Ping-Pong Palace at Reedfayre ’14

love-reed-petalsFrom petals to paddles, we’ve got you covered for playful ways to enjoy Reunions ’14: Reedfayre, June 4-8!

Kaul Auditorium will be converted into the “Ping-Pong Palace” on the Saturday night of Reunions. We’ve procured no fewer than 12 ping-pong tables, plus Air Hockey, Jenga, and Skee Ball for good measure. And did we mention there will be a blacklight? So start practicing now and make sure you carve out some time for games that night, whether you’re getting energized for the talent show, or filling the odd hour between fireworks and the Stop Making Sense dance party.

Register online today. Check out who’s coming.

Still need a nudge to return to campus for the fun? Let us spell it out for you in fallen cherry-blossom petals!

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Past days of Empire reproduced at Reunions ’14

empire_gameThis year, we’re honoring the legacy of Reed’s classic 1960s strategy game “Empire” by opening a collection of board games for play every night of Reunions ’14: Reedfayre, June 4-8!

Courtesy of Reed’s own ARG (Association of Reed Gamers), we’ll have a smattering of modern strategy games (Euro-style and otherwise) that can all be played in an hour or two (unlike Empire, where individual games can span years.) And, of course, we’ll have classic party games like Clue and Cranium for the less tactically minded.

The games will be available for play at the Boar’s Head Revisited Bar, located in Commons café in the Gray Campus Center, 5:30–9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 8 p.m.–1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Register online today and start plotting your tactical moves!

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A freetail addition to LBJ weekend

bats_stillWe’d be batty if we didn’t do this…

As an add on to the LBJ weekend trip last year, a few alumni joined me on a trek to Bracken Cave outside of New Braunfels, Texas to witness an astonishing sight: millions upon millions of Mexican Freetail bats emerging from their roosts and flying hundreds of miles to gorge themselves on insects before returning home early in the morning.

This year the folks at Bat Conservation International have made arrangements for our group to visit the cave on Friday night, so it will now be an integral part of our trip.

Here is a video clip from last year.

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Get your leg warmers on at ’80s dance party at Reedfayre ’14

86 dance partyWe know that you still own your leg warmers and long to put your hair in a side ponytail. We know that sometimes all you want to do is paint your face and put on spandex and turn your amp up to 11. We know that you realize every rose has its thorn, just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song.

For these reasons alone, Reunions ’14: Reedfayre will feature a 1980s dance party for you in the SU on Friday, June 6!

And just so we can best serve your nostalgia (or longing for an era that you never lived in but that seems pretty cool), you can and should request a song in advance! So if you’ve got a favorite Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, Queen, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, or Poison song, let us know at We’ll do our best to accommodate all reasonable requests (yes, “reasonable” is open to interpretation).

Photo from the archives: Reed social, 1986


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Party at PIE to toast Reed Switchboard

switchboard_bannerTime flies when you’re incubating a fabulous idea! You may recall that last summer Reed Switchboard, the networking site created to share Reed love, was given a boost by Wieden & Kennedy as part of the ad firm’s Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). The brainchild of Mara Zepeda ’02 and Sean Lerner ’10, Switchboard was one of only seven tech start-ups selected for this collaboration with tech entrepreneurs; it was given $20,000 in seed money, office space at Wieden+Kennedy, and three months of hands on mentorship from past PIE winners. Since then Switchboard has further polished its business plan and signed up Reed College as its first client!

To celebrate all of this growth and innovation, we invite you to an open house at the Switchboard pad within Wieden+Kennedy in Portland’s Pearl District:

Thursday, February 20, 6 – 8 p.m.
Wieden+Kennedy, 224 NW 13th Ave.
Note: Please enter on NW 12th, just north of Davis


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Hidden gems and macabre moments of the real L.A.

LA_noirTestimonial by Toni DeVito ’77:

Reed College’s own Mike Teskey, along with Esotouric, has arranged an absolute-must, don’t-miss weekend, March 7-9, for we who are inquisitive about the social and urban history of this unique place that we call home: Los Angeles.

