FROM THE EDITOR
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FROM THE EDITOR
By the time you read this you may already have heard my voice in a very different journalistic venue; after editing this summer’s issue of Reed magazine, I have taken up a new position as Marketplace Radio’s entrepreneurship bureau chief in Portland.
Public radio was my first career, and it remains my first love. Nonetheless, being your editor for the past three years has been a blast. And not just because Reed and Reed alumni are fascinating (which they are—more on that later), but also because editing the magazine has allowed me to join your unique community, a community that engages in vibrant inquiry about issues that matter across generations and around the globe.
Attending conferences with alumni magazine editors over the past few years, I heard a litany of complaints that I did not share—of letters sections that receive no letters, of persistent interference from top administrators, of faculty and alumni indifference to institutional history and cultural change. I have come to understand what an unprecedented level of trust this magazine garners from its readers, and the extraordinary level of trust that the college has in this journalistic enterprise. As a result, editing Reed has been a privilege.
We have tackled issues that many other college magazines won’t touch, or at least won’t look at critically: financial aid; Reed’s unique “brand” (Communism, Atheism, and Free Love); secularism and religion on campus; rising admission standards; post-mortem critiques of venerable professors . . . and the list goes on. We have also had wide license to explore controversial periods in the college’s (and the nation’s) history, aided by the rich resources of Reed’s Oral History Project and the library’s Special Collections (not to mention its incredibly knowledgeable archivists). There will be more of the same in coming years as Reed builds up to its centennial in 2011–12.
And what can I say about the talented, diverse, quirky, creative, accomplished group of Reedies I’ve come to know through this work? Well, you have made my job very easy. From Beat poets to foreign policy advisers to climate-change researchers to doctors working in rural hospitals in Borneo to hedge fund managers to mountain climbers to octogenarian conservation activists, you provide a seemingly limitless list of really good magazine stories.
If I have one regret in leaving Reed, it is that we have left so many stories (as of yet) untold, so many accomplishments—both great and small—unsung. There is, for instance, the surprising confluence of Reedie women who are working to strengthen the education and health of African women and eliminate genital mutilation. There are the gifted type designers and online encyclopedia inventors and high-tech pioneers. There are the truck-driver-turned-professor and the green steelworker executive whose life stories I was hoping to tell. There are working-parent activists and stay-at-home everythings, erudite academics and dogged researchers, and devoted teachers seemingly beyond count.
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