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Today is Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 09:12 PM.


Reed magazine welcomes letters from readers concerning the contents of the magazine or issues relating to the college. Letters must be signed and may be edited for clarity and space. Our email address is reed.magazine@reed.edu.

Searching for the perfect college
From Meredith Larson, 16
For the past few months I have been browsing the web in search of "the perfect college." My search resulted in several colleges that interested me, but no one college in particular. Until now. I happened upon Reed's web page at school two days ago, and it intrigued me. Today, I returned to explore further and discovered the online magazine featuring spirituality and Reed students. ["Our spiritual journeys," February '97] Instantly, I became hooked!

My spiritual background is mixed. My father grew up in a Presbyterian household while my mother's family is Jewish. Our family has since found a religious home in the Unitarian Universalist Church. The articles I read in Reed echoed many of my religious sentiments. I am overjoyed to discover a place where Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists, Hindus, Quakers, and so many others interact with the pursuit of knowledge as a backdrop. Even more surprising, I found a reference to the Unitarian Church!

The most informed comment I have ever heard regarding UUism is, "Hey! Don't you guys worship, like, rocks or something?"

In short, the article was a refreshing change. I believe I have found my future college home!

Canyon Day memory
From Carleton Whitehead '41
Your fine article on the history of Canyon Day stimulates recall of the visit of the late and great Senator Paul Douglas to speak at Reed during the '60s. He was one of the founding faculty as professor of economics. On returning to his home in Chicago, he wrote a thank-you note which concluded with two observations: 1. He was very pleased at the standing room-only turnout and with the student's questions, and 2. While he knew students were dressing down in the sixties, he was somewhat dismayed to see how grubby and disheveled the Reed students were. I hastened to reply, explaining it was Canyon Day and all had come straight from work to hear him.

The latest Reed is better than ever. Carry on!

On academic freedom and Stanley Moore
From A. Verdi Farmanfarmaian '52
I attended Reed in the 1950s, and while I never had a formal course from Professor Moore, I attended many of his marvelous and penetrating lectures and discussions. Invariably his lectures swept the fields of philosophy, history, politics, and economics. I am of the firm conviction that Professor Moore was nothing but a brilliant free thinker and a superb teacher who masterfully taught his subject and forcefully stimulated his youthful charges to think for themselves. No one ever accused Professor Moore of anything inappropriate in or out of Reed College. Thus, I was utterly shocked when in the summer of 1954, I read that the Reed College board of trustees had discharged Professor Moore. What troubled me was not only the grave injustice done to a favorite professor but the wanton disregard of the board for the principles of academic freedom and tenure in an atmosphere of hysteria caused by McCarthyism.

This was a serious stain upon the image of our alma mater, and many of us who were personally aware of it could not rest till it was cleared. One evening in 1980 I received a telephone call from Dr. Michael Munk wanting to come for a visit along with Mr. Robert Richter, our mutual friend and fellow Reed alumnus. I welcomed them both. They proposed to elect Bob as our alumni trustee and thus take the case of Professor Moore directly to the board. Bob was elected as alumni trustee in the fall of 1980 and was very persuasive in our case. In 1981 the board voted to "regret" the 1954 discharge resolution and stated that Professor Moore was welcome to visit Reed. We found this response from our alma mater encouraging but insufficient. We were hoping, and argued for, a formal invitation with a reception and a lecture by Professor Moore. I am very glad and grateful to President Koblik and the Portland alumni chapter for arranging this symposium. Reed College is a magnificent intellectual jewel set in beautiful Oregon. It is a hotbed of free thinkers who, by virtue of their free explorations, must seem radical at times to some.