Travel & Study with Reed: 2016 and beyond

As you plan your adventures for the year, consider incorporating Reed’s travel study program into your plans.  Whether you want to venture near or far we have a suite of opportunities for that will sate your wanderlust.  Here’s is what is on tap (additional information on all programs being added regularly as information firms up:

Inside Scenic Curaçao: Jewish History, the Slave Trade, and more!  With Laura Leibman. January 11-17

Alumni College: Elementary Education: the Kids, the Classroom, and the Community. With Jennifer Henderlong Corpus and others, June 8-10, 2016.

Celebrating Shakespeare’s 400 in London & Stratford with Robert Knapp, July 20-31, 2016

Memphis to New Orleans–Ridin’ the Blues Train with Dr. Demento, mid October, 2016.

NOTE: Long Weekend programs may be added as well and will be announced approximately 90-120 days in advance.


Potential 2017 Programs include:

Amsterdam: Art, Architecture, and Infrastructure with local alumni experts

Sicily with Ellen Millender

Alumni College, 2017: Scientific Literacy

Ireland: a Joyce and Keats Adventure with Jay Dickson

Full Solar Eclipse in Eastern Oregon: the best viewing with Robert Reynolds

Cuba: A Look at Havana’s Heritage and more!




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Oaxaca Culinary and Cultural Adventure

Oaxaca Culinary & Cultural Adventure
September 23-October 2, 2016

Back by popular demand! Organized by Jewel Murphy ‘82, this will be an intimate experience for those who value travel and learning experiences that touch all the senses. Oaxaca is a world heritage site that is unlike any other Mexican city. Sitting in the south-central part of the country at an elevation of 5,000 feet, this is truly vibrant colonial city with a rich and textured heritage.   The group who went with Jewel in 2014 raved about their experience.

Highlights and costs include:
• Private lectures, tastings and hands on activities exploring the history and uses of corn and chilies.
• Visits to two different indigenous markets that are only slightly different from what the Conquistadores found when they first came to the Americas. Sample everything to be offered and prepare for tastebud overload!
• Visits to small, home based, local, women-owned food businesses. Get an authentic glimpse of life in rural Oaxaca and explore the countryside. Learn about microfinance. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to help make tortillas or other traditional foods.
• Visits to archaeological sites and colonial churches where we’ll follow the unbroken thread of habitation from the first cities to the present day.
• Private cooking class with one of Oaxaca’s most renowned chefs. The opportunity to see first hand how mezcal is made including tastings!
• Most meals, including dining at many of Oaxaca’s finest restaurants. (Note we have allowed for two dinners on your own so that you may sample at your leisure from Oaxaca’s many offerings or we can arrange a dinner at the casa for you) Also included, homecooked, traditional meals at the casa and the best of local street food. Enjoy Alice Waters and Rick Bayless’s favorite places to eat in Oaxaca.
• Highly charming, entertaining, and educated English-speaking guides during most excursions. We have gathered some of the best guides in the region who can speak to the cultural history, politics, economy, food, and art of the region.

Full itinerary by our fearless leader, Jewel Murphy ’82.

• Nine nights lodging at one of Oaxaca’s most charming bed & breakfast operations–home to a tropical garden, a fantastic folk-art collection, and a wonderful library. This is a very special place to stay where you will feel pampered and taken care of.

Cost $2,395 per person.  Note: This is a small customized tour limited to a maximum of 10 participants (single supplement $300) that includes lodging, airport transfers, ground transportation, some meals, classes, and tours.

Tour cost does not include:
• Airfare or transportation to Oaxaca
• Gratuities or tips (which we encourage for guides and hotel staff)
• Alcoholic beverages (except during mezcal tastings)
• Shopping, personal, and other incidental expenses (note that we’ll have lots of opportunities to shop and there will be lots of temptation)

NOTE: There is a possibility of a four day post program add on for those who want to spend four relaxing days on the coast and studying tropical permaculture and local eating in a very beautiful, off-the-grid, hand-built cabin about 300 feet above the Pacific Ocean.

optional 4 day add on where
we travel to the coast and relax and  study tropical permaculture and local eating in a very
beautiful, off the grid, handbuilt cabin 300 feet above the Pacific Ocean?

