From the Centennial Committee

First day of class for Reed College students, held at 11th and Jefferson Street in downtown Portland, September 1911.

By Roger Porter and Virginia Oglesby Hancock ’62

It’s 2011—the hundredth anniversary of Reed College’s founding. The college has chosen to mark its centennial by the occasion of its first classes in downtown Portland in 1911, rather than by the bequest that created its foundation in 1904, or by the construction of the first building in 1912. The choice signifies the importance of Reedies to Reed; there is perhaps no other college that is so clearly defined by its students.

The centennial committee, composed of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and trustees, has been meeting since 2002 and has had many conversations about how the college should best celebrate its centennial. We want the entire Reed community and its many friends to be a part of this momentous occasion. The official celebration begins with Reunions 2011 (June 6–12), continues throughout the academic year, and ends with Reunions 2012. Special projects include:

• Reunions 2011 and 2012. Don’t miss the chance to celebrate with the college and your classmates! Sign up at

• A major celebration during the weekend of September 23 & 24, as well as a special Gray Fund event in downtown Portland, a centennial Canyon Day, and a Reed day of service.

• A bound volume of the college’s history, told through the Oral History Project, featuring interviews of more than 200 alumni, faculty, and staff. (Available in September.)

• A volume of essays written by alumni, representing each of Reed’s majors and describing how their Reed experience influenced their careers. (Available in September.)

• A limited-edition poster by renowned artist David Goines. (See page 70.)

• A documentary about Reed by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

• Restoration of the orchard at the northeast edge of the canyon.

• A centennial website featuring significant material drawn from the archives. (See

• Five special editions of Reed (this is #1).

The centennial is as much about the future as it is the past. In preparation for the college’s second century, Reed launched a comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Centennial Campaign, in July 2005, with a goal of raising $200 million. The campaign is scheduled to conclude in December 2012 and has raised $150 million to date. (See

So come to Reunions, dive into the archives, read the books, contribute a story to the Reed Stories website, and leave your own legacy as part of the Centennial Campaign. Let’s celebrate Reed College together!