Enewsletter, Spring 2012

westport picturestudent picture

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 issue:

  1. Overview from Student Services
  2. Tuition Set for 2012-13
  3. Campus Update
  4. Reed Care Boxes
  5. Commencement
  6. Give to Reed
  7. Parent to Parent
  8. Financial Aid Update
  9. Parent & Family Weekend


brodyOverview from student services

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

Higher education has been in the news of late, with consumers (that’s you) wanting to know what they’re getting in return for their considerable investment in their student’s college education. I think that it is a very good question indeed, and I hope that you will agree that Reed students are getting a pretty good return on your (and their) investment. They are learning to think critically, to solve problems creatively, and to interact honorably. Plus, they’re doing really interesting things in the classroom.

We have been focusing significant energy this year on the ways in which a Reed education prepares students for “Life Beyond Reed” (see the Career Services contribution below for a recent illustrative example). It is my firm belief, and I hope you’ll agree, that we need not sacrifice Reed’s “education for education’s sake” ethos in order to help students conceptualize and apply their Reed education in the pursuit of meaningful work after graduation.

During their tenure at Reed, students really do work hard. Even as we celebrate the intensity and rigor of Reed’s academic program, we continue to develop programs and resources to help students maintain some semblance of balance in their busy lives. Please feel free to refer to our wellness services and physical education websites for more information.

In case you’re looking for a good read, I recommend Not Quite Adults, by Richard Settersten and Barbara E. Ray. It presents a compelling perspective on the twenty-first century version of young adulthood, and it may be particularly interesting for those of you whose student is scheduled to graduate in May.

I hope you are as proud as we are of your Reed student, and of the tremendous educational experience they are getting, and helping to create. I’ve asked a handful of Reed’s stellar student services staff to provide descriptions of some of our spring 2012 programs. This is just a snapshot—please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions.


Mike Brody
VP/Dean of Student Services


Amy Schuckman and the Residence Life staff provide the residence hall and dining service schedule for this spring and next fall:

Spring 2012
  • May 15, noon: residence halls close
Fall 2012
  • August 24, 9 a.m.: residence halls open
  • October 13–21: fall break, limited food service
  • November 22–25: Thanksgiving vacation, limited food service
  • December 14, noon: residence halls close

From Kristin Holmberg and Kyle Webster in Student Activities:

The Gray Fund has been a central part of Reed's social culture for 20 years. The twentieth-anniversary celebration, in conjunction with the college's centennial, has led to some of the largest and most exciting events in Reed's history. Last semester, Reed's centennial weekend included a 5K run, live music, food, and lots of fun for the campus and surrounding Portland community. This semester, excitement is building for the big Gray Fund birthday party on April 20 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in downtown Portland. The event, dubbed “Gray Fund Anniversary: 20 Years and counting,” will truly be a night to remember. It will start with an on-campus concert, followed by 17 buses shuttling the entire student body downtown for a variety show including a number of big names in dance, comedy, spoken word, and music. This event is only open to Reed students, faculty, and staff. Other highlights this semester include the Reed premiere of the movie Blue Like Jazz, which was filmed on campus, as well as trips to Seattle and a variety of shows downtown.

From Santi Alston and the Multicultural Resource Center:

This spring, the Multicultural Resource Center offered an alternative spring break for students to explore the local impact of national immigration policies and enforcement. We will also host the fifth-annual Vine Deloria Jr. lecture series, featuring a panel of Native American leaders from across the country. If you're interested in learning more about our events, please visit our MRC website.

Our Peer Mentor Program (PMP) is open to all Reed students and focuses on providing ongoing support to first-generation students and students from historically underrepresented communities as they transition into the Reed community.

For first-year PMP mentees and returning student mentors, spring semester provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on the hopes, fears, and expectations students experienced at the beginning of the academic year. At our winter retreat in January, mentors and mentees identified the personal, social, and academic goals that they reached during fall semester and set new goals for the spring.

For new Reedies in the Peer Mentor Program, the winter retreat provided a special opportunity: time to reflect on and celebrate the fact that they successfully completed their first semester at Reed!

From Julie Maxfield in Academic Support:

Students choose Reed because they want an intellectual and personal challenge—a challenge that high school, perhaps, did not provide. In their "Why Reed?" application essays, prospective students predict their enthusiasm for the pursuit of academic excellence, creative problem solving, critical inquiry, and serious intellectual work. 

What many Reed students are less able to predict, however, is how they will handle the pressure of struggling to master new ideas and skills. The challenge may come in the form of a required course in an unfamiliar discipline; a new set of expectations around class participation; the junior qualifying exam's demand for discipline-specific proficiency; or, as with many students, the biggest challenges may be managing one's time and determining priorities in an environment that treats them as adults. Whatever the cause, Reed students are nearly guaranteed to find themselves in the uncomfortable position of struggling to meet the standards of a demanding curriculum. 

Of course, we want students to struggle—that is, to stretch. At times, they will stumble; they (and you) should expect this. But we also want them to succeed. 

