REED HOME Gryphon icon
Feature Story
reed magazine logoSpring 2009
Two Remarkable Gifts

Many donors have made generous contributions to Reed to get the Centennial Campaign underway; two gifts, however, deserve particular attention.

One of the earliest commitments to launch the campaign was also one of its largest. Trustee Dan Greenberg ’62 and his wife, Susan Steinhauser, committed $10 million to support the campaign, building on a long legacy of leader­ship for Reed.

Greenbergs

“Reed is fortunate—extraordinarily fortunate—to enjoy the support of Dan and Susan,” says president Colin Diver. “I am particularly grateful to them for their friendship and their willingness to step forward early in the campaign with this remarkable gift.”

Campaign Steering Committee
Peter Norton ’65, Chairman
Suzan K. DelBene ‘83
Daniel B. Greenberg ‘62
George M. James ‘77
Roger M. Perlmutter ‘73
Richard H. Wollenberg ‘75
Honorary Campaign Committee
Sue D. Cooley
Don C. Frisbee
John D. Gray
Virginia Kaul
Sandra E. Mintz
Richard P. Wollenberg

Like many alumni, Dan has bittersweet memories of Reed —he can still recall driving out to the Portland airport on a lonely night and gazing longingly at an airplane lumbering down the runway bound for his native Los Angeles—but over time his appreciation for the college deepened. “It was only after I left Reed that I realized what it was really all about,” he says. “In an age where so many things have changed, Reed’s values have not changed. I am old fashioned in this respect; the mission of Reed should remain a fundamental dedication to the liberal arts tradition. It’s long. It’s expensive. It’s sometimes inefficient. But for the kind of kids it attracts— and by the way, I think they are fundamentally the same as when I was there—there’s nothing like it.”

After getting his B.A. from Reed in political science, Dan went to law school at the University of Chicago on a Reed College honor scholarship. Later he joined his father, former trustee Mayer Greenberg, in the family business, and eventually founded Electro Rent Corporation, the nation’s largest in the business of short-term rental and leasing of personal computers, engineering workstations, and electronic test equipment.

Dan and Susan have been strong supporters of the college for more than twenty years, but last year they brought their commitment to an extraordinary level with a gift of $10 million.

This gift will strengthen the college in several ways:

  • Create the Greenberg Distinguished Scholar Program, which will bring a prominent academic researcher to campus each semester for in-depth interaction with students and professors.
  • Establish the Steinhauser Scholarship, which will attract and support international students and those interested in international study.
  • Create Greenberg Faculty Fellowships to allow professors to pursue independent research projects and collaborative projects with students. Provide special support in honor of former board chairman Walter Mintz ’50 and President Emeritus Paul Bragdon.
  • Over half of the gift will strengthen the college’s endowment generally and provide unrestricted current support for the college’s most pressing needs.

Another noteworthy gift comes from author David Eddings ’54, who wrote a creative thesis under the supervision of legendary professor Lloyd Reynolds.

Eddings

Sadly, degenerative illness prevented David from speaking to Reed about his experiences at Reed. But in an interview in 1997 he recalled Reynolds’ inspirational teaching: “He would bring things in and read them to us. He’d take that pipe out of his mouth and say, ‘Now that’s writing! He got his point across and generated a great deal of enthusiasm among the students.”

After Reed, David served in the US Army, stocked groceries, went to graduate school, taught college courses, and wrote several unsuccessful novels. One day, he ran across a copy of Lord of the Rings, and was astounded to see it was in its seventy-third printing. He rushed home to his wife and said, “Leigh, this is where it’s at.” Before long, he was working on a manuscript that became the bestselling Pawn of Prophecy, which was followed by more than two dozen bestsellers, several of them co-authored by Leigh.

David has established a trust that will provide Reed with an astonishing $20 million, designated as follows:


  • The great majority will establish the David Eddings Scholarship to help students of limited financial means attend Reed; preference to be given to students majoring in English or foreign languages.
  • Provide support to the Hauser Library to assist in maintenance of David Eddings' manuscripts and materials, which will also be donated to the college.
  • Create the David Eddings Professorship in English Literature and provide additional support for the study of Literature and Languages
  • Provide unrestricted support for the college’s endowment.
Centennial Campaign identity

David was typically self-effacing about his work, and relished his role as storyteller. “After [my readers] have finished with me and I don’t challenge them any more, they can move on to somebody important like Homer or Milton,” he said.

reed magazine logoSpring 2009