Reed friend Elizabeth Hirsch dies at 88

Eizabeth Hirsch, co-founder of the Reed College Women's Committee and a longtime friend of Reed, died in September at 88.

"She was genuinely interested in the life of the mind and was engaged in the intellectual issues on which Reed College focuses," said Reed president Steven Koblik. "She had a very wonderful, inquiring mind. She was constantly engaged in learning. I'd love to be like Elizabeth; anybody would love to live to her age and have the full mind she had."

Elizabeth and Harold Hirsch were married in 1949. Harold was a Reed trustee for 34 years, until his death in 1990; he received Reed's distinguished service award and was made an honorary alumnus. Reed established the Harold & Elizabeth Hirsch scholarship fund in 1989, by a resolution of the board of trustees, in recognition of Harold's extraordinary support of and service to the college.

Their daughter, Carol Conklin Odlum, was a Reed alumna, MALS '71. She died in 1995.

Elizabeth Hirsch was well known as a civic figure in Portland, serving on the boards of many groups that included Planned Parenthood and the Boys and Girls Aid Society. She was also a member of the Oregon Arts Commission. It was at her urging that the neon sign for her husband's company, White Stag, began sporting a red nose during the holidays, creating a Portland landmark.

She was involved in many ways with Reed. She was active in the Art Associates and Music Associates groups and stayed connected with all aspects of the college.

"I agree with you that Reed is a wonderful institution, and its value will probably only grow in your evaluation as you go on, and out, and into your life's work," she wrote in a 1993 letter to Jeffrey Kepple '98, a recipient of the Hirsch Scholarship. "Neither my husband nor I went to Reed, but we have always believed in what it tries to do, and we're aware of the respect and affection its graduates have for it."

Ralph William Macy, 1905-99

Ralph W. Macy, a member of Reed's biology department from 1942 until 1955, died in November at 94. A former Oregon farm boy from Yamhill County, Macy had a long career in teaching and biological research. After graduating with a biology degree from Linfield College in 1929, he began his teaching career as a teaching assistant for the University of Minnesota, where he earned master's and doctorate degrees in biology. He moved back to Oregon in 1942 when he accepted a professorship in biology at Reed. From 1955 (until his retirement in 1972) Macy worked as a professor of biology at Portland State University.

Most of Macy's research centered around the discovery of complex cycles of trematode worms. Because much of his research involved unknown cycles of trematodes, Macy gave many species and generas of trematodes their scientific names, and many were named for him.

Macy received a citation for "outstanding service to the State of Oregon" and in 1985 he was presented the alumnus of the year award from Linfield College. He wrote more than 100 publications, including three books. One, a huge, illustrated volume called Butterflies (University Press, 1941), was the principal manual on these insects for many years. He was also the author of Wooden Sidewalks, a book that details his life growing up in Western Oregon.

Macy is survived by his wife, Laura Lee Smith; his sister, Florence Foster; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His first wife, Ruby, and his daughter, Charlotte Asburry, died earlier.

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