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Reed Exceeds $200M Campaign Goal with Gift from Amgen

Portland, OR (December 13, 2012)— Amgen, a California-based biotechnology company, has created a chair of chemical biology with a $3 million gift to Reed College. The Amgen-Perlmutter Chair honors Roger M. Perlmutter’s service as Amgen’s Executive Vice President of Research and Development. Perlmutter, a Reed College graduate, currently serves as chairman of the college’s board of trustees.

Amgen’s donation is the largest corporate gift in the college’s history and will bolster Reed’s historic strengths in biology and chemistry, fields in which Reed ranks second and fourth, respectively, as the undergraduate college of origin of students awarded PhDs. The gift has added significance, as it pushes Reed’s Centennial Campaign past its $200 million objective, bringing the fundraising total to over $203 million. Amgen’s gift builds on campaign goals of supporting the college’s mission in the liberal arts and sciences, and funds a $70 million increase to the financial aid endowment.

“I am deeply, deeply honored by this gift,” said Perlmutter. “I owe my interest in fundamental research to my education at Reed, which imbued me with an appreciation for rigorous scientific inquiry. Together with talented colleagues at Amgen, I was able to apply principles first learned at Reed to discover breakthrough medicines that have benefited patients around the world. I am especially pleased that, through this generous gift from Amgen, Reed students will have an opportunity to pursue lines of inquiry at the interface of chemistry and biology, which I regard as an especially fruitful area for future scientific advances.

During his 11 years at Amgen, Perlmutter played a vital role in developing new and innovative therapies. Over the course of his career, Perlmutter has also served as Executive Vice President at Merck Research Laboratories; Chairman of the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington, where he was a professor in the Department of Medicine and Biochemistry; an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; President of the American Association of Immunologists; and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He joined the Reed College board of trustees in 2004 and became chairman in April 2010.

“Roger’s engagement and energy have been instrumental to the success of Reed’s Centennial Campaign,” said Reed President John R. Kroger. “Reed benefits immensely from his academic and business acumen, and his leadership is an invaluable asset to the college.”

Perlmutter entered Reed intending to study English literature, but over the course of his academic career, he contributed to basic research in biochemistry, molecular biology and immunology, as well as drug discovery. He earned his MD and PhD degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, trained in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California at San Francisco, and performed post-doctoral work at CalTech under Dr. Leroy Hood, an early leader in the Human Genome Project.

Perlmutter met his wife Joan Kreiss ’73, while they were undergraduates at Reed. Kreiss went on to become a physician, infectious disease specialist, and professor at the University of Washington.