Steve Jobs began at Reed but never graduated. The Reed student truly is “that kind of student” – one who is a playful intellectual, geeky, and is truly coming to school not for the grade but for the experience of learning…that is a “Reedie,” as they are lovingly called.
Reed’s campus is also beautiful, set in lush Portland with the Crystal Springs Farm, the Rhododendron Farm and a water source that goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean with their own salmon ladder. They have the only nuclear research reactor in the U.S. on an undergraduate campus and they certify 40 students per year to learn how to use it. At the same time, they have their own alpacas. Over 95% of their classes are conference-style, and writing is extremely important. Students earn grades but are never given them unless they are needed for a very good reason, like applying to grad school which they are quite successful at doing. Reed doesn’t recruit for anything except academics. Every major has a very serious thesis. There is a huge celebration when the thesis is completed with rose petals shot out of cannons, and students wearing laurels on their heads and dancing on the quad. These theses are stored in a “tower” in the top of the library. The “Thesis Tower” stores hundreds of thousands of them and graduates of Reed return and proudly find their thesis stored in the tower. The liberal arts as a tradition is timeless for Reed students and this will never change. The student who belongs at Reed is a very specific one, and if you don’t know who you are, you probably don’t belong at Reed!