Letter: Senior Challenge Response

In a staff editorial entitled “Senior Challenge poorly marketed,” the authors noted that many students feel that the donation prompts that singled out Whitney Hendrickson ’12 and Rob Yin ’12 were an attempt to capitalize monetarily on student’s grief. This faux pas is, regrettably, one that has made the senior class less inclined to donate, and paints the scholarship set up in Rob’s name in a bad light. I’d therefore like to take some time to clarify a few things about it.

The Chris Hade/Rob Yin scholarship is a 1,500 dollar prize that goes directly to a graduating senior who has participated in either G-tones or Grinnell Singers and exhibits the same incredible musical and personal qualities both Chris and Rob possessed. I’ve worked closely with Meg Jones-Bair this semester to renew the scholarship through alumni donations and help ensure that it is continued for years to come. To me, the prize means a lot, and I’ve personally seen it do a lot of good for its first recipient, Adam Thein ’10. In fact, Adam was one of the first people this year to donate towards the renewal of the Hade/Yin scholarship.

At Grinnell, alumni relations with the college have been notoriously strained, and I won’t argue that students’ issues with how the Senior Challenge has been marketed are invalid. I have many of my own qualms with the way this college attempts to garner funds from its alumni. And as the authors noted, non-monetary donations are indeed very valuable in whatever form they arrive. I simply want to point out that these donations can be beneficial for both individuals and the college, and that the people eliciting them do mean well. If you are inclined to give, certainly do it for the right reasons—whatever that reason may be to you.

-Ethan Kenvarg ’12