Reed on the Road

By Mike Teskey

Welcomes, thank yous, and insights were woven together in Reed on the Road, a series of events that brought alumni and friends together in several cities. The events provided an opportunity to meet President John R. Kroger and to share thoughts on leading Reed in the coming years. And the college extended thanks to everyone who pitched in to make the Centennial Campaign a success. Herewith some of the ideas exchanged:

Education is transparent at Reed. Tom Weisner ’65 suggested that true learning happens when students put forth—and defend—their ideas in front of probing peers. What a marvelous observation of the hard-hewn way we learn at Reed.

Be gentle with ourselves. I overheard this observation in Chicago. Reedies take education seriously and thereby create a stimulating and enriching environment for all. But it’s important to forgive the mistakes we make along the way. 

Why we need each other. Larry Rinder ’83 suggested that actively engaged alumni are the ideal resource to help Reed resist pressure to make the curriculum too instrumentalist. Alumni understand how a Reed education can be effectively applied in the world, and they help Reed make sure its curriculum stays focused on the why, not the how.

Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai, or Goodbye. It’s great to read Plato and Aristotle, but several alumni want Reed to take a more global outlook. Adnan Hassan ’83 commented that the locus of power is shifting East. He urged Reed to beef up its study abroad program and to encourage students to look beyond Europe.

Reed passions run deep. Whether the lively views were voiced at the tables, posted on the comment charts, or shared in casual conversation, it was clear that alumni care passionately about Reed. As student Serra Shelton ’15 said in a recent video about the Centennial Campaign. “You have changed a life and, for that, thank you just isn’t enough.” 

To see more of the ideas exchanged from ROTR, visit the Riffin’ Griffin blog.