. First, it creates a chief global officer position to help run and expand the Global Grinnell program. Second, it founds a Global Distinctiveness Fund, which increases student access to international education.

“We want students to draw direct connections between what they learn in the classroom … and future careers — to make a compelling argument to prospective employers or graduate schools about why their international experience matters,” Latham said.

David Cook-Martin, Director of the Center for International Studies, shares a similarly positive perspective on the future of the Global Grinnell program.

“Grinnell has always been connected and engaged with the world beyond U.S. borders. Yet, it is an especially promising time to be a student and a faculty member [on campus] because of initiatives supported by gifts like [this],” Cook-Martin said.

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