A message from the alumni association president
Diver sells college naming rights for $38 million
by David L. Perry ’73
I. President Colin Diver— a lifelong Red Sox fan—announced today that he had sold the college naming rights to the Boston Red Sox for $38 million. Reed College will now be known (in deference to its nearly 100-year old name, which Diver negotiated to keep) as “Reed Sox College.” John Henry, principal owner of the World Champion Boston Red Sox baseball team, said of the deal (which extends for a term of 20 years), “We’ve always wanted a college named after the Red Sox, and Reed is a natural fit. It will help us extend our already extensive fan base in the Pacific Northwest, and should allow the college to hire more of the outstanding faculty that currently characterize it. And when you consider the $38 million is spread over 20 years, why, that’s less than the average current price of one major leaguer. And their cost is going up.” Diver also announced that, beginning next spring, the college would field a Division III baseball team, to be known as the “Reed Sox Red Sox.” Diver opined, “It gives some meaning to the old college cheer, “Give me an R! Give me an E! Give me a D! What’s that spell? REED!” Signs are being changed as you read this (replacing “Reed College” with “Reed Sox College,” and the griffin logo with Boston’s sox), and an expeditionary force (led by Boston chapter chair Greg Lam ’96) has been sent to change the names of the NY and DC chapters to “Boston Central” and “Boston South.”
II. Unfortunately, sports teams don’t buy names, they sell them (although the Red Sox have so far resisted). If anything, the above fantasy (yes, it is a fantasy) points out that, in our mass society, 25 guys who have the leverage to sell beer on TV to millions of fans command millions of dollars, while the educational process—at least as it’s practiced at Reed—is still hand-crafted, one student at a time. Which costs even more money (as crazy as that may sound) than the tuition. Of course, the graduates do a lot more than sell beer on TV, although we might not be paid (some are!) as well. Which brings me to my next point. (See? There really is a point to this.) Soon after you’ve finished reading this month’s Reed, a dedicated team of students will begin calling all of us, asking for a contribution to the annual fund. Consider donating. When making grants, the foundations and corporations look first at the college’s alumni donation rate to see if WE care. So your donation may not seem to make a difference, but—really—it does.
III. I’ll be back next issue with some more thoughts. In the meantime, “Go Reed Sox Red Sox!”