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Reed College

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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Colm
Local tour guide
"Visit Reed College during the annual Renn Fayre, a student-organized celebration of the end of the academic year; it's when the campus truly comes to life with creative energy and festivities. Don't miss the serene beauty of the Reed Canyon and its wildlife — a great spot for a mindful walk or a quiet study session, tucked away from the usual tourist pathways."

What is Reed College?

Reed College is a private liberal arts college located in the quiet, residential neighborhood of Eastmoreland in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Established in 1908, it's a place that prides itself on its rigorous academic standards, inclusive community, and a tradition of free-spirited intellectualism. Unlike larger universities, Reed offers a more intimate learning environment with a strong focus on student-faculty interaction and a distinctive emphasis on undergraduate research.

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Now, you might wonder, what makes a college an attraction? Well, Reed's picturesque campus is notable for its natural beauty, sitting on a 116-acre site with a coniferous forest and a lake serving as the centerpiece. The college’s architecture, a blend of old and modern styles, harmoniously blends with its lush surroundings, making it a delightful place for a stroll or a picnic. Reed is not just an institution for higher learning; it's a part of Portland's fabric, showcasing the city’s commitment to educational excellence and its unique cultural atmosphere.

History of Reed College

The site that Reed College occupies was once part of a land grant made in the 1850s. Fast forward to 1908, when Amanda Reed, the widow of Simeon Reed, founded the college in honor of her late husband with the intention of creating an institution that would "equal the best," particularly fostering a habit of lifelong learning. From its humble beginnings, the college was marked by progressive ideas, including a no-grade system which lasted until the late 1930s and its honor principle that continues to the present day.

Throughout its history, Reed has been characterized by a strong resistance to conventional educational standards and an unwavering commitment to academic excellence. It’s well known for its mandatory freshman Humanities program and senior thesis requirement, a tradition which has persisted since its inception. The college has fostered numerous influential alumni who have made significant contributions across various fields, including the arts, sciences, and public service.

Why is Reed College Important?

Reed College isn't important solely because of its academic rigour—it's also a cultural beacon in Portland. It represents an environment where diversity of thought and individuality are cherished, making it a nurturing ground for the next generation of critical thinkers and innovators. Reed is recognized for its high standards of teaching, and it’s been cited as one of the most intellectual colleges in the country. Its importance extends to influencing the city on cultural and intellectual levels, contributing to Portland's reputation as a hub for progressive and independent thinking.

Moreover, Reed has a long-standing impact due to its alumni, who actively shape the world in significant ways. Known for producing a high number of Rhodes, Fulbright, and other prestigious fellowship winners, the college's focus on comprehensive education and encouragement of independent projects prepares students for global engagement and leadership. Additionally, the Reed Research Reactor, operated primarily by undergraduates, is an example of its commitment to hands-on experience and top-notch science education.

Things to Do & See at Reed College

When visiting Reed College, there are numerous ways to engage with the campus. Start with a walk around the Reed Canyon, a natural area bisected by Crystal Springs Creek, which is prime for bird watching or simply unwinding amidst nature. The campus buildings, some of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offer an architectural tour that spans different eras and styles. In particular, the Eliot Hall and the Reed College Library are not to be missed for those who appreciate historical architecture.

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Art enthusiasts will enjoy visiting the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, which features rotating exhibitions of an international standard. The college often hosts lectures, readings, and concerts that are open to the public, allowing community members to participate in the rich intellectual life of the college. And if you're there during the annual Renn Fayre, a student-run campus-wide celebration marking the end of the academic year, you're in for a treat with the unique exhibitions of thesis projects, performances, and colorful festivities.

Whether you're an aspiring student, an academic, or simply a curious visitor, Reed College presents a deeper insight into the personality and pulse of Portland. It’s a refuge of knowledge and beauty, and I highly suggest you take the time to explore it—it might just inspire you in ways you never imagined. Did I mention the campus squirrels? They're quite the characters and have become somewhat of an unofficial mascot, so keep an eye out for them as you explore the grounds!

Frequently asked questions

What is Reed College known for?

Reed College is known for its rigorous academic programs, intellectual diversity, and distinctive undergraduate experience. It is also known for its emphasis on teaching and research, and its requirement that students complete a senior thesis for graduation.

Can visitors tour the Reed College campus?

Yes, visitors can tour the Reed College campus. It is recommended to check the college's official website or contact the admissions office for information on guided tours and visitor programs.

What are the notable features of Reed College's campus in Portland?

Reed College's campus features a mix of traditional and modern architecture set in a natural landscape with abundant green spaces. The campus also includes the Reed Canyon, a natural area with a lake and wildlife habitat, and notable buildings like the Hauser Library and the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery.

Does Reed College have any famous alumni?

Yes, Reed College has numerous famous alumni, including Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, poet Gary Snyder, and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall among others.

What types of academic programs does Reed College offer?

Reed College offers a variety of academic programs across the liberal arts and sciences. These include majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and interdisciplinary fields. Reed is particularly known for its strength in biology, anthropology, literature, history, and economics.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps