Samuel T. Pléchot Binder ’18

Samuel T. Pléchot Binder ’18

Whispers From the Thesis Tower

An econ major writes a letter to the donor who made his education possible.

May 23, 2018

Note: I recently stumbled across this letter from an econ major thanking a donor who supported his Reed education. I was so impressed I decided to share it with our readers. —Ed.

Dear X,

I am full of gratitude for your contribution to my Reed education. I wouldn’t be able to attend this school without the financial support of others—especially this year, as my younger brother begins his own college journey. Year after year, my heart smiles as I observe the willingness of my fellow human beings to help me attain the life-changing privilege of being a Reed student.

As I prepare to graduate in May 2018, I am struck by the ephemeral nature of my final year at this school. My interactions with friends and professors are imbued with a bittersweet significance. My classes seem particularly heightened in their applications to the world beyond Reed. My thesis—on affordable housing policies in the San Francisco Bay Area—and my extracurricular efforts to implement a restorative justice policy here are reflected through the now-pressing lens of legacy, as I consider how I can give back to a school that has given me so much.

Yet even as my undergraduate experience comes to a close, I find that my senior year has been my favorite so far. After three years of learning, living, and growing here, I feel truly at home. I have the incredible opportunity to work with an advisor, whom I care about and deeply respect. And I continue to hone the critical thinking skills that are central to a Reed education. Through it all, I am uplifted by a community of people cheering for my success: family, friends, professors, colleagues, even the people who serve my meals at commons. It is this powerful sense of community that is my beacon in times of hardship and my reward in times of celebration.

My experience at Reed has heightened my confidence and wisdom in ways that I couldn’t have imagined as a freshman. I am thankful every day that I decided to attend this school, and just thankful for the people—yourself among them—who have surrounded me and supported me throughout this journey.

Sincerely yours,

Samuel T. Pléchot Binder ’18

Economics major at Reed

Tags: Giving Back to Reed, Financial Aid