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Bonnie Huddart Garlan ’57

November 19, 2019, in Portland, Oregon.

Bonnie was born in Bellingham, Washington, and graduated from Bellingham High School. She came to Reed with a footlocker and a violin. At freshman orientation, a young man asked, “Does anybody here play the violin?” When Bonnie said she did, he asked, “We’re trying to get a group together to play chamber music, are you interested?”

“What is chamber music?” she replied. It was the beginning of her Reed education. She remembered that nearly half of the student body at the time were majoring in science. Bonnie wrote her thesis, “Whitehead’s Method of Extensive Abstraction,” advised by Professors Jean Delord [physics 1950–88] and Ed Garlan [philosophy 1946–73]. She attended the University of Göttingen on a Fulbright fellowship and earned her PhD in philosophy from Yale University.

“I found that the Reed preparation and training in being able to read a text, being able to write articulately, and being curious, open to new ideas—this transferred no matter what the major,” she said of her graduate work.

Bonnie worked as a research assistant in Douglas Engelbart’s Augmentation Research Center at SRI International in Palo Alto, California. In 1965, she returned to Reed, where she taught humanities and became the first director of the computer center. That year, she married Prof. Garlan. After leaving Reed, Bonnie taught book arts at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts and worked as a professional assistant to Portland artist Carl Morris. She is survived by four stepchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2020

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