We made it!
Thanks to a last-minute surge of support, Reed alumni, parents, and friends shattered the record in giving to the Annual Fund this fiscal year, which ended on midnight June 30.
According to the latest unofficial returns, contributions to the Annual Fund amounted to an astonishing $4,401,857.05—the biggest in Reed’s history—blowing past last year's total of $4,084,000.
History/literature major Sasha Peters ’15 won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to explore abandoned sites and cities in the Soviet sphere through the medium of radio.
Sasha's project is titled Radio in the Ruins and will take her to Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Bulgaria, and Germany. "The Soviet Union and its influence produced an impressive array of buildings, monuments, and sites that embodied communist ideology," her proposal states. "After the Soviet Union’s fall, many of these places became inessential or unsupportable and were abandoned. Some of those places, decaying as they are, remain today. For my Watson year, I will travel to ruins in the Soviet sphere and make radio pieces about each of them. I aim to encapsulate the rich histories and eerie beauty of these ruins with sound."
Her friend Rennie Meyers ’15 also won a Watson Fellowship.
Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 has won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the formation of artificial coral reefs.
Rennie's project is titled Deep Water, Horizons: Artificial Reef Communities, Above and Below the Water Line and she will pursue it in the Canary Islands, Fiji, Brunei, and Japan.
"From oil rigs to submerged eco-art to coral farms, coral growth occurs at the hands of humans with or without their intent," her proposal states. "By exploring interactions between human and non-human communities above and below artificial coral habitats in four island nations, I will engage artificial or anthropogenic reef habitats and the humans who have (sometimes accidentally) created and lived with them. I hope to better understand the ways in which humans continue to alter the marine landscape, to photo document those landscapes, and to consult with the human communities responsible for these new habitats in the face of global climate change."
More than 1,500 Reed alumni and allied life forms descended on campus last weekend for Reunions ’15, and the celebration began with Fanfayre, the formal-informal opening ceremony that took place this year in the Cerf amphitheatre.
The event began with a charmingly odd welcome by musician Paul Anderson ’92, the composer of Reed classics such as “Sensitive Guy” and “On the Night Bus.”
Paul’s offbeat presentation set the tone for the afternoon: President John Kroger made quips about Reed lacking a football team, raising a rousing cheer from the audience, while Scott Foster ’77, the outgoing president of the alumni board, assured the crowd that his cowboy hat he sported was legitimate because he does in fact own livestock.
Wings adorned with rainbow streamers, a gargantuan Reed griffin joined the Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, as dozens of students and alumni of all vintages waved flags and sported rainbow-striped “Love Reed” pins that glinted in the sunlight.
The Reed contingent joined a diverse parade that included communities from the Portland Oregon Lesbian Choir to various church groups. Reedies and members of the ACLU swapped temporary tattoos, sharing griffins and hearts in a late morning bright with unity and camaraderie.
The demonstration of love and support began with a memorial bike ride to honor Mark Angeles ’15, who was killed in a traffic collision nine days after graduation. At that memorial, Kirsten Hawley ’16 described the way Mark moved through life: “In Mark’s eyes, love and respect were not things another person had to earn; they were a given just because that person was a human being.”
Friends and classmates of Mark Angeles ’15 are organizing a memorial bike ride to honor his memory on Sunday, June 14, at 9 a.m. at the Reed Bike Co-Op.
Mark was killed in a collision with a tow truck less than a mile from Reed on May 27th--just nine days after he graduated. He was 22 years old.
Mark cut a distinctive figure at Reed. He majored in chemistry and wrote his thesis on the role of organometallic catalysts in neutralizing toxic pollution. He ran the Reed Bike Co-Op and was partly responsible for the installation of the bike maintenance stations on campus. He was deeply committed to serving the community, worked closely with SEEDS, and volunteered as a mentor for underprivileged youth at Lane Middle School. He fixed bikes for free and taught bike safety to kids in northeast Portland. He served as a Paideia czar and sang with Reed’s a cappella group, the Herodotones. He was even a house adviser.
Reedies around the globe have mobilized in response to the earthquake and aftershocks that have caused mass destruction in the Kathmandu Valley.
One month since a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, the country still seeks support during a time of hardship. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the temblor severely impacted fourteen districts in Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people and destroying roughly 500,000 houses.
Members of the Reed community have jumped to the aid of the Nepalese with fundraising, activism, and on-the-ground action. Suraj Pant ’11, for example, runs the Twitter account @nepalnews, which gives frequent updates on the news and events in Nepal. Reedies like Suraj hope to generate sustained support in ways both big and small as the media shifts its attention elsewhere—as it inevitably will.
It is with great sorrow that I report the tragic loss of a 2015 Reed alumnus, Mark Angeles. While riding his bike near SE Gladstone and Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Mark suffered fatal injuries in an accident involving a tow truck on Wednesday, May 27. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mark graduated with a major in chemistry just last week. As a result of his many accomplishments, he was recognized as one of Reed’s “12 for 15.” He was well-known and well-loved throughout campus.
Mark's family is mourning in private and at some point will likely want to include members of the Reed community in a celebration of Mark's life. We will provide information as it becomes available. In the meantime, we extend to Mark’s family and his many friends our deepest condolences.
As the Reed community grieves, I want to make sure you're aware of the various resources available to help students, faculty, and staff.
Chinese major Joan Guldin ’15 has won the newly-minted John Gregory Unrue ’84 Memorial Award for her thesis, “Abandoned Trails and False Peaks: A Journey Through the Xiyouji.”
Her adviser, Prof. Hyong Rhew [Chinese 1988–], praised Joan’s thesis as an “original work with masterful reading and beautiful writing.”
Xiyouji, also known in English as The Journey to the West, is a 17th-century Chinese novel about a pilgrimage to the “Western Heaven” to obtain Buddhist scriptures. Joan combed through early records to trace historical and literary depictions of one of its main characters, the Monk Tripitaka. In the course of her research, she also translated an early chantefable which had never before been translated into English—“a remarkable achievement,” according to Prof. Rhew.
History major Kalina Hadzhikova ’15 has won the prestigious William T. Lankford III Humanities Award.
The award recognizes accomplishment in both history and literature and is given to students with outstanding academic records and strong potential for further achievement.
The award committee praised Kalina's senior thesis, Rome against Romans: Configurations of Imperial Authority in 12th-Century Germany and Byzantium, hailing it as "an exceptional thesis" and "an impressive and original achievement."
Mat Olson ’15 has won the celebrated Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics, given by the economics department for outstanding achievement.
Mat's thesis was titled "The Relevance of Irrelevance: Exploring Decoy Effect and Conjunction Fallacy" and his adviser was Prof. Jon Rork [economics 2010–].
"Mat's thesis explored two phenomena in behavioral economics—the conjunction fallacy and the decoy effect—that explain why people make suboptimal choices in certain scenarios," Prof. Rork told us. "One thing Mat wanted to look at was whether people exposed to certain types of academic approaches (statistical, logic, linguistic, etc.) were less likely to succumb to these fallacies. No such luck, showing that our innate decision making processes cannot be 'taught' away."
Philosophy majors Eliya Cohen ’15 and John Mills ’15 have both won the exalted Edwin N. Garlan Memorial Prize, which recognizes outstanding scholarship in philosophy.
"It was quite an honor to receive the Garlan Prize," says John, whose thesis is titled “Revealed Peer Disagreement and The Equal Weight View.” His advisor was Prof. Mark Bedau ’76 [philosophy 1991–]. He hails from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Eliya’s thesis is titled “Some Considerations on Problems of Time and Tense.” Her advisor was Prof. Mark Hinchliff [philosophy 1991–]. In addition to her philosophical leanings, Eliya worked as a lifeguard at the Reed pool, where she figured out an innovative way to pursue the metaphysics of swimming. She hails from Piedmont, California.
History-lit major Kieran Hanrahan ’15 has won the prestigious William T. Lankford III Humanities Award.
The award recognizes accomplishment in both history and literature and is given to students with outstanding academic records and strong potential for further achievement. It honors Prof. Bill Lankford [English 1977–83], a beloved teacher and scholar of the works of Dickens whose life was cut short by devastating illness.
Kieran’s thesis was titled: “Writing in Water, Building with Sand: American Military Strategy and the Soldier’s Experience in the Iraqi Environment during the Iraq War.” His advisers were Prof. Pancho Savery [English 1995–] and Prof. Josh Howe [history 2012–].
Literature-theatre major Leah Artenian ’15 has won the illustrious Class of ’21 Award for her senior thesis, an adaptation of Kevin Brockmeier’s short story “The Year of Silence” for the stage.
The award recognizes “creative work of notable character, involving an unusual degree of initiative and spontaneity.” For her thesis, Leah wrote the script, assembled the cast, and directed the 90-minute production, which played to packed houses at the Blackbox Theatre in Reed's Performing Arts Building.
In nominating Leah for the award, her advisers Prof. Peter Ksander [theatre 2011–] and Prof. Gail Berkeley Sherman [English 1981–] wrote:
Mathematics major Maddie Brandt ’15 has won the illustrious Class of ’21 Award for her senior thesis on the Erdös-Ko-Rado theorem.
The award recognizes “creative work of notable character, involving an unusual degree of initiative and spontaneity.”
Maddie’s thesis carries the rather imposing title “Intersecting Hypergraphs and Decompositions of Complete Uniform Hypergraphs.” Scratching our heads, we turned to Prof. David Perkinson [mathematics 1990–] for an explanation. He wrote:
Nine intrepid Reedies climbed to the top of Mount Hood last week in an adventure that surely represents a peak experience.
The expedition was a cooperative enterprise uniting two different groups. The first was sponsored by the Reed Outing Club (ROC), consisting of Joan Guldin ’15, Nick Irvin ’15, Helen Spencer-Wallace ’15, Ian Connelly ’16, Vincent Griffith ’18, and Giovanni Corti ’18, and led by climbing instructor Rod Sofich.
Joy reigned and jubiliation rang across the Great Lawn as 318 proud Reed graduates stepped up to the stage on Monday to receive their hard-earned diplomas at commencement.
Sporting robes and mortarboards, fancy shoes and running shoes—and accompanied in one case by an adorably enormous canine companion—the grads listened to an inspiring address from civil-rights leader Kathleen Saadat ’74.
“To live intentionally requires you to keep learning for the rest of your lives,” she said. “Building a better world requires compassion, forgiveness, immense amounts of courage, love, and delight in the process.” (Check out the audio recording.)
The play leads us into an unlikely post-catastrophe, post-electricity future in which survivors pass the time recounting episodes from The Simpsons. As they are told, and told, and told again, these snippets from our pop culture become the stuff of epics, myths, and legends.
Prof. Peter Ksander [theatre 2012–] is scenic and lighting designer for the production.
Esmeralda "Momo" Herrera ’14 has been awarded a Humanity in Action fellowship—one of 43 U.S. students to be selected from a pool of 688 applicants at 253 colleges and universities.
Esmeralda is a first-generation American, born and raised in South Bronx, New York, who graduated from Reed with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and a strong command of the Chinese language. Currently living in Portland, she works as a student support specialist helping at-risk youths explore successful life options. In her spare time, Esmeralda conducts HIV testing at Cascade Aids, a nonprofit clinic that supports people living with HIV.
“As global citizens we all need to commit not simply to learning about the injustices of this world but being brave enough to stand against them,” Herrera says. “We need to be patient enough to listen and sincere enough to know when we are wrong. As a Latina, first-generation American from the South Bronx, I have to be ready to teach, to listen, and most importantly to love—to help not just those similar to myself but to everyone who demands and needs help.”
Nine Reed students have won grants to pursue summer projects to promote peace and strengthen understanding.
Celebrity Nyikadzino ’17, an environmental studies-chemistry major, was selected for a Davis Projects for Peace for her project “A Step toward Hope: Education and Self Reliance.” Celebrity will be implementing the project this summer in Chivhu, her home village in Zimbabwe.
“I grew up with many talented kids by my side," she says. "Unfortunately, most of my friends had to drop out of school because they could not afford the cost of education.” Celebrity intends to use the $10,000 award to address poverty by teaching community members how to sew and also how to market and maintain a business using the finished products. Her goal is to create ways for families to have the means to return their children to school and to keep them there. “I also aim to bring my community together through cooperation in the project, and by creating a support group for sharing struggles and successes.”