Reed Magazine February 2005
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Oral History

(Colin) Herald Campbell '33 and Virginia Paris Campbell '34

Getting to Reed

Herald Campbell admits he chose Reed largely for economic reasons: he couldn't afford to go away to college. Reed had a good reputation, however, and he often rode to campus from his family's Northeast Portland home with his classmate Jack Lowe '33.

Virginia transferred to Reed from the University of Washington to be near her family. Her high school classmate, Jack Lowe '33, offered her a ride to campus. "It was a great way to get to know somebody," remembers Herald of his future wife, Virginia, and those early carpool conversations. "Especially when the weather was terrible," and they were assigned to the rumble seat.

Making ends meet

herald campbell imageHerald worked while he attended college so he had little time for college activities, although he lettered in tennis. Jobs occupied his afternoons and evenings, including a position as district manager for the Curtis Publishing Company recruiting boys to sell magazines, providing selling pointers, delivering magazines each Wednesday, and collecting from them on Saturdays. He needed a car for that job, and had a 1924 Chevrolet sedan whose doors wouldn't stay screwed into the frame. He did the job for two years, before the academic load at Reed revved up and required more focused study.

He was also correspondent for the Oregon Journal for a couple of years. He identified his "competitor" as Herman Herst Jr. '31, campus correspondent for the Oregonian. Legend or fact, Herald recalls that Herst actively inspired campus news, sometimes organizing resident hall competitions, including those connected with the Doyle Owl.

Thesis deep-freeze

Herald was the first student to write a thesis in the unheated Reed library tower, and since he began the process in January, he typed with gloves on. His desk and chair were the only objects in the space. One serious problem he encountered with his thesis, The Manchurian Crisis 1931 – 33: A Study in International Organization, was that he couldn't present a conclusion: the crisis was still underway. As the expert for his oral thesis panel, he chose the Japanese consul, who had attended graduate school in England and the U.S. "I had anything but a comfortable several hours before that committee. Then I went out in the corridor and waited for the verdict. And finally (George) Bernard Noble came out and said, 'Well, we finally decided to let you through.'"

Virginia wrote The Function of Restoration Comedy, 1660–1700, with Barry Cerf for her adviser. At the time, Herald was working for the City Club and his secretary typed Virginia's thesis. Cerf passed the thesis, even though the name Macaulay was mistyped throughout the piece. Virginia felt that Cerf was both exacting and warm, "a wonderful lecturer" who enlivened the study of classical literature.

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Reed Magazine February