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News from the Reed College public affairs office

Reed Activists Stage "Sit-Down"

By Brandon Hamilton '11

Several generations of activists assembled in the Chapel to trade insights, strategies, and stories as a part of Social Justice 101, one of more than 200 events being held this week to celebrate Centennial Reunions.

Speakers ranged from Peter Bergel '65, executive director of Oregon PeaceWorks, whose self-styled "graduate education" took the form of years of living in a commune, to professor Kristi Hansen '96, an agricultural economist who teaches at the University of Wyoming.

President Diver Announces Retirement

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President Colin S. Diver announced today that he will retire at the end of the next academic year.

"I have loved Reed College more than any other institution for which I have worked, and I have loved being its president more than any other job I have ever held," Diver wrote in an email to the community. "But the time is approaching when I need to seek new challenges, strike out in new directions, and, yes, smell the flowers."

Beyond the Letters

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Great piece on Lloyd Reynolds by Brett Campbell in Willamette Week:

Click here for the full piece.

New Mathematical Model for HIV

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By Ethan Knudson '11

Uganda 1993: Sociologist and statistician Martina Morris '80 had just presented her sophisticated mathematical model on the spread of HIV to a conference attended by African elders.

In the back, a man raised his hand and asked, "Can your models account for having more than one partner at a time?"

When Morris admitted they didn't, the man walked out.

Bringing the Humanities to Portland

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By Romel Hernandez

Shanaquewa Finney admits the reason she signed up for the class was because the flyer advertised that it was free.

Get Your Kicks at Reunions

Yes, there's still time.

Register for our spectacular Centennial Reunions, June 6-12. And check out a sampling of the incredible delights that await you. Rugby. Dance. Basketry. Majuscules. A HOT-AIR BALLOON. Gary Snyder '51. Eggdog. (No, not eggnog. Eggdog.) Tikkler. Davis Rogan '90 and the Allstar New Orleans Rhythm & Blues Revue. FERRIS WHEEL. Stand-up economics. Gilbert & Sullivan. Fireworks!

For more about Reunions, especially the amazing art that will be be everywhere on campus, see more on our sister blog, the Riffin' Griffin.

Was James Beard really a Reedie?

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The latest James Beard Awards have just been announced, and it's nice to see that Mark Bitterman '95 won in the scholarship category for his book about salt.

The Beard awards typically prompt a flurry of interest in the epic gastronome himself. Last year, I was absently grazing on canapés at a gala function in Old Town when, somewhere in between the niçoise olives and the goat cheese, I got embroiled in a conversation about him.

Let the parade begin!

There was much jubilation and noise: Friday was thesis parade.

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Congratulations to everyone completed a thesis this year. Wear your laurels with pride.

Poop Scoop

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It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

On April 27 Sasha Kramer '99 returned to campus to give a talk on ecological sanitation-- the science of turning human waste (yes, we do mean poop!) into safe and sanitary fertilizer.

What does diversity mean to you?

That was one of the questions put to the Reed community at a photo booth event last month. As part of the creation of a comprehensive new diversity web presence, the Committee on Diversity set up shop in Commons and prompted students, faculty, and staff to ponder the following questions:

It's no surprise that Reedies took this task seriously. Over 100 people participated, contributing comments and posing for photos that are by turns thought-provoking, cheeky, irreverent, and bold.

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Reed Prof on "Philosophy Talk"

KenTamaraJohn_blog.jpgFor the last several years, listening to OPB radio on Thursday nights at 8 pm has become something of an obsession of mine. Maybe obsession is too strong a word; maybe it's more of a desire. Though, desire is a loaded word that would need a lot of unpacking before it can really explain my relationship to the show. Of course, my definition of desire is also conditional to my understanding of how I'm using it in the context of this given situation. Oh my, now I've stumbled into the theory of meaning, or is it meaning-theory, or semantics, and what's the difference anyway?

Luckily for me, Philosophy Talk hosts Ken Taylor and John Perry (two men, four first names) of Stanford University spend an hour each week explaining conundrums such as mine. The duo tackle philosophical concepts under titles like "Desire," "Money and Morality," and "What are Words Worth" in a way--as they say in the show's introduction--that questions everything but the audience's intelligence.

Which makes Reed poli-sci professor Tamara Metz the perfect guest. Metz is the author of Untying the Knot: Marriage, The State, and the Case for Their Divorce. Metz's book makes a powerful argument that marriage, like religion, should be separate from the state. I joined Tamara at the OPB studios as she talked with Ken and John during the April 14 live studio broadcast... Tamara_Mic_blog.jpg"I think it was the ideal venue for me to introduce my work to a nonacademic audience," says Metz. "The show is a great combination of popular culture and philosophical thought."

The Dirt on Canyon Day

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Our sister blog, Voices From Reed, has a great report by Antonia Heffelfinger '12 on how current Reedies honor the grand tradition of Canyon Day.

