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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Reed's 96th Commencement set for May 17

Arwen Dave '89 design engineer for NASA's International Space Station, is commencement speaker

PORTLAND, OR (April 26, 2004) - Reed College's 96th commencement ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 17, under the tent on Reed's south lawn. This year approximately 309 graduates will receive bachelor's degrees, and six will receive master of arts in liberal studies degrees. The event is not open to the public.

The commencement speaker will be Arwen Davé, a design engineer working on the NASA International Space Station and a 1989 Reed graduate. (See biographical notes below.)

If you'd like to send reporters or camera crews, please contact Beth Sorensen at 503/777-7574 or at .

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Arwen Davé
While at Reed College, Arwen Isaac Davé '89 struggled to choose between her love of art and physics. "When I had to choose a major, I decided to drop physics in favor of art. I thought I'd have less courage to be 'impractical' as the years passed. There are skills common to both areas--creativity, an intuition for motion, and the ability to construct a mental image of how objects interact in three-dimensional space," she says.

Davé credits Reed physics professor emeritus Robert Reynolds with focusing her interest on an engineering career. "Whenever there was a shuttle launch, he'd bring a little portable TV into class," she says. "During one newscast, they announced plans for an international space station. I remember thinking, 'Now, that's something that would make me want to get up in the morning.'"

After Reed, Davé earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , and signed on with Lockheed Martin. In the spring of 1997 she drew her dream assignment. Davé works for NASA on testing and redesign of a space station that draws on the cooperative skills of 18 nations.

Davé is a technical liaison on Space Station Centrifuge. She is simultaneously working on her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Davé has also worked on budget, schedule, and design activities for Space Station science equipment, as well as on flight hardware. Prior to Lockheed Martin, Davé worked for Martin Marietta Astronautics in Colorado and Monsanto Chemical Company in Massachusetts.

Reed College
Since its founding in 1908 as an independent undergraduate institution, Reed College has remained steadfast to one central commitment: to provide a balanced, comprehensive education in liberal arts and sciences, fulfilling the highest standards of intellectual excellence. Reed provides one of the nation's most intellectually rigorous undergraduate experiences, with a highly structured academic program balancing broad distribution requirements and in-depth study in a chosen academic discipline.

The distinctive Reed experience includes a challenging curriculum involving wide reading, conference and laboratory-based teaching in small groups, and a student body motivated by enthusiasm for serious intellectual work. Reed offers a B.A. in one of 22 major fields and numerous interdisciplinary fields, as well as an M.A. in liberal studies degree.

With an enrollment today of about 1,340 students, Reed has produced the second highest number of Rhodes Scholars (31) for any liberal arts college, as well as over 50 Fulbright Scholars, over 60 Watson Fellows, and two MacArthur ("Genius") Award winners. Reed ranks third in the nation among institutions of higher learning in the production of PhDs in all disciplines. Reed is first in this percentage in biological sciences, and second in chemistry and humanities. Visit for further information.

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