Jenniphr Goodman '84, Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate of Pitzer College, recognizes an alumna/us who has brought honor and distinction to the College through her or his outstanding achievements. This year, the College honors the creative energy of an alumna and her many achievements in film production. Jenniphr Goodman ’84 embodies the College’s commitment to producing engaged, socially responsible citizens of the world. Jenniphr was named the sixth recipient of the Beverle Houston Memorial Prize at Pitzer, was a featured speaker at an Atherton Dinner and serves as a member of the Pitzer College Board of Friends for the Arboretum and Grove House.
Jenniphr studied creative writing and filmmaking at Pitzer, under the guidance of Professor of English and the History of Ideas Barry Sanders.
Upon graduation from NYU’s Film School with an award as the best director in her class, Jenniphr moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with Eric Pope (now her husband) so that he could earn his teaching credentials. Woefully underemployed, they moved in with Eric’s friend, Duncan, and spent many hours debating politics, the O.J. Simpson trial and the world in general. Jenniphr soon discovered that Duncan was a unique character, who became her inspiration for and co-writer of the film, “The Tao of Steve,” along with her sister, Greer Goodman. The film premiered with critical acclaim at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and became one of the most successful independent films that year.
Alumni in Entertainment
On February 15 more than 70 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends gathered at LaTerza Restaurant in Los Angeles for the Pitzer Alumni in Entertainment Networking event. Hosted by Sabrina Abu-Hamden ’00, Ashley Walsh ’01 and the Pitzer College Alumni Association, the evening brought together alumni writers, producers, directors, talent executives, actors, musicians and post-production engineers.
Kirsten Grønbjerg ’68
Kirsten Grønbjerg ’68 is the recipient of the 2005 Award for Distinguished Achievement and Leadership in Nonprofit and Voluntary Action Research from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).
Grønbjerg is a professor of public and environmental affairs and philanthropic studies at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and is Efroymson Chair in Philanthropy at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. She received the award at ARNOVA’s annual conference held in Washington, D.C., during November.
The award for distinguished lifetime achievement is given annually for significant and sustained contributions to the nonprofit and volunteer action research field through research and leadership. Nominees must have made significant achievements in the field of nonprofit and voluntary action research or significant leadership achievements in the advancement and promotion of such research over an extended period of time.
Alan J. Abramson, director of the Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program at the Aspen Institute, presented the award to Grønbjerg citing her outstanding contributions in both research and leadership. He highlighted her pioneering work to refine and perfect basic data about nonprofits that has helped to deepen understanding about the basic size and scope of the nonprofit sector, demonstrated the limits of existing databases and developed new approaches for overcoming these limitations.
Abramson also stated that Grønbjerg was one of the first to map the complex flows of funding to nonprofits from many sources in addition to important contributions to theory development and refinement and documented the resulting pressures on nonprofit managers to relate to multiple funding sources, including government, private donors and paying clients. He also praised Grønbjerg’s leadership in developing philanthropy as a field of study, such as her nurturing of young scholars, including many who are beginning to make their own marks in the field.
“I am immensely honored and humbled by this award,” Grønbjerg said.
Grønbjerg graduated from Pitzer College in 1968 with a major in sociology. She later earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in nonprofit funding and management and has been with Indiana University since 1997.
Todd Grinnell ’98
Todd Grinnell returned to campus recently for the second time since he graduated. “The first time I came back in 2000 was a little sad and nostalgic because I had really missed being a student here.” He asked about Stu McConnell and now retired Allen Greenberger, both of whom he thought were excellent history teachers. He also marveled about how great it was as a student in Southern California to have the choice in the same day to either surf at nearby Huntington Beach or ski Mount Baldy.
As a history major at Pitzer, Grinnell had thought about being an attorney and even interned for one when he moved back to Boston after graduation. He also interned for Boston state Sen. Steve Tulman and considered a career as a politician. Although the political arena was not quite the right fit for Grinnell, he felt good about being able to work on projects from start to finish that resulted in positive change for the people of Massachusetts.
During lunch at the Grove House on campus, Grinnell reminisced about the years he worked for Rachel Vandervorst in the Grove House kitchen. Perhaps this foreshadowed his next step on the road to success as the manager of a popular Hollywood restaurant where he worked unbelievably long hours and met a bevy of Hollywood types.
When the restaurant shut down, he focused his energy in pursuing a career that had long loomed large in the back of his mind—acting. While performing at a Los Angeles theatre, he was discovered by an agent who recognized his talent and signed him on as a client.
Grinnell is a firm believer in positive visualization. “One night I was watching ‘Inside The Actor’s Studio’ and saw the cast of ‘Will and Grace’ along with the show’s ten-time Emmy award winning director James Burrows. I knew that some day he would direct me as an actor.”
And now he does. Grinnell is a cast member of the four-man ensemble sitcom ‘The Four Kings,’ directed by James Burrows. The NBC sitcom hit the air in the fall.
Grinnell still appreciates the type of socially responsible college that Pitzer is now and has always been, as well as the lifelong friends he made along the way. “Now I am in a better position to pursue the initiatives that I believe will make the world a better place.”
Wherever his journey takes him next, Grinnell’s star is sure to shine.