The thesis also represents a tradition at Reed, one that is becoming increasingly rare
at our sister liberal arts colleges. Reed is not just about buildings, books, Hum conferences,
and socials—it’s about tradition. One of those traditions is featured in this
issue of Reed, Reedies working to change the world around them.
Keeping the Reed tradition going also costs money.
Let me tell you the story of two alumnae and the different ways in which they contribute.
One of them is yours truly. I have been an irregular donor over the years because I thought
I had to give a certain amount for it to make a difference. I sent in checks when I could,
but there were many years I didn’t contribute. Due primarily to my increased involvement
with Reed, I have decided to do my part financially to ensure that someone else can look
at their thesis in 26 years and realize what an important part of their life the Reed education
has been. I have designated Reed as a beneficiary in my will and have set up a quarterly
Barbara Pijan Lama ’79, my freshman roommate, is a single mom in graduate school,
works part-time, and doesn’t have much extra money. But she told me she gladly sends
in $10 every year with a note offering her “abundant good wishes” to help maintain
the high caliber of the Reed education.
Does it matter whether you give $10 or $100? Not really. What matters is that alumni acknowledge
the value that Reed has had in their lives and choose to ensure that the tradition of Reed
as a purveyor of an unparalleled liberal arts education continues. Why do I contribute? To
keep the “noble experiment” alive.