Esotouric changed my life. Its tours are museums on wheels. Kim and Richard engage in repartee, present visuals, tell obscure stories. My husband and I have enjoyed two of their tours: the first about the Black Dahlia, and the other, Chandler’s Los Angeles, which included a stop for ice cream with booze-inspired flavors. Kim and Richard run that kind of tour.

Owners Kim Cooper and Richard Schave are art historians, archivists, writers, and information detectives. Their brains are encyclopedias; they know everything about Los Angeles, much of it arcane, all of it fascinating. I would dub them honorary Reedies, although they are actually graduates of UC Santa Cruz and UCLA; they are serious about their subjects (crime, noir, art, architecture, city planning), but present it with flair, style, and humor. They transformed the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk into a non-profit organization; the monthly walk is now a highlight of downtown nightlife.

My first encounter with these social and art historians was at the Cal State Los Angeles teaching crime lab. I wondered what kind of ghoulish people might be there. It turned out that the room was packed with people from all over the city, including a high-school student, accompanied by her mom, who was interested in forensic science (A fan of C.S.I., she confessed.). Our speakers discussed two different crimes in elaborate, gritty detail. A tour of the crime lab included a replica of a murder that students have to solve. The blood splatter on Phil Spector after he murdered Lana Clarkson was another puzzle for students.

These sights and events would be merely macabre, but the social fabric and cultural norms–and deviations–of the time are woven into these crime discussions, adding insight into the ever-evolving landscape of Southern California.

I quote from the Esotouric website:

Los Angeles is a city without a center, but with an unjustly bad reputation. It’s also home to fascinating people, places and happenings. But these wonders are dotted over a vast and confusing landscape, drowned out by media blare and corporate blather. You could easily spend years in hard searching to discover the real Los Angeles, those hidden gems and secret gatherings that give this city a soul.

Search no more–just sign up. (And by the way, the price for this tour is a bargain; doing these events a la carte, as my husband and I have done, is much costlier.) See you there!

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Winter weather at Working Weekend

We are so excited that many alumni are coming back to Reed for Working Weekend and related events. Between the board of trustees, strategic planning partners, and Working Weekend participants, the campus will be alive with activity. In addition to planning for all of these gatherings, we now have to keep an eye on the weather and plan accordingly.

Winter at ReedIt has begun snowing, and all of the meteorologic models seem to indicate we will have continuing precipitation in the form of snow and/or freezing rain. We are monitoring the situation and will adjust plans according to projected conditions.

As of right now, all weekend programming will occur as scheduled. However, getting to campus may present a challenge. If you had planned on driving and would prefer not to, please consider Tri-Met buses or cabs. Check the Tri-Met website for snow routes and transit-tracking options. Bus #19 Woodstock comes along Woodstock, right by the college. Bus #75 runs north and south along SE 39th/Cesar Chavez.

In the event of truly terrible weather, we may have to alter or cancel events. In that case, the best course of action is to monitor Reed’s main homepage; updates will appear in the “news” section and be titled “inclement weather schedule notification.”

Just to clarify, only one of three options may be invoked in the case of inclement weather: 1) campus remains open and on schedule, 2) there is a schedule delay, or 2) programming is cancelled/the college is closed. While activities may not be delayed or cancelled, you are encouraged to use your own best judgment when assessing your ability to travel safely.

As you prepare for this weekend, keep the weather conditions in mind and pack accordingly.  It is very cold today, down in the single digits if you factor in wind chill.

Looking forward to seeing you soon,


Mike Teskey
Director of Alumni & Parent Relations
Reed College

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Eastern Europe trip rescheduled

turq_church-Buss copyBecause of the recent turmoil in Ukraine and the likelihood that the situation there will remain unsettled at least for the next several months, we have decided to reschedule our annual Eastern Europe tour for August 30 – September 14, 2014, and to include Russia only.

