YOU DID IT! Exuberant seniors relish their achievement at Thesis Parade 2021.
YOU DID IT! Exuberant seniors relish their achievement at Thesis Parade 2021.

Donors Dig Deeper than Ever Before

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

By Chris Lydgate ’90 | August 12, 2021

Donors went all in to help Reed students pursue their studies in fiscal year 2020-21, giving a total of $5,552,132 to the Annual Fund—an all-time record and a remarkable demonstration of philanthropy in the face of formidable odds.

“It’s simply incredible to think about the combined effort, over more than a decade, that has brought us to this milestone,” said trustee and parent Konrad Alt ’81, founder of Alumni Fundraising for Reed. “Tens of thousands of individual contributions from thousands of alumni, parent, faculty, staff, trustee and student donors; tens of thousands of hours of hard work from hundreds of alumni volunteers and student phonathon workers; and sustained leadership from the college’s trustees and alumni leaders and the unwavering support of the college’s Development Office staff. The entire Reed community can take pride, not just in the accomplishment itself, but in the way in which it pulled together, and hung together, to make it happen.”

“This accomplishment would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers and the thousands of donors who contributed their time, talent, and funds to supporting the Reed community,” say Cori Savaiano ’11 and Kyndra Homuth Kennedy ’04, co-chairs of Alumni Fundraising for Reed, the group of volunteers who personally contacted more than 1,675 alumni over the course of the year.

Back in April 2020, as the coronavirus raced around the globe and the economy spiralled, it was not clear whether students would be able to return to Reed in the fall. Holding in-person classes would require strict social-distancing, frequent testing, reduced density, rigorous cleaning, and unprecedented levels of student support—all of which required significant expenses. These costs converged at a time when the value of the endowment plummeted along with the stock market.

Fortunately, some 5,430 alumni, parents, and friends rode to the rescue with gifts to the Annual Fund. They enabled Reed to preserve the heart and soul of the academic program—small, in-person classes with heightened interaction between students and professors—by reimagining every aspect of campus, from holding classes in tents to turning doubles into singles.

The Annual Fund sustains students on every step of their path through Reed. The Annual Fund helped the college expand the financial aid budget from $28 million in 2019-20 to $30 million in 2020-21, with 54% of students receiving aid. (The average Reed grant was $43,053; in recent years about 51% of students have received aid.) Annual Fund gifts supported the peer-tutoring program, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Hauser Library, and practically everything else at Reed.

Thank you for supporting Reed’s intellectual, ambitious, and diverse community of scholars.

Tags: Alumni, Covid-19, Financial Aid, Giving Back to Reed, Institutional