Selah Festival

What we know: photo taken 2010.

What we’d like to know: Name and graduation year of the student? What was the Selah Festival and what types of activities were part of it?


Selah Festival


Burling Library Student Worker


  1. Ethan Struby

    That’s Ben Finkelstein ’10. As I recall, Selah was a Trustee’s idea (maybe Nord Brue?) as a big campus togetherness activity, which mainly involved bringing in a petting zoo and carnival stuff and sticking them on Mac Field.

  2. Anon

    From an e-mail signed by Elena Bernal and sent by Megan Bair-Jones
    “Grinnell College thrives because of the talents, expertise, engagement and commitment to learning that are the fabric of the Grinnell family – students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends. It’s time to pause, reflect and celebrate our success and collective achievements as we look toward a time of transitions. Nord Brue ’67, an active alumnus and Trustee, is leading the charge– calling our community together in celebration– and has aptly coined the occasion Grinnell’s Selah.

    Selah is a Hebrew word with multiple meanings, a myriad of translations, and complex historic and modern uses. Its essence connotes pausing to listen. The word is used to mark transitions between many of the Psalms and is used similarly in lyaric and reggae songs. Selah is used in music to denote a loud, or fortissimo, action after an interlude or hushed singing voices– in essence marking the pause with significance. Selah is found as an instruction for reading texts– stop and take notice. The call of the Selah to pause and reflect symbolizes this time in Grinnell’s history, our Selah.

    Grinnell’s Selah will observe Grinnell’s rich history, celebrate the amazing talent and achievement within the Grinnell community, mark with strength the 4th rebuilding of Grinnell’s facilities and honor Grinnell’s 12th President Russell K Osgood. We know many of you want to wish President Osgood well, so we invite you to record thoughts, wishes and good-byes on video that will be compiled and shown during dinner with the Board and other campus constituents Friday night, April 30th.

    If you are interested in recording your good wishes, plan to come to the Rosenfield Center Wednesday April 14 from 4:00 to 8:00 pm. You should plan a 30 second to 1 minute message that you can say to the camera without the aid of an interviewer. You might want to offer words of wisdom, thank President Osgood for helping make a program a reality, share the personal impact he has had on you, tell a funny story, offer a red short sighting or thank him for showing interest in you, the College or those programs which you are involved with. It’s up to you – this is your opportunity. Sadish Dhakal ’11 and Greg Uyeda ’11 are producing the video and we look forward to seeing the results.

    On Saturday, May 1st, the day begins with a Red Short Run/Jog/Walk in honor of President Osgood. At 11:30 a.m., the entire Grinnell family is invited to gather in Rosenfield 101 for a student-led program of gratitude conveyed to all constituents within our community. John Burrows ’10 leads the student Selah committee and together with other members of the committee is putting together a fun program. After the program, the College will host an all-campus pig roast, in honor of Robert N. Noyce ’49, to be followed by an afternoon of fun for all ages – bouncy houses, rock climbing, giant slides, street vendor fare, face painting and maybe a carnival midway to assist student groups with fundraising. After the sun sets, a live band will perform outdoors on Mac Field and the evening will come to a close at midnight. Please plan to attend with your entire family.

    It is our hope that Grinnell’s 2010 Selah launches an annual day of celebration, focused on Grinnellians’ achievement, which we can carry forward each year. If you’d like to offer your thoughts about the plans in place or future celebrations please email or visit”

  3. Josie Sturgis

    Ben Finkelstein, 2010

  4. Emmett

    My memory of Selah, was that it felt like it was partly in response to a series of events in which some students targeted students with marginalized identities (women, people of color, queer people), which caused a huge cultural rift and tension among students. It felt like Selah was a way for the school to say “hey everyone, we’re one community, come have fun and eat hot dogs and pet some animals and you’ll feel better.” It was received with mixed feelings amongst students, as I recall.

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