Enewsletter, Autumn 2010

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Reed College Alumni & Parent Relations is pleased to send you this electronic newsletter for parents and grandparents of current students. We aim to keep you informed of important dates and other relevant college news on a quarterly basis. Please feel free to contact us with thoughts, questions, or concerns.

In this fall 2010 issue:

  1. Snapshot from student services
  2. Parent & Family Weekend reminder
  3. Fall notes from career services
  4. Important financial aid information
  5. International student services update
  6. Save the date for commencement
  7. A note from the parent council chair
  8. Parent-to-parent program
  9. Reed care boxes

brodySnapshot from student services

Mike Brody, vice president & dean of student services, provides an update on student services happenings and the opportunities available to your student:

With autumn upon us, summer has legitimately receded into the past here at Reed. Students have begun to swap flip-flops for, well, other flip-flops, and as I walk around campus, students are engaged in spirited conversations on all manner of academic, political, and social subjects. School is indeed in full swing, and I know my student services colleagues join me in my optimism about the 2010-11 academic year.

A principal theme guiding our current efforts to support your students is wellness. In the academic, physical, and emotional arenas, we are putting a lot of thought and energy into promoting wellbeing. To wit, the following is a brief description of some of the programs that we have enhanced of late.

Health & Counseling Center
We continue to make meaningful progress in our ongoing efforts to ensure that all Reed students have ready access to a broad array of physical and emotional health support resources. Our Health & Counseling Center (HCC) relocated over the summer, expanding into a facility nearly twice the size of its previous location. This has allowed us to enhance our complimentary care resources, which for the first time include acupuncture, naturopathy, a regular staff position for coordinating wellness programming, and a room we call the "mind spa" complete with massage chair, biofeedback software, meditation instruction and more, all dedicated to healthy stress reduction for your students at no extra charge.

Physical Education
The physical education program continues to expand. We may not have a Division 1 football team, but make no mistake; Reedies are to a great extent an active bunch. Of the 1,000 students who responded to our survey last spring, 94 percent either agreed or strongly agreed that Reed P.E. classes were of value, with a mean of 4.56 on a 5-point scale. With the range of programs offered on campus, there is something for just about everyone. If students want to get off campus, they can head for our newly renovated ski cabin on Mt. Hood. We are putting the finishing touches on a truly impressive renovation, funded by the generosity of our alumni. Last year, the cabin was heavily utilized throughout the winter months; approximately 800 students took advantage of this great resource during the 2009-10 academic year. Other outdoor recreational opportunities abound, with more than 45 trips per year, in which nearly half our student population participated last year. Please remind your student that all work and no play is just not the Reed way.

The Peer Mentor Program
The peer mentor program (PMP) is a great resource for social and academic wellbeing on campus. We have a historically strong group of PMP mentors this year whose focus is to help first-year students navigate the transition to Reed with confidence. The PMP emphasizes academic preparation and success and encourages active participation in the greater campus community by highlighting campus resources and encouraging participants to utilize those resources effectively. This program provides opportunities for students to address the range of diverse identities, perspectives, and experiences that impact their learning experience at Reed and supports the development of meaningful relationships that will endure throughout participants' tenure at the college, and beyond. We currently have space for seven more first-year or transfer students. Interested students can contact either Bruce Smith, assistant dean for inclusion, engagement, and success or Rachel Jones, program coordinator for multicultural affairs at or

Academic Resource Center
Our academic resource center, in the Dorothy Johansen House (DoJo) at the eastern edge of campus, is a popular destination these days. Humanities 110 students began to bring drafts to the writing center before turning in their very first papers at Reed. This year's new syllabus started with an essay analyzing the heroic character of Odysseus. If you're a parent of a new student, check out lines 164 through 251 of Book Five and lines 541 through 597 of Book Eight and imagine how you might have answered the question therein. It could make for a great conversation at Thanksgiving. New and returning students taking introductory science courses and other classes with a quantitative component have access to an amazing group of carefully selected and trained peer tutors in the quantitative skills center. Seniors looking for support as they embark on their thesis projects will find such help at the DoJo, and they will be in good company.

Community Safety
Gary Granger began his tenure as Reed's community safety director in August of this year. Gary has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to extrapolate to Reed's culture the perspective and skills he developed during a 30-year career in a variety of safety and security roles. He has made meaningful connections with students, staff and faculty, and we are fortunate indeed to have Gary on our team.

