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Annual Fund Surpasses Goal

By Randall S. Barton on July 26, 2012 01:29 PM

Thumbnail image for Azmar.jpgReed alumni led record-breaking efforts for the Annual Fund this fiscal year, with key leadership provided by a group called Alumni Fundraising for Reed (AFR). From its inaugural meeting in November 2009 to today, the AFR has matured from a group of about 10 people brainstorming around a San Francisco conference table to an established steering committee with several working groups. Last year more than 90 AFR volunteers worked to strengthen Reed's Annual Fund. They are some of the scores of volunteers who donate countless hours to raising money for the college.

Alumni joined with parents and friends of Reed to give $3.78 million to the Annual Fund in the fiscal year ending June 30. This amounted to 5% over the goal of $3.6 million. Annual Fund dollars are up 60% over 10 years ago.

"It's wonderful to see Reedies coming together to support the college in this difficult economy," says Hugh Porter, vice president of college relations, "and enormously helpful to the college."

Money given to the Annual Fund is unrestricted and provides immediate support for financial aid, student services, and resources for faculty and the library. These funds are the mainstay of the budget, allowing Reed to meet its most pressing needs. The endowment, by contrast, is a collection of donations whose principal is invested in perpetuity often with restrictions on its use.

It would take an additional $76 million in endowment to generate the yearly income that gifts to the Annual Fund provide. Tuition covers 60% of the cost of a Reed education; the bulk of the remainder comes from current and past philanthropy.

Young alumni and students are also committed to getting more donors to join them in giving to Reed. Reed students reach out to alumni several times a year during the Phonathon, discovering shared connections while raising money for the college.

Amzar Faiz '13, an economics major from Malaysia, has worked the phonathon every year since he was a freshman. "No matter how much people pay to come to Reed they end up getting more than money can buy," he says. "The experiences, the people and the relationships with professors are priceless."

The rigor of a Reed education transcends time and while Amzar enjoys hearing about the passions and post-graduate experiences of Reed alumni, he says it is clear that today's students enjoy more institutional support with such resources as the DoJo and health & counseling services.

Leah Cepko '16, a freshman from Boston, is new to the phonathon. She senses that most of the people she talks to enjoy hearing from current students as well. The people she talks often share advice on volunteering, networking and even what to read. Many invite her to call again to follow up on a suggestion or just let them know how things are working out.

"Parents want a connection to their child's school, and if they graduated from Reed, people want to reminisce about the old days," she says. "Reed is all about traditions and people want to share their stories, feel the connection, and have a chance to reminisce."

The affiliation that parents, alumni, and friends enjoy with the college is evidenced by the incredible generosity that made this year's Annual Fund campaign a success. The college is fortunate to have all of them as partners in the quest.