Reed on the Road

By Mike Teskey

Fabergé eggs—exquisite but useless. The Model T Ford—utterly utilitarian and mass-produced. They both come from the era of Reed’s founding, and they might also represent the era’s Scylla and Charybdis, according to President Colin Diver in his comments to alumni, parents, and friends at the Reed on the Road chapter events this spring that celebrated the college’s centennial and also doubled as his farewell tour. The month-long road show began in Seattle and ended in Boston, with interim stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City. Attendance was strong in every city, averaging more than 100.

The format of the event featured comments from Diver, an entertaining excerpt of the recent OPB documentary on the college, cleverly titled Reed, and alumni speakers who wrote entries for the recent collection Thinking Reed. Each evening concluded with a tribute to Colin (and Joan) and the significant accomplishments the college has made during his presidency. Beyond any metrics or milestones, most moving was the frequent observation that his daily commitment to improving life for students and protecting the essence of the place was evident even to the casual observer.

In Boston, Colin and Joan’s hometown and the place where they will settle after he retires, an emotional Colin commented that, like Odysseus, he was coming home. He clearly navigated a course for Reed between that Scylla and Charybdis. As Reed moves into the next century, the centennial generation of Reedies should be justly proud