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Annual Fund Raises $4.5M for World Change

By Randall S. Barton on July 15, 2016 09:23 AM

The Annual Fund raised a record-breaking $4.5 million in FY 2016. No fewer than 4,446 alumni stepped up to make a gift to Reed. Photo by Leah Nash

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap,” author Robert Louis Stevenson admonished, “but by the seed you plant.”

Alumni, parents, and friends of Reed seeded future generations of Reedies when they came together to give a record-breaking $4.545 million in the Annual Fund drive for fiscal year 2016, which ended in June. And no fewer than 4,446 alumni stepped up to make a gift to Reed.

Reasons for giving were as varied as the givers. Scott Beutel ’06 exemplified the motivation of many alumni who made a gift. “Reed taught me how to think and how to live,” he said. “Even if I can’t give a lot, I want to give something because Reed still influences me every day.”

Parents also expressed their appreciation for the way Reed changes lives.

“My daughter, Rosemary Love Sheets ’10, graduated from Reed and it was a dynamite experience all around,” said Hope Sandford. “I can’t imagine another college being as perfectly suited to her or offering such a rich, stimulating atmosphere for learning and growth in so many areas. I remain grateful to Reed for being what it is.”

One of the resounding successes of the year in giving was the In Honor Of campaign, launched in March. More than 1,000 alumni, parents, and friends were inspired to give in honor of something they love about Reed, be it a favorite professor, a dear friend, the library, or the nuclear reactor, for example. 

Young Alumni donors—those who have graduated within the last ten years—continue to give to Reed in increasing numbers, with 911 giving to Reed this past year.

“Reed was an experience that shaped me into who I am, probably the most influential time of my life thus far,” adds Nik Smirnow ’15. “I am delighted to give back to that community, to provide the experience for others that others provided for me. It makes me feel connected again, and that’s worth so much.”

The Annual Fund supports a nexus of systems and programs that ensure Reed students get the academic and financial support they need to go forth and change the world. This includes funding curiosity-driven research that fosters intellectual partnerships between faculty and students, as well as the Academic Resource Center, which provides peer counseling, workshops and academic coaching. The Academic Resource Center is used by more than half of all Reed students. Last year, Annual Fund gifts not only helped keep the library open 120 hours a week, donations helped the library acquire 8,000 new volumes and subscribe to 315 online resources. The Center for Life Beyond Reed also puts Annual Fund gifts to good use, as it helps students plan for their professional futures by building paths to fellowships, internships, externships, and first jobs.

It is said that people don’t invest in institutions; they invest in the ideas and people in whom they believe. Thank you so much for believing in the idea of Reed and for your support in seeding future generations of Reedies.