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Alumni Profiles
reed magazine logoSummer 2009

Habits of the Heart

De Tocqueville would be proud. From Renn Fayre to the Oral History Project to the biology department’s herbarium, Reed leans heavily on the generosity of many dedicated volunteers who have made the college a habit of the heart. And just like the America that Alexis de Tocqueville observed and analyzed, the community at Reed is strengthened by this service.

Counting on-and off-campus efforts, the college benefited from the time, talent, and energy of more than 700 alumni and 400 parents and friends. The names and areas of service are too many to list, so we are going to save trees and honor them at

If de Tocqueville could have hijacked a time machine and dialed in the coordinates of Reed College circa 2009, he might have been interested in reading why some of our volunteers choose to give back to Reed.

John Graef ’60


I served for 14 years on the Harvard Medical School Admissions Committee, where I discovered that Reed students were not as successful in gaining admission as I thought their college performances warranted. I knew the preparation and “trimmings” that many universities and colleges offered to premed students simply weren’t happening at Reed. After a conversation I had with President Colin Diver, Julie Kern Smith in Career Services contacted me and we discussed ways I might be helpful. Since then, I’ve been able to combine family visits and talking with Reed students about important elements in running the med school gauntlet. I don’t know how helpful it’s been for them, but it’s been an unadulterated pleasure for me.

John serves as a career network volunteer and an admission volunteer.

Acacia Parks-Sheiner ’03

AcaciaWhen I got into Reed, I was thrilled to have been admitted to a whole place full of geeks like me. I met some of my favorite people during my time at Reed, but of course, the people I met were only a small slice of the thousands of awesome people who have attended Reed over the years. Coordinating alumni events in Philly has allowed me to reconnect with people I knew back in the day, but it has also connected me with Reedies I probably would have never met otherwise. I look forward to many more Reed alumni events in the future!

Acacia organizes Thirsty Third Thursday (and more), and serves as a local contact, in the career network, and as an admission volunteer.

reed magazine logoSummer 2009