News of the Alumni Association Head

Returning to reunions
By Patrick Pruyne ’83

Slide picture
  A giant slide provided hours of entertainment for kids of all ages
  Float picture
  The class of ’72 and their motorized float for the all-class parade
  77's with sign picture
  The ’77s and their snappy sign
Patrick Pruyne ’83Reed’s first president, William Trufant Foster, banished intercollegiate sports and fraternity life as contrary to the goals of the college. In lieu of football and homecoming we alums are left to embrace our common experience and enthusiasm for the school through reunions. I hope to convince you that this is a celebration not to be missed.

Reunions 2002 set a new high water mark for this evolving and expanding event. It drew over 700 alumni from across the country. First among equals, we were graced by the return of Margaret Wakefield Tator ’34, who shared the deepest of the gathered histories with the college.

For those who arrived early in the week Alumni College offered the chanceto savor again the swift flow of conference discussions. Facilitated by Reed professors Gail Kelly, Lena Lencek, and Roger Porter, “Hedonism 101: Putting Theory into Practice” served up a gourmet tour of the role of food and beaches in the pursuit of the well-lived life. The conference sessions drew upon selected readings from Epicurus, the founder of the school of hedonism, and exceedingly pleasant “homework” that included critical review of some of Portland’s better restaurant fare.

The true heart of reunions quickened with the arrival of alums in time for their class dinners. All over campus (plus one swamped Portland restaurant venue) classmates gathered to steal a glance at the essential name tags which, in turn, cued smiles of recognition instantly giving way to hugs.

On the last full day of the week all returning Reedies were brought together as one on the lawn in front of the Gray Campus Center for a salmon bake. This was a family-friendly event replete with a kid-care garden staffed by professional babysitters, a marimba band, and a rich abundance of food and drink. Faculty and staff members from all eras made the gathering complete.

For many attendants the college’s hospitality led to abit of a revelation. We are not merely the single most important source of support. We are the product, the history, and the fiercely proud guardians of the standards of Reed. We are a full-fledged and essential part of the Reed community. We will always be warmly welcomed.

No sketch of Reunions 2002 would be complete without mention of the pyrotechnic salute that closed Saturday night’s feast. Launched from the west parking lot belowthe Sports Palace, this truly spectacular fireworks display capped what one reunions participant described as an “unexpectedly magical time.” And then they vowed to return again and again.

And so, I hope, will you.

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