Eliot Circular

Journey Begins for the Class of ’18

Photo by Leah Nash view larger image

By Kevin Myers

The moving vans are gone, the posters are hung, and the pages of Gilgamesh are dog-eared. The 374 members of the class of ’18 are high achievers, with an average high school grade point average of 3.9 and a median SAT score of 710 verbal, 680 math, and 690 written.

Sixty-two ranked in the top 10 of their high school class, including 5 valedictorians, and 27 are the first in their families to attend a four-year college.

“This is my favorite time of the year,” said Milyon Trulove, Reed’s vice president and dean of admission and financial aid, welcoming the class at convocation. “We scoured the globe and had conversations with thousands of students about an amazing academic experience and intellectual journey—we tell the story of Reed. Reed is a special place where advancing the capacity of your mind is at the heart of what we do.”

An excellent illustration is Tenzin Sangpo ’18, a Tibetan student who grew up in Nepal until he was forced to flee with his family to live among members of the Tibetan government in exile in India at Dharamshala.

While at Dharamshala, Tenzin became interested in Reed. It took a year for Reed’s brochure to reach him in this remote part of India, but, in the meantime, the college was mentioned in Bill Clinton’s autobiography and in the biography Steve Jobs. “Reed was everywhere. I began to think this is more than just my interest,” Tenzin jokes. “I knew it was for me. Reed was about learning. Other schools highlighted sports and other activities, but Reed valued learning above all else.”

Tenzin says he wanted to be around other students who cared so deeply about ideas. This year, he was granted political asylum and came to Portland. He studied at Mt. Hood Community College before applying to Reed. “Every day, I feel so fortunate to be at Reed, and I don’t think that feeling will go away. I will always feel privileged to be a part of this community.”

He shares a Tibetan saying, which has resonated deeply with him since childhood: “Even if today is your last day on earth, it is best spent learning.”