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2003

Diversifying Reed

By Dan Sadowsky
Photos by Orin Bassoff '05

18 percent of Reed’s first-year students say they are members of a racial minority.

This number represents small but incremental progress in increasing Reed’s racial diversity, says Paul Marthers, dean of admission. Racial minorities made up 16 percent of each of the last three incoming classes before moving up to 18 percent this year.

Class of 2007 Reedies self-identify as 200 Caucasians, 27 Asian Americans, 12 Hispanics, 6 African Americans, 5 Native Americans, 4 racial “others,” and 47 students who chose not to identify their ethnicity. And although the total number of international students held steady, the number of countries of origin also increased.

Marthers says he’d like to push the percentage of students of color to 20 percent in the short run, and 25 percent in the long run, by increasing the representation of all ethnic minorities. That would make Reed more racially diverse than Oberlin (18 percent minority), Whitman (16 percent), Carleton (19 percent), and Grinnell (18 percent), yet still less diverse than other reference schools such as Occidental (45 percent), Amherst (36 percent), Swarthmore (33 percent), and Pomona (26 percent).

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2003