Reed College

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Reed College is an independent undergraduate institution in Portland, Oregon, founded in 1908. Simeon Reed was an Oregon transportation magnate who died in 1895, leaving his fortune to his wife. He suggested that some portion of his estate should be devoted to "cultivation, illustration, or development of the fine arts in the city of Portland.." His widow, Amanda, followed that suggestion in her will by providing funds for a college based on the principles of equality and secularism. Their legacy became the subject of family litigation, but partly through the efforts of Amanda's nephew funds were secured for what is now Reed College. Classes were first held at Reed Institute temporary premises in downtown Portland 7 years later. A permanent site had been offered in 1910 by the Ladd Estate Company[1], but construction of the arts and sciences building and dorms was not started until January 1912.

Reed features a traditional liberal arts and science curriculum, supported by an honor principle ethos[2]. It is characterized by the Dean of Faculty[3] as a community not of rules and procedures but of virtue[4] ..

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  1. Ladd Estate Company - Our Laurelhurst Wiki
  2. Princeton Review:Reed College
  3. What is an honor principle? (March 1998)
  4. Instead of rights, we have a generalized obligation constantly to assess and evaluate one another's behavior in order to determine to what extent it is honorable. No one has a right to do anything, but some things are right to do and some are not right; and to be a community not of rights but of right and wrong is to be a community that is constantly prepared to engage in two kinds of conversation, first, conversations about what kinds of behavior are in fact right or wrong and, second, given those conversations, further conversations about the rightness and wrongness of particular instances of behavior.