Remembering Mike Owren ’77


Mike Owren ’77 (left) and Bill Nicholson ’78 (“who has since lost 50 pounds, I would have you know!”) at Reunions 2008.

I was surprised and saddened to read of the untimely death of Mike/Magne Owren ’77. Mike lived a couple of rooms down from me in McNaughton 3 during his first year at Reed. As any Reedie can report, that first year can be a tough one. Mike was always a bright light during the rainy darkness of that first Oregon winter. He played a very fine acoustical guitar. While he wasn’t loud, when he spoke, he had something worthwhile to say, sometimes expressed in so dry a wit that it went over the heads of his audience. A gentle soul, Mike went on to have an innovative career as a psychologist, making unique contributions in the area of communications between and among animals and humans. I last spent time with him at the 2008 Reunions, and he was his same old self. Then, as always, Mike was amused by the world around him, with a kind word for all, and his eyes focused on the skies above.

—William Nicholson ’78

Durham, North Carolina