For additional information or to register, contact

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Shakespeare 400 in London and Stratford

Immerse yourself in London’s theatre scene with ten days with upwards of ten plays.  Limited seats for guided discussions, expert insights, and special access to behind-the-scenes programs for the group.  All of this and more awaits.  Read on:

Shakespeare died in 1616. So did Cervantes. This was also the year in which a folio volume, The Works of Benjamin Jonson, made its appearance, thereby claiming for the first time that modern plays could rival those of the ancients. In commemoration of these cultural milestones, lots will be going on in London and Stratford during 2016. Under the leadership of Robert Knapp, R.F. Arragon Professor of English and Humanities, a contingent of Reedies will sample these pleasures during ten days in late July.
The London season has yet to be announced (we’ll know after January 5), but we have bookings for four plays at Stratford (Dr. Faustus, The Alchemist, Cymbeline, and Hamlet), and have made arrangements to visit the Garrick Club (that shrine to British Theatre, and to the actor-manager who did more than anyone else to establish the cult of William Shakespeare). We will be sure to see a couple of shows at “Shakespeare’s Globe,” that Bankside recreation of the Burbages’ 16th and 17th century venue. And while in and around Stratford (where Shakespeare lived, filed lawsuits, and owned property) we will investigate the countryside whose flowers and birds have been transmitted into popular culture through the plays.
In addition to playgoing, conference-style conversations about texts, contexts, and productions, some organized touring of Stratford sites and the surrounding countryside, there will be ample time for individual exploration of London.
Initial itinerary (subject to change once the full line-up of plays is confirmed):

Wednesday, July 20: Depart USA (for most Reedies and friends)
Thursday, July 21: Arrival into London. Check into Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel.  Evening reception (with London Reedies)
Friday, July 22: Opening seminar, program overview.  Tentative Play: Faith Healer, directed by Lyndsey Turner (who recently directed Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet)
Saturday, July 23: Morning: Morning free: Afternoon-Evening: travel to Glyndebourne; explore grounds, collections and enjoy a performance of  Béatrice et Bénédict.
Sunday, July 24. Morning Free.  Possible matinee theatre performance.
Monday, July 25: Visit to Garrick Club as special guest of William Cussans ’83.  Tour club and collection.  Evening: Shakespeare’s Globe theatre backstage tour and evening performance.
Tuesday, July 26: Victoria and Albert Museum.  Afternoon free.  Evening performance at National Theatre.
Wednesday, July 27: Greenwich.  Take Thames River boat and tour Greenwich.  Evening theatre performance at Guilgud Theatre or Barbican Centre.
Thursday, July 28: Depart Bloomsbury on private coach for Stratford via Oxford and the Cotswolds (Cirencester, perhaps).  Check into hotel (the Stratford).  Evening: performance of Doctor Faustus.
Friday, July 29: Stratford seminar. Walking tour of Stratford. Possible countryside walk to Anne Hathaway’s cottage. Evening: performance of Hamlet.
Saturday, July 30: Afternoon: matinee performance of Alchemist. Evening: performance of Cymbeline. Final celebratory, post-performance drink.
Sunday, July 31: Morning countryside walk and departures

Projected cost: $2200-2800/person double occupancy  (includes hotels, some meals, opening and closing receptions, guided seminars, private coach transport from London to Stratford,  plays- mid priced seating).  Final costs will be determined once plays are announced and tickets are secured.

