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Reed Mag Summer 06


Mitchell Hartman

Production Manager
Amy H. Taylor

Class Notes
Laurie Lindquist

Alumni News Editor
Robin Tovey '97

Development news editor
Matt Kelly

Graphic Designer
Chris Michel

Associate Graphic Designer
Laura Pritchard

Web Design
Tony Moreno


About this Issue

Lawyers have had an image problem for quite a while, fair game for observers of the human condition from William Shakespeare to Tom Paxton. Though perhaps, based on the glimpse provided in this issue of four of the 550 or so Reedies who practice law, they are unfair game after all.

The editors did not plan this issue with an eye toward rehabilitating the reputation of lawyers. By happenstance, we ended up having portraits of two attorneys: Alafair Burke ’91, a prosecutor-turned-law-professor who sidelines as a successful mystery writer, and William Hohengarten ’84, a corporate lawyer who led the appellate team that won the landmark gay rights case of the past decade before the United States Supreme Court.

We did seek out Burke’s classmate, David Gossett ’91, who has one win and one loss before the Supreme Court. (He says oral argument is a lot like conference at Reed!) And when we were tipped to the touching story of a family’s quest to establish a scholarship in its scion’s honor, we were unaware that a key family member, Matthew Bergman ’84, was also a key lawyer in the $4.3 billion settlement with Halliburton of a class action asbestos lawsuit on behalf of 250,000 plaintiffs nationwide.

Speaking of scholarships, our cover story tackles the issue of finding enough money to support those who can’t afford full tuition at Reed—an issue some colleges would probably prefer to avoid. Even though Reed has just completed an initiative to add $20 million to the endowment for financial aid, at some point each year the college still denies admission to a small number of needy applicants because the aid budget has run out. This “need-aware” approach is the rule among most of Reed’s peer institutions, but many don’t advertise it and some even exacerbate the problem by doling out “merit aid” to entice wealthy academic or athletic stars, a practice Reed eschews.

Finally, our summer issue devotes several pages to commencement and Reunions 2006. In one sense these are not very newsy events: they happen every year with a degree of predictability that is sometimes called “tradition.” Yet they are as close as anything in the life of the college comes to a distillation of the pure Reed experience for those who matter most—our current students and those who came before them.