John F. Reed, 1911 - 1997

John F. ReedThe high standards by which the Honors Program exists and operates are modeled after the individual for whom both this program and college library are named: John F. Reed (Ph.D., Botany, Duke University, 1936). He was the second president (1962-1969) of Fort Lewis College and helped to establish many institutions and practices that remain to this day.

Reed was once quoted as saying, “My own strong inclinations are to turn Fort Lewis into the best small liberal arts college in the West. . . . We have an exceptional faculty now . . . we’re employing only those who love to teach and who enjoy being around young people.” In an announcement when he was named to receive the Distinguished Service Award, Reed’s greatest contribution to Fort Lewis College was identified as “his insistence on recruiting outstanding faculty and his commitment to scholarly pursuits.” He is also credited by many with “a remarkable ability to bring out the best in others by inspiring them to challenge themselves to extraordinary performances.”

These ideas are what the Honors Program aspires to for its students and faculty, and John F. Reed provides an excellent example to follow. In his short tenure as President of Fort Lewis College he accomplished much. He moved the college from a two-year to a four-year institution, increased enrollment nearly 150%, and helped the college receive its first-ever granting of accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.