Giving to Reed

Stories of Giving

Donors make a difference. They support the mission of Reed to provide a balanced, comprehensive education in liberal arts and sciences, fulfilling the highest standards of intellectual excellence.

When asked why they give to Reed, donors often cite the following:
  • A belief in Reed College and its mission to provide the best liberal arts education in the country.
  • An understanding that without their financial support, Reed could not provide the same rigorous academics, small classes, and overall excellence that it does today.
  • A wish to support the programs, people, and campus life that give Reed its unique character.

Explore the stories below to learn more about what motivates Reed’s supporters to give and what their gifts support.

Gifts in Many Fonts and Pen Widths

hand drawing letters with a caligraphic pen on paper

Calligraphy shows up all over the Reed community, from weathergrams hanging in cherry trees to words of gratitude on gift receipts. Calligraphy has made a resurgence over the last ten years through the dedication of staff and volunteers and the philanthropic gifts that empower their work.

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Endowment Donors Provide the Foundation for a Reed Education

graph of Reed College historic impact of additions to the endowment

Gifts from alumni, parents, and friends, and the growth of those gifts through careful investment over time, have increased Reed's endowment from $4.4 million in 1971 to well over $700 million in 2022. The income generated by the endowment supports almost 30% of Reed’s annual operating budget, a percentage that has been slowly rising over the decades. But how does it all work, and what about the role of Annual Fund donors?

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Merck Foundation Honors Reed Trustee

Roger Perlmutter

The Merck Foundation has made a $1.5 million gift to Reed College to honor leading immunologist and Reed trustee Roger Perlmutter ’73, who retired last year as executive vice president of Merck Research Laboratories. The gift will create the Roger M. Perlmutter Professorship in Biological Sciences, which will be awarded to neuroscientist Prof. Suzy Renn [biology].

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Donors Enable Inspired Teaching

Professor Chris Koski

Six professors have recently been appointed to prestigious endowed chairs—a mark of esteem from their colleagues, a recognition of their knack for inspiring students, and sign of deep commitment on the part of Reed's financial supporters.

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Gifts Propel Research at Reed

Hanna Meier working in a lab

From black holes to hungry microbes, research at Reed College is heating up. With the help of generous alumni, parents, and foundations, Reed College is building an extensive system to provide students with outstanding opportunities to pursue research. These explorations include departmental fellowships, opportunity grants, research grants, internships, and creative fellowships.

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Donors Dig Deeper than Ever Before

photo of two masked Reed students embracing during the thesis burn

Reedies give record-breaking $5.5M to the Annual Fund to help students through COVID-19.

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Happy Birthday ES! Donors propel 10 years of environmental studies success

photo of a student and professor working in a lab

For the last decade Reed donors have been helping the college to produce well-trained social scientists and humanists versed in the physical and life sciences, and well-trained scientists with a strong grasp on social scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry.

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Borders Chair and Student Research Fund Support Physics Department

photo of professor Joel Franklin

Deborah Borders memorialized her husband, Jim Borders ’63, by creating a professorship and endowing a student research fund in the physics department. The James A. Borders Chair has been awarded to Joel Franklin ’97.

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Stepping Up For Social Justice

photo of Anthony Hill 22 restocking shelves in the Reed Community Pantry

Alex Martinez ’73 and his wife Kathy endow Reed’s Social Justice Research and Education Fund, supporting students working on civic engagement and equity beyond the classroom.

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Donors fuel robust experiences for remarkable students

photo of Zesean Moiz Ali

The "What Is a Reedie, Anyway?" cover story in Reed magazine features the transformative experiences and support systems that have shaped graduating seniors' trajectory, from student research funds to the financial aid that makes it all possible.

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Gift from physics major enables Reedies to discover how the Milky Way got its distinctive shape.

photo of spiral galaxy

The Delord-Mockett Fund was created by physicist Paul Mockett ’59 in honor of legendary Reed physics professor Jean Delord [1950-88], a member of the French Resistance during WWII who later became an expert in solid state, quantum mechanics, and statistical mechanics and mentored generations of Reed students. Both men's legacies continue on in the exciting projects pursued by student recipients of the Delord-Mocket Fund.

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Reed Emergency Fund donors help students weather the COVID storm

illustration of Doyle owl

The Emergency Fund supports students experiencing a wide range of unanticipated needs, including medical expenses, food and supplies, emergency travel, and housing security.

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Esther Wender research fund helps student understand the underpinnings of addiction

3d rendering Crystal structure of the ligand-bound glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor extracellular domain

A growing body of evidence shows that undergrads who do research get better at overcoming obstacles, thinking independently, and understanding how knowledge is constructed. In the last decade, Reed has set out to provide students with more opportunities to pursue research in their sophomore and junior years; the skills they gain from these projects often prove invaluable for their thesis and their careers.

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Englert and Rumpakis-Dussin Fund Recipients Explore the World of Alexander the Great

photo of excavation in Cyprus

Prof. Thomas Landvatter led six students on an archaeological dig at the Vigla Archaeological Project in Cyprus, supported by the Walter Englert Classics Student Opportunity Fund and the Rumpakis-Dussin Fund.

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Donors Create Summer Research Experiences

photo of Reed students sharing their research projects

“Undergraduate research is one of the distinguishing features of Reed,” says Alice Harra, director of the Center for Life Beyond Reed. “Our students know how to take in vast amounts of information, synthesize, analyze, and troubleshoot.” Reed donors help provide these important experiences.

