$21 million gift from alumnus will go to financial aid

Phillip Wertheimer as a
young man.

Phillip Wertheimer ’48 has given to Reed the largest gift in the history of the college and one of the largest gifts ever made to an American college of the liberal arts and sciences.

When Wertheimer died in 1990, he named Reed the recipient of a $21.1 million trust that will eventually come to the college upon the death of his wife, Jeanne Wertheimer. The trust will be dedicated to Reed's endowment in support of financial aid.

Jeanne and the college have agreed that the gift will play a critical role in Reed’s continued commitment to need-based student aid and will eventually increase the college’s ability to make a Reed education a reality for many deserving students. "This is what Phillip would want," Jeanne said. "He didn’t want a building named after him."

Koblik added, "In making Reed such a significant priority, Phillip Wertheimer committed an important act of leadership."

He said that Wertheimer, like Tektronix founder and Reed alumnus Howard Vollum ’36 before him, made a statement with this trust: that his experience at Reed was so meaningful that it helped shape his life in incalculable ways. Vollum was the donor of the previous largest gift to Reed, $11.5 million.

The Wertheimer gift is being included in the current fundraising campaign total, and because of it the college has decided to extend the campaign goal from $80 million to $100 million. "Philip Wertheimer’s generosity is allowing us to expand campaign priorities to include reducing student/faculty ratio to 10:1 and renovating Reed’s biology facilities," said Koblik.

Wertheimer's early years and the founding of Longview Fibre

According to Jeanne Wertheimer, Phillip established the trust for two reasons: his fondness for his Reed experience in the post-World War II years, and as a gesture of respect and affection for longtime Reed trustee Dick Wollenberg, whose father founded Longview Fibre with Wertheimer's grandfather.

Phillip Wertheimer was born in Niagara Falls, N.Y. When he was 6 years old his father, Robert, moved his wife and three young sons to Longview, Washington, so that he could assist his own father, Monroe, in the operation of Longview Fibre.

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