Learn the questions.
Knowledge is only knowledge—it’s wisdom that’s
power. Curiosity is key, understanding is golden. Flexibility is
freedom. Confidence is control.
You have brains, talent, and time—do what’s inside of
Is college for your mind or your heart?
This is a book about you—if you believe these things:
That what is important in life, what is valuable and what is lasting,
is rarely on the surface. That learning to learn is really learning
to see beyond the mainstream.
That life is long and college is short, and you must choose well.
That something special and meaningful awaits you, even if you don’t
have a clue about what it is.
This is also book about an amazing college in Portland, Oregon,
and what it will reveal to you. How it will challenge you and champion
you and change you forever. How it will prepare you not just for
something, but for anything and everything. Reed College will make
you ready for any future, any goal, any life.
And, frankly, this is a book about a place you can’t begin
to experience from a book. Only Reed feels like Reed. You should
come here and see for yourself.
Finally, this is a book about your mind, your heart and your future.
an unexpected new way to see them.
Reed will guide you, surprise you, tire you, and inspire you. This
is a place more intelligent, more joyful, more unpredictable, often
more difficult and forever more rewarding. You will be tried and
tested and taught at a higher level than ever before, and in the
end the most important things you learn will be about yourself.
At Reed College, the process of wisdom is fueled with equal parts
freedom and effort—what you discover and what you feel are
up to you. You will be mentored by some of the most inspiring teachers
in the nation. You will be defined by the choices you make, rather
than by the choices others make for you. You will be governed by
an honor principle that defines the difference between rules and
responsibility. And you will be treated more like an adult than
Only three things really matter here: the quality of your mind,
the process of improving it, and living in a way that respects the
minds and hearts of others. Reed College is a place where intellectual
life is paramount; where the primary goal is not learning to make
the grade, it is learning for the pure joy of learning. You don’t
have to be a genius to excel here—although you will meet several.
You simply have to care about ideas, to believe in their power.
Here are the tools you will need: an unquenchable thirst for learning,
a talent for self-confidence, a wide-open mind and the desire to
do something big. In turn, Reed will provide for you: the accelerating
abilities to think clearly and quickly, to reason, to reveal, to
express yourself ever more gracefully and successfully. Reed will
also make available the combinedaccomplishments, beliefs, and discoveries
of human history. Use them as you wish, keep them when you’re
You will become part of a distinctive campus community that shares
an exceptional camaraderie and a rare intellectual and ethical spirit.
Academic, cultural, social, and recreational life at Reed revolves
around the ability of articulate, intelligent, and creative men
and women to learn from each other, to take risks of the mind and
the heart, and to take confident control of their learning and their
lives. You will join a group of people—professors, students,
and staff—dedicated to giving your brain all-wheel drive.
These are the people with whom you will laugh, argue, discover,
and achieve—but you’ll rarely sit in huge lecture halls
with them. At Reed, learning happens in interactive conference sessions
of 15 to 20 students. Be ready to participate every day; be prepared
to have something to add to the experience. Anything less is a waste
of heartbeats. As you should expect, Reed faculty are some of the
most respected scholars and teachers in their fields. What will
surprise you is their extraordinary in-the-blood commitment to both
your intellectual and personal growth. They are absolutely positively
there for you—and they are expecting you to teach them something
The Reed curriculum is a 21st-century take on a classic education—a
refreshingly untraditional approach to a continuously enhanced,
yet doggedly traditional curriculum in the arts, the sciences, the
humanities, and the social sciences. Reed has also taken a leadership
role in the integration of new technology into your education. Throughout,
two things are universal: unparalleled one-to-one access to your
professors, and opportunities for learning and research that are
unheard-of at the undergraduate level.
When everything is said and done, you will have worked harder and
accomplished more than you can imagine. What has been revealed,
you will never lose. What you have discovered, you will never forget.
What you take away from Reed College you will value for the rest
of your days.