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Presidential Fellows Set Off For Adventure

photo of Mayaki Kimba

Ten students will pursue projects around the globe thanks to the President's Summer Fellowship, funded by trustee Dan Greenberg ’62 and Susan Steinhauser. The fellows will each receive $5,000 to undertake 8- to 10-week summer projects that combine intellectual pursuit, imagination, adventure, personal transformation, and service to the greater good.

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Deconstructing Wall Street

photo of Reed students on Wall Street

The Financial Services Fellowship gives Reed students insight into the world of power and money. With funding and know-how from trustee Jane Buchan and the help New York alumni and parents, Reed offers students a look behind the mystique of the world of finance and a glimpse of what it’s like to run with the bulls, bears, and griffins of Wall Street.

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Geselbracht Honor Goes to Prof. Glasfeld

photo of professor Arthur Glasfeld

Prof. Arthur Glasfeld has been named the inaugural holder of the Margret Geselbracht Chair of Chemistry. Created with a $3 million gift by an anonymous donor, the chair memorializes the career of Prof. Maggie Geselbracht, who passed away in 2014 after a hard-fought struggle against lymphoma.

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Linehan’s Legacy Lives On

photo of Andy Linehan

Avangrid Foundation honors legacy of wind-power expert Andy Linehan ’78 by giving to Reed.

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Answering the Call

Phonathon students

Phonathon connects a new generation of students and alumni.

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Reed Donors Hit $4.9 Million Annual Fund Record

video screen capture

Supporters rally for Reed, breaking previous record. In 2017-18, through many astonishing acts of generosity that would make the Doyle Owl beam with pride, a total of 5,354 alumni, parents, students, and friends gave a whopping $4.9 million to support the Annual Fund, surpassing last year’s record. Watch the video!

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Why I Give

Dylan Rivera

Dylan Rivera '95 shares his personal reasons for giving that resonate with many Reed donors:  "I give back to Reed because Reed changed my life. "Reed encouraged me to pursue academic excellence and follow my passions...."

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Reed Welcomes New Executive Director of Development

Sarah Panetta

Sarah Panetta will head development team. Reed welcomes new executive director of development, Sarah Panetta, who comes to the college from Portland’s Children’s Healing Arts Project where she served as executive director. Sarah has also run a nonprofit consulting practice to support local and national nonprofits and served as vice president of development at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

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A Word of Thanks

Samuel T. Pléchot Binder

In a touching letter to a donor, a member of the class of 2018 looks back on his time at Reed with appreciation for all he has experienced, and for the generosity of those who helped him get to, and through, Reed.

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Lewis to Chair Fundraising Effort

christine lewis

New Leadership for Alumni Fundraising for Reed. Outgoing chair Michael Stapleton '10 introduces Christine Lewis '07 as just the right person to guide alumni fundraising volunteers into the future.

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The Center for Life Beyond Reed Helps Students Chart Their Course

Life Beyond Reed photo

With the help of a community of donors, the Center for Life Beyond Reed is creating a new paradigm to prepare students for lives of purpose after they leave campus.

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Annual Fund Raises Record $4.6 million

Thank you graphic

Alumni, parents, and friends of Reed engaged in a flurry of passionate philanthropic support in the 2016–17 fiscal year, giving a record-breaking $4.638 million to the Annual Fund to support the challenging, rigorous, and transformative education that Reed provides.

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Alumni Give “In Honor Of” Reed

March Campaign video screen grab

Honor is making a comeback.

Last month, Reed launched the In Honor Of campaign to encourage friends of the college to honor their favorite professor, tradition, or place on campus. In the twilight hours of the campaign, momentum crested and a total of 1,226 donors gave $219,728, exceeding the donor goal that triggered an additional $50,000 match from trustee Linda Matthews ’67.

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Gift helps needy students leap career hurdles

Michael Jacobs photoA financial aid student is taking a full load of courses and working part time at a couple of jobs. She wants to go to law school after graduating from Reed, but her plans hit a snag when she discovers it will cost $170 to take the Law School Admission Test, and another $30 for every school she sends it to. How will she come up with the cash?

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Reed Champions Step Up to the Plate

Reed College pool photoReed alumni, parents, and friends made a series of generous gifts totaling more than $20 million during the fiscal year ending June 30 to meet some of the college’s longstanding—and pressing—needs.

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A Rising Star Puts New Fellowship to Good Work

Ashlee Fox photo

If you ask around campus about rising sophomore Ashlee Fox ’19, it is clear that in a short amount of time she has thoroughly impressed a lot of people. Recently, she was awarded the Evan Rose Fellowship for a 2016 summer research internship to study the efforts of Milwaukie, Oregon, to revitalize its downtown. 

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Annual Fund Raises $4.5M for World Change

photo of students in class

Alumni, parents, and friends of Reed seeded future generations of Reedies when they came together to give a record-breaking $4.545 million in the Annual Fund drive for fiscal year 2016, which ended in June. And no fewer than 4,446 alumni stepped up to make a gift to Reed.

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Reed Announces President’s Summer Fellows

Reed College student Datta photo

Reed is proud to announce the latest winners of the President’s Summer Fellowship: seven outstanding projects that combine intellectual pursuit, imagination, adventure, personal transformation, and service to the greater good.

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Reed to Launch Computer Science Program

photo of Reed College professor Jim Fix

Reed’s digital footprint will grow by an order of magnitude next year with the launch of a fully fledged computer science program.

With $5 million in fundraising for endowments nearly complete, the college will hire two new tenure-track professors, offer deeper and more advanced coursework to a wider range of students, and establish a major in computer science.

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