Gray Fund
The Gray Fund is again providing an exceptional calendar of events for students this fall. In addition to annual events, such as the harvest ball (this year featuring ska favorites Reel Big Fish) and the semester surprise during reading week, past poet laureate, Billy Collins, will be speaking on November 18. Students also had the chance to watch the SXSW Film Festival award winning documentary, Sissy Boy, followed by a reception with the director and many of the cast members. Trips this year include glass slumping and fusing, a trip to Ashland for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival over fall break, and Jason Samuels Smith Tap Dance. Per usual, all of these events are substance free and free of charge to all students, faculty, and staff. Encourage your students to attend and take part in the Gray Fund.

Community Service through the SEEDS program started off the year with another amazing orientation odyssey program. More than 50 Reedies served in more than 15 different nonprofit agencies throughout the Portland area for 3 days before classes started. We have seen a record number of applicants for our tutoring and mentoring programs this year, as well as students who sign up for our one-day Saturday service projects. If your student receives federal work-study as part of a financial aid package, it may be news to you that they can earn that money in an off-campus community service internship program. Students can tutor, work in a theater or dance program, teach yoga, work at a nonprofit dog day care, or work with a local nonprofit economic development organization, just to name a few options. All of these positions are also volunteer positions for those who don't receive federal work-study. More information can be found at the off-campus federal work-study community service internship webpage.

I hope you find informative this snapshot of some of the things we're doing in student services to help your student be healthy, happy, and prepared to get as much out of the fall semester as possible. Don't hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions.


Important residence life dates

October 16-24: Fall break, limited food service in commons
November 25-28: Thanksgiving vacation, limited food service in commons
December 17, noon: residence halls close

January 21, noon: residence halls open, limited food service in commons
January 31: classes begin
March 19-27: spring break, limited food service in commons
May 24, noon: residence halls close

familyParent & Family Weekend reminder

Please join us for Parent & Family Weekend on November 5 & 6. Check in and activities begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday in Gray Lounge and conclude Saturday afternoon. Parents, grandparents, and siblings are invited to attend. Whether you are coming to campus for the first time or the fifth, this is a wonderful opportunity for families to meet members of the college community and learn more about what students experience at Reed. The schedule is designed with something for everyone, from attending classes and touring the campus to conversations with the president, faculty, and staff.

Note that we have a new event featured this year on Saturday, November 6 from 2-4 p.m.: "The Politics of Race in the Age of Obama," a panel presentation featuring a conversation with Paul Gronke, professor of political science, Reed College; Gabriel Lenz '98, associate professor of political science, MIT; and Katherine Tate, professor of political science University of California, Irvine; with reception to follow.

Online registration is available for the weekend. Feel free to contact us with any questions at or 503/777-7589. Please take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with your Reedie exploring campus and the Pacific Northwest.

Fall notes from career services

Welcome, and welcome back, Reed parents!

Many of the choice internships for fall and summer have deadlines coming up very quickly. An internship is more than just a way for your Reedie to earn some cash-a meaningful work experience complements academic studies and enriches the life of the mind; prepares students for the opportunities and challenges of professional, civic, and private life; and deepens one's understanding of personal strengths and interests. One of the key messages that we deliver every day to students is this: early planning will deepen your experience, strengthen your resume, and help ease your way into your future so that you will face graduation and life after Reed feeling well prepared for whatever you choose next.

If your Reedie is a new student, we want to support the transition into Reed. Early activities with our office can include a meeting with a counselor who will guide your student through the initial steps useful for incorporating career development activities into activities at Reed. Taking our online assessment tests can help students gain understanding about future options. Our programming holds myriad opportunities through the year for your student to build skills and to meet Reedies whose stories and connections may be useful in the future.

If your Reedie is graduating, we want to support the transition to graduate school, entry-level work, or an interim of service or travel. Students who start planning early are in the best position to seize competitive opportunities.

If you know of any good opportunities for Reed students, please let career services know so we can get the word out. For more information on how you can join our efforts, contact Ron Albertson at or 503/517-7421, or visit us online at

Important financial aid information

In the coming months, keep an eye on the financial aid webpage for changes to the financial aid process for 2011-12. The application cycle begins on January 1, 2011 and the deadline for priority consideration ends on May 1, 2011. Don't miss this four-month opportunity to apply for institutional and federal funding! 

issInternational student services update

International student services (ISS) is on the move! We have recently changed homes and are now in a more centrally located and spacious office in Gray Campus Center, room 104. We are sharing the space with the SEEDS office and are excited about the possibilities for collaboration between our two programs. The new location provides students with better access to ISS and increases awareness of our role on campus.