To reserve your spot (only 16 available), and for additional information, contact

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A Phalanx of Reedies Descend Upon Greece

The rolling Hum conference that is Reed’s travel study program stopped in Greece for a ten day program that showcased the best of Reed professors. Ellen Millender served as the content expert as more than 30 Reed alumni and friends toured Athens and parts of the Peloponese, visiting historic site and digging deeper into ancient Greek culture.

IMG_1049         IMG_1092


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Inside Scenic Curaçao with Prof. Laura Leibman


Inside Scenic Curaçao: Jewish History, the Slave Trade, and more!

Until 1825, the exquisite Caribbean island of Curaçao had the largest, wealthiest, and best-educated Jewish community in the Americas. Join Laura Leibman, professor of English & humanities, and a small group of travelers for this in-depth examination of Curaçao’s historical legacy.  Part of the Dutch Antilles and located three hours south of Miami, this island is distinguished by a rich and layered history, fascinating material culture, and picturesque and natural beauty. The capital, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the small island boasts wonderful diving, birding, and hiking opportunities as well. What better way to start off 2016?

To sign up, fill out and return this form.

Program features:

  •  Academic focus: experience the birthplace of Jewish American life.  Gain a deeper understanding of how objects of everyday life reflect religious and cultural change.
  •  Sights to see: world-famous synagogue, cemeteries, and domestic architecture. Amazing wildlife on land and below the water’s surface.
  •  Memorable activities: Gothic cemetery tour. Experience the synagogue’s sand floor. See live corals and tropical fish up close and personal. Eat fresh tropical fruits and vegetables from the floating market. Photography: whether you like to capture shots of animals, people, underwater vistas, or historic buildings, this island is a photographer’s paradise.

Group Leader’s Statement

“I am offering this opportunity to examine and experience Curaçao because I wish more people knew that American Jewish history really began in the Caribbean.  The island’s main synagogue helped fund almost all early North American synagogues and provided rabbis to lead many of them.  Because the island’s economy collapsed at the end of the slave trade and because of later preservation efforts, a wealth of exquisite Dutch colonial architecture remains.  The island is a living museum to early Jewish American life.”

– Professor Laura Leibman


Please note: Times and/or order of activities may be subject to change depending on the opportunities provided by the host communities and/or unforeseen circumstances.

Day 1: Monday, January 11: Arrival

Arrival: Depending on where leave from and how you choose to route yourself, you may be spending an evening in Aruba or taking a red eye before landing in Willemstad (or both).  No matter your routing, you will be greeted at the airport and driven to your accommodations in a boutique hotel in the heart of Curacao’s historic district and only a short walk to the beach and floating market.  In the evening, those who have arrived in time will gather for a reception and program overview.

Day 2: Tuesday, January 12:  Synagogue, Fort Amsterdam, Slavery Museum

We begin in the beautiful Punda and Otrobanda neighborhoods, the oldest portion of the island’s major port of Willemstad. Key historical sites to introduce us to the three major cultural influences on the island: the Mikve Israel Synagogue (Jewish), Fort Amsterdam (Dutch), and the Kura Hulanda Slavery Museum (African).

Day 3: Wednesday, January 13: Cemetery & Art Gallery

Curaçao’s Jewish community was deeply mystical and some of most elaborate expressions of their beliefs can be found on the gravestones in the island’s oldest Jewish Cemetery (Beth Haim Blenheim), the most significant Jewish cemetery in the Americas.  Following the cemetery we will relax at the Art Gallery and Cultural Center at nearby Landhuis Habaii (Habaii Mansion), once the residence of some of the island’s most important Jewish families.

Day 4: Thursday, January 14: Plantation Houses, Nature Preserve, Snorkeling

Although almost all Jewish families had a house in Willemstad, they also often owned plantation houses around the island.  We will visit some of the most famous of these at the island’s West End, including one that was the site of a slave rebellion and another that is now a nature preserve.  In between plantation houses, we will relax and snorkel at the island’s incredible Little Knip beach.

