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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


Science Initiative grant will fund purchase of equipment for science labs

The Kresge Foundation, of Troy, Michigan, has awarded Reed College a Science Initiative grant of $330,000. One-half of this grant will be used to purchase scientific equipment for the departments of biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and psychology. The balance will serve as a challenge for the college to raise and to establish an $835,000 endowment fund to upgrade and maintain that equipment.

"This grant will help Reed maintain its high standards in the sciences and enhance a robust research program," said Reed president Steven Koblik. "With so many highly capable students in the sciences, we must provide the equipment and facilities that support research conducted by students and faculty."

Laurens Ruben, emeritus professor of biology, will chair the effort to meet the challenge. Building on the success of the Campaign for Reed College, a five-year, $80 million effort now in its fourth year, the challenge will attract support from alumni and friends who appreciate the college's long-term needs for scientific equipment. "I welcome this opportunity to help strengthen Reed's excellent programs in biology, chemistry, math, physics, and psychology," said Ruben.

"We are using the Kresge challenge as an opportunity to educate our alumni in scientific fields about new developments at the college," said Larry Large, executive vice president. "With Reed alumni's understanding of the college's tradition of integrating teaching and research, I am confident that they will respond to the challenge."

Reed has long been a leader in the sciences; the college is number one among all U.S. institutions of higher education in the percentage of students who go on to earn Ph.D.s in the life sciences. The college, known for its integration of students into the research program, has made significant curricular advances in science in the past few years with the addition of a computational biology laboratory, expansion of the computational chemistry laboratory, and a complete reworking of the physics advanced laboratory.

Reed College will gain many important pieces of scientific equipment from this grant, many of which are not usually found in an undergraduate environment. These include a complete thermal analysis system with the added capability of carrying out evolved gas analysis by FT-IR spectroscopy, to be used in the inorganic chemistry laboratory; a computer-based image acquisition system to analyze tracks made by fast moving elementary particles, to be used in physics research; and a high-end remote eye tracking system that includes scene imaging, to be used in psychology research.

The Kresge Foundation is an independent, private foundation created by the personal gifts of Sebastian S. Kresge. It is not affiliated with any corporation or organization. Gifts are made toward projects involving construction or renovation of facilities and the purchase of major capital equipment or real estate. Grant recipients have raised initial funds toward their respective projects before requesting assistance. Grants are then made on a challenge basis, requiring the raising of the remaining funds, thereby ensuring completion of the projects. The Kresge Foundation also awarded Reed a challenge grant of $350,000 in 1988 in support of expansion and renovation of the Hauser Library.