Accordingly, this time we will visit the great cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg with their extraordinary historical sites, museums, and performance halls, and make overnight trips to the beautiful medieval towns of Suzdal, northwest of Moscow, and Novgorod the Great, south of St. Petersburg. Along with a carefully designed program of exceptional historical and cultural interest, the tour will include presentations by the leader, Russian scholar and former Reed Russian professor Judson Rosengrant, as well as by local English-speaking guides.

As in the past, the tour requires no knowledge of the Russian language and is open to anyone who would like to learn first hand about Russia and its vital, if sometimes controversial, place in the world. For more information, including a detailed itinerary and a description of costs and enrollment procedures, please directly write to Dr. Rosengrant at or call him at 503/880-9521.

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We heart Reed Switchboard

This season of fresh starts and affectionate missives is the perfect time to announce our exciting new partnership with Reed Switchboard—an online forum for Reedies to connect with one another about jobs, housing, and other goods and services. Like Craigslist (but especially for Reedies), on Switchboard you can ask for what you need and offer what you have to give.

We are fortunate to have a student worker who serves as a public face and a wonderful advocate for Reed Switchboard. I am pleased to introduce our community manager, Kaori Frieda ’15, and share the announcement in her own words.

—Mike Teskey, director, alumni & parent relations


I’m Kaori Freda ‘15, a junior art major who loves Reed College. I’m writing to announce Reed’s official partnership with Switchboard.

If you haven’t heard of it: Switchboard is a networking site created by Reedies. It is a place where Reedies can ask for what they need, and offer what they have to give; examples include jobs, internships, mentorship, advice, places to stay in cities around the world, and even a chance to sail the Mediterranean. Students, alumni, staff, faculty, parents, and friends connect there to find opportunities and meet each other’s needs.

Alumni and students have logged countless success stories, from finding jobs at the World Health Organization to finding hosts in New York and San Francisco. Take me, for example. Through Switchboard, Mara ‘02 and Andrew ‘02 hosted me in Florence, Italy. Then they connected me with an internship with Harvard in Italy. These connections happen every day through Switchboard. Reedies share a special connection and as alumni, you have much to offer and ask of the Reed community.

Let me be the first to personally invite you to use Switchboard: post your own ask or offer, browse the site for opportunities, and see the successful connections being made by Reedies around the globe. On Switchboard you can help a Reedie out and strengthen what we mean when we say “Love Reed.” We have almost 1,000 posts, and more are added every day.

I look forward to sending you the occasional update, and watching the Reed community flourish and support one another on this new platform.

Warmest wishes,

Kaori Freda ‘15 and Alumni & Parent Relations

P.S. Mark your calendars for an open house celebrating this union on Thursday, February 20, 6-8 p.m. at the offices of Wieden+Kennedy in Portland’s Pearl District!

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Strategic planning: preliminary reports

As you may recall, the college embarked on a comprehensive strategic-planning effort last fall. Those living nearby or who traveled to campus had opportunities to participate in strategic-planning discussions at Reunions ’13 and Leadership Summit in September 2013 in addition to the public forums on campus held by the working groups. Recordings of those working group sessions are available on the strategic planning website.

In addition, a group of alumni and parents (as well as a Reed student), called Strategic Planning Partners (SP2) have been working in parallel to the on-campus process, focusing narrowly on three topics introduced at Leadership Summit. After instruction from the working groups, SP2 will conduct an alumni survey in the coming weeks to gain further insights on questions related to strategic planning. Please look for this survey to arrive via email in mid-February and respond as soon as you are able. For you to receive this survey, it is imperative that we have your most current email address; please double check your contact info within the IRIS directory.

With thanks for the hard work by all members of the 11 working groups and participation by the Reed community in discussion forums this fall, we are pleased to share preliminary reports online. On each report, you will find a link to provide comments to the working group leadership. You can also send general comments about the strategic-planning process to

It remains our plan that final reports will be completed in April. The Reed College board of trustees will meet with the faculty and the college’s senior staff in June to consider these reports. Additional information can be found on the strategic planning website.

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