News of the Alumni Association
John SheehyAlumni president calls for return on investment
by John Sheehy ’82

I learned recently from acting president Peter Steinberger that I had belonged to a category of Reedies known as “come anyways,” students accepted to the college but not provided with financial aid. Reed’s first priority is—as it should be—the support of returning students, which limits the amount of aid available to entering students. Each year a number of freshmen who are admitted but not funded choose to “come anyway,” showing up like wild cards from the applicant pool.

The first time I was accepted to Reed I sat out for a year, working to save tuition money. The second time around I joined the ranks of the “come anyways,” spending all of my hard-earned savings on my first year’s tuition, after which I was flat broke. Fortunately, in my sophomore year I became the lucky recipient of the HRD Scholarship, set up by Ben Dorfman ‘24 in memory of his wife, and was able to continue my studies.
Somewhat like Pip in Dickens’s Great Expectations, I became curious about my benefactor, and so initiated a correspondence with Mr. Dorfman.

He was a wise and worldly fellow, and from our exchange I came to realize that my education was not being funded by some faceless institution but by a generous alumnus, one willing to make an investment in my life with no apparent expectation of receiving something in return.

Thanks to Ben Dorfman’s investment I received an education that provided me the skills to challenge a world of conformity and conventional wisdom with a mind of my own. As intangible as that outcome may seem, I now realize—just as I’m sure Ben Dorfman realized before me—there is a return to be made on the investment, and that is to pass it on to others.

Today, there are 1,100 young people making the same journey we all made years ago at Reed. They are in need of our help. By volunteering a little of your time for admission, alumni relations, or career advising, or just by contributing to the annual fund, you can make a return on the investment I’m sure others have made in your life along the way. Me, I’m investing in more of those “come anyways.” Reed
can always use a few more wild cards to spice the place up
. End of Article

To find out more about alumni volunteering, call 503/777-7589.

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