Marilyn J. Kelsey '61
2011 Alumni Award
Great teachers do more than just impart facts and figures. They encourage students to achieve more than they believed they could. This alumna inspired generations of students to perform at the highest levels.
At Grinnell this alumna majored in English and journalism while participating in extracurricular activities including the S&B and Board of Religion. She was president of Theta Sigma Phi and won the organization’s journalism award in 1961. Her master’s degree (in journalism) is from Indiana University.
This alumna taught English and journalism at high schools in Iowa and Illinois before accepting a job at Bloomington High School South in Indiana, where she worked for three decades. In her role as school newspaper adviser, she was lauded as someone who helped students discover their talents.
Her work has frequently been recognized. In 1995 she received a Bloomington South Apple Award for excellence in teaching, and in 1997 she was honored as Adviser of the Year by the Indiana High School Press Association. Three newspaper staffs she advised received Pacemaker awards from National Scholastic Press Association; the Pacemaker is considered the Pulitzer Prize of scholastic journalism.
In addition to her remarkable career as a teacher, she has been involved in an array of volunteer activities, including significant work with her church. Her Covenant Discipleship Group sponsored a refugee family from Afghanistan; and in her retirement from teaching, she became a mentor and tutor to this family.
For inspiring students and encouraging excellence, Grinnell is proud to honor Marilyn J. Kelsey ’61.
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