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reed magazine logoSummer 2009

Empire of the Griffin

A Slice of Reed

The fifth-annual Reed Diaspora Pizza occurred on June 15, bringing out alumni in 22 cities across the Western hemisphere to welcome new graduates to their neighborhood. Ben Demboski ’02, chair of the Rainier chapter steering committee, crafted such a compelling invitation for his regional cohort that we want to share it with all:


GLOW OF TRIUMPH. No, it’s not the new alumni logo—it’s a bar in downtown Las Vegas whose neon sign bears an eerie resemblance to a certain mythical mascot.

I think we all remember our first few weeks post-Reed. I know I do. I had a bit of trouble letting it sink in. When I was handed my diploma, my first thought was how nice it would look on my thesis desk between my copies of “Algebraic Geometry” and “Complex Multiplication and Cryptography.” Several times I caught myself contemplating the theft of large stone statues or gargoyles. I nearly stole a little kid’s bike once because I was in a hurry to get some coffee and thought it was communal. I walked by a library and before I knew what I was doing, found myself standing in front of it smoking and talking to anybody who would listen about how much work I had to do.

Maybe your first few weeks didn’t look exactly like mine, but I’m sure it was an interesting time. We now have a whole new generation of Reedies that are in the throes of that stage, possibly having nightmares about papers or finals or their theses, or wandering around restaurants and bars asking if people are done with their meal.

We, the alumni community, started up a great tradition a few years back, and I want to invite you to participate in it this year. We hold a pizza party for the class of 2009 (those relocating to Seattle, anyway) so that we can meet them, introduce ourselves, buy them pizza, welcome them into the post-Reed world, and help them learn that even though they are no longer students of Reed College, they are still members of a community of Reedies. Also, we can help to slightly postpone the lesson that free pizza isn’t a normal part of life—honestly, aren’t they going through enough already?! If they seem particularly jarred by leaving Reed, we might even put some bugs on their pizza…

Nitrogen Day

that the Bay Area chapter organized the second-ever alumni observance of Nitrogen Day in May. Despite wet morning weather, 20 people showed up (at least half of them came bearing children), and by late afternoon the skies were clear all the way to Mt. Tam. Steve Carlson ’93 and his wife Suzanne hosted the event at their home atop the San Carlos hills. Jimmy Carlson (projected class of 2023) hosted other children at his playhouse in the backyard. Attractions included a bouncy castle, instant liquid nitrogen ice cream, frozen roses, a whole smoked turkey, and an entire tripod of sangria. For those who don’t already know, Nitrogen Day is a relatively new (< 20 year) tradition when Reedies honor the triple bond that keeps our atmosphere sufficiently inert so that we don’t all spontaneously combust.

Do the Babson

The board of alumni invites nominations for the Babson Award, which recognizes alumni who have made exceptional contributions to the college in 2009 through their volunteer efforts. This award honors those who give to Reed through many different forms of volunteer generosity.

Also, the Foster-Scholz Club is seeking nominations of alumni who attended Reed 40 or more years ago (currently the classes of 1969 and earlier) for its distinguished service award. This tradition was begun in 1975 and is designed to recognize a club member (in Portland or not) who has made major contributions to the community and/or the college.

These awards are presented at the Foster-Scholz Club & Annual Recognition luncheon during reunions. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2010. Submit nominations in writing to

reed magazine logoSummer 2009