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Eliot Circular Continued
John D. Bergholz '83 is the vice president of university advancement at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Before that, he worked for two universities in Chicago.
A first-generation college student, John drove a truck to pay tuition at Reed, where he earned his BA in international studies. He has been a donor to Reed since he paid off his last student loan. He has also served on Reed's alumni board and the Chicago alumni chapter committee, and helped to establish the Class of '83 Well-Endowed Scholarship. He serves on the board of directors for Thresholds, an organization in Chicago providing service to people with severe mental illness. John and his wife, Katherine, are from Oak Park, Illinois; they have four children.
Linda H. Matthews '67 is a former publisher of Chicago Review Press, which she co-founded in 1973 with her husband, Curt. Chicago Review Press publishes about 60 new titles annually under four imprints and is the parent company of Independent Publishers Group, the nation's third-largest distributor of independent press titles. Linda earned a BA in general literature from Reed in 1967 and an MA in English literature in 1969 from Tufts University, where she also completed the coursework for a PhD. She is the author of Middling Folk: Three Seas, Three Centuries, One Scots-Irish Family, co-author of The Balancing Act: A Career and a Family, and has contributed several articles to The Mill Racer, the newsletter of the Occoquan Historical Society. Linda served on Reed's board of trustees as an alumni trustee from 2005 to 2009 and on Reed's National Advisory Council. The Matthews live in Evanston, Illinois, and have three adult children. Their son, Clark Matthews '04, graduated with a degree in English.
Bruce Smith is dean of inclusion, engagement, and success. He comes to Reed from Colorado State University, where he served as director of the Black/African American Cultural Center. He earned his bachelor's degree from Brown University, his master's from USC, and his PhD in education from UC Berkeley.
Bruce's job was previously known as dean of multicultural affairs, but he prefers the new title. "I want the campus to be more inclusive," he tells Reed. "I don't particularly like the word 'diverse.' Diversity lets people off the hook. People say, 'We have all different kinds of people here, so therefore we're diverse.' But I'm seeking more than that. I want those people to work together. The real test of a community is whether all the folks can communicate with one another and engage with one another."
Gary Granger is the director of community safety. Gary comes to Reed from Oregon Health & Science University, where he was director of public safety. To prepare for his job at Reed, Gary read the Odyssey, the Student Handbook, and worked the night shift as a community safety officer patrolling the campus. He comes well prepared for the surreal situations CSOs sometimes encounter: in honor of National Poetry Month, he once composed an entire security blotter in limerick form.
Kara Becker, assistant professor, linguistics (TT).
White tablecloths. Glittering candles. Fresh flowers in glass vases. Oysters on the half-shell. Star Wars poster.
Wait a minute…
Improbably, this is the setting for Uncommons, a fine dining experiment concocted by three Reed students that has become the hottest ticket on campus.
Every few weeks, a dozen lucky diners (chosen by lottery) gather in a dorm room to share an elaborate meal entirely prepared by students.
Original founders Chris Chapman '11, Bryan Nakayama '10, and Becca Traber '12 bonded while studying political theory but then realized they also shared a passion for food. Almost by accident, they say, Uncommons became an official student organization last fall.
Its popularity has risen faster than a cheese soufflé, taking second place in the most recent funding poll. Did we mention it's just $5 a person, including drinks?
"Part of the reason we started it and keep doing it is that it is a very different kind of hard work than our school work," Becca says. "With academics, I work and work and work and if I'm lucky, I'll have a few sheets of ink and paper to show for it. With Uncommons, we work very hard and then there is this lovely meal."
ALE to the chief: political science major Chris Chapman '11 pours libations at Uncommons, Reed's underground student restaurant.
The threesome soon added Graham Myers '12 as dish boy; he is paid in peanuts (one of many ongoing jokes; another involves stoning new members with shallots) and the group now includes a dozen students.
The October dinner would have wowed the fussiest critic. It began with an amuse, an oyster on the half shell with fried shallot and egg confit and a snack of crisp homemade potato chips with spicy romesco dip. These were paired with nicely balanced white nectarine sangria.
The meal was expertly paced, moving through an arugula and sorrel salad with nuggets of black pepper bacon and rye croutons. But the showstopper was the soup—sultry lipstick-colored tomato and beet purée topped with crispy-tender lamb carnitas.
An unusual preparation of slippery fingers of grilled squid with a dab of black ink was followed by tender bavette steak, cooked on the porch barbecue, sliced and served over rustic rye pasta with a densely spiced berbere sauce. The meal wound up with a babka bread pudding accompanied by a remarkable creamy mocha stout, brewed by students (let us not ask where).
Despite the unorthodox setting (a room in the less-than-lovely RCAs), the atmosphere was one of glamorous simplicity—like an after photo in a "How To Decorate Your Dingy Room For Less Than $200."
The experience would surely have delighted some of Reed's famous culinary innovators, such as James Beard '24, Amelia Rosamond Hard '67, Monique Siu '74 and Michael Hebb '99 (whose roving "family suppers" were infused with a similar insurgent spirit). "The real beauty of Uncommons is that it has really become more than just a student group," Bryan says. "It is a group of friends who are all passionate about food, aesthetics, and bringing a great time to fellow Reedies."
—Audrey Van Buskirk
To peruse forthcoming Uncommons menus, see http://uncommons.co.cc. For more on Michael Hebb '99, see "A Moveable Feast," Reed, Spring 2007.
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