The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Alumni support trans athletes at Grinnell after NCAA removes LGBTQ+ protections

To our beloved Grinnell students, 

We are Grinnell alumni, including many former student athletes. And we write to you to express our support for transgender, non-binary and gender diverse students and student athletes at this difficult time. 

This past month the NCAA removed LGBTQ+ protections from its constitution and eliminated its decade-old policy on inclusion for transgender athletes — relying on individual athletics governing bodies to set guidance of their own. A decision that was met with great concern from LGBTQ+ organizations and athletes; we share their concerns. Following this change, USA Swimming announced a new policy that creates significant and unnecessary barriers to full participation for trans swimmers. All of which comes at a time when many states — unfortunately, including Iowa — have passed or are considering legislation that seeks to limit the participation of trans students in sports at every level. 

We are dismayed by this series of events and are deeply concerned about the impacts these policy changes are having on transgender, non-binary, and gender diverse athletes and individuals. 

To the students affected by these changes and, especially those who may be student athletes concerned about your ability to participate in the sports you love, know that your alumni community supports you. Transgender, non-binary and gender diverse individuals are our valued family, kids, friends, colleagues, community members, and classmates — including some signatories to this letter. We will continue to do our part to ensure that you can bring your full and authentic selves to all that you do. 

And we affirm that all students should have the chance to fully participate in athletics. Many among us are Swimming and Diving alumni, and we wish to specifically express our support for any Swimming and Diving athletes at Grinnell who may be affected by the new USA Swimming policies. We stand with you. 

We are heartened that Grinnell College continues to maintain policies of inclusion and we will continue to call on the college and its leaders to support the college community and to use their platform to advocate for more inclusive policies.  

As alumni we commit to using our voices at Grinnell and beyond to offer our support and encourage institutions and organizations to do right by all students. We will be reaching out to the NCAA, USA Swimming and other groups as these conversations evolve to urge them to take a stance that centers inclusion and equity. 

To all transgender, non-binary and gender diverse students at Grinnell, know that you are seen and supported by your alumni community. Know that we celebrate and affirm you for all of who you are. 

To other students and particularly student athletes — we encourage you to be allies, accomplices and advocates in this effort. We’ve seen the many ways in which the campus community has come together to support one another through challenges. 

In support and solidarity, 

Your Grinnell alumni community 


Kat Rohn `08 

Linnea Rich `99 | Swimming 

Janice Lee Johnson `95 | Soccer, Track and Field 

Nicholas Johnson `95 | Soccer, Diving 

Claire Williams `13 | Swimming 

Ericca Reavis `08 | Golf, Swimming 

Erik Larson `06 | Swimming and Diving 

Nate Kimball `07 | Swimming 

Erin Sindewald `08 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Valerie Stimac `09 | Swimming 

Mary Ahlquist `07 | Swimming 

Maurie Kathan `08 | Swimming and Diving 

Matt Remissong `08 | Swimming 

Nora Shields-Cutler `08 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Jacq Groves `09 | Cross Country 

Rebecca Gernes `09 | Swimming 

Dan Neely `09 | Swimming 

Elina Koretsky `99 

James Dunn `01 

Steven Ullberg `17 

Maya Dru `21 

Kendra Engels `06 

Margaret Smith `09 | Swimming 

Madeline Peak `21 | Swimming 

Betsy Lorton `09 

Rachel Snodgrass `21 

Sam Calisch `10 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Kristen Audet `08 | Swimming 

Lily Camp `10 | Swimming 

Vince Mertes `08 

Rex Chien `09 | Swimming 

Bryce Cook `21 

Karry Carr `84 

Hanna O`Neill `20 | Swimming 

Shannon Ellery `18 | Swimming 

Anna Dudda `96 

Dorna Lange `06 

Olivia Werth `98 

Nicole Werth `99 

Elizabeth Jach `09 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Clare Patterson `08 

Megan Straughan `07 

Scott DeGeest `06 | Swimming

Rowan Queathem `17 

Allison Rosenthal `09 

Freeda Brook `07 

Cassandra Donnelly `06| Basketball, Volleyball 

Meredith Groves `08 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Mark Sullivan `10 | Diving 

Nicole Spear `08 

Christine Boeckholt Remissong `08 

Jesse Peterson-Brandt `09 

Sally Campbell Galman `96 

Rachel Engh `08 | Tennis 

Chris Dietrich `01 | Soccer 

Jami McDowell `98 

Amanda Davis `04 

Ross Koon `06 

Peg Gustafson `89 

Connie Dooley `94 

Alisa Greenbacher `93 

Josh Burke `92 

Karry Koon Carr `84 

Amy Welch Nylander `83 

Mark W. Schumann `88 | Track and Field 

Marcy Toal `92 

Miles Stern `96 

Dori McLennan `92 | Softball 

Eric B. Krauss `94 

Cassandra Ewert-Lamutt `89 

Nazareth Soberanes `13 

Alexi Brooks `10 

Emma Meade `07 

Margie Scribner Greene `10 

Cy Mistry `11| Swimming 

Tim Motika `96 

Madeline Hart-Andersen `10 

Katherine Ingram `08 | Ultimate Frisbee 

Ian Young `08 | Ultimate Frisbee 

Sarah Smith `07 

Mary Caroline Rhodes `13 |Swimming 

Ross Noecker `11 

Emily Summers `10 | Swimming 

Jaime Frankle `08 

Christopher Wilde `88 

Jim D`Ambrosia `87 

Natalie Niederman `20| Swim and Dive 

Laura Deavers `08 

Alanna Walen `92 

Sarah Luetzow `09 

Ryann Cheung `93 Swimming 

Stephanie Sandford Maddrey `99 | Dance 

Emily Iwuc `08 

Laura (Ackelson) Christiansen `98 

John Christiansen `98 | Baseball 

Sachiko Graber `12 | Cross Country, Track and Field 

Robert Schwaller `03 | Football 

Katharine Lee `04 

Jessica Eagan `00 

Andy Eagan `01 | Football, Track and Field 

Maggie Nachlin `95 

Jacob Sagrans `09 

Emily Adam `17 | Swimming, Golf 

Anastasia Pulak `19 | Swimming 

Ellen Snook `85 

Leanne Williams `04 

Josh Trost `97 

Carole Saunders `90 

Emma Willhardt `19 | Volleyball 

Jen Jacobsen `95 I Cross Country, Track & Field (coaching, too) 

Ben Halliburton `08 

Allison Amphlett `08 

Emily Sipfle `08 | Swimming 

Todd Brown `90 

Mary Tarullo `05 

Gina Tarullo `06 

Sharyn Obsatz `93 

Henry Jantzen `19 

Cathy Stiles `01 

Amy Logsdon `88 

Danielle Long `00 

John Aerni-Flessner `01 | Track and Field, Cross Country, Athletic Hall of Fame, class of 2018 

Katie (Kleese) Bloome `05 | Rugby 

Nathan Williams `03 

Megan Niffenegger `08 

Elana Gravitz `91 

Elizabeth Archerd ‘76

Nicole Still ‘95

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