Reed Traditions: All Things Fayre and Fowl

A Reed tradition is something that has occurred at Reed College at least once.
A Reed institution is something that has occurred at Reed College at least twice.
A Reed story is something that may have occurred at Reed College.
A Reed rumor is anything discussed in the coffee shop. It has a truth probability of less than 50 percent.

These may be whimsical exaggerations.

Renn Fayre

Once an authentic re-creation of the Age of the Renaissance, Renn Fayre is now a themed end-of-the-year festival with music, food, sports, and art. It begins with the thesis parade, in which seniors march from the steps of the library to the registrar's office to celebrate turning in their theses, and ends with a celebration of fireworks on the Great Lawn.


The Greek word Paideia (Παιδεία) means "education" in its broadest sense. For the ancient Greeks, this included philosophy, poetry, mathematics, physics, rhetoric, gymnastics, music, medicine, and many other disciplines. For Reedies, it's a chance to take a break from the classical curriculum and spend a week before spring semester begins learning about things we're interested in but don't always make time for: The history of punk; The birds of Oregon; How to give hugs and high-fives; Throat-singing.

Reed Arts Week

Reed Arts Week (RAW) is a celebration of the arts at Reed, including music, dance, theater, films, creative writing, and the visual arts. In addition to student performances, major artists join in our campus celebration by performing original works and teaching master classes.

Canyon Day

Reed's 116-acre campus includes a 28-acre canyon, which serves as a living laboratory for faculty and student research and as valuable urban wildlife habitat. On Canyon Day, the community gathers to pull weeds, plant natives, and otherwise work to protect and restore this critical part of Portland's Crystal Springs Creek. Music, food, friends, and games accompany the day's activities.

The Doyle Owl

The story of Reed's unofficial mascot begins with a theft. Nearly one hundred years ago a group of Reedies swiped a large, concrete owl from someone's yard and returned with it to campus. Then something happened that the students did not intend—it was stolen from them by another group of Reedies. Thus began the ritual of the Doyle Owl named after the residence hall of the original bandits. Stolen, shown, defended, stolen, and shown again, the owl threads its way through the Reed community generation after generation, imparting shades of its mythical status on all who touch, see, or possess it.