There is no need for students to struggle alone. Academic Support provides resources designed to help students meet the challenges of a Reed education. Our robust peer-tutoring program offers the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students who are a few steps ahead on their academic path. Individual academic coaching by professional staff gives students a chance to develop goals and explore strategies for improving the skills needed for college success. An ever evolving set of quantitative and study-skills workshops creates an awareness of how other students have overcome similar obstacles. The Writing Center assists in the elusive pursuit of clear communication. Together, our programs build solidarity and provide an alternative to simply "freaking out" when things get tough. Please encourage your student to consult with his/her professors about how best to take advantage of the resources we offer. 

These free services are available to students at any point in their academic career. See our academic support webpage.

From Fawn Livingston-Gray ’95 in Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service (SEEDS)   

This semester, SEEDS will help the college celebrate its centennial with a campuswide day-of-service event on Saturday, April 14, partnering with local alumni and other nonprofits. We'll be working with Sue Thomas '73, director of the Portland Parks and Recreation Environmental Education Program, as part of Reed's ongoing support for habitat restoration at nearby Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge; with Emese Ilyes '08 at Project Grow, which empowers adults with developmental disabilities through art, farming, and other meaningful work and advocacy programs at the Children’s Book Bank, which strives to improve the literacy skills of low-income children by giving them books of their own before they reach kindergarten. The day will include inspiring speakers, reflection on Reedies’ role in our communities, great food and, we hope, a sense of connection to the on-campus community and to the greater Portland community. Speaking of alumni, our alternative spring break group, again working with Habitat for Humanity of New Orleans, connected with many alumni in the New Orleans area, including at least two Teach for America teachers, a former journalist and professor, and an administrator with Tulane University. Two of those Reed alumni are also alumni of the SEEDS alternative break program to New Orleans, a testament to the profound influence that these intensive service programs can have on students. This semester we will continue to support our ongoing service programs, offer a variety of one-day service projects, and host on-campus educational events like the upcoming hunger banquet, a simulation and discussion of world hunger and food distribution. As always, students can check the SEEDS website for details or to sign up for programs.

From Dana Bays in International Student Services (ISS):

Over the past semester, ISS collaborated closely with Career Services to connect international students to career resources. This collaboration has encouraged international students to plan early and often for meaningful career experiences during their time at Reed and prepared them for life post-Reed. This fall, we offered individual career-counseling sessions for all first-year students as well as group sessions for all international students. This semester, we are connecting students to recent international alumni who can offer useful advice and insight to navigating the challenges and opportunities international students face when it comes to employment and graduate school. In addition, to support international student access to unpaid internship and research opportunities, ISS will again offer the summer experience award, a summer fellowship that provides international students with the funding needed to cover the costs of a meaningful, unpaid summer experience.

Our International Student Advisory Board (ISAB), comprised of five international students, has planned a full calendar of events that create opportunities to share perspectives about culture and celebrate international diversity. The once-a-month Eat, Meet, and Greet events with ISAB feature a home-cooked meal prepared by international Reedies and shared with the Reed community. Additionally, ISAB has coordinated a photo competition calling for submissions that depict “Life in a Day of a Reedie” and plans to display the photos in conjunction with a viewing of the film “Life in a Day,” to bring to light the diversity of daily life around the world. Later in the semester, ISAB will also host the International Festival to celebrate the traditions and cultures of international Reedies.

This semester we are also excited to continue our Discover PDX programming with a trip to see Wicked, a Portland Timbers soccer match, and a film at the African Film Festival. ISS will also continue to support international students through academic support workshops, our InterConnect peer-mentoring program, and host-family program. International student services staff members look forward to helping all our international Reedies thrive this spring!

From Ron Albertson in Career Services:

In January, as a direct result of Parent Council Chair Joe Sellers's letter to parents, Career Services received four new internship and job opportunities, in addition to three internal contacts willing to entertain pre-application questions inside companies that already post opportunities at Reed. Several additional parents have opportunities in the making. Needless to say, we are excited to add depth to our offerings from parents, and we look forward to continuing in a partnership that will broaden the reach and the offerings that come from our amazing Reed parents.

Working Weekend and Reed StartUp—career-focused, alumni-driven events that took place during the first weekend of February—yielded several new opportunities for Reed students. The events had a total attendance of 379 (232 students; 134 alumni, including 71 presenters or individuals deeply involved in the program planning; and 13 guests). Seniors were the most represented with 66 participants, and there were 43 juniors, 44 sophomores, and 30 first-year students. Almost every participant with whom we have spoken, whether student or alumna/us, reports ongoing discussion and enthusiasm. The green light that alumni gave to students was unimpeachably enthusiastic, a strong encouragement to students to reach out and engage with alumni. Our biggest challenge for the entire weekend was finding spaces large enough to contain participants.

Perhaps the next Working Weekend will include parent participants! If you know of internship, research, or entry-level career opportunities for which Reedies might be a good fit, please let us know. You'll find a link to post job or internship opportunities on Career Services' webpage for parents.


Tuition Set for 2012–13

In discussion with the board of trustees, the college has set tuition and fees for the 2012–13 academic year. This fee aims to meet ambitious educational goals held by the college’s faculty and students and to support robust and healthy experiences on the Reed campus

Tuition and mandatory fees for the 2012–13 academic year will increase by 3.9 percent to $44,200. The standard charge for housing will increase by 3.65 percent, to $5,960, and the standard board plan will increase by 3.77 percent, to $5,500. Altogether, tuition, fees, room, and board for the next academic year will total $55,920.

The price of a Reed education represents a significant financial commitment for students and their families. Past gifts to the college in terms of the college’s endowment, as well as current contributed support, help supplement tuition. In addition, such funds allow the college to provide financial aid to meet the full demonstrated financial need of all continuing students who complete their financial aid application by the stated annual deadlines, meet federal-eligibility requirements, and maintain satisfactory academic progress (six Reed units annually and a minimum 2.0 grade point average).

If you are interested in applying for or renewing financial aid, applications are due by April 1, 2012.  For more information, visit Reed's financial aid website.


Campus Update

After the two robberies on campus last semester, we implemented many security changes. We hired a private security firm that patrols every night; they are very visible along the perimeter of campus, in the parking lots, and along the pathways. This has increased the number of professionals on campus trained to identify and respond quickly to signs of trouble. We have increased lighting all across campus. Additionally, we continue to educate our on-campus community about how to travel safely. Lastly, Portland police have significantly increased their presence on and around campus and in the neighborhoods. Portland Police Bureau (PPB) continues to work with our community safety office on their investigation. As always, community safety officers are ready at all times to provide an escort to anyone who asks, and they are committed to ensuring the safety of campus. There have been no further incidents on campus, and we continue to be hyper aware of security.


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? Our 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 the bookstore webpage 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 notice in the Reed mailbox. 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.


Save the Date for Commencement

Reed's 98th annual commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 14, 2012 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, as well as ticket information and updates, are available online. Please join us in celebrating the Class of 2012!


Give to Reed

Support all the things you (and your student) love about Reed: click here to make your Annual Fund gift today.


Parent-to-Parent Program

parent family wknd pic

The Admission office's Parent-to-Parent program is ramping and revamping for another year of service! For those interested, Parent-to-Parent (P2P) is a small group of current parents who make themselves available for conversations with prospective parents during the final phase of the college admission process when admitted students and their families deliberate their college choice. The main window of volunteer activity coincides with the interval between decision letters and enrollment, generally between late March and early May, but volunteers make themselves available year round.

Admission is seeking volunteers for the P2P program. If you are an enthusiastic current parent and would like to share your insights with parents of admitted students, please send an email to Conversations are private, unscripted, and open-ended. We especially need speakers of multiple languages and parents in far-flung locales.

Current P2P volunteers, thank you for participating in our recent survey. The survey results gave us a clear picture of how the program has been utilized and helped us create a plan to better use your advocacy and goodwill.

We appreciate your time, energy, and Reed love.


News from the Financial Aid Office

Applying for financial aid 2012–13

The financial aid process for 2012–13 has been updated on our website. All financial aid applications and documents must be complete by May 1. Download the financial-aid checklist online for complete information. Don’t miss this opportunity to apply for institutional and federal funding!

Changes to the application process

Due to new federal regulations, the financial aid office’s ability to correct a family’s processed FAFSA is limited. In most cases families are required to use the Department of Education’s IRS data-retrieval tool to update the FAFSA after parent and student tax returns have been submitted to the IRS. In some cases (such as married parents who file separately or recently separated or divorced parents), parents cannot use the IRS data retrieval process and will be required to provide an IRS tax transcript to the financial aid office. This requirement will be in addition to the IDOC packet required of all applicants for institutional funding.

Accessing your financial aid status

For the 2012–13 academic year, students will continue to access their financial aid status and award via Reed’s financial aid website with Banner Self-Service. Students will use Banner Self-Service to check the status of their financial aid application to find out which documents have been received, and what is still needed to complete their application for financial aid; review their financial aid eligibility and accept their financial aid. Students have the ability to print a copy of their financial aid award to send to parents; report any outside resources, such as private scholarships, to the financial aid office. Most current students already have a PIN, which is required along with a Reed College student ID number, to access Banner Self-Service. If your student needs or does not remember their PIN, he or she can contact the financial aid office to obtain a number or have his or her PIN reset.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the financial aid office at or 503/777-7223.


Parent & Family Weekend

Though it is many months away, please mark your calendars to join us for Parent & Family Weekend on November 2 & 3, 2012. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday 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. As you can see from the 2011 schedule, it is designed with something for everyone, from attending classes and touring the campus to conversations with the president, faculty, and staff.


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

Learn more about Reed's centennial year


Help us keep in touch

duo_oweekThank you for allowing us to reach you via email, our most immediate means to share news and information. Your email address will be used only for communications to you from Reed. To continue to receive parent communication, keep us up to date on your current contact information, or to let us know of any additional person to receive parent mailings, please go to the parents website.

Questions? Please contact Alumni & Parent Relations at 503/777-7589 or


Unsubscribe option: If you do not wish to receive any future parent electronic communication, send an email to and give your name and email address with the word "unsubscribe" clearly in the subject line. Please note that if you unsubscribe from this enewsletter, you will no longer receive any mass email communications from the college.