Leadership Summit

Reed College aerial campus photo

September 19 & 20, 2014

Leadership Summit is an annual opportunity for members of the wider college community to deepen their engagement with Reed.

This September, plan to return to campus to

  • get the latest news and participate in strategic planning;
  • analyze the results of the alumni survey;
  • lead the way by volunteering in career, alumni, and fundraising programs;
  • hear directly from current students on experiences beyond the classroom—summer research, internships, and more;
  • dive back into the classroom experience with alumni/parent conference sessions;
  • advise current students on career networking;
  • explore Reed's new alumni house and the Center for Life Beyond Reed.

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(subject to change; volunteer–specific programming in italics)

Thursday, September 18—Settle In

Thursday is a chance for attendees to get settled in, meet up with friends and future partners in crime, and get ready for the weekend ahead.


4:30-5:30 p.m.     Colloquium: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education     Vollum Lecture Hall
Panel and discussion with Seth Paskin ’90 (producer of the podcast The Partially Examined Life), Gloria Johnson ’79, and professors Libby Drumm, Troy Cross, and Mary James. Primarily focused on first– and second–year students, this event is open to anyone interested in taking a more thoughtful look at the national conversation about the value of a liberal arts education vs. applied programs.

5:30-7:30 p.m.     Fundraising Volunteer Reception (Invite only)
President Kroger and trustee Konrad Alt '81 celebrate Reed's fundraising volunteers, including the courageous members of Alumni Fundraising for Reed.

6-8 p.m.     Calligraphy Scriptorium     Psychology 102
Learn and practice. Materials and instruction are provided. All skill levels are welcome.  

7 p.m.     Thirsty Third Thursday with Volunteers & Portland Alumni     The Lutz
The Lutz Tavern is still the place for conspiring, cajoling, and cavorting, in the laid–back style.

Friday, September 19—Put On Your Thinking Cap

Friday is a day to dive back into the Reed experience and engage with the broader questions surrounding Reed’s future.


8 a.m. - 6 p.m     Check-In / Personal Schedule and Packet Pick-up in Prexy

8-9 a.m.     Continental Breakfast in Prexy

9-10 a.m.     Conference!
For the Reed community, learning is a life-long adventure. Jump back into conference with current Reed professors discussing their work in a conference session designed especially for alumni, parents, and friends. Must register ahead; required readings will inform a lively discussion.

  • FULL Watching War: being a spectator to warfare in an era in which the boundaries between witnessing and perpetrating violence have become profoundly blurred. With Jan Mieszkowski, professor of German and humanities.
  • FULL For the Love of Learning: intrinsic motivation, how it develops, and the dangerous practices that erode it. With Jennifer Corpus, professor of psychology.
  • FULL Behind the Curve: the science and politics of global warming. With Josh Howe, assistant professor of history and environmental studies.

9-10 a.m.     Hum 110 Lecture     Vollum Lounge
A less intense alternative to the conference sessions. Alumni, parents, and friends are invited to attend a simulcast of the day’s lecture in Humanities 110—“Familiar yet Strange: Love Lyrics of New Kingdom Egypt,” delivered by Dustin Simpson, visiting professor of English.

10:15-11:15 a.m.     Alumni Survey Results with Alumni Panel     Eliot Chapel
We asked, you answered. The college invited all alumni to participate in a survey that asked for reflections on the Reed experience, with topics ranging from alumni satisfaction to education outside the classroom to defining student success to expanding financial aid. In the end, 3,174 alumni participated. Find out what they said, gain insight on how this data will be used, and hear alumni perspectives on the results and on alumni participation in the strategic planning effort writ large. (Find the full report on the survey here.)


11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.     Lunch/Strategic Planning Discussion/Student Summer Experiences     Kaul Auditorium
As we move forward in the strategic planning process, the Reed community is asking itself the some big questions:

  • How will the college define student success and how will we achieve it?
  • Should we set a goal for graduation rates?
  • Are we helping new graduates effectively bridge to life beyond Reed?
  • How will we make Reed more accessible to all qualified students, regardless of family finances?

This is your chance to hear from the strategic planning committee on progress to date, wrestle with these questions yourself, and share your insights. Start the session off by having lunch with current students who will describe their summer research and internship experiences, one important focus of the strategic planning process.

FULL   3:45-4:45 p.m.     Passionate Reed Advocates     Vollum Lounge
Reedies are passionate advocates for Reed, but it can sometimes be surprisingly challenging to find the right words to explain our distinctive community, especially to someone who has not heard of Reed, doesn’t understand the value of a liberal arts degree, or only knows Reed’s reputation for hijinks but not its rigor. Join Reed’s public affairs team for a lively discussion regarding how we can all work together to communicate the boundless benefits of the Reed experience while making friends and influencing people, writing blog posts and letters to the editor, or wading into the dreaded comments section. Extra credit for submitting sticky questions in advance at public.affairs@reed.edu.

3:45-4:45     Are Reedies really special? Really? Show us!     Psychology 105
Reed has a reputation for being different, but how different are we? Keith Allen '83 has been analyzing advanced-degree and career-outcome data looking for trends to learn about where Reedies go after Reed, and to the extent comparison data is available, how Reed differs from national averages. The data are incomplete and noisy, but some signals are clear. Reed is a special place, and Keith has the data to prove it.

