Alumni News from Reed Magazine, March 2017

The spring issue of the Reed magazine was an apt reflection of the season, taking a fresh look at College doings in such diverse areas as the Hum 110 syllabus, student-drawn comics (the “ultimate outsider art form”), tracking down rogue DNA, and the psychology of compassion.

Chemistry department news was non-existent, but one had to turn only as far as page 3 to find a heartfelt letter (“More Rigor!” They Cried, p. 3) from alumni chemist Philip Wilk ’95 regarding academic rigor, grade inflation. Wilk also pointed out that Mr. Praline might be consulted when dealing with wording issues that have been plaguing the magazine’s editors. [It’s interesting to see how times have changed. Olde Reed students used to recite Monty Python scripts everywhere – in the hallways, waiting for class to begin, and while working in lab – but those days have passed.]

Class Notes described the appearance Jeffrey Kovac ’70 made before the Swiss Academy of Sciences to speak on “What is an Ethical Chemist?” … and Stephanie Dillon ’10 appeared in a wedding photo (p. 36 bottom) celebrating the union of Mallory Keeler ’09 and husband Ben.

Sadly, In Memoriam provide most of the news about Reed chemists. Prof. Marshall Cronyn ’40 [chemistry 1952-89] was identified as the brother-in-law of recently deceased Ruth Wetterborg Sandvik ’38, and we learned about the recent passing of several Reed alumni with chemistry connections:

  • Ernie Bonyhadi ’48, deceased November 24, 2016, in Australia. A “prominent attorney, generous philanthropist, and steadfast Reed trustee,” Ernie endured considerable childhood hardship, barely escaping from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1939, then detained with his destitute family at Ellis Island with expired passports, before finally making the 4-day bus journey from NY to Portland. He graduated from Lincoln High School while working odd jobs (paperboy, sales clerk, photographer) to earn Reed tuition. He entered Reed in 1942 as a chemistry major, but was drafted the following year for service in WWII, and was ultimately sent to Germany to interrogate prisoners and hunting for war criminals. By the time Ernie returned to Reed on the GI Bill, he was done with chemistry. “I figured this world had enough made scientists,” he said. “What they needed were political scientists so there wouldn’t be any more wars.”
  • John (Jack) Ives ’63, deceased October 31, 2016 in Tualitin, Oregon. Jack attended Reed, and the Sorbonne in Paris, before graduating from UC Berkeley. After graduation, Jack spent some time working in the chemical industry, but his eclectic interests kept him on the move. He worked in crafts, had a brief stint as a seminarian, and then finally found long-term work on behalf of the Baha’i Faith.
  • Kaye V. (Smith) Ladd ’63, deceased October 27, 2016 in Olympia, Washington. Kaye was Seattle-born and raised. Her Reed thesis, “An Attempt to Determine the Existence of a Tetramethylene Radical in the Pyrolysis of Cyclobutane at 450C”, which she completed under the supervision of Prof. Frederick D. Tabbutt [chemistry, 1957-71], dealt with a topic that has routinely appeared in Chem 324 lectures over the years. Kaye, who earned her college book money washing dishes for biology Prof. Helen Stafford [1954-87], commented on this experience, “Dr. Stafford was the only woman scientist at Reed when I was there (and for a long time afterward). She was an important role model for many of us.” Moving to Boston, Kaye earned a master’s degree in physical chemistry from Brandeis in 1965, worked several technical jobs, joined the National Organization for Women (NOW), and finally completed her doctorate in inorganic chemistry in 1974. She then moved back to Olympia to teach chemistry at Evergreen State University [1974-96], and continue working on behalf of NOW and women’s issues.
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