Coleen Grissom and Margaret Atwood Discuss Life and Literature | Trinity University
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Coleen Grissom and Margaret Atwood Discuss Life and Literature

Friday, May 10, 2019
coleen grissom looking at margaret atwood through computer screen

Duo raises $109,696 for student scholarships at Trinity University

by Molly Mohr Bruni

In case you were wondering, Margaret Atwood putters around her house in fuzzy bedroom slippers.

On Wednesday, May 8, the Trinity community was treated to this fact and more when University legend Coleen Grissom and The Handmaid’s Tale author Margaret Atwood discussed life and literature together during an online webinar. This highly anticipated event was the culmination of a fundraising campaign for student scholarships as part of Grissom’s impending retirement after 58 years at Trinity.

Thanks to the generosity of Jim ’68 and Janet ’68 Dicke, gifts to the Coleen Grissom Endowed Scholarship Fund were matched 1:1 to motivate donors and increase the endowment. Since January 2019, Trinity raised $109,696 for student scholarships from 271 donors.

The Trinity University Alumni Association established the Coleen Grissom Endowed Scholarship in 2004. The scholarship fund has so far awarded nearly $90,000 to 17 undergraduate Trinity students.

For a minimum $58 donation to the Coleen Grissom Endowed Scholarship Fund, Tigers received access to the witty banter between the two friends. Their discussion ranged from the effects of climate change—Grissom’s poodles wouldn’t last a day if pythons migrated from Florida to Texas—to chicken fried steak and SPAM.

The conversation also delved into the women’s viewpoints on literature. In addition to talking through literary fakes in fiction, debating the pros and cons of spellcheck, and conferring about other writing-related issues, the women discussed the differences Atwood sees when adults revisit the same books they read as teenagers.

“You can read a book at different times in your life, and you’re going to get a different reading out of it because you are different,” Atwood says.

At the end of the webinar, Grissom announced that she would be returning to Trinity as an adjunct professor next year, teaching a single seminar on one of her favorite authors—can you guess who?