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Neighbors Visit Reed, Live to Tell the Tale

Portland neighbors, Reed students, and local nonprofits converge on Quad for Community Day Photo by Leah Nash

A performer sticking his head in balloons he’d inflated with a leaf blower. Children riding a tiny truck down a plastic slide. Cider. Bees. Bluegrass. A peek inside a nuclear reactor. These were just some of the attractions that drew multitudes of Portland neighbors to Reed on Saturday to celebrate the bond between town and gown.

The festivities kicked off with the Reed College 5K Run, which drew 276 participants and raised more than $9,000 for local Portland schools, including Duniway, Grout, Llewellyn, Lewis, and Woodstock Elementary schools. The overall winner was Christopher Clancy, who finished in 16:36, followed by physics major Jack Flowers ’15 who came in second in 17:15. Prof. Kyle Ormsby [math 2014-] came in fourth and Prof. Alison Crocker [physics 2014-] came in first among women runners and sixth overall. Trevor Soucy ’18, Ben Black ’18, Ki Choi ’17, Bookstore Manager Ueli Stadler, Hayden Kinney ’17, and Ross Petersen ’15 all finished in the top 25, several minutes ahead of President John Kroger and Reed magazine editor Chris Lydgate ’90, who ran while brandishing a ukulele. Afterwards, runners and their families tucked into a pancake feast in commons.

Reed Canyon Featured on OPB Show

Reed students uproot implicit assumptions at Canyon Day. Photo by Eren Veziroglu ’16

OPB's popular series Oregon Field Guide focused on Reed's ongoing efforts to restore the canyon in its March 27, 2014 episode.

Crystal Springs Restoration” showcased the hard work and positive results that Reed has accomplished as the major steward of the purest water source in the Portland city limits. There is also a spotlight on the efforts downstream that make this ecosystem attractive to native salmon and brook lamprey, not to mention our resident otter! 

The show includes highlights of fall Canyon Day and interviews with Zac Perry, Reed's canyon restoration manager, who led the efforts that have made the once-neglected canyon a viable place for the support of wildlife and, moreover, a lure to bring salmon into an urban stream. “Hopefully this show will raise some understanding about the stream’s history, ecology, and the surrounding community,” he says.

Reed's First Building Slated for Demolition

The building that housed Reed's original classrooms.

The unassuming brick building that housed Reed’s original classrooms is slated for demolition later this year, to be replaced by a gleaming 15-story apartment tower.

Located at the corner of Southwest 11th and Jefferson, the building was designed by noted architect Frederick Manson White and erected in 1911 by the Reed Institute on property donated by Simeon Reed. Here the first Reed students—24 women, 26 men—sweated over their studies under the baleful eye of the first professors (including the formidable President William T. Foster, who also taught English classes).

The developer, the Molasky Group of Las Vegas, Nevada, has purchased the building from the city of Portland and plans to build a 15-story tower with 196 market-rate residential apartments, 13,000 square feet of commercial space, underground parking, and a roof deck. It appears that the final design is still pending approval from the Portland Design Commission.

Reed Band's Debut Album Wins Acclaim

Hausu wins acclaim for debut album "Total." Left to right: Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, Santiago Leyba ’14.

Deep in a forgotten corner of the Gray Campus Center basement, down the hall from the comic book library, Reed’s band practice room (BPR) is anything but glamorous. But for many Reedies it is a hallowed space, a place that (between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays, all day weekends) can incubate their energy and talent. For the last three years one group of Reedies in particular have made the BPR home. They call themselves Hausu, and this summer all their hard work is finally paying off.

Hausu is composed of Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, and Santiago Leyba ’14. They are rockers in the vein of 1990s indie bands like Sebadoh and Sonic Youth, and their debut album, Total, is full of interlocking guitar pieces and post-punk snarl. Total was released by Hardly Art Records on June 25. So far it has met with nearly unanimous acclaim. The Portland Mercury called “one of the finest debut records in recent memory,” while the website Allmusic called the album “infectious,” and wrote that its single, “Leaning Mess,” felt like a “distant classic.” The album’s release was timed to coincide with Hausu’s six-week, cross-country tour, which took them from Portland to New York City and back.

Hausu recorded Total over winter break, but the band had been honing the songs on the album since their first jam three years ago. It wasn’t always easy for the band members to align their schedules: last year Carl wrote his thesis in economics, while Ben, Alex, and Santi all took the junior qual (in art history, anthropology, and studio art, respectively). “it was difficult to make time to play the music,” Carl said, “but it was an important catharsis for us to deal with academic stress.”

