Jack Scrivens retires after 38 years at Reed

Jack Scrivens, chair of the physical education department and associate director of the sports center, retired in May after serving on the Reed faculty since 1961. He has participated in and won numerous squash and handball championships, and he was named in 1974 to the United States squash team. In 1986 Scrivens was inducted into the Oregon state sports hall of fame.


Jack Scrivens, right, with dean of the faculty Peter Steinberger
Scrivens has had a long and impressive teaching and coaching legacy at Reed. He started the Reed squash team, which won a number of league championships, and played a key role in the development of the Portland city squash league.

In recognition of his accomplishments, the board of trustees unanimously passed the following resolution at its spring meeting.

Jack Scrivens has been training Reed students for 38 years in athletic activities as diverse as gymnastics, racquetball, baseball, football, tennis, basketball, and handball. Through his teaching Jack has given students a healthy and productive life outside the classroom and added balance to their lives. Most notably, Jack has successfully encouraged students to play and compete in squash, and enjoy it for their entire life, by sharing his passion for this sport.

In light of his enthusiastic and productive teaching and coaching in squash, Reed College wishes to name the squash courts in the Aubrey R. Watzek Sports Center the Jack Scrivens Courts and install a plaque that will forever honor him for his contributions to the lives of Reed students.


Scrivens was made an honorary alumnus of Reed College at the alumni association's June 12 annual meeting.



History Professor John Tomsich retires from Reed

John M. Tomsich, Cornelia Marvin Pierce Professor of American History and Institutions, retired in May after spending his entire professional career on the Reed faculty. At Reed since 1962, Tomsich received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota in 1959 and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. He began his career as a scholar of American intellectual history: his often-cited study A Genteel Endeavor: American Culture and Politics in the Gilded Age was published by Stanford University Press in 1971. But in later years he expanded his interests into the history of science and the history of technology, and his recent courses in technology and society in America and technology and the environment in America have consistently been heavily enrolled.

Throughout his career, students and colleagues recognized Tomsich's dedication to teaching. They acknowledged his subtle intellect that could find hidden meanings in authors' works. His students remember Tomsich as a demanding class leader who was adept at eliciting discussion from reticent students and as a careful critic of term papers and theses.

In Humanities 220 (originally Hum 210) Tomsich contributed a series of lectures that are still recalled with admiration-carefully crafted, lucid, and literate lectures on a wide variety of figures such as John Locke, Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, Nietzsche, and Freud-where layers of thought and personality would be successively peeled away through searching and skeptical analysis. In 1990, in recognition of his contribution to the college, Tomsich was the first Reed faculty member to receive the Sears-Roebuck Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership award.

His colleagues learned to recognize the expression of pursed lips that always heralded the exercise of Tomsich's wry and skeptical wit. For a generation he functioned as the history department's senior Americanist, and occasionally as department chair, defending faculty prerogatives and keeping at bay what he considered the unfortunate encroachments of growing institutional bureaucracy. His tenure goes back to the constellation of "Old Reed" figures in history including Richard Jones, Owen Ulph, Bud Bagg, Smith Fussner, and Price Zimmermann, and forward to the department's expansion into Asian and Latin American history.

Tomsich was named an honorar alumnus at the alumni association's June 12 annual meeting.

Edward Segel professor of History and Humanities


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