Empire of the Griffin

Letter from the Alumni President



“Eye of the Tiger” in the library, Gilbert and Sullivan, formals, the House F Owl, Nitrogen Day, Epistemology Forever, Canyon Day, Chem for Pyros, folk dancing, River Day, Friday at Four, Thesis Parade.

At Reed, there is a saying: If it happens once, it’s a tradition.

Some of these traditions are recognizable today and some would be familiar to the Reed class of 1915. (As I write this, I wonder what traditions the class of 2019 will invent.) The Reed College Alumni Association is a tradition created by the class of 1915, and this year we celebrate its 100th anniversary. Its purpose is:

to foster the continuing welfare of both the college and its alumni by promoting mutually beneficial interaction and a sense of community among alumni and between the college and its alumni.

But what does that mean? How does that happen? How did we get here?

A common thread that joins us all when we become, in the words of Reed’s founding president William Trufant Foster, “Comrades of the Quest,” is the belief among those who have come before us in the potential of the next generation of Reed and Reedies. You see it in Amanda Reed’s will establishing Reed, in the admissions volunteer who interviews prospective students, in the Loyal Owl who makes a donation every year, in the alumni who welcome recent graduates into the fold.

Building on Amanda Reed’s generosity, the alumni association came into being with the adoption of the constitution by the first graduating class of Reed—the class of 1915. Four years later, the alumni welfare committee writes to alumni: “Now as to what all of us as Alumni can be doing.” 

In the first organizing of the alumni association you see the idea that carries through to today—that it is our special opportunity as alumni to support Reed and Reedies so that each class can create its own Reed and its own traditions. 

Today Reed alumni, to quote that report from 1919, show their “interest and belief in the future of Reed College” and a “sense of community” in numerous ways. The volunteers of Alumni Fundraising for Reed give their time and resources to create more opportunities for Reed. The Reed Career Alliance connects students with alumni mentors in similar fields, Outreach Committee brings us together across the globe and helps other Reedies figure out how to connect, our Chapter Cities and  Reunions volunteers reminds us all that we are certainly more interesting when all in one place. 

That spirit is there when as a student you connect with an alumnus who helps you get a job, access research, takes an informational interview with you. And it is there in the tremendous feeling of honor when as an alumnus you receive that call from a current student asking for your help.  

Our opportunity as students is to make our own Reed. And our privilege as alumni is to support each other and each generation of Reed. Olde Reed creating New Reed—a tradition started by the class of 1915.

To participate in the tradition of volunteerism, please contact Todd Hesse at hesset@reed.edu or 503/777-7215.

By Kristen Earl ’05

Alumni Board Nominations


The nominating committee of the Alumni Board proposes the following nominees to serve terms beginning July 1, 2016.

President (one-year term)
Richard Roher ’79

Vice President (one-year term)
Lisa Saldana ’94

Secretary (one-year term)
Beverly Lau ’06

Alumni Trustee (4-year term)
C. Morris Copeland ’82

Alumni Board of Directors,
at large (3-year term)
Alea Adigweme ’06
David Hardy ’71
Melissa Osborne ’13
Sebastian Pastore ’88
Shimon Prohow ’02

Nominations Committee (one-year term)
Marcia Yaross ’73
Richard Thomason ’84
Katherine Lefever ‘07

Sheldon Wins Babson


We are pleased to report that the recipient of the Jean McCall Babson Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service this year is Sheldon Hochheiser ’73. When you look at his track record, you can see why.

Sheldon has served on Reed’s Alumni Board since 1996, including a term as President of the Alumni Board and New York Chapter Chair. He also served as alumni trustee on the Board of Trustees from 2006-2010. He is an active member of the Past President’s Group. He has acted as an admission alumni volunteer and was both an interviewer and a subject in Reed’s Oral History Project. In 2003, he and his wife, Laura Leviton ’73, established the Ellen Hochheiser Memorial Scholarship in honor of his late sister, Ellen Hochheiser ’79

Sheldon is the corporate historian for AT&T. He earned his BA from Reed by writing an interdisciplinary thesis in chemistry and history (can you even do that?) and later earned both an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of the book Rohm & Hass: History of a Chemical Company and co-author of The High Tech Company: An Historical and Archival Research Guide.