Advocates of the Griffin

geology trip

Reed travel programs rock! In this case, both literally and figuratively. Led by geologist Jim Jackson ’70, this group trekked through the Columbia River Gorge on a sunny Saturday in April and solidified their visual literacy by observing lava flows, fold belts, and talus slopes, among other features.

From The Big Cheese


By Rich Roher ’79

Dear Fellow Alumni,

If you attended Reed College for at least one full year and are not currently attending as an undergrad, you’re considered a member of the Reed College Alumni Association. (No application required!)

The association, according to its constitution, “exists 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.”  A worthy purpose, I think you’ll agree. (If not, stop reading here.)

The association is governed by the alumni board, Reed’s national alumni volunteer board of directors whose purpose is to direct the association’s business: setting goals, creating programs and services, planning activities, and representing all alumni in the broader Reed College community.  While self-governed, the alumni board works closely with Reed’s alumni office.  The board consists of elected officers and at-large directors, representatives from recognized alumni chapters (in regions around the U.S. and now Europe), and alumni trustees.

Clinical descriptions aside, the board is a group of devoted Reedies who believe deeply that our continued and expanding interaction (or, in today’s vernacular, engagement) with other Reedies can be enjoyable and beneficial for ourselves and the college, including current and future students.

Have an opinion or idea you want to share with the alumni board?  Let us know.  Email one of us, or if you spot one of us at Reunions or on social media, say hi and let us know what’s on your mind, what you might like to see more (or less) of regarding our initiatives or events.  In the meantime, track down your local chapter and come to an event. I think you’ll find it worthwhile.

Rich Roher ’79 is the President of the Alumni Board

Join The Borg


By Will Swarts ’92

If you’ve ever gone to Reunions, volunteered with alumni or students, or joined your local alumni chapter for fun activities like Thirsty Third Thursday, then you’ve already enriched the Reed alumni community. But you could do more. You could lend your voice to strengthen alumni ties to the college. You could help with alumni career networking. You could organize a fantastic new initiative. You could jump in with both feet and join the Reed alumni board.

The alumni board (officially the Reed College Alumni Association Board of Directors, but let’s not stand on ceremony) is our national service board. We support the Reed community through volunteer initiatives with the support of Reed’s alumni office. Elected at-large members serve three-year terms, working on committees that match their interests. We want you! It’s easy to nominate yourself or another Reedie—just email us with your name, the name of the person you are nominating, and a short description of why they should be part of the alumni board.

There are plenty of other ways you can support the alumni community, too, all of which can be found here. Check out Reed’s newly improved website for a catalogue of volunteer opportunities. Host a short-term job shadow over winter break and give a current student valuable post-Reed perspectives. Help with alumni fundraising and admissions. Offer career-related coaching to fellow alumni. Join our expanding professional networks. Connect to your local chapter (or start a new chapter in your city!) for regional activities coast to coast and beyond with our Europe / London chapter. We need you! 

Your Secret Weapon


By Will Swarts ’92

Reedies make great additions to the workplace, and no one knows this better than other Reedies. The Reed Career Alliance (RCA) is an alumni board initiative created to support alumni and students in the development of meaningful careers post-Reed. The RCA’s alumni volunteers pick up on the work of the Center for Life Beyond Reed, which focuses its on-campus resources on current students and alumni within their first year of graduation. The RCA advocates for career assistance for all alumni, be they just starting out, changing careers, midcareer, or retiring.

Expanding career resources has been a real focus of the college and alumni community alike in the past few years, and there’s plenty to show for our shared efforts. The RCA recognizes that alumni may have struggled with career assistance, especially non-academic-track assistance. Working with college staff, we’re highlighting the growing number of career resources for alumni of all class years, and we’re working to make them more effective.

Reedies may well be other Reedies’ secret weapon in navigating the working world. Reedies’ career paths may feature textbook examples of reaching professional milestones or wonderfully unlikely tales of unconventional routes to professional success. Whatever the career story may be, Reedies can glean lessons, tips and plenty of good advice, thanks to the growing number of volunteers who’ll share their experiences. You can see for yourself when you tap into our professional networks and find other Reedies in fields from tech to teaching, food to finance, lawyers to librarians, nonprofits, the arts, global health, and more.

Visit Reed’s alumni website or sign up with these professional networks on specific Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Job postings, industry news, and prospective contacts are out there, and now they’re easier to find.

Also, check out the Reed Alumni Career Resources web page for other Reed networking resources and how to access them. Post asks and offers on Reed Switchboard (What’s that, you say? Take a look!), stay in the loop with regional alumni chapters on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, locate alumni with the alumni directory in IRIS, and log in to Reed’s newer online job posting system, Griffin Door.

The RCA is currently developing a volunteer alumni pool of career coaches to offer flexible coaching to any alumni who would like help. That could mean providing a welcoming introduction to existing professional networks and career resources that our great Reed community offers, reviewing a resume, or brainstorming a career question. Want to be an alumni career coach? Or are you looking for some help as you transition into a new job or change career paths entirely? Email an alumni coach.

Hey, Young Alumni—Don’t Stay on the Sidelines!


By Jinyoung Park ’11

It’s great to stay in touch with your fellow Reedies even after leaving our beloved alma mater. Resources such as IRIS and Switchboard make it super easy, not to mention LinkedIn and Facebook, where you’ll find affinity groups such as Reed Journo, International Reed Alumni, and of course the infamous Reed (unofficial).

Maintaining Reed relationships has not only allowed me to have minireunions and thoughtful discussions (sometimes even on Facebook!), but it has also helped in my career. In fact, a Reed contact was instrumental in my landing my second job. When I first arrived in New Orleans, pretty much straight out of Reed, I used IRIS to reach out to Reedies in town. It just so happened that one of those alumni was a faculty member whom I would be working with if I got the job, and he also knew the hiring manager. Now, I’m not sure if he directly advocated for me, but he did invite me to a party—which the hiring manager also attended.

I also highly recommend attending your five-year reunion. It’s fascinating to see the faces that you went to Reed with, but with way less stress and a lot more smiles.

Track down your local alumni chapter. Check out the events. For me, it’s been a pleasure to meet Reedies whom I did not overlap with, and to grow my community.