Reed Shrinks Carbon Footprint

Reed campus

In a move that will significantly reduce its environmental impact, Reed has signed a three-year, $5.4 million contract with Ameresco Quantum to identify and implement changes that will minimize energy use, maximize equipment life and maintain building livability.

After evaluating more than 960,000 square feet of campus buildings, AQ outlined a program of energy renewal and replacement that will yield a 12% reduction in electrical energy use, a 13% reduction in gas use and a 28% reduction in water and sewer costs. The changes are estimated to cut operational utility costs by at least $2.7 million over the next 10 years and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 2.65 million pounds.

Gray Memorial To Be Held

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A memorial service for Reed's legendary benefactor John D. Gray [trustee 1961-2006] will be held at Kaul Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Reception to follow in Gray Campus Center commons.

PLEASE NOTE: Reed’s west parking lot, next to Kaul Auditorium, is under construction from October 2011 through August 2013. There is limited parking in the west lot; if you park there, the easiest way to reach Kaul is by walking up Botsford Drive. More parking is available in both the east and north parking lots. There is also an additional parking lot on the corner of SE 28th Avenue and Steele Street. Click for a map of Reed parking lots.

Reedies Cook Spaghetti at Homeless Shelter

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There are few meals more popular amongst Reedies than pasta with red sauce. When the board points are gone and funds are low, a frugal student can turn a few dollars into a dinner hearty enough to sustain them through the wet chill of fall.

On Saturday, SEEDS (Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service) organized a trip to a homeless shelter in Northeast Portland where students could employ their pasta expertise to help the less fortunate by cooking a giant feast.

Columbus Day Storm - 50 Years Later

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The Columbus Day Storm is generally reckoned to be the most powerful extratropical cyclone to hit the United States in the 20th century. Starting October 12, 1962, with peak gusts of 100 miles per hour, it rampaged through California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, killing 23 people, destroying 84 homes, severely damaging 5,000 more, and wreaking overall havoc estimated at $170 million.

What's this got to do with Reed? Nothing, except that the storm has sometimes been attributed to divine retribution after Reed defeated Columbia Christian College that day 19–7 on the football field.

Kroger Inaugurated—with Iliad

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President John R. Kroger sports snazzy Reed medallion at inauguration. Photos by Leah Nash

Amid the call of bagpipes and the flourish of horns, roughly 1,500 people descended on campus on Friday to welcome John R. Kroger as Reed's 15th president. Under the big top on the great lawn, Roger Perlmutter '73, chair of the board of trustees, invested Kroger with the trappings of office—including a copy of the Iliad and a bottle of spring water drawn from the Reed Canyon—in a grand inauguration ceremony.

Student body president Brian Moore '13 hailed Kroger as "the ultimate prospie" for his infectious enthusiasm for all things Reed and for enrolling in Hum 110.

Reed Griffin is Rose Parade Royalty

Float with Reedies

Photo by Dan Schaffer

Six-inches high and stuffed with cotton, a griffin sits atop a few worn books stacked on the cluttered desk of Mike Teskey, director of alumni & parent relations. For years this figurine—a plush model of the mythical creature, half lion, half eagle, which Reed takes as its mascot—had fixed its glassy eye on Mike while he worked, and it must have made an impression, because when he walked into the office of the Portland Rose Festival representative to discuss what Reed's float would look like in the upcoming parade, Mike had the stuffed griffin in his hand.

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Mechanical wizard and construction leader Rob Mack '93. Photo by Patrick Bryan '13

The last time Reed entered a float in the Grand Floral Parade was in 1936. From time to time, alumni would broach the dream of returning to the parade, but like a lot of great ideas, they never got past the broaching stage. Then, at a centennial apple-pressing party in the canyon orchard, Mike struck up a conversation with Jon-Paul Davis '93 and mechanical wizard Rob Mack '93. Rob was the natural choice to spearhead the project; during his Reed days he turned an old Nissan into the infamous Mobile Outdoor Plush Super Upholstered Den (MOSPUD), a mobile beverage-distribution system that graced several Renn Fayres. Rob signed on as Reed's construction leader for the 2012 parade with just one demand: Reed would build the float.

Politics or Principles?

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As an alumnus of both Reed and Willamette Week (where I worked as a reporter for many years), I was fascinated by WW's recent cover story about John Kroger, our next president.

The story, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Nigel Jaquiss, got a lot of stuff right. Kroger's colorful past as marine, professor, and mafia prosecutor comes through strong and clear, as does Reed's reputation as an intellectual powerhouse. Moreover, WW gives us an insider's view into several fascinating political scuffles.

Griffin to Make Triumphant Return to Rose Parade

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After more than 75 years' absence, a Reed College float will once again join the Portland Rose Festival's Grand Floral Parade, taking place this Saturday, June 9.

Reed first entered a float into the Rose Parade in 1936; although Reedies have played many important roles in the festival since, our beloved institution has never again been represented by its own float.

Reedies Descend on Portland

Almost 200 Reed students, alumni, professors, and staff volunteered their time for the Centennial Day of Service on Saturday, restoring native habitat in Oaks Bottom, building a toolshed for a day-labor community center, and repairing books for low-income children.

The event, organized by SEEDS (Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service), celebrated Reed's tradition of community service with a battery of projects throughout Portland that left a positive mark on the city—and on the participants.

SEEDS earned glowing reviews from students. Jennifer Caamano '12, who has volunteered with SEEDS all four of her years at Reed and now works as an intern with the Lane After-School Education with Reed (LASER) program, enthused that "it's super easy to just hop in a van and do service projects... It makes it really accessible." Shelly Skolfield '14, who reported having worked with SEEDS for "seven minutes," was no less enthusiastic. "It seems like it's going to be awesome," she said.

Bridging the Disability Divide

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At Reed's first-ever Working Weekend, it all came together for Gabriel Forsythe-Korzeniewicz '12, an economics senior. The career-focused event, which was held February 3-5, was designed to help students and newer alumni get a jump-start on internships, contacts, and careers. Alumni organized and led panels in 10 different subject areas and participated in a three-day StartUp Lab, where they served as entrepreneurs and led teams of students through the presentation and marketing of their original ideas to investors. On Sunday, the Lab culminated with final pitches to a live panel of Angel, Venture Capital, and Incubator investors.

Gabriel, whose brother has Down syndrome and is a self-advocate in their hometown in Maryland, has always been very active in the disability community. In high school, Gabriel mentored disabled kids and volunteered during his junior summer at Reed with the Northwest Down Syndrome Association in Portland. He also won the prestigious McGill Lawrence Internship award in 2011 and used it to work for the Autism Centre in Accra, Ghana. He has been focusing his academics on disability related themes besides doing other non-profit work related to disability outreach in Portland.

The Fierce Urgency of Now

photo4.JPGThe two Reed vans idled in the light snow outside 28 West as 30 Reed students readied themselves for a day of service. It was Martin Luther King Day and schools, post offices, and banks across America were closed to celebrate the birth, life, and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Every year Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service (SEEDS) offers a service trip so Reedies can make a difference. This year 43 Reed students, professors, and staff joined more than 800 other college students from across the Portland area to volunteer at Roosevelt High School, explore education as a civil right, and respond to what Dr. King called "the fierce urgency of now."
Roosevelt High School hosted this year's rally and service projects. Once labeled a failed high school, the North Portland institution is on the rise. Last year 89 percent of its senior class graduated, its highest rate ever.

Anthropology major Amina Rahman '14 has been working with students in Northeast Portland this year. MLK day has traditionally been associated with service and this struck a chord with her. "I felt motivated to use the day in a productive way that would benefit kids like me, who live in my city but face different realities," she says. "School is very much about support, and the idea of bolstering a high school with the help of anonymous college students is super cool, and I think, effective."

"The Last Great Conservative College"

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An article in the latest edition of Portland Monthly describes Reed as "America's Last Great Conservative College." And yes, the author is a Reedie.

Citing Reed's demanding requirements and classical curriculum, history major Ethan Epstein '10 makes a persuasive case that most Portland residents are looking at Reed through the wrong end of the microscope.

"As a Reedie, I long ago accepted that most Portlanders consider my alma mater a hybrid of Haight-Ashbury and Keith Richards's medicine cabinet," he writes.

March Madness Preview

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Game on.

Reed's annual one-of-a-kind basketball tournament is happening tonight. Started over 20 years ago by Erik Brakstad '89, the event features students, alumni, staff, and various other life forms in a bouncy, spherical celebration of America's tallest sport.

Here is the bracket as of press time:

A Winter's Ramble with Schubert

582_Schubert_Klimt.jpgI had to chuckle at the brouhaha stirred by New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini recently with his ambitious attempt to rank the Top Ten Classical Composers Ever. (In case you haven't heard, JS Bach was #1.)

Lists of this sort are an old journalistic standby--subjective, outrageous, infuriating, and a marvelous device to spark debate and spur readership.

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