News of the College
Feb. 2001

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Memories of Sam Danon & Gail Kelly from Chip Krakoff ’78

Reed's Library from David Harris ’57; from John Peterson ’90

Shared Visions from Kurt Opprecht ’85

Reed Traditions Endure from Robert A. Rosenbaum, house adviser ’53

Remembering Lloyd Williams from Michael Munk ’56



From Chip Krakoff ’78

It came as a shock to learn of the retirement of Gail Kelly and Sam Danon. I hardly remember what possessed me, in my freshman year, to enroll in Sam’s course on 17th-century French theater, but it’s no exaggeration to say that it changed my life. The discussions over which Sam presided led me into new intellectual territory. Gail Kelly’s knowledge of modern jazz and love of Cecil Taylor’s music reflected her formidable intellect nearly as much as did her prowess in anthropology. Thanks to her influence as my faculty adviser, I majored in anthropology, a choice I have never regretted. Gail and Sam were the two best classroom teachers I have ever encountered.

I have spent much of my subsequent life and career living, working, and traveling in developing countries. More than 60 of them, at last count. As a volunteer, an economic adviser, an investment banker, or an entrepreneur, I have found myself over and over again in the position of a “participant observer,” the classical anthropologist’s stance.

It’s been an interesting and rewarding journey. The choices and mistakes I have made, since I left Reed, as well as the successes I have enjoyed, are mine. But I have no doubt that the intellectual and personal influences exercised by Sam Danon and Gail Kelly played no small role in setting me on the path I have followed so far. It has been a privilege to know both Sam and Gail. Reed will miss them greatly. But their legacy will remain, I am sure, in the institution they helped shape over many years, and in the lives of the students they taught. top

From David Harris ’57

I just finished reading the November issue. A lot about the library, but no pictures making it easy to compare new and old appearances. Which brings up the general subject of how the campus looks now compared to how it looked when we were last there (for me more than 40 years). How about pictures to acquaint alumni with how the campus looks now, with pictures of many campus scenes, and a map?

From John Peterson ’90
I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the latest edition of Reed. I always enjoy reading it and catching up on what’s going on, but the current issue’s focus upon the library was especially great. I’m sure that everyone agrees that the Reed library is one of the most important and unique features of the college. Having lived through the great ’89 renovation, reading about all the changes in the library really brought back all the great, and some not-so-great, times I’ve had in the library in all its various incarnations. I didn’t think I’d ever come to accept the new entrance to the library, and I’m still not sure I do, but it’s interesting to consider that almost everyone has similar feelings about “their” version of the library. I’m sure the current generation of library denizens will be equally horrified by the new changes in store for the library. I hope that the library retains at least some of its quirkiness, and that some of the strange spaces and features that make it unique and homey live on. top

From Kurt Opprecht ’85

Dear Marlaine Lockheed: Please don’t dismiss all who disagree with your views and the policies of your employer, the World Bank, by saying we are “poorly informed.” [Reed endnote, November 2000] The fact that the World Bank does much good in the world does not excuse the reckless development projects that it funds. top

From Robert A. Rosenbaum, house adviser ’53

May I offer some comments on Jerry Kelley’s observations (“Would I fit Reed today,” Reed Magazine, August 2000)?

In September 1939, just after the Nazis had invaded Poland, I traveled from Connecticut to Oregon to participate in the army’s premeteorology program at Reed, conceived and directed by F. L. Griffin. No one in the history of American collegiate education has ever had as wonderful and rewarding an introduction to teaching as I did, with “Grif” as mentor and Harry Goheen, Louise Johnson, and Henry Schheffé as colleagues.

Louise and I were invited to stay on as Reed faculty members at the end of the year. I also served as a resident adviser in Eastport. Thus, I was involved with the preparations for the party that Jerry mentions, where the purloined Doyle Owl was exhibited and defended. On the morning of December 7, 1941, I was working in my Eliot Hall office when Louise burst in, exclaiming, “The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor, and the rest of the campus is attacking Eastport!”

I ran back to the residence hall to find students swarming up the outside walls of the building, aided by ivy, hoping to break through second-floor windows. One Eastport resident was a well-heeled Anglophile: he reverently played “There’ll Always Be an England” every evening on his phonograph, and he kept spare parts of his speedboat in his room. He was at the center of the defense of the houseÑhaving put on his favorite record, he stood valiantly at his window, using a stainless-steel crankshaft to rap the knuckles of the hands that grasped at the window sill. With defenders worthy of Thermopylae, the house was saved, and the party went off almost as planned. I have enclosed a copy of a photo of the stalwart heroes of Eastport, taken in spring of 1942.


When I returned to Connecticut in 1953, I was often asked for my view of the differences between Reed and elite East Coast colleges like Wesleyan, where I was teaching. This question resulted in the following formulation: on the average, students entering Reed had had schooling that was less “rich” than that of students entering top-notch Eastern colleges, so that it was often the case that Reed freshmen were less mature and sophisticated than their Eastern counterparts. But on average, Reed students were superior in drive and motivation, and were certainly not inferior in native intelligence. As a result, Reed students tended to outshine their peers in the profundity and originality of their senior theses, for example, and to continue their development into humane citizens. top    


From Michael Munk ’56

As one of the worst math students ever to sweat out a “conditioned” in Math 11S, I am deeply saddened by the death of math professor Lloyd Williams. Lloyd was a member of the Reed Faculty Council of 1954, who (with one exception) righteously but unsuccessfully resisted the desperate efforts of the president, the trustees, and the House Un-American Activities Committee to fire professor Stanley Moore. As it condemns those who soiled Reed’s claim to academic freedom, history honors Lloyd Williams and his colleagues, professors Arragon, Garlan, Goldschmidt, Richard Jones, MacRae, and Parker. Reedies can honor him too by designating contributions to the scholarship fund established in his name. top

[See obituary of Williams in this issue. Gifts to the Lloyd Williams Scholarship can be mailed to the Reed College Annual Fund, 3203 SE Woodstock, Portland OR 97202-8199. Gifts should be identified as being in memory of Lloyd Williams. Ed.]