Now beginning its third year at Reed, the ISS office has continued expanding its support for international students and it is looking to connect more with the greater campus community. The InterConnect mentor program, which pairs new degree-seeking international students with a current Reedie, is beginning its second year and has helped serve as an extra source of support for new students as they transition to life in the U.S. and on campus. Additionally, our new country spotlight program will invite all Reedies to learn more about the international cultures represented on campus by actively participating in and contributing to the events organized.

Later this year we will launch our efforts to find host families for next fall's incoming class of international students. If you live in the Portland area and might be interested in serving as a host for a student, please contact us at ISS. You can find more information about the host family program on at

Save the date for commencement

Reed's 97th annual commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 23, 2011 on the front lawn of campus. Weekend events include optional tours on Saturday and Sunday, and a commencement-eve celebration on Sunday evening. A complete schedule will be available in February. Please join us in celebrating the class of 2011!

A note from the parent council chair

Dear Reedie parents and fellow caretakers:

As chair of Reed's parent council, I am thrilled to welcome you all to fall semester 2010!

You may ask why I opened my letter by using the words fellow caretakers. I chose those words because while our offspring are in Portland, we share their caretaking with a most wonderful partner-Reed College.

We begin to share from the very first summer that they enter as first-year students. We are invited to participate in learning the way that they soon learn. We are able to take part in active study and debate by reading and discussing The Odyssey, a seminal component of their Hum 110 syllabus. Reed makes it easy to share.

Reed is celebrating its centennial and will be inviting us to share in the festivities at events both on campus and around the globe. I urge you to take every opportunity to participate in this milestone. How about starting by joining us for the upcoming Parent & Family Weekend on November 5 & 6? It is a lovely chance to meet again with President Colin Diver, the faculty, fellow parents, and visit with our children! It is a date to which I look forward each year, and even though I live in England, it continues to be paramount.

You can register for Parent & Family Weekend and view the entire weekend's schedule of events online. I look forward to having the chance to chat with you about the parent council and our mission. If you would like to share your time and think you might be interested in joining the parent council, please read about us at or contact Susan Walcutt, parent council liaison, at

All the very best (just as our students are receiving),

Katie Schmidt
Mother of Winnie '11

Parent-to-parent program

As you may remember, each year the admission office mails a list of current parent contacts to the parents of our admitted students. Our parent to parent program has been a huge success. Current parents and prospective parents have burned up the Internet exchanging information, answering questions, calming fears, and discovering that those qualities that have for years made your child unique are, indeed, inherent in other future Reedies. We are seeking new and returning volunteers to be a part of this very important program for 2011.

If you sign on to help us, your responsibilities will be quite simple and, we hope, not particularly burdensome. We ask that you be willing to accept a few phone calls or email from parents of admitted students. To sign up (or re-up), we ask only that you go to the website and indicate your interest, then we'll be sure to send you the form for our information gathering and will include you in the spring printing of our parent to parent brochure. Thanks for your willingness to be a contact for prospective Reed parents! If you have any questions about the program, please contact Amanda Miller at in Admission.

care_boxesReed care boxes

Do you have someone you care about at Reed College? Are you looking for a way to let your Reedie know you're thinking of him or her? Reed care boxes may be just what you want. They are designed with the Reedie in mind, and students love receiving them. Whether there is a birthday to celebrate, a thesis milestone reached, or just a note to say, "Take a break, we're thinking of you," our care packages are a unique way to send a message from home. To view our full selection, to see a detailed description of what each box contains, and to place an order, just go to and click the "Care Box" link. The boxes are attractively packaged and available for pick up during bookstore hours. We will contact your special person by email and with a mailbox notice. A note card with your personal message will be included with each care package. For further information, please contact Jules Wright at or 503/777-7757.

Extra links:

Parents, do you tweet? If so, follow us on Twitter at reed_parents.

Contact information for Reed staff

The Reed academic calendar

Schedule of parent events on campus

Make a gift or learn more about the Parent Fund

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