The Quest | The Free Press of Reed College

The Success of the Centennial Campaign: What it means for Reedies

The Centennial Campaign was the most massive fund-raising attempt in the history of Reed, and it has largely been successful. 185 million dollars has been raised since the inception of the fund, and President Colin Diver is confident that the goal of $200 million will be met by the end of the campaign on December 31, 2012. Diver said he was “quite optimistic” that the goal would be reached before the end of his tenure, on June 30, 2012.  But what does this massive amount of money mean for Reedies?

Twelve new faculty positions will be added to small departments with high student enrollment: for example, computer science, environmental studies, Linguistics, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish. This, according to the Centennial Campaign website, would achieve a 10:1 student/faculty ratio.

Although part of the Centennial Campaign will go to financial aid, Reed will still not be able to be truly need-blind. Diver noted that we would need an additional endowment of $80 million in order to become fully need-blind.  Diver hopes “that will be a focus of the next campaign.”

One of the biggest parts of the centennial campaign is the construction of the performing arts center. This project will cost $28 million to complete.

Although the email sent to the Reed community on February 2 implies that the money would be used to build new dorms, Diver stated that there were not currently plans to build new dorms. Instead, some of the money had been used to pay for the 20-million-dollar Grove dorms and Spanish House. Though one of the stated goals of the Centennial Campaign is to  “allow 75 percent of students to live on campus,” Diver noted that the lack of on-campus housing had discouraged some students from applying when he first became president ten years ago, but “In recent years I have not heard that lack of housing has discouraged applicants.”

Other parts of the Centennial Campaign include money for research funding, a campaign to increase alumni engagement, and more funding for the Dojo.

Ultimately, the Centennial Campaign seeks to help fulfill the “Quest” of Reed College that was put forth by William T Foster in 1911. Said Diver, “The campaign is intended to enhance and celebrate Reed’s historic mission.”

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