The Politics of Pleasure

Author and academic Dr. Shira Tarrant explored issues of consent and the dynamics of sexual assault before an attentive audience in Vollum Lounge on Tuesday, tackling issues as diverse as confidentiality, the honor principle, and how men can help prevent sexual assault.

While acknowledging Reed's distinctive culture, she emphasized that sexual assault is a problem on college campuses nationwide.

"Reed is a unique place," she said. "You are smart, you're independent, you're encouraged to speak and think for yourselves. But believe me, the sexual assault issues at Reed are not unique."

Tennessee Williams and the Persistence of Memory

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Few figures towered over post-World War II American theatre like playwright Tennessee Williams. From the premiere of The Glass Menagerie in 1944 through Sweet Bird of Youth in 1959, Williams was to drama what Rogers and Hammerstein were to Broadway musicals--celebrated and prodigious. Williams won two Pulitzer Prizes and a Tony award. His plays are peopled with drawling misfits in lyrical titles like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Clothes for a Summer Hotel.

Reed Theatre celebrates the 100th anniversary of Williams' birth with a production of his first commercial success, The Glass Menagerie, directed by Kate Bredeson, assistant professor of theatre. A four-character memory play, it is told from the perspective of Tom Wingfield, an aspiring writer who both narrates the play and acts in it.

Calligraphy Leaps off the Page

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The greatly anticipated exhibition, Lloyd Reynolds: A Life of Forms in Art, has begun its run in the Cooley Art Gallery. Just hours after it opened, Robin Tovey '97 and I convened at the Hauser Library and headed to the gallery. An arresting exhibition poster hangs just outside, featuring an enlargement of Lloyd's piece "Calligraphy for People." It's a powerful piece--the words connect to one another through serpentine pen strokes--and aptly chosen. Lloyd, who was passionate about teaching, made this "beautiful writing" accessible to people in all walks of life, just as he made calligraphy at Reed prestigious worldwide...

The glass gallery doors carry a stenciled image of Thor's thunderbolt and Poseidon's trident, one of Lloyd's symbols that is featured in the show. Inside, we found outreach coordinator Greg MacNaughton '89, and curator Stephanie Snyder '91, along with gallery registrar Colleen Gotze, were busily putting the finishing touches on signage.

Clamoring for Elyse Fenton '03

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It was standing-room only in the psychology auditorium when poet Elyse Fenton '03 read from her award-winning collection, Clamor, on Thursday night. OK, nobody was actually standing: late arrivals sat on the floor or reclined against the wall, situational discomforts that paled in comparison to the striking corporeality of the poems we heard.

Professor Lisa Steinman, Elyse's thesis adviser, praised her aptitude for "making things that are lost or imagined real" in a warm introduction. Steinman noted with pleasure that Elyse's Reed experience is evident in her work as much through references to Orpheus and Dante as through a distinctive "physicality of language" honed by a rugby player...

Reedies explain threat from Japan's radiation release

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The alarming news coming out of Japan about potential nuclear reactor meltdowns has sparked considerable interest in Reed's research reactor. The March 17 Oregonian did a nice job of assessing the minimal risk associated with Oregon's two research reactors (Reed and OSU) in its story, "State research reactors can't melt down."

The reactor is used for experiments such as measuring the amount of specific elements in samples. A recent experiment searched shards from an ancient ceramic pot to find impurities in the clay that could help pinpoint the location where the pot was made. Using the reactor allowed researchers to identify the elements while leaving the artifact intact.

Rogue Environmentalist Draws Protests

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Earth-lovers of the world, hop off your solar-powered composting toilets. Environmental provocateur Stewart Brand is here to tell you that nuclear energy will save the planet.

With a thesis like that, it's little wonder that Brand drew an uncustomary crowd of Portland protesters to campus last Tuesday--in spite of a torrential spring downpour. The raincoated group distributing fliers were admittedly of the non-pitchfork-waving, middle-aged, friendly Oregon environmentalist mold, but a glance through their pamphlets warned students that they were in for a night of lively controversy.

March Madness Results

The senior Griffins clinched the 2011 March Madness championship with a decisive victory over Right Bank in the final round of Reed's madcap elimination basketball tournament.

The tournament, now in its 23rd year, features teams composed of students, alumni, staff, faculty, and other life forms in various combinations. In past years, departments, dorms, and even teams from other sports have competed for the title.

This year, the alumni were represented by two teams: the House Husbands, captained by Erik Brakstad '89, mainly composed of alumni of--shall we say--antique vintage, and Right Bank, most of whom graduated in the last decade or so. In their first-round match-up, Right Bank notched a 27-17 victory over HH thanks to skillful play by Imran Ahmad '04 and generally superior conditioning...

March Madness Preview

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Game on.

Reed's annual one-of-a-kind basketball tournament is happening tonight. Started over 20 years ago by Erik Brakstad '89, the event features students, alumni, staff, and various other life forms in a bouncy, spherical celebration of America's tallest sport.

Here is the bracket as of press time:

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