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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications


The Reed College Women’s Committee Forum 2001 lecture series, Beginnings, Endings, & Edges: Humanity’s Shifting Frontiers, will present four Thursday lectures during the month of October–October 4, 11, 18, and 25–in the Kaul Auditorium on the Reed campus. The speakers will explore aspects of change taking place worldwide, including the movement for death with dignity, cloning, the fate of wild salmon, and the aftermath of September 11.

Speakers this year are Reed's acting president Peter Steinberger, a longtime political science professor; actor Megan Cole, who played the lead role in the play Wit in New York, and Barbara Coombs Lee, director of the Compassion in Dying Federation; Don P. Wolf, senior scientist at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center; and David James Duncan, author of The River Why, The Brothers K, and River Teeth. (See below for details on the lectures.)

Senior Foreign Service officer Donald Steinberg ’74, deputy director of the policy planning staff for the U.S. State Department, had originally been scheduled to speak on October 4 but had to cancel due to the events of September 11.

Series tickets are $35 and can be purchased in advance directly from committee members, online at, or by mail c/o Reed College Women’s Committee, 6103 NW Cornell Road, Portland OR 97210. Each series ticket may be used for four admissions for any lecture. Individual tickets are available only at the door for $10. All proceeds from Forum 2001 support the Reed College Women’s Committee Scholarship Fund. For further information, please call 503/777-7787.

Books and conversation

Please join us in the Gray Center lounge (next to the Kaul Auditorium) before and after each lecture to enjoy book sales and stimulating conversation. You are invited to return to the lounge after the lectures for a reception with the speakers.

FORUM 2001

Beginnings, Endings, & Edges: Humanity’s Shifting Frontiers

Kaul Auditorium in the Gray Campus Center, Reed College

October 4 • > 7:30 p.m. • PETER STEINBERGER

Steinberger, Reed's acting president and the Robert H. and Blanche Day Ellis Professor of Political Science and Humanities, will speak on "Reflections on Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow: The Aftermath of September 11." Steinberger is the author of The Concept of Political Judgment (University of Chicago Press, 1993), Logic and Politics: Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Yale University Press, 1988), and Ideology and the Urban Crisis (State University of New York Press, 1985). He is the editor of Readings in Classical Political Thought (Hackett Publishing, 2000). He has written about politics in articles and opinion pieces in periodicals that include the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor. His work has been published in many learned journals, including the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, and Political Theory. He was a member of the Oregonian editorial board and editorial writer in 1987. Steinberger has been a member of the Reed faculty since 1977 and has been dean of the faculty since 1997. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California—Riverside in 1976, and he holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Fordham University.


Megan Cole has performed in television (Star Trek, ER, Seinfield, and others) and theater. She originated the lead role of Dr. Vivian Bearing in the Tony Award-winning Wit, a play about cancer and hope. Barbara Coombs Lee, a nationally recognized pioneer in the death with dignity movement, is director of the Compassion in Dying Federation. Together, Cole and Coombs Lee educate caregivers who work with end-of-life patients and their families. They will share elements of their work and explore the bioethical issues involved in care of the terminally ill, using dramatic vignettes to draw the listener in and give voice to the experiences of typical Oregonians in a state with progressive end-of-life policies.

October 18 • 7:30 p.m. • DON P. WOLF
Senior Scientist, Oregon Regional Primate Center

In 1997 Don Wolf gained international recognition when he announced the successful production of two rhesus monkeys, Neti and Ditto. He continues to work on the production of clonally derived monkeys. He will discuss cloning–its potential and its limitations–in the context of commercial gain, the preservation of endangered or extinct species, and its use in biomedical research. Wolf will review recent developments in the field, such as the concept of using nuclear transfer to create embryonic stem cells for potential therapeutic use without the risk of rejection. A popular speaker, Wolf makes this complex topic accessible to the general audience.

October 25 • 7:30 p.m. • DAVID JAMES DUNCAN, WRITER

David James Duncan’s writing (The River Why, The Brothers K, River Teeth) has won him critical acclaim and a national voice on the connection between biodiversity and spiritual responsibility. Duncan makes a convincing case that the fate of our species and that of salmon are so deeply entwined that to drive salmon into extinction is "not just biocide, but spiritual suicide." With a deep respect for the world’s wisdom traditions leavened by an irreverent sense of humor, he will speak of the struggle to help interlinked species, honor ancient cultures, and preserve the best qualities in our own hearts and spirits by fighting for the wild salmon of the Pacific Northwest.

The Reed College Women’s Committee


The Reed College Women’s Committee was founded in 1956 as an educational and social liaison between the college and the Portland community. The committee’s goals are to enlarge and enhance the reputation of Reed in the community and to provide stimulating intellectual activities associated with the college to the public.

The principal project of the Reed College Women’s Committee is its fall lecture series, planned and executed by volunteer committee members. While the format may change depending upon the speakers and program, traditionally four lectures are given on the Thursdays in October. The series has achieved distinction in the Portland community.

All proceeds from the lecture series support the Reed College Women’s Committee Scholarship fund, which over the years has contributed significantly to the opportunity to attend Reed for more than 50 recipients. As testimony to both Reed’s estimable national standing as one of the country's outstanding colleges of the liberal arts and sciences and to the goals of the committee, the speakers who participate in the lecture series waive their usual fees and honoraria so that the proceeds for scholarship are maximized.

Subjects for the series, selected by the committee from topics suggested by its members, have been as varied as "A Sense of Humor," "Politics and the Media:" Who's Using Whom," "European Unity: 1992," and "Privacy and Censorship." Internationally recognized speakers have included Dale Chihuly, Arun Gandhi, Cleveland Amory, Mark Russell, Jane Howard, and Morris Dees.