From Richard E. Crandall '69
I read with considerable interest the article "Reed named one of America's most wired schools" in the August 1997 Reed. From a national educational perspective, I think it fair to say that Reed is indeed quite the advanced institution in the matter of networking. There are some specific and pleasing reasons why this is so. For, like freedom itself, computing freedom only comes at the price of constant vigilance. Some alumni, faculty, and friends of the college--but perhaps not all--are aware of the origins of the Reed network. The story that should be told runs something like this. There are two individuals who have both--for well more than a decade--almost single-handedly "built" the Reed net. I speak of Norman Goetz '71 and Gary Schlickeiser, director of network and technical services. Reed's preeminence in campus networking is due in large part to the energy and dedication of those fellows.
Some of us remember the dark ages of computing at Reed, when Gary had to sustain the bugs and crashes of all kinds of computer equipment of that shaky era. Norman still recounts when he bought his first "ten-pack," by which I mean ten 1,000-foot spools of wire destined for the Reed net. Some idea of scale is conveyed by the observation that here at the threshold of the 21st century, the campus has miles, literally, of networking.
We can also thank the Fred Meyer and Murdock charitable trusts for their largesse that ignited the Reed net in those days. But funds, at whatever scale, do nothing if they be a solitary ingredient. You have to mix in a healthy dollop of good people. My hat is off to those people who made it happen: Mr. Schlickeiser and Mr. Goetz. I thank the Reed publications staff for reminding me, through print, that success is a complicated thing, yet its origins can be absolutely clear.
CREATIVE SCHOLARSHIPS OF THE 1970S
The article about the Kaspar Locher Summer Creative Scholarships was interesting, and I applaud the efforts to restore the financial support necessary for artistic development at the student level. However, there seems to be a factual error in the piece.
I must dispute the claim that the scholarships lasted only three years in the sixties: I received one in 1975, my junior year as an art major. The princely sum was either $300 or $500. It enabled me to create a temporary sculpture on the lawn in front of Eliot Hall. With the funds I purchased five 6-inch x 6-inch x 10-foot wooden beams, some steel pipe, and my first electric drill and mandrel. I stacked the lumber into a spiral and spiked into the ground for stability. This was my first outdoor installation, the initial piece in a line of temporary and ephemeral installation art projects I continue to create across the country.
Indeed, the arts everywhere are underfunded; our student artists even more so. It takes more than the construction of facilities--of classrooms, concert halls, or museums--to address the situation. Putting money directly into the hands of the creative artists empowers both the creators and their community.
As a 1976 graduate majoring in studio art, I have to attest to the program's rigor in the '70s and the commitment of the untenured professional artists/professors who taught us well. Although only four studio art majors graduated in 1976 and 1977, all are still creating and exhibiting art and helping other artists to do the same. We didn't have well-equipped studios, or the stunning Cooley Art Gallery, but we did have our commitment and a few creative scholarships.