News of Alumni Association 2001
  Snyder and Joseph win
distinguished service awards

The Foster-Scholz distinguished service award was presented on June 7 to two alumni from the class of 1951, George M. Joseph and Gary Snyder.

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The Snyders
Elizabeth and George Joseph '51
George Joseph ’51 was honored for his illustrious career in law and the judiciary and “his dedication to, support of, and long service to Reed College and its students.” In response to notification of the award, Joseph wrote, “I was thrown back in memory to the day when the governor called to say that he had just appointed me to the Court of Appeals. The thrill of that only slightly exceeded the thrill of your message. In both instances I was overwhelmed by appreciation.”

After graduating from Reed with a degree in history, Joseph attended the University of Chicago for his J.D., and New York University for his L.L.M., which he earned in 1959. Joseph has been a member of the board of trustees, is a former reunions steering committee member and an active alumni association member. He is also a past president of the alumni association. His dedication to the community at large is evidenced by his work with the ACLU, indigent defense, and legal aid.

Foster-Scholz committee chair Adrian Greek ’50 presents Joseph with his distinguished service award

Joseph has had a long and distinguished career in the field of law. He was a professor of law at Ohio Northern University, Dickinson School of Law, New York University of Law, and the University of Arkansas. After moving back to Oregon, he entered private practice, and he served as chief judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals from 1981 through 1992. In that capacity, Joseph made quality control a priority, while guiding the court through changes necessary to deal with an ever-increasing number of cases. He enthusiastically accepted new technology and eliminated conflict through a team review of the court.

Joseph and his wife, Elizabeth, established a scholarship at Reed for juniors and seniors who exhibit dedication to and involvement in community service. Together they raised five children and currently live in Portland, where he is self-employed as a mediator and consultant.

Gary Snyder
Gary Snyder ’51
The Foster-Scholz award citation for Gary Snyder ’51 honored him for his work in the world of poetry, philosophy, and ecological community activism.

One of the most distinguished writers of his generation, Snyder is author of 18 collections of poetry and prose as well as a noteworthy voice in the ecology movement.

He has received numerous awards, including a 1975 Pulitzer prize for poetry for his work Turtle Island, a Guggenheim Fellowship, election to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Reed. His enduring love of the natural world, reflected in his writing, grew out of a childhood spent on small farms in Washington and Oregon. He also worked as a seaman, logger, fire lookout, and trail crew worker for the Forest Service. He is a lifelong backpacker, skier, and mountaineer.

Snyder majored in literature and anthropology atReed while working evenings for the Oregonian. He was part of a group of writers at Reed that included Lew Welch ’50, Phillip Whalen ’51, and William Dickey ’51. He studied linguistics at Indiana University and Asian languages at U.C. Berkeley, where he came to know Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.

In 1956 Snyder traveled to Kyoto and lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery, working as a researcher and translator.

He also worked and traveled in the ’50s and ’60s in South America, India, and Tibet.

A noted Beat Generation poet, Snyder returned to the U.S. in 1968 and gained renown for his work The Back Country.

Snyder is now a professor in the English department at the University of California at Davis, teaching creative writing and working with the Program in Nature and Culture, an interdisciplinary curriculum that he helped devise. He married writer Carole Koda in 1991, and he has two children by a previous marriage.

The Foster-Scholz Club was named for the first two presidents of the college and represents alumni from Reed’s earliest classes through the most recent 40th reunion class, as well as a small group of honorary members. The club was formed during the late sixties to provide an informal social group for Portland alumni.

The distinguished service award is conferred at the club’s annual luncheon during reunion week. This year’s selection committee included June Anderson ’49, Billie Seltzer Rosenblum ’49, and Don James ’50.
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