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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Selah to celebrate Grinnell community

To honor the transition from President Russell K. Osgood to Raynard Kington, the campus and wider community are invited to come to Selah, a day of festivities starting at 10 a.m. on Mac Field on Saturday and lasting as late as midnight.

Selah is a Hebrew word with an ambiguous definition that is often used to indicate a link between two things, either in music or some other form. The event was the idea of Nord Brue ’67, the former Chair of the Board of Trustees, who approached Osgood. Planning has been going on for the past two months.

“There was a large meeting with students, faculty and staff, back in February, where we decided we just wanted to plan some big fun event that everyone in the Grinnell College community was invited to” said John Burrows ’10. “So, I’ve had some experience planning events in the past, and so formed a student committee that’s been working closely with Meg Jones Bair in Alumni Relations to get everything hammered out.”

The committee is comprised of a group of seniors not affiliated with any particular group. The goal was to create events that could keep it family- and community- oriented.

“Alumni are coming to this, Trustees are coming to this, Grinnell College families are coming to this, so, you know, parents and siblings might be coming to this,” said Andrew Stephenson ’10, a member of the committee. “The College wanted to open it up to the community as a whole.”

Selah will start on a small scale Friday evening with a scholarship reception and a private dinner honoring Osgood and his tenure at Grinnell. At 10 a.m. Saturday morning there will be a 5K Red Short Run fundraiser, named for Osgood’s infamous jogging attire. The run is open to community members and the proceeds will go to charity. A registration form is available online, and can be turned in up until the beginning of the run.

Next, there will be a public community event in JRC 101 starting at 11:30 a.m., which will feature a film put together by Sadish Dhakal ’11 and Greg Uyeda ’11. The strip features messages from students and a montage of Osgood’s Titular Head appearances. Following will be a picnic and carnival on Mac Field from 12 to 5 pm. The Dining Hall will be closed for lunch so staff members can attend the festivities. At 9 p.m., the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a beer garden and the Chicago-based cover band Maggie Speaks will perform an outdoor concert.

“There are really four purposes of the event,” said Director of Donor Relations Meg Jones Bair. “One is talking about the fourth rebuilding of the college. The second purpose is to celebrate campus together, that we’re all part of this community. The third is to celebrate achievement. The fourth is to honor President Osgood.”

Without factoring the money saved by closing the Dining Hall for lunch, the event will cost an estimated $100,000, money that is budgeted by the College towards events of this kind to foster our community’s sense of ambition, adventure and well-being, according to Bair. Additional funds were put towards the event when Osgood announced his retirement in April 2009.

“We know this is a time that budgets are tight, hiring is tight, raises might not happen, so we have been conservative in the best way we can in how we spend the money for this event,” Bair said.

Burrows is expecting a success.

“Bouncy castles! Petting zoo!” Burrows said, “Try to not have fun at a petting zoo!”

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