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ELIOT CIRCULAR
reed magazine logoJune 2010

Eliot Circular Continued

Tibetan Mandala

Monk photo by Orin Zyvan

Grains of Sand

A group of Tibetan monks came to Reed in March to construct a stunning sand mandala, painstakingly assembled grain by grain over the course of several days. The monks, who hailed from the Drepung Loseling monastery in India, created a type of mandala dedicated to the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who embodies compassion. When the mandala was finally complete, they led a procession to the creek at the mouth of the Reed Canyon, where, to the clash of cymbals and the groan of horns, they cast the sand into the air, representing the eternal cycle of chaos and order, life and death. The event was sponsored by the Gray Fund, which was established in 1992 by Betty Gray with the aim of bringing top-notch cultural, social, and recreational activities to campus. Other Gray Fund events this year included an appearance by writer Ursula K. Le Guin, moonlit snowshoeing on Mount Hood, whale-watching on the Oregon Coast, old-growth tree-climbing, and an outing to the Portland Jazz Festival.

—Anna Mann

Kilkenny Founds Chittick Scholarship

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Victor Chittick

The Victor and Edna Chittick Scholarship was endowed by Jane Winks Kilkenny ’33 to support Reed students who entered the college as Oregon residents. Victor was a professor of literature at Reed College from 1921 until his retirement in 1948; Edna was a music professor at Reed from 1930 to 1938.

Jane, a history major who went on to run Winks Hardware (a family business), attended Reed’s first graduation at four years of age. Her mother decided then and there to send her to Reed. At the end of Jane’s life, she founded this $800,000 scholarship with gifts that were to be anonymous until the time of her death. The scholarship has welcomed four Oregon residents to Reed since its inception in 2008.

Jane corresponded with President Colin Diver about her old mentors: “My four years at the college, 1929–1933, and my friendships with the Chitticks are among my most cherished memories of a long and rich life. I am doubly fortunate to be able to put a down-payment, so to speak, against a debt I have always felt I owed, both to the Chitticks, Edna and Victor, and to the college they so ably served.”

President Diver referred to Jane’s scholarship recipient as a “Chittick Scholar.” Herself a former student of Chittick, she replied: “When I read in your letter the words ‘Chittick Scholar,’ tears came to my eyes remembering that I, too, was a Chittick scholar many years ago.”

—matt kelly

Gail Kelly Memorial Scholarship Founded

Reedies Robert McCullough ’72, Karen Tosi ’76, and Stephen Foster ’69 created the Dr. Gail Kelly Scholarship fund in hopes that others would be inspired to honor Professor Kelly with additional gifts to bring this scholarship to a fully funded level.

Gail Kelly

Gail Kelly ’55, legendary for her hard-nosed approach, taught courses such as social anthropology and anthropological theory while focusing her own research on the anthropology of marketing and consumption patterns in the non-Western world. Gail taught at Reed for 40 years. A Festschrift was held in her honor in April 2005; she died in August of the same year.

Stephen submitted a paper for the Festschrift. “She mixed a deep disciplined knowledge of the literature with a skepticism and an ability to raise the important questions,” he says. In his life, says Stephen, always asking the question beyond the question started with Gail. He also appreciated her sense of humor. He remembers that upon her retirement, Gail said, “Time for me to stop corrupting the youth.”

Robert, an economist who knew Gail socially after leaving Reed, described her as having two sides: the martini-drinking Noel Coward side and the Paper Chase John Houseman side. “She was an extremely compartmentalized person,” he says. “There were 50 people at her wake, but very few knew each other.”

“She was brilliant, acerbic, an excellent conversationalist who liked good food, design, nice clothes, and telling other people what to do,” he recalls. “She was the arbiter of our life.” Gail arranged for Robert to buy history professor Rex Arragon’s house, unhappy that it might go to someone outside the Reed community. Standing beside the fireplace in the wood-paneled library of the house on Reed College Place, Robert says that if Gail “saw an intellectual flaw in your argument, she was on it right away. She terrified every student she ever came in contact with.”

“The great mystery of education,” he says, “is to challenge someone to be the best they can be without destroying them. The very best teachers are often frightening.”

Robert hopes there are many old students who will make a gift in honor of their intimidating yet beloved professor. To make a gift to the Dr. Gail Kelly Scholarship, use the enclosed envelope or visit giving.reed.edu.

—matt kelly

reed magazine logoJune 2010