Alumni News from Reed Magazine, September 2016

Maybe the place to begin a dip into What Is a Reedie?, the Sept. 2016 issue of the Reed magazine, is by asking, “what is summer?”

  1. The time of year when it rains on Portland’s annual Grand Floral Parade.
  2. A time when the highly improbable – two consecutive 100 degree days in Portland – becomes, if not exactly likely, at least a distinct possibility.
  3. The season when Reed faculty catch up on their reading.
  4. All of the above.

If you answered #4, you are right! Parade day began in a distinctly soggy way, and even though the Parade was just two weeks ago, the skies have turned the corner and 100F has been bouncing in and out of the Sat/Sun forecasts for today and tomorrow. And, of course, this is the season when I kick back with my pile of Reed magazines, beginning with the Sept. 2016 issue, What Is a Reedie?

What might be especially notable in this issue of the magazine is its extensive chemistry picture portfolio. The chemists on display include Joe Kliegman ’06 attending Reunions ’16 (standing in front of the Performing Arts building, p. 8), a young Prof. Virginia Hancock ’62 [music 1990-2016] conducting choral music from a comfortable spot in front of a sofa (The Hancock Variations, p. 10 and left), a very recent graduate Kayla Sheridan ’13 (sidebar, p. 35) encouraging you to join the Loyal Owl Society, the newly married Kayce Spear ’07 and her classmates/wedding guests Lyndsey Earl ’07 and Thom Drane ’07 (Class Notes, p. 38 top), the recently deceased Richard Havel ’46 (In Memoriam, p. 44), and, finally, Prof. Arthur Glasfeld [1989-] and a still young Prof. Virginia Hancock ’62 leading the Class of 2016 towards Commencement (back cover).

The What Is a Reedie? feature, p. 20-31, profiles a dozen graduates from the Class of 2016, exploring their lives from such diverse angles as thesis titles and favorite classes, to “who I was when I got to Reed,” “how Reed changed me,” and “word to prospies.” The feature has been running annually for several years, but absent a stack of September issues, one might be left wondering if anything has really changed at Reed over the decades. Wonder no more. The Hancock Variations, p. 10, profiles the lengthy Reed career of Prof. Virginia Hancock ’62 [music 1990-2016], who is finally setting down her Reed baton after 26 years of keeping a steady beat. Ginny was a chemistry major when she graduated from Reed in 1962, but she already had one foot deeply planted in music. In 1966, just 4 years after her graduation, she and her husband, Prof. John Hancock [chemistry 1955-89], founded and directed the Collegium Musicum and she even directed the Reed Choir “in years when no one in the department wanted to do it.” The article goes on to describe the many and varied contributions that Ginny has made to the College, but I must call attention to one that has been of untold benefit to me personally and to many chemistry seniors over the past three decades, “she served as the fourth reader on many a chemistry student’s orals board.” (And Magazine readers should also make sure they read the sentence that appears directly after the quoted one.) Thank you, Ginny. Enjoy your next adventure.

Turning to Class Notes, we learned that Jeff Koplow ’90 has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Innovator in Residence Fellowship by the SunShot Initiative, a DoE enterprise dedicated to making solar energy cost competitive (p. 36), … and that Kayce Spear ’07 married Bjorn Vanberg and submitted the “obligatory Reedie photo” of her and wedding guests/classmates (see above) (p. 38), … and Ilana Novakoski ’16 received a fellowship to study German and work in Germany next year through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. Congratulations to Jeff, Kayce, and Ilana!

In Memoriam profiled two Reed chemists who had passed away in 2016:

  • Richard Havel ’46, deceased April 9, 2016 in Greenbrae, California. Richard was born in Seattle, and attended Chief Sealth High School where he excelled in math and science.” At Reed he earned a bachelor’s in chemistry and met his wife, Virginia Johnson ’47. They fell in love on their first date and married in 1945.” Advanced degrees in chemistry and medicine followed, and in 1956 Richard joined the medical faculty at UC San Francisco where he because one of the founding members of its Cardiosvascular Research Institute (CVRI), retiring in 1992. Richard’s profile also includes descriptions of some of his more prominent research accomplishments, but suffice it to say, anyone who has had their HDL and LDL levels measured is living a life touched by Richard’s work. A long-time supporter of Reed, Richard once said that Reed had affected his life in the following ways: “Number one: met my wife. Number two: helped decide my career and my attitude toward education.” He is survived by his wife and three children.
  • Donald W. Graham ’61, deceased May 5, 206 in Mountainside, New Jersey. Don was born Berkeley, and raised in Los Angeles. Following a less direct path than most Reedies, Don served in the U.S Army and reserves before attending Reed. Don was one of Prof. John Hancock’s [1955-89] early thesis students, writing his dissertation on “A Synthesis of Diozocyclopropane.” More chemical synthesis followed, lead Don to a PhD at UC Berkeley, a postdoctoral position at Stanford, and ultimately, a position with Merck as a medicinal chemist. He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 48 years, and their two sons.
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