4:30-6 p.m.     Meet Reed's LGBTQ Student Groups     Student Activities Office
While alumni are on campus for leadership summit, Reed’s current LGBTQ student groups are hosting an event to introduce themselves to alumni, talk about how LGBTQ issues have changed on campus, and give alumni an opportunity to network with each other and current students. Students and alumni alike will be given an opportunity to write what they can “offer” to help support Reed’s LGBTQ community and what they would like to “ask” from the community.

 Participating groups include:
•Queer Alliance
•Trans* and Gender Non-conforming Peer Group
•Women for Women
•Gay/bi Men’s Group

All are welcome to attend this event. Snacks will be provided.


5-6 p.m.    Strategic Planning Partners Celebration (for SP2 members)
Strategic Planning Partners volunteers and President Kroger celebrate a productive year.

6-8 p.m.     Prexy Grand Opening: Beyond Reed to Alumni     Prexy
Decompress with fellow alumni and friends. Finesse your way through tasty treats and delectable drinks. Progress to the merry music, engaging games, and smile-worthy surprises. You'll be most impressed with this new home for Alumni Relations and the Center for Life Beyond Reed. Say yes and join us.

Saturday, September 20—Roll Up Your Sleeves

Saturday is a working day for volunteers and those who want to become more involved. In the morning, we’ll pose some big questions. In the afternoon, we’ll have working group sessions for those who’ve already signed on for a particular mission.


7:30-9 a.m.     Continental Breakfast

8-9 a.m.     Open Time for Volunteer Working Groups: Alumni Board, Reunions & Chapter Leaders

9-10 a.m.     Leadership Summit Ho!     PAB Atrium
Introduction to an exciting day of volunteer engagement: context–setting, goal–orientation, and words of wisdom from college and volunteer leadership.

10-11:45 a.m.     Choose Your Own Adventure
Help address important challenges Reed is facing today. Team up with other interested alumni, parents, and friends for break–out groups to help shape strategies for volunteer involvement.

  • The Second Semester Slump: Reed has made great progress inspiring more young alumni to give. But in any single year, young alumni giving drops dramatically after December. Help us identify the factors behind this springtime funk and brainstorm innovative ways to inspire young alumni. (This session is open to 2004-2014 grads.)
  • The Consistency Conundrum: The majority of Reedies have given to the college at some point, but last year only about 30% gave. In this session, we'll discuss why Annual Fund participation is dropping and identify barriers to consistent giving. We need your brain to help us engage our intellectually formidable flock.
  • More Interest Than Opportunity: While many alumni and parents have stepped forward to help with funding, Reed students still show more interest in research and independent study opportunities than the college can provide. This session will examine how these beyond-the-classroom experiences and the senior thesis fit into Reed’s core curriculum and explore opportunities to strengthen the student-scholar model.
  • Finding Fun with Reedies Away from the Mother Ship: In the recent alumni survey, 33% of respondents with an opinion indicated that they would like to see improved opportunities to network or socialize with other Reed alumni. How can alumni and parents create opportunities for Reedies to connect in chapter cities and beyond?
  • Town & Gown: In some ways, Reed is Portland's best-kept secret. In a 2011 reputation study, Portland business and nonprofit leaders and elected officials knew very little about Reed but believed the college to be an asset and would like Reed to be a Portland resource. How can the college community help Reed better engage with Portland?

12-1:30 p.m.     Volunteers in Philanthropy     Gray Lounge
Lunch and discussion for those interested in fundraising volunteer opportunities.


Community Day
When you’re looking for a break between sessions, head to the quad for food carts, Canyon showcase tours, live music, reactor tours, and a nonprofit fair. More info here.

1-3 p.m.     Full Alumni Board of Directors Meeting (for Alumni Board members)     Eliot 103

1:45-3:45 p.m.     Alumni Fundraising for Reed Steering Committee (for AFR Steering Committee members)     PAB 131

4-5:30 p.m.     MeetUp: Speed–Dating for Careers     Kaul Auditorium
This event is the first opportunity of the academic year to engage newly minted and returning Reedies in a career networking session. Spend an hour or so talking with current students in a structured event, helping students begin to explore career options and learn the value of outreach to other Reedies. A traditional networking schmooze will be offered in conjunction with the more structured MeetUp sessions. Must register in advance; contact Brooke Hunter with questions.


6-8 p.m.     Young Alumni Happy Hour (for 2004–2014 graduates)     New Deal Distillery (900 SE Salmon St.)
After a weekend of serious thinking and dreaming about young alumni programming at Reed, we'll all need to let off some steam! Join us for our annual young alumni happy hour with John Kroger.

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For Reed rates on local hotels, visit our Accommodations page.

Scheduled time for volunteer groups

If you are a current volunteer and have questions about your schedule, contact Todd Hesse.

Strategic Planning Partners

Friday 5–6 p.m. Strategic Planning Partners Reception

Alumni Fundraising for Reed

Saturday 1:45–3:45 p.m. Alumni Fundraising for Reed Steering Committee

Additional time may be scheduled for AFR Steering Committee Working Groups.

Alumni Board

Saturday 8–9 a.m. Alumni Board Working Groups

  • Past Alumni Board Presidents
  • Outreach Committee
  • Life Beyond Reed Committee
  • Reedfayre Committee
  • Reunions Class Leaders
  • Chapter Leaders

Saturday 1–3 p.m. Full Alumni Board of Directors Meeting