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Reed College Endowment Fund

Name: Reed College Investing Club

Assets Under Management: $518 Million (Source: Reed College on 6/30/2014)

Annual Report: The Reed Institute’s Financial Statements June 30, 2013 and 2012

Portfolio Insights: “The Reed Institute (Reed College) was founded in 1908 by Simeon and Amanda Reed, with one central commitment: to provide a balanced, comprehensive education in liberal arts and sciences, fulfilling the highest standards of intellectual excellence. Reed College offers a B.A. in one of 22 major fields and numerous interdisciplinary fields, as well as a master of arts in liberal studies degree. The Reed College educational program pays particular attention to a balance between broad study in the various areas of human knowledge and close, in-depth study in a recognized academic discipline.

The financial statements of Reed College have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.” (Source)

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Top Reed College Endowment Fund Headlines:

1) Reed College, one of the country’s leading private liberal arts colleges, invites nominations and applications for the position of Associate Director of Donor Relations. Reed is a highly selective liberal arts college that values intellectual achievement and has a strong tradition of alumni involvement and support. The Associate Director of Donor Relations plays a pivotal role in developing donor communications strategies for Reed College. Reporting to the Director of Donor Relations, the Associate Director will join Reed at an exciting moment, the conclusion of a successful and ambitious comprehensive campaign and the introduction of a new president. The Associate Director of Donor Relations will be responsible to: Steward gifts thoughtfully through written materials, events, publications, and activities. Draft stewardship letters for college leaders. Develop annual reporting to donors of major scholarships, lectureships, professorships, and other endowments. (Source)

2) Reed College’s Board of Trustees approved with a majority vote a plan to divest its endowment of direct coal and oil industry investments and redirect funds to environmentally conscious investment managers and community owned renewable energy projects during a special meeting convened near the end of the academic term.

“This is the right time to divest,” said Roger Perlmutter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, “and even more importantly, to reinvest in the rapidly growing sustainable energy sector.”

The announcement was made during the commencement ceremony the morning of May 19. Reed College is the first college in the Pacific Northwest to initiate a divestiture from fossil fuels, joining the ranks of other universities with large endowments that have recognized the compelling and urgent moral character of maintaining investments in companies characterized by fossil fuel extraction, refining, and transportation. (Source)

3) Reed College is a private liberal arts college in Portland, OR known for its highly intellectual—and countercultural—students. Founded in 1908, Reed embraces small, conference-style classes that focus on student discussion. While the college deemphasizes grades, Reed’s students face a rigorous curriculum: Requirements include a yearlong humanities course and a senior thesis with written and oral exam components. Students are known for being particularly scholarly—Reed operates the nation’s only undergraduate-managed nuclear reactors and is a leading Ph.D. program feeder school. Reed counts among its graduates 156 National Science Fellows, 89 Fulbright students, 31 Rhodes Scholars and 65 Watson Fellows. There are no varsity athletic teams or Greek life organizations, though students can participate in student groups and intramural and club sports. The administration reputedly has a relaxed approach to student drug use and the school’s unofficial motto is “Communism, Atheism, Free love.” Notable Reedies include fashion designer Emilio Pucci, Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger and (dropout) Apple visionary Steve Jobs. (Source)

4) Reed College is perhaps best known among technologists as the place where Steve Jobs learned about calligraphy – among a number of other useful topics. It is also the only liberal arts college that owns a research reactor that is operated primarily by undergraduates. (Source)

5) Reed College’s Board of Trustees has decided against selling off the college endowment’s investments in fossil fuels, as requested by climate change activists in the campus group Fossil Free Reed.

In a letter issued today to Fossil Fuel Reed, board chairman Roger Perlmutter said the trustees agree that climate change “poses quite possibly the biggest challenge in human history,” but don’t believe the private college should divest its oil, gas and coal company stock holdings.

The trustees were clearly divided, Perlmutter said in the letter. Some were concerned about financial losses resulting from changing investment managers or investment strategies. Others thought the move would be hypocritical as long as the college community is consuming fossil fuels. Others said the college’s chief role should be to reduce its carbon footprint and educate students about climate change and ways to address it. (Source)

About Richard C. Wilson