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The Scarlet & Black

Day of Service in Kington’s honor

By Samira Sadeque

This Saturday, May 7 the College will be holding a Day of Service as part of the festivities surrounding President Raynard Kington’s inauguration.

Kington was announced as Grinnell’s next president, in his speech he attributed the three core values of Grinnell – the pursuit of academic excellence, the advancement of a diverse community and the promotion of social justice – to be a “reflection” of his career.

This year, when the College was planning a monumental event to honor his inauguration, Kington decided to celebrate the day with a mission that he values strongly – community development.

The Inauguration Planning Committee, which is made up of students, faculty, trustees and administrators, has been planning the inauguration weekend since February. Tasha Popkin ’11, the SGA All Campus Events Coordinator, is one of several student voices on the Committee.

“For his inauguration, [Kington] really wanted it to be about serving the community, not him,” Popkin said.

Deanna Shorb, Dean of Religious Life, who also serves onthe Committee, said that there are about 20 organizations involved in this event, including local schools, hospitals, Drake Community Library, Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) and Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS). The day will provide various opportunities for volunteers, including cleaning bike rails and parks and painting. The Drake Community Library will have students do both outdoors and indoors activities, said Marilyn Kennett, Assistant Librarian.

“We enjoy volunteer work throughout the year. Every time we meet new people, relationships develop,” Kennett said. “I’m sure this community work will spark interest of some other time, not just this time.”

Other participants in the event will be Grinnell College Dining Services and Grinnell Chamber of Commerce. The former is contributing by providing tea, coffee and other breakfast items on Saturday morning at the Joe Rosenfield Center. The Chamber of Commerce will be providing the College with space for volunteers to work on projects.

The event is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at the JRC. Once all volunteers meet up there, they will be assigned to different tasks, and those needing to go downtown will be provided rides.
Both Shorb and Popkin said that the Inauguration Planning Committee hopes that the Day of Service will become an annual event. Alums are encouraged to do community work in the name of Grinnell wherever they live.

“I think service is important for individuals, but I also think it can serve us as an exciting way to build community,” Shorb said. “Civic management would be another means to unite Grinnell in our quest to serve the community.”

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