Day 5: Friday, January 15: Urban Villas, Gothic Graves, Curacao Liquor

By the nineteenth-century, most Jews had moved out of the Punda into nearby Scharloo where they built urban villas.  Our tour of the Scharloo neighborhood includes the famous Wedding-Cake House (now the National Archives), the gothic nineteenth-century cemetery, and the nearby Chobolobo estate, home of Curacao Liquor.

Day 6: Saturday, January 16: Observe the Sabbath/Free Day.  Make an excursion back to the beaches, take a guided diving expedition, charter a sailboat, take a day trip to Bonaire or just enjoy the casual rhythms of the island.

Day 7: Sunday, January 16: Departure day

Departure day.  Depending on travelers’ schedules, we’ll have a concluding breakfast and discussion with some optional educational activities to enjoy before the program concludes.

Program Cost: $1750 per person (double occupancy–$300 single supplement).  This includes ground transportation, 6 nights lodging, two meals per day (breakfast and lunch), entrances, and facilitated discussions. Not included: airfare, travel insurance (recommended, including med-evac), alcohol, personal items, tips, and upgraded hotel accommodations.

Group Size: 10-20 passengers.

Deposits: $500 per person with registration, balance due within 45 days of departure. Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification. The following per person fees are applicable on this tour:

30-45 days prior = 25 % refund

46-90 days prior = 50 % refund

91 days or more prior= full refund- $150.

Registration deadline: October 10, 2015.

To sign up, fill out and return this form.

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Panel on LGBT issues in law at Reunions, moderated by Oregon AG Rosenblum


After the Reed gathering at Portland’s Pride Parade on Reunions Sunday, return to campus from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a very special panel presentation on LGBTQ issues in law with guest moderator Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Panelists include Misha Isaak ’04, Mark Johnson Roberts ’82, and William Hohengarten ’84. Free and open to the public in Vollum lecture hall.

These distinguished legal advocates have been instrumental for personal rights in Oregon and across the U.S., including the 2014 overturn of Oregon’s same sex marriage ban, advising LGBTQ clients on the shifting legal landscape, and the landmark 2003 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas (finding anti-sodomy criminal laws unconstitutional). This will be a fascinating conversation on where the law is today and how we got here.  And, “where we are today” may include a new landmark legal decision, as the Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling in June on the pending consolidated cases challenging states’ same sex marriage bans.

Panelist Bios

A former federal prosecutor and state trial and appellate judge, Ellen Rosenblum was elected to a four-year term as Oregon’s 17th Attorney General in November, 2012. She is the first woman to serve as Oregon Attorney General. Ellen’s priorities as Attorney General include advocating for and protecting Oregon’s most vulnerable, including especially its families and children, its seniors, Oregonians whose first language is not English, and students who have incurred significant education-related debt. She is committed to assisting district attorneys and local law enforcement in prosecuting complex crimes and has made internet and other crimes against children her highest priority. Ellen has been active in local and national organizations of lawyers, judges and attorneys general. She currently serves on the Executive Committees of the National Association of Attorneys General and the Conference of Western Attorneys General. She has served as Secretary of the American Bar Association and currently co-chairs the ABA’s Section of State & Local Government Law’s committee devoted exclusively to state attorney general issues.

Misha Isaak ’04 is Deputy General Counsel to Oregon Governor Kate Brown. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Misha clerked for judges of the federal district court in New Jersey and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then worked as a litigation attorney at the law firm Perkins Coie. While there, he was one of the lead attorneys in a challenge to Oregon’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. He argued the successful motion for summary judgment in that case, and litigated a motion to stay all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — making Oregon the first state for which the Supreme Court permitted a federal court’s marriage-ban invalidation to take effect. Before becoming a lawyer, Misha worked for Congresswoman Darlene Hooley and Attorney General Hardy Myers. He lives in Northeast Portland with his husband David and dog Clancy.

