Leadership at Reed

Reed Leadership Academy (RELAY)

Reed Leadership Academy is growing!  We will move to a year-long schedule for the 2017-18 academic year.  The program will begin during Orientation and end around spring break, providing even more opportunities to learn about yourself and others.

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Approximately 20 students—self-selected or nominated by community members for application—are chosen to participate in weekly workshops. Each participant is paired with a coach from the Portland community who can help connect concepts from class to real life.

RELAY is open to all sophomores, juniors and, seniors: those who are interested in developing their leadership potential, those whose work is done out of the public eye, those who are positional leaders in student organizations and student governance, and those who are involved in other ways at Reed and in the Portland community. Everyone has the potential to be a leader no matter their role.

What is RELAY?

The Reed Leadership Academy kicks off with an overnight retreat the weekend before classes begin in the fall (August 26-17, 2017). During the retreat we get to know each other and learn about the basics of the program. This retreat sets us up to dive into the topics in the weekly workshops.

RELAY meets every Monday from 4:30–6 p.m. Each workshop is a combination of experiential activities, lectures and class discussions. Course content will be largely completed by spring break. Class topics are related to our six learning outcomes:


  1. Compose a personal definition of leadership
  2. Identify the personal values that are most important to them
  3. Examine their own identities and cultures in relation to their practice of leadership


  1. Examine their application of skills and tools for effective communication
  2. Examine their application of skills and tools for effective collaboration


  1. Understand the principles of ethical civic engagement and community service

In addition to workshops, students meet with their coaches every other week to talk about the topics covered in class. Other coaching opportunities could include career advice and networking, job shadowing, advice on navigating issues within leadership contexts, and much more. Your relationship will really depend on what you and your coach make it.

Program Benefits

RELAY provides a number of benefits that you can't find elsewhere on campus:

  • increased knowledge of your self and others, leading to more effective participation in all kinds of groups
  • pairing with a coach from the Portland community
  • opportunities to practice skills through community service projects
  • a challenge course experience to bring all your knowledge together
  • $200 Bookstore gift certificate for successful completion of the program

How do I apply to join RELAY?

The application process includes the submission of an application and responses to essay questions as well as an interview. Applications will be available in the Student Activities Office in the Student Center. Here is our 2017-18 timeline.

  • February 27: applications available
  • April 5: application and resume due by 5 p.m. in the Student Center; please sign up for an interview time in the Student Center when you submit your completed application
  • April 10,11,12: interviews
  • April 17: admission decisions

RELAY applications for incoming Transfer students will be available over the summer. Check the Orientation "Getting Started" page for more information.

For more information about the Reed Leadership Academy, please email student-engagement@reed.edu.