Inauguration of President John Kroger

President Kroger receiving water bottle

Inaugural Gifts

As we celebrate the inauguration of Reed’s fifteenth president, the community marks the occasion with gifts that reflect the college’s mission and history.

A bottle found in the Reed canyon has been filled with water from Reed Lake. Just as this water emanates from the Reed campus, originating in the hill above the lake to form the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek, and travels through streams and rivers to the ocean where it touches every continent, so begins the voyage of the Reed student who has discovered his or her own passion for knowledge and embarks on a journey that transforms lives and has the potential to change the world. This bottle is intended to serve as a reminder that the president is the steward of that journey.

The Iliad, which for many years marked the first reading assignment in Reed’s Humanities 110 course, remains a symbol of an important first step in a Reed student’s journey. This gift reflects the significant role of the humanities at Reed and the primacy of a liberal arts education.

A calligraphic work by Robert J. Palladino, former calligraphy instructor at Reed (1969–84), was commissioned by the college in honor of the inauguration. The work incorporates three distinct letterforms. The phrase “Vita Contemplativa” (life of the mind) and President Kroger’s name are written in a Renaissance Italic style. Other text is in a Renaissance Book-hand, and the date is written in Uncial. The president’s initials are gilded in 23 karat gold. Palladino wrote the work on sheepskin parchment—a piece remaining from the time he taught at the college and wrote the honorary doctorates for Reed. He inherited the function of writing honorary doctorates from his predecessor Lloyd J. Reynolds (1929–69), who began Reed’s calligraphy program.