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2001

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You’ve talked a lot recently about alumni needing to take greater responsibility for the fiscal well-being of the college. Would you add that to your list of achievements?
Yes, I think Reed’s ability to raise more than $100 million during the ’90s shows the extraordinary reach that we were trying to make. This was a major challenge and a successful one. A part of that success was the ability to engage a much broader set of alumni in supporting the college in important ways. So if the college flourishes in the future and what we started grows, as I hope it will, then people may look back on the Koblik years and say this is when the alumni really stepped up. This is when the first Reed graduate was elected chairman of the board. This was the time when a majority of board members were Reed alumni. This is when Reed alumni gave over $50 million during a $100 million campaign.


“Kerstin is the one we really ought to thank. Her devotion to Steve and her dedication to the Reed community is something very special. Kerstin, you opened your house and your heart, and made your home a haven for those who graced your table.”

Walter Mintz ’50, chairman of the board of trustees


“In the last decade I think Steve was the principal spokes-man for the residential liberal arts college in America. More than any other president I can name he is the individual who said, ‘We need to preserve it, we need to protect it, and we need to extend it.’”

David Warren, president, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities


What’s the most fun thing you’ve been able to do?
I think I’ve had the most fun watching students do really imaginative and creative things. In the first part of my presidency we had this absolutely wonderful group of students who called themselves the Guerilla Theatre of the Hors d’Oeuvres, and they came up with imaginative pranks. Many of them were at my expense, and I appreciated that and wanted to encourage it. I think it’s important that Reedies laugh, and that they laugh at each other and they certainly can laugh at me. I think humor is a critical part of working hard.

Koblik Candid 2I love it when Reed students come in and say they want to do something that I think is outrageous, rash, undoable; but maybe, who knows, with hard work and commitment they might pull it off. It may not have anything to do with what they’re being asked to do in the classroom, but it does reflect what Reed is about—taking risks, reaching beyond the normal, being willing to be successful or unsuccessful, and recognizing that the ride is the best part of the experience.
End of Article

The interview was conducted by Harriet Watson and Paula Barclay.

Reed Magazine Footer
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2001