Sallyportal: Madly Blogging Reed

Annual Fund raises record-breaking $4.4 million

AWE-INSPIRING. Alumni, parents, and friends gave a record-breaking $4.4 million to the Annual Fund. Photo by Leah Nash

We made it!

Thanks to a last-minute surge of support, Reed alumni, parents, and friends shattered the record in giving to the Annual Fund this fiscal year, which ended on midnight June 30.

UPDATED July 16, 2015: According to the latest unofficial returns, contributions to the Annual Fund amounted to an astonishing $4,442,186.22—the biggest in Reed’s history—blowing past last year's total of $4,084,000.

Even more remarkable, no fewer than 4,458 individual alumni made gifts, exceeding the target of 4,400 by 58 valiant souls. The number of alumni donors is considered a key indicator of the college's longterm strength.

The campaign got a boost from hundreds of volunteers with Alumni Fundraising for Reed, who reached out to their classmates and asked them to give back to Reed. Their reasons for giving ranged from gratitude for their time at Reed, to honoring their professors, to keeping Reed accessible to students from all walks of life.

“Reed years contain some of the best memories of my life,” said Naomi DeVeaux ’92. “So appreciative of the way that Reed pushed me to think, challenged me to learn, and taught me to believe in myself. My friends from Reed are amazing. Great life-partners from all across the country."

Serra Shelton ’15 graduated in May, then made her first gift as an alumna at Reunions. “In this past year, Reed has transformed me,” she said. “I feel as if I am coming into the world and coming into my own. This past year at Reed, I have developed a humble sense of confidence: not the sense that all of my questions have been answered, but rather the sense that I now know which questions I must ask and which direction I am compelled to follow.”

“I have yet to see anything quite like (Reed) again, anywhere,” wrote Elaine R. Thomas ’88. “Genuine shared investment in ideas, coupled with a sparkle of collaborative warmth and wit.”

The late-breaking surge of support—which gathered force hours before the deadline—stunned Annual Fund staff members, who are still holed up in the basement of Eliot Hall, hunched over their abaci.

In the meantime, all of us at Reed want to express our gratitude to our amazing alumni for helping us pass the torch to the next generation. But perhaps the most eloquent thank you comes from that generation:

“When I arrived at Reed three years ago, I knew I had finally found what I had been looking for,” says Georgia Miller ’15. “From classroom debates about Levi-Strauss and gendered rituals to lunchtime dialogues about Walter Benjamin and film photography, I'll always feel at home in Reed's vibrant community of unapologetic nerdiness! Without support from people like you, none of this would be possible. Thank you!"

Tags: philanthropy, alumni, awesomeness