Mark Johnson Roberts ’82 holds a bachelor’s degree from Reed College, a J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law, and an L.L.M. in International Law from the Willamette University College of Law. He practices family law at the Portland law firm of Gevurtz, Menashe, Larson & Howe, P.C. Mark is Oregon’s elected State Delegate to the American Bar Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative. He is past president of the Oregon State Bar, past president of the National LGBT Bar Association, and past chair of Oregon’s State Professional Responsibility Board. Mr. Johnson Roberts is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. He is currently chairing a Bar committee that is reviewing the structure and functioning of Oregon’s system for lawyer discipline. Mark was recently given the Multnomah Bar Association’s Professionalism Award in recognition of his many years of service to the bench and bar.

Bill Hohengarten ’84 is a former partner at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., where he focused on Supreme Court and appellate litigation. While practicing law, Bill worked on several lesbian and gay rights cases, including the successful effort to strike down anti-gay sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. Bill majored in History at Reed, earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Northwestern, and studied law at Yale. He also served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter in 1996-97. Bill retired in 2011, and now lives on the edge of the wilderness in northern Minnesota with his husband David and their dog Piwi.

More information about this panel is available here.

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Showcase your skills at Marketplace 2015

In the days of ancient Greece, you could head down to the market of Athens and purchase papyrus imported from Egypt, salt fish from Scythia, as well as the olive oil, figs, and wine that were ample throughout the city-states.

Reed’s own Marketplace, held from 2 to 4 p.m. on the Saturday of Reunions (June 13) in Reed’s Performing Arts Building, won’t contain any salt fish or papyrus (unless there happen to be Reedies who make those things, in which case they should email Rob at but it will have the finest things Reedies make–everything from liqueur to art to hand-knitted items and cartoons.

For the cost of only $15, you can enter the Marketplace at Reunions, enjoy free samples of food and drink, and browse the wares of Reed’s most talented artisans. Confirmed participants include:

  • uncommons, pork belly and kimchi
  • David Autrey ’89 of Westrey Wine Company, wine
  • Lucy Bellwood ’12, comics
  • Tom Burkleaux ’92 of New Deal Distillery, spirits
  • Kim Damio MALS ’10 of Portland Black Lipstick Company, lipstick
  • Narayan DeVera ’65, ceramics and fine art
  • Anne Marie DiStefano ’92 of Lucky Horseshoe, cocktails made with local spirits
  • Rachel Elizabeth ’88 of Jonny Sport, luggage and accessories
  • Esther Gwinnell ’75, glass artwork.
  • Christine Herman ’02 of Case Study Coffee, cold brew
  • Minott Kerr ’80 of Clear Creek Distillery, spirits
  • Georgia Kirkpatrick ’08 of Silvania, clothing and handmade items
  • Taya Koschnick ’05 of Tasi Designs, jewelry
  • Elise Roberts ’99 of Enlightened Bugs, photo prints of bees and bugs
  • Jehnee Rains ’93 of Suzette, crepes and sweet treats
  • Dawn Seymour ’80 of Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design, yarn

We’re maintaining a running list of participants on the schedule, so check there for the latest updates on participants. And as mentioned before, if you’re interested in participating, or just have questions, email Rob at or call at 503/517-7836.

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Prexy Salons Focus on Quality Discussions

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 10.43.56 AM-1

The spring run of Prexy salons kicks off on Tuesday, January 27, when you can engage in “powerful” discussion with Robert McCullough ’72 on the topic:

Nuclear Winter: Is Nuclear Power Obsolete?

McCullough served as an expert on the Enron case, and consults across the North America on topics ranging from fuel pricing to liquified natural gas (LNG). You can read about his career here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 7-8:30 p.m.
Prexy (the original president’s house on the corner of SE 28th and Woodstock)
Reed College

Park in the West lot.

Space is limited to 30 participants, RSVP to


Plus, keep your eyes peeled for more salons throughout the spring…

February 5: 2015 Eliot Award Winner Arlene Blum ’66 post-lecture discussion

March 4: Lecture by President John Kroger on book TBA

TBA: Lauren Sheehan ’80 and Joe Hickerson on folk music in America

TBA: Campus Walk and Salon on Quality Architecture with Anthony Belluschi (son of library and psychology building architect Pietro Belluschi).

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Why I’m Excited About Reunions 2015

I’ve been to no less than four Reed Reunions, and it’s a special experience year in, year out. But I have to confess; I’m particularly excited about this one.

Of course, there are the old favorites–the beautiful Fireworks, Ping Pong Palace, Carnival, Marketplace, and Stop Making Sense, which never fails to unite Reedies across generations. And of course, there are the llamas.


But there are also a few things that make this year special: for starters, Prexy, the former music building and new home of Alumni Relations, takes on the role of “Reunions Central.” The living room will be open until Midnight Wednesday–Saturday for coffee and conversation, so stop by and check out the newly renovated space.

On the event front, Davis Rogan ’90, legendary New Orleans jazz musician, returns for a three-hour concert on the Saturday of Reunions and a talk on Friday. Friday also features a trio of bands that include rocking Reedies from ’88 all the way to ’15.

Meanwhile, in the academic department, in honor of professors Bob Kaplan and Maryanne McClellan’s retirement, Biology faculty, staff, and alumni have planned a series of events especially for Reed’s Biology Alumni. Alumni College and Reunions Paideia also make a triumphant return for those of you who like to learn.

Reunions Sunday this year also coincides with Portland’s Pride Parade–so we’re keeping the dorms open an extra day so Reedies can stay and march in the Parade. Then, we’re giving all the marchers free pizza. A specially decorated Griffin Float will be there, too. We hope to have an accompanying series of events for LGBT Reedies and are collaborating with the Multicultural Resource Center to make this work–if you have any ideas for an event, please email us at


Dr. Demento speaks at Reunions 2014.

So register for Reunions 2015–you have nothing to lose but your free dorm room. (If you don’t register by January 31, that is!) This year, you can even get points when your friends register and win prizes, like Dr. Demento’s voice on your home answering machine. Check out the Reed Konnection Silly Kontest (RKSK) to learn more.

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It’s Never too Early to Get Excited about Reunions 2015

Especially when Davis Rogan ’90 is headlining the musical acts.

Yes, Davis Rogan ’90, legendary New Orleans blues and jazz musician who both consulted for and inspired a character on HBO’s New Orleans-centered series Treme. Davis will be taking the Kaul Auditorium stage on Friday for a lecture and performance, and will be performing a three-hour set on Saturday night of Reunions (June 13) in the Student Union. You won’t want to miss it. Listen to selections from Davis’ records here. For any who doubt that Reed played a role in nurturing Davis’s musical talent, the 1990 student handbook, Davis wrote, “If any musicologist every wants to know where I got my loud, pounding piano style I’ll save them the trouble. I learned to play in Prexy and needed to hear myself.”

Speaking of which, Prexy has been fully (and beautifully) remodeled as the new home of Alumni Relations, and it will be featured prominently in Reunions programming. Expect to see Reunions check-in in the lobby, bonfires and sing-alongs on the back porch, and Reedies hanging out in the living room, which was redesigned by Reed’s own Kathia Emery ’67.

We’re also looking forward to Alumni College: Diversity vs. Divergence in Contemporary America. Organized by Jim Kahan ’64 and Mary James, Dean of Institutional Diversity and A.A. Knowlton Professor of Physics at Reed. This year’s college will feature Reed professors, alumni, and students discussing the importance of, and contested nature of the notion of diversity in Contemporary America.

2015 also promises the return of Fireworks, Ping-Pong Palace, and of course, Pirate Camp. See a list of all confirmed events here. So mark you calendars for Reunions 2015, June 10–14. Registration will open in early January, and those who register by January 31 may sign up for a free dorm room.

Hope to see you there!

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