Leave No Child Behind

Ken Davis was my most memorable teacher. He taught the year-long advanced general physics sequence to sophomore majors between ’57 and ’61. “Mr. Davis” was a tough-love guy. The average on most of his exams was about 50 percent. If he had to leave town for professional activities he gave extra exams just to keep us busy. Now that I near the end of my career as a physics teacher at Dickinson College, I appreciate him much more than I did as a student. He forced us to work hard and be rigorous. I learned a lot about how to learn.

priscilla watson laws ’61

Jack Dudman, dean of students, was an unexpected inspiration. He was always there with emergency help, even when we were self-destructive. Lloyd Reynolds inspired, challenged, and intimidated. I’m still sad and disoriented when I walk around campus and see all the signs in commons and on bulletin boards and none of them are calligraphed! Jim Webb, for all his theatrical psychodrama, was an inspiring lecturer who showed that one’s life could be one’s work of art.

howard rheingold ’68

Jack Dudman was always there with emergency help, even when we were self-destructive.

howard rheingold ’68

Being at Reed changed my life. It was the ground for whatever I have accomplished. Yet it seems invidious to single out individuals. I am indeed grateful to a number of individuals, but the key was the kind of place Reed was, and I hope still is. It was all right to be serious about knowing things, thinking about things, writing about what one thought one had come to know. I discovered that there was a place in the world for people like that.

dell hymes ’50

David Allmendinger showed up at Reed my junior year, with the latest ideas of what history could beÑregular people, not presidents and kingsÑand with innovative methods for teaching it from primary sources. Encouraging me to write about women just as the women’s movement and women’s history were emerging, he ended my career as an indifferent student. Last year, I became his colleague in the history department at the University of Delaware, sweet for us both.

susan strasser ’69

Frank Gwilliam taught me how to channel a love of biology into rigorous research, how to keep my curiosity alive and healthy, and by superb example, how to mentor, challenge, and nourish younger minds. Although I am still striving to achieve his standard, Marvin Levich taught me to think logically and critically and to write economically. Marshall Cronyn taught me to list and consider all the alternatives so as to design the most discriminating test.

jack bradbury ’63

Who inspired, challenged, supported, and influenced my goals and intellectual development? The Reed environment, especially the Reed women. But if you must have names: Lloyd Reynolds, from whom I had no courses at all, but he seemed to do everything to perfection and with absolute honesty. Arthur F. Scott, who gave us a few lectures in radiochemistry but in whose house and with whose family I spent many stimulating happy hours. Arthur Livermore, Fred Ayres, Joe Bunnett, who taught me much chemistry, and in retrospect I wished I had stayed a fifth year and learned more from them.


Herb Gladstone, whose music was food for the soul. Stanley Moore, whose discussions always provoked. Arthur Leigh, who taught a great course in U.S. labor economics. David French, who had parties where his brilliant students carried on discussions and arguments in anthropology and sociology into the small hours. One could learn more in those sessions than in several formal courses. Not to forget that great dean of students, Ann Shepard, who gave us all the freedoms and looked at us as responsible Reed women and men.

a. verdi farmanfarmaian ’52

I was very fortunate during my years at Reed to work with Edward Segel of the history department. When I began as a freshman in 1988, Ed was my faculty adviser, assigned to help me and other naive first-year students adjust to the rigors of the Reed curriculum. Thankfully, he took this job very seriously. Ed not only helped me figure out my schedules over the years, he took the time to make sure that I was developing as a scholar AND as a person. Currently, I am getting Ph.D.-level training in psychology so I can be the kind of intellectually honest, dedicated scholar/ professor/ counselor that Edward Segel helped prepare me, and many others, to be. He didn’t ask me to be loyal to the field of history or the institution of Reed College or even to him personally. Instead, he taught me to be loyal (and vulnerable) to the learning process, both intellectually and emotionally, the only sure way that we can hope to grow as scholars and human beings.

john holcomb ’92

Professor George Bernard Noble’s courses in comparative government, international relations, and international law played a key role in guiding me after graduate school to a successful career in the U.S. State Department. Current international and national affairs were an integral and indispensable background for Dr. Noble’s courses and, in my own case, led to a thesis on isolationist propaganda in the U.S. prior to World War II. I will also never forget informal evenings at Dr. Noble’s home with classmates for conversations with such scholars as Harold Laski, Dennis Brogan, and James T. Shotwell, or to listen and share reactions to important speeches of President Roosevelt at a critical period in American history.

elizabeth ann brown ’40

I think that the person who most inspired and challenged me was John Pock. He probably wouldn’t remember me, but it was in his sociological theory class that I learned intellectual accountability. Not just critical thinking, but accountability. This has helped me in my work today probably more than in school.

chris namtze ’75

Ed Segel taught me to be loyal (and vulnerable) to the learning process.

john holcomb ’92

At Reed I was fortunate to have several excellent professors, many of whom still motivate me today. Math professor Joe Roberts is one such person. I recall spending much of my sophomore year in his office trying to understand calculus. He was generous with his time and unflagging in his support, convinced that I could do calculus. I never worked with Professor Roberts after that one year, and I’m sure I am just one of the many anonymous students to come through his classes. Today I’m a historian (who doesn’t do calculus). But now as a history professor with students of my own, I am inspired by his commitment to students, his accessibility, and his patience, and for the legions of students he has encouraged.

gabriela arredondo ’87



Reed Magazine feb. 2001
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