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Reed College

Reed College is a small liberal arts college located in Portland, Oregon, in the quiet Eastmoreland neighborhood.


Reed was founded in 1911 as a co-educational institution by river trade magnate Simeon Gannett Reed and rapidly gained a reputation for academic excellence. It has no connection with the journalist John Reed.

Some distinguishing features

Reed is one of the more unusual institutions of higher learning in the United States. It features a traditional liberal arts curriculum, requiring freshmen (who might insist on being called "first year students") to take an intensive introduction to ancient Greece and Rome, though its program in the sciences is likewise impressive. Seniors at Reed complete a year-long research thesis, a graduation requirement. It is a haven for intense intellectuals, idealists, and unkempt rich hippies. Traditionally it has a reputation for making room for students who show promise of one sort or another but who did not do so well in high school. This encourages the blossoming of many scholars inspired by the extremely intense academic experience, but also leads to some attrition even though the college points out that after five years the graduation rate exceeds the national average. In recent years Reed's average SAT scores of accepted students has been around 1400 and GPA was 3.98 in 2003, with around 40 per cent of applicants accepted.

Reed's reputation

Reed has produced an unusually high number of Rhodes scholars for a college its size, and a very high proportion of graduates go on to earn PhDs, particularly in the sciences, history, political science, and philosophy. Loren Pope, former education editor for The New York Times called Reed "the most intellectual college in the country."

Notable alumni

Reed's notable alumni include Steve Jobs (founder of Apple Computer), James Beard (the chef), Gary Snyder (the poet), Barbara Ehrenreich (writer and social critic), and James Russell (inventor of the compact disc).

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