Retiring profs, including (left) Pat McDougal [chemistry] and (next to him) Ellen Stauder [English] were honored at Fanfayre ’13. Photo by Leah Nash
Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions, Reunions '13: Fanfayre looked back to the past and forward to the college’s future in its recognition of distinguished alumni and faculty.
The keynote speaker was Eduardo Ochoa ’73, former Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education and current president of California State University, Monterey Bay. Eduardo, who also holds degrees in economics and nuclear engineering, analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing liberal arts colleges. He emphasized first the rapid pace of social change and the pressing need for a better-educated workforce in every sector of the economy. However, the rising cost of tuition poses a huge threat. “Only two percent of the population attend liberal art institutions,” he remarked. Liberal art colleges with a strong reputation and sound financial position (such as Reed) can still draw the best students, which represents an opportunity, especially since these students can become future leaders. “Reed has to focus on their leadership development because God knows we need it, after what I’ve seen in Washington,” he said.
Konrad Alt '81 received the Babson Society Award for Distinguished Service for his contributions to helping Reed meet its goals for the successful $200 million Centennial Campaign. As a stalwart supporter of the college, Konrad demonstrated leadership with his philanthropy and constant engagement with donors to solicit support for Reed’s mission “Although I am honored for this recognition, the burden of gratitude is really on my side,” Konrad said. “I came here from difficult circumstances and Reed really worked a miracle on me.” After accepting the award, he introduced his classmate, guitarist and vocalist Lauren Sheehan ’81, who entertained the audience in cerf amphitheatre with a cheeky, toe-tapping bluegrass number, “My Name is Morgan But it Ain’t J.P.”
Several retiring faculty and staff were then awarded honorary alumni status: Patrick McDougal [chemistry 1990–2013], Ellen Stauder [English & humanities, 1983–2013], William Ray [French & humanities, 1972–2013], Ülker Gökberk [German & humanities, 1986–2013], and instrument machinist Greg Eibel [physics, 1975–2013]. Stauder said she wished she’d known she would be given honorary alumni status on retiring. “Being an alumna will fix my mistake at not being a Reedie,” she commented joyfully, adding that she felt overwhelmed at the appreciation she felt from students, alumni, and the college. “I am especially honoured that I am one of you,” Stauder concluded, "Thank you for making that possible."