President’s Office

President’s speeches, letters, and articles

Subject: Congratulations—you are in the homestretch!

photo of ceramic heart hanging from tree branch
As the fall semester comes to an end, I feel gratitude and pride in our community. My wife, Cheryl, and I placed ceramic hearts in trees around campus as a symbol of love for Reed. —Audrey

December 15, 2020

Dear students,

Congratulations—you are in the homestretch! As we write this email to encourage you through the final hours of the semester, we pause to marvel at all you have overcome. You all rose to meet unique challenges this semester, and we hope you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished.

To those of you who attended classes on campus, and especially those of you who lived in on-campus housing, we say thank you! Our prevention and response plan depended greatly on your participation for success, and your care for one another shone through. We all felt the loss of live events, large gatherings, and unmasked interactions in the halls and spaces around campus. Despite numerous setbacks, you proved something we have believed about you from the start: that you are a smart, caring, and resilient group.

You have earned a break, and we want to encourage you to take advantage of whatever downtime this hiatus between semesters will provide. We know everyone’s responsibilities are different, but we hope all of you can find some peace and relaxation in the coming weeks. Find something that brings you joy. Listen to music, read a new or favorite book, spend time in nature, watch the cast reunion of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air—whatever you choose to do, we hope you will enjoy it thoroughly.

We want to acknowledge once again the fall seniors who are graduating. We understand this was not what you had in mind for the culmination of your final year. However, you have successfully navigated one of the most challenging semesters at Reed. Kudos! We can’t wait to celebrate you in person as soon as that is practicable.

We trust this semester has taught you many things. We hope it has revealed that you are capable of more than perhaps you imagined. Please know we feel great admiration for you, and we are so grateful that you are part of this community. Karnell has made a video to say thank you “in person.” Enjoy!

Watch the video

Have a great break,

Karnell and Audrey

P.S. Be sure to visit the virtual thesis board and congratulate your friends on their enormous accomplishment!