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reed magazine logoSeptember 2010

Eliot Circular Continued

Portland Theatre To Honor Playwright Lee Blessing ’71

Acclaimed playwright Lee Blessing ’71 will appear at Reed in October to read his one-man show, Chesapeake, as part of a celebration of his work by the Portland company Profile Theatre.

Profile has selected Lee as its featured playwright for their 2010–11 season, and will stage performances of several of his plays, including Great Falls, Chesapeake, Thief River, and Fortinbras. In addition, Profile will present three staged readings of Lee’s work: When We Go Upon the Sea, Independence, and A Walk in the Woods.

Chesapeake, described by Newsday as “a brilliantly off-kilter fantasy,” tells the story of Kerr, a controversial performance artist; Therm Pooley, a conservative southern senator; and Lucky, Therm’s trusty Chesapeake Bay retriever. In an attempt to push the boundaries of art and put the senator in his place, Kerr embarks on a daring dog-napping with hilariously tragic results.

As the divisional speaker for the division of the arts 2010–2011, Lee will read Chesapeake at the Reed Theatre at 7:30 pm on October 4, and will conduct a question and answer session afterwards. Reed students, faculty, and staff may reserve complimentary tickets after August 15 at Alumni and the general public may order tickets through Profile Theatre at

—Anna Mann
For more about Lee, see

Rooting For The Other Team

Konrad Alt

Led by Selorm Fefeti ’11, a hearty band of Reedies cheered for Ghana.

Photo by Tom Humphrey

Gripped by World Cup fever like soccer fans across the globe, a rabid crew of Reed students and alumni gathered at Mickey Finn’s Brew Pub on Woodstock Boulevard last month to watch the U.S.A.-Ghana match.

Unlike the other patrons of Mickey Finn’s, however, the Reedies were rooting for . . . Ghana.

Ghana boasts a surprisingly strong presence at Reed. Exact numbers are hard to come by, but assistant registrar Ben Bradley ’88 reckons that approximately a dozen students and alumni hail from the West African nation (including Nii Amarteifio ’09, whom we profiled in Spring 2009). In addition, Ghana’s status as the last African team in the World Cup persuaded many of Reed’s international students to deck themselves out in red and yellow and root for the underdog.

The Reedies’ raucous yells puzzled Woodstock passersby as the pub’s doors admitted fresh converts to the contest. “It’s not too late to change,” repeated Javed Parkes ’11 to late arrivals if they cheered for the U.S. team. All eyes were fixed on the pub’s three huge screens as students shouted commands to the Ghanaian players.

The Reedies roared when Ghana scored in the first five minutes of the game, and were only briefly bested by the cheers of U.S. fans when a penalty kick evened the score.

At the end of extra time, Ghana was victorious with a 2-1 lead, and the triumphant Reed contingent, led by Selorm Fefeti ’11, burst out into the streets, disrupting traffic on Woodstock and waving the Ghanaian flag to the tune of a vuvuzela.

—Brandon Hamilton ’10

Perlmutter Elected Chair

Roger Perlmutter

Roger Perlmutter ’73 was elected chair of the board of trustees in April. Roger is the executive vice president of research and development for the biotechnology company Amgen, Inc., and has served as a trustee since 2004.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as chairman of the Reed board of trustees as we observe the college centennial,” Roger said. “Together with the students, faculty, and staff of the college, and with my fellow board members, I look forward to charting a path for the next 100 years that will preserve the unique character of this extraordinary institution.”

President Colin Diver praised the election. “I am very pleased that Roger will lead the board at this exciting moment in the college’s history,” said Diver. “As a distinguished graduate who leads a knowledge-based company, Roger brings relevant experience and ambition to the role of chair.”

Roger succeeds Dan Greenberg ’62, who has served as chair since 2002 and has been a member of the board since 1975. Dan announced his intention to resign as chair last year, but will remain a trustee. The college made important progress in many areas during Dan’s tenure, including the appointment of President Diver in 2002, the launch of a $200 million campaign in 2009, and significantly expanding the size of the faculty and the college’s land holdings.

“I am delighted that Roger is willing to take on this assignment,” Dan said. “I know that he too will take advantage of the opportunities and challenges the college faces as it approaches its second century.”

Prior to joining Amgen in January 2001, Roger held a succession of executive offices at Merck Research Laboratories, including senior vice president and executive vice president of worldwide basic research and preclinical development.

Roger earned his BA in biology at Reed, writing his thesis on the immune system. He received his MD and PhD from Washington University in St. Louis and conducted his clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and UCSF. He was also a lecturer in the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the departments of medicine and biochemistry and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Washington, Seattle, and later became a professor and the founding chairman of the university’s immunology department.

Roger is also a director of Stem Cells, Inc., and chairman of the board of directors of the Institute for Systems Biology, a not-for-profit research institute based in Seattle, Washington. He was previously president of the American Association of Immunologists, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Board members Richard H. Wollenberg ’75 and E. Randolph Labbe were re-elected as vice chair and secretary, respectively.

—Kevin Myers

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