Master of Arts in Liberal Studies

Student Profiles

Steven Taylor

Steven Taylor

Life beyond Reed

I retired from a career in healthcare management and immediately immersed myself in learning to be a writer. I took classes, studied with top private teachers, and was lightly published, but decided I needed to clarify my philosophical stance before I continued my writing journey. I had worked my way through college the first time, got a job and then continued on to graduate school to get a better job. All this worked out great, but I’d never taken a breath to clarify my own thinking and unique stance in the world. Enter Reed College and the idea of a liberal arts education. Steven graduated from the program in January 2013. He wrote several short stories on the Mormon experience for his creative thesis.

Academic interests

Early in my MALS study, my wife and I purchased a farm and vineyard, which began to consume more and more of my time. Besides developing the property, I took classes in viticulture and winemaking. We began to renovate this old commodity crop vineyard and we now have 50 acres in production and make a small amount of wine under our private label. Reed offered some academic depth to the viticulture study with a MALS course on the biology of northwest forests. In addition, I’ve gone back to work in healthcare management. When my friends
ask me what in the world I’m up to after being comfortably retired for 10 years, I respond, “Try something impossible when you are 60. It no doubt will make the next 25 years memorable.”


The MALS program was a big part of reframing a new definition of retirement. I intended to return to my farm and vineyard fulltime, working half a day outside and half a day exploring the life of my mind, writing about it and sharing it with others. I had in mind a pro-bono philosophical counseling business, shared with a bottle of homegrown award winning Pinot noir . . . .