Presidents of Reed
Born on October 22, 1880, in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died on August 23, 1960, in Portland, Oregon
E.B. MacNaughton began his involvement with Reed in 1919 as one of the original members of the Board of Regents. He was then elected to the board of trustees, serving as both vice president and president of that body during his 24 years of service.
When he became Reed’s president in 1948, he focused on the financial well-being of the institution, as he had during his tenure on the board. He secured numerous gifts and forged relationships with community members and businesses that would benefit Reed. One of his first actions as president was to increase faculty salaries, which gained him popularity among faculty members. In 1951, MacNaughton brought Reed into the black, securing the institution financially for a period.
MacNaughton moved to the West Coast after studying architecture and structural engineering at M.I.T. He opened a firm in Portland—designing the 1910 Sellwood YMCA (now the Sellwood Community Center)—and became prominent in the business community. He was appointed chairman of the board of the First National Bank and president of the Oregonian; he kept both positions when he became president of Reed, and his connections in Portland would greatly aid his presidency. A typical day for “Mr. Mac” included splitting his morning between the bank and the Oregonian, and spending afternoons on the Reed campus.
Although his appointment was initially one of interim status, he served for four years at the request of the board of trustees, but without pay. His dedication to the “greatest little college in the world” was evident in his many years of service to Reed and to the Reed community.
In 1944, he married Cheryl Scholz, a Reed administrator and instructor who had been married to Reed’s second president, Richard F. Scholz. Cheryl continued to devote much of her time to the Reed community, and the MacNaughton residence hall was named in honor of both Cheryl and E.B. MacNaughton.
MacNaughton was a member of the first State Advisory Committee of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which created an award in his name to commemorate his service. During World War II, he worked with Governor Charles Sprague and others on behalf of Japanese Americans, and was named the first president of the Nippon Society of Oregon, today known as the Japan-America Society of Oregon.