Eliot Circular

Our Fabulous Volunteers

Jim Kahan ’64, Barbara Smith-Thomas ’64, and Virginia Oglesby Hancock ’62 were recognized for their service to the college during Centennial Reunions. Photo by Leah Nash

Saluting Jim Kahan ’64, Barbara Smith-Thomas ’64, and Virginia Oglesby Hancock ’62.

The Foster-Scholz Club has bestowed the Distinguished Service Award on two outstanding alumni and the Babson Society Award on a third.

Professor Virginia Oglesby Hancock ’62 [music 1991–] is a musician, faculty member, and tireless volunteer at Reed. In addition to teaching music theory and history, she directs the Reed Chorus and the Collegium Musicum, which she founded in 1966 with John Hancock [chemistry 1955–89]. She conducts both groups in their annual public performances. Ginny has served on the alumni career network, the Oral History Project, the presidential search committee in 2001, and umpteen faculty committees. She leads the Boar’s Head Ensemble, and has directed Gilbert & Sullivan events at Reunions. For the college’s commencement ceremony, she serves as student marshal, leads the Collegium Musicum, and reads the name of every graduate.

It is hard to think of recent alumni association activities that Barbara Smith-Thomas ’64 has not been involved in. This year she led the Portland chapter’s effort to organize tours around the region as part of Centennial Reunions. It is to her credit that these tours filled up and many alumni enjoyed participating in them. Barbara has served as a member of the alumni board and the Portland chapter steering committee, and has volunteered for the Oral History Project, Reunions, and Renn Fayre. She has also been a member of the Reed College Women’s Committee.

The Foster-Scholz Club bestowed the Babson Society Award upon Jim Kahan ’64. Inimitable, invaluable, and incredible, Jim served as de facto dean of the Alumni College for Centennial Reunions, created and produced the Gilbert & Sullivan show A Reed Century, volunteered for the admission and alumni career network, served on the alumni board and the Portland chapter steering committee. He leads folk dancing at Reed, sings with the Boar’s Head Ensemble, and has made major contributions to the Oral History Project and to Reed Stories. If there has been a call for volunteers, Jim has been there, doing everything from staffing the alumni association table at grad fair to writing stories in Reed magazine. Jim is married to Kathia Emery ’67, an interior designer with Emery & Associates, who serves as chair of the Foster-Scholz Club steering committee. His stepfather, Paul Pressman ’52, is a Reedie, as is his stepbrother Adam Pressman ’87.