Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—Colin Diver, Amherst College Class of 1965 and a member of the Amherst College board of trustees since 1998, was elected the fourteenth president of Reed College Feb. 9. He will assume his responsibilities on July 1. Diver is the Charles A. Heimbold, Jr., Professor of Law and Economics and former dean at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
“Colin Diver is a spectacular choice to lead Reed at this time in the school’s history,” said Walter Mintz, chairman of the Reed board of trustees, announcing the decision. “He is a superb teacher-scholar and an acknowledged leader in American higher education; his integrity, strength of character, and commitment to intellectual openness are emblematic of the highest standards of American higher education,” he continued. Mintz went on to say that, in his opinion, Diver will become “an important voice in articulating the value of a vigorous undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, the sort of education for which Reed is famous.”
“I believe passionately