Reed College was constructed in 1908 in the city of Portland, Oregon, USA. The university was founded with money donated by Simon and Amanda Reed. Mr Reed was a successful trader and when he died left instructions in his will to spend some of his estate on something which would “be of permanent value and contribute to the beauty of the city”. Amanda reed used the money to found Reed college. The college has always been non-sectarian, coeducational and egalitarian, and where other liberal arts colleges were established following the model of the larger, Ivy League universities, Reed was set up explicitly in reaction to this type of education. As such the university does not have any exclusive social clubs, fraternities or varsity athletics – devoting itself primarily to academia.
This approach has led to a reputation for academic achievement among Reed students with 50 Fulbright Scholars, 60 Watson Fellows, 2 MacArthur Fellows, and 31 Rhodes Scholars to its name. All freshmen year students take a compulsory humanities course, designed to give science and humanities students alike a grounding in the Classics. There is also a de-emphasis on grades at the university with a more narrative style of assessment. The college offers five humanities courses, 26 majors, 12 interdisciplinary majors and six dual-degrees offered with other institutions. Academics are divided into five divisions within the college: Division of Arts, Division of History and Social Sciences, Division of Literature and Languages, Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and the Division of Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Linguistics.