Thomas Lamb Eliot Award

thomas_lamb_eliotWhat do Richard Danzig ’65, Barbara Ehrenreich ’63, and Gary Snyder ’51 have in common (other than being Reed College alumni)? They are the first three honorees of the college’s Thomas Lamb Eliot award (Danzig was the first recipient in 2011). Who will be the fourth? Help us grow the pool of potential recipients by nominating a worthy graduate.

Officially, the award is called the Thomas Lamb Eliot Award for Lifetime Achievement by a Reed College Graduate. Here are the criteria:

  • Achievement: The awardee should have achieved distinction in one or more fields of endeavor. That distinction should be based on the quality and importance of his or her contributions to those fields or to society. The awardee’s record of achievement should be both intrinsically impressive and importantly consequential for the world. Popular fame is not necessary, but recognition by experts in one’s field is necessary.
  • Record of achievement: The awardee should have produced a record of achievement over a sustained period. A single achievement, no matter how impressive, is unlikely to be enough to merit a nomination.
  • Exemplifies Reed values: In addition to the distinction of the awardee and the quality of his or her record of achievement, it is important that the awardee exemplify qualities that valued by the college, including intellectual rigor, independence, and integrity.

Each year, the past presidents of the alumni association provide the college with a list of names for the college to consider, and then a panel of faculty and staff forwards a recommendation to the president and the board of trustees.

We seek names and are open to nominations for this year until March 15. Nominations stay in the pool for consideration in subsequent years, so even if you miss this deadline, please consider submitting a name to


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