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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Portland, Oregon: Paul Bragdon, president emeritus of Reed College and a native of Portland, Maine, has given a gift of $75,500 to the Campaign for Reed College to fund the Edith S. and Errol F. Bragdon State of Maine Scholarship Fund.

The scholarship fund was established by Bragdon in memory of his parents and in honor of the dedicated teachers at Deering High School, which he attended, and the public schools of Portland, Maine.

The fund will provide scholarship support, beginning in the 1999-2000 academic year, to graduates of public and independent high schools in Maine who have demonstrated intellectual and scholarly interests and have shown a desire to contribute to the communities of which they are a part. The fund will also help Reed's admission office make contact with students in Maine.

"I can think of no finer tribute to your parents and to the teachers at Deering High School, who did such a fine job educating you. This fund will help us recruit outstanding students from Maine and is greatly appreciated by all at the college," wrote Reed president Steven Koblik in a letter of thanks to Bragdon. "Your gifts to the campaign magnify the significant role you already play in the life of the college, and have played for decades, giving unselfishly of your time, effort, and assets to promote Reed's welfare."

Bragdon was president of Reed from 1971 to 1989. During those years he worked tirelessly to ensure that Reed maintained its place in the first rank of American colleges. Because of his unremitting efforts, Reed became stronger financially, organizationally, and academically than at any time in its history. A new residence hall at Reed was recently named in honor of him and his wife, Nancy.

In 1987 Bragdon was selected as one of the country's most effective college presidents in an Exxon Foundation--funded survey of university and college presidents; others selected included Derek Bok of Harvard University and Hanna Gray of the University of Chicago.

After leaving Reed, Bragdon served as education assistant to Oregon governor Neil Goldschmidt, president of the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon, and president of the Oregon Graduate Institute. His many years of public service have included chairmanship of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors, membership on the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission, and roles as director or trustee of numerous educational organizations such as the American Council on Education, the Council on Post-Secondary Accreditation, and the National Institute of Independent Colleges and Universities. He most recently has been devoting his time as chairman of the Library Foundation, Inc., which supports the Multnomah County Library.

Bragdon holds a B.A. from Amherst College (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) and a J.D. from Yale Law School; he has been given honorary degrees from Reed, Amherst College, Whitman College, and Pacific University. Before coming to Reed, Bragdon was vice president of New York University and served in top staff positions, including press secretary and legislative representative, to New York City mayor Robert Wagner. Bragdon began his professional career as a practicing attorney in New York City with the law firm of Dewey, Ballantine, Bushby, Palmer & Wood.

Edith and Errol Bragdon were life-long residents of Maine, having lived in Portland, West Falmouth, and, after retirement, Kennebunk. They lived their final years in the Portland, Oregon, area. Errol Bragdon had been in the industrial paint business in Portland, Maine. Paul Bragdon wrote about his parents that "Like many others who've not been to college, they prized education and had as an aspiration from the very beginning that I should have the opportunity denied them and other members of their families. Thanks to their encouragement and support--and the GI Bill--I did have that opportunity."

Since its founding in 1908, Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, has remained steadfast in its commitment to provide one of the nation's most intellectually rigorous undergraduate experiences in the liberal arts and sciences: each of Reed's 1,200 students must demonstrate competency in a chosen major by passing a junior qualifying exam and writing a senior thesis. "Success" at Reed is measured by a student's increased intellectual capabilities, with an emphasis on critical thinking and original thought.

Reed students and graduates receive some the country's most competitive fellowships and awards: Reed has produced 30 Rhodes Scholars since 1915, a number met by only one other small college in the country. Reed also ranks first among all colleges and universities in the United States in the percentage of its graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in the life sciences and third overall in all disciplines.

Reed's award-winning faculty are dedicated teachers and scholars who work with students as partners in learning: a national study of 15,000 educators placed Reed first in the nation in faculty commitment to teaching. Reed ranks among the highest-output, most cited, and highest impact colleges in the sciences, in a recent analysis of recent publications from undergraduate, liberal arts colleges.

"If you're a genuine intellectual, live the life of the mind, and want to learn for the sake of learning, the place most likely to empower you is . . . the most intellectual college in the country--Reed, in Portland, Oregon," says Loren Pope, former education editor of the New York Times, in his book Colleges That Change Lives (Penguin, 1996).

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