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reed magazine logoSummer 2008

Lenske and Hansen Receive Volunteer Awards

Moshe Lenske ’50, recipient of the Babson Society
Award, photo by Orin Bassoff

The Foster-Scholz Club & Annual Recognition Luncheon is, as outgoing alumni board president Konrad Alt ’81 says, “where we celebrate the major gifts of sweat equity.” This June, two Reedies who have consistently contributed their time and energy to the college were honored at the formal luncheon that takes place during reunions weekend.

John Sheehy ’82 presented Moshe Lenske ’50 with the Babson Society Outstanding Volunteer Award. “[Lenske] actually enhances the honor of this award with his lifetime of unparalleled service to the college,” said Sheehy, who received the award last year. The award, and the Babson Society, is named for Jean McCall Babson ’42, and recognizes the generosity of alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the college through their volunteer efforts.

Lenske’s involvement in the Reed community began well before he studied at Reed. Born in Portland, Lenske grew up in the Eastmoreland neighborhood, where his family’s home was an entertainment locus for Portland’s intellectual, cultural, and political circles, including many Reed faculty members.

After graduating from Lincoln High School, Lenske entered Reed in spring 1943, but was drafted into World War II that fall. He was deployed to Europe shortly after D-Day, serving with an armored medical battalion during the Battle of the Bulge. Lenske returned to Reed in 1947 and majored in philosophy, taking classes with many of Reed’s legendary professors, including Rex Arragon, Edward Sisson, and F.L. Griffin.

In 1955, he founded Western Toy Manufacturing Company. He serves as a board member of Southeast Uplift, the neighborhood coalition of Southeast Portland. Politically active as well, Lenske was one of Oregon’s seven electors in the electoral college in 1992, 2000, and 2004.

At Reed, Lenske has served on the alumni board, the board of trustees (1992–96), as president of the Foster-Scholz Club Steering Committee, and as a member of his class reunion committee. He also has contributed an interview to the Oral History Project. “While there are many good reasons to honor Moshe today for his leadership and formal participation in the alumni body,” Sheehy said, “I think it is perhaps the kindness, respect, and long-standing loyalty he has paid all of his life to the members of the extended Reed community that we cherish most.”

Barry Hansen ’63, aka Dr. Demento, recipient of
the Distinguished Service Award, and President
Colin Diver, photo by Orin Bassoff

Barry Hansen ’63, aka Dr. Demento, was also honored at the luncheon. President Colin Diver, who presented Hansen with the Foster-Scholz Club’s Distinguished Service Award, noted that the award is given to an individual who “has by actions and contributions and commitments to the college over the years made it possible for this college to be as wonderful and distinctive as it is.”

One of Reed’s most beloved alumni, Hansen has given presentations at Paideia for the past 35 years on rock ’n’ roll, Frank Zappa, and the Dr. Demento Show. For the last five years, he has given presentations at reunions. “It has gotten to the point where no Paideia and no reunions would be the same without Barry Hansen appearing and making a presentation as Dr. Demento,” said Diver.

Hansen, a rock ’n’ roll authority, made one of his greatest contributions to the music world in his discovery of odd, zany, and quirky musicians, such as Weird Al Yankovic. “At reunions lunches,” said Diver, “I get to talk about Frank Zappa and Bo Diddley. My fellow presidents talk about something else.”

Hansen was heavily involved with the music scene at Reed, serving as program director of KRRC in 1960 and as general manager in 1961. In 1970, he started the widely syndicated Dr. Demento Show, which was known to play “anything that wouldn’t get played elsewhere”—alluding both to Hansen’s objections to FCC regulations and his taste in music. A fellow DJ told Hansen he was “demented” to play the songs. The name was born.

Hansen has also volunteered for Reed’s career services office (2006–08), the Oral History Project (2006), and the Southern California alumni chapter steering committee (1996–2008).

Honorary alumni status was conferred on professor of psychology Allen Neuringer at the luncheon. Neuringer, who holds the John D. MacArthur Chair, has been teaching at Reed since 1983.

The Foster-Scholz Club was established in the late ’60s as an informal social group for Reedies who attended Reed 40 or more years ago. The club was named for the first two presidents of the college.

—Amanda Waldroupe ’07

reed magazine logoSummer 2008