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Feature Story
reed magazine logoSummer 2009

Centennial Campaign builds momentum

Reedies Respond to Times Article

The New York Times article on Reed (see previous page) has generated a surge of support from alumni, parents, and friends of the college.

In the two weeks after the story ran, donations to the Annual Fund increased by 33%, or $40,000, compared to last year; 46 donors made their first gift, 27 of them mentioning the Times. Since the article was printed, Reed received $309,400 in gifts dedicated to financial aid. Of those gifts, 8 were dedicated to scholarship endowments that provide financial aid awards in perpetuity, and 104 were dedicated to immediate funds that will allow the college to respond quickly to families facing financial difficulties.

I read the NYT article on financial aid at Reed, and it really inspired me to give. When I was a student, I received generous aid, and I want to do my part to put Reed a little closer to its goal of being need-blind. I’m down in Chile for the year as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, and I know that this dream wouldn’t have come true without all the support I received from Reed. Love from South America!
—Andra Brosy ’08

Together with existing college resources, these new gifts will enable the financial aid budget grow faster than any other part of the budget. In times of broad economic distress, the neediest financial aid cases may be current students, for whom the college guarantees awards to match their financial need, even if that need increases dramatically.

These gifts also build momentum towards the Centennial Campaign goal of $50 million for financial aid. As proceeds come in from new commitments (including an estimated $14 million to be realized from the estate of David Eddings ’54), the college will be able to move closer to need-blind admission.

Parents Pitch In


Katie and Winnie Schmidt ’11

Parents have always played a critical (if underappreciated) role in the life of the college student—writing tuition checks, delivering midterm pep talks, hosting their children’s friends over break, and packing up the minivan for that epic trip to Portland.

Now parents are playing a critical role in the life of the college itself, taking on significant stewardship of Reed’s campaign goals of inquiry, community, and integrity.

When a critical mass of the faculty expressed interest in environmental studies, parent trustees Randy Labbe and Jeff Kenner stepped in with gifts to enable a serious exploratory study. Kenner, father of Julie Case ’98, provided funding to invite speakers from environmental studies programs across the country while Labbe, father of Jim Labbe ’95, pledged money to support the program itself. “Reed was a pivotal experience for my son Jim,” says Labbe, who joined the board when his son was a sophomore. “Since I’ve been on the board, I’ve been able to learn a lot of the qualities about the college that made him so positive about that experience. I still feel a lot of loyalty to Reed because of what it did for my son.” Labbe and Kenner are two of ten trustee parents providing parent leadership at its highest level.

Two parents, who prefer to remain anonymous, worried about the impact of the recession on needy students. They made gifts totaling $225,000 to help Reed respond to students’ changing financial circumstances. With the help of parents like these, Reed was able to quickly respond to meet the expanded scholarship need of all continuing students.

After becoming a Reed parent this year, actor John Malkovich, father of Amandine Malkovich ’12, rolled up his sleeves and began work on a fundraising effort for the performing arts. The campaign envisions a new performing arts building that would bring dance, music, and theatre—now housed in eight separate buildings—into one integrated facility.

Katie Schmidt, mother of Winnie Schmidt ’11, has recently been appointed chair of the Parent Council. “I’m hoping to ignite some sparks to spur people on to support the Centennial Campaign,” says Schmidt. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet other parents, which you don’t normally get a chance to do in college, because you’re not waiting at the school gates to pick up your kids. It’s a heterogeneous group. Reed has a real reputation for individual thinkers, and quite a number of the parents share those same qualities. Of course, what ties us all together is our kids.”

—Matt Kelly

reed magazine logoSummer 2009