Class of ’26 Enters the Stronghold

A record number of applicants makes the class of ’26 Reed’s most competitive in recent history.

By Anna Johnson | September 8, 2022

Reed enthusiastically heralded the class of 2026 into the stronghold of griffins at Convocation on August 23. Out of a historic 9,322 applicants, 418 were accepted, making this the most selective class in decades.

Since its founding, the college has hosted 109 incoming classes, whose identities—while initially unknown—toggle gradually into focus during their four years at Reed.

President Audrey Bilger said in her opening remarks, “We are all here today to [...] commemorate the inclusion of our newest Reedies into the ongoing story of this remarkable school. A college is always in a state of becoming, and for those of us who believe in a growth mindset, so are we.”

While it is impossible to speculate what the class of ’26 will be known for, many fascinating facts about its individual members, who represent 44 states and 14 countries, have come to light.

“These students are community artists, advocates, storytellers, leaders, writers, dancers, musicians, singers, poets, actors, bloggers, tutors, designers, athletes, film buffs, and agents for social change,” said Milyon Trulove, Vice President and Dean of Admission & Financial Aid. “They are enthusiastic about robotics, coding, debate, puzzles, plants, TED talks, politics, bicycles, traveling, bird watching, activism, community service, and countless other subjects.”

Other Convocation speakers included student body president Safi Zenger ’24, who encouraged the new students to engage proactively with the campus community because “we shape Reed.” R.P. Wollenberg Professor of Music Mark Burford, whose keynote lecture “Just Propaganda” examined the surprisingly upstanding historical uses of propaganda as employed by visionaries such as W.E.B. Du Bois, advocated for a return to "acts of intellectual generosity" and more noble forms of persuasion.

With their arrival, the class of ’26 nudges total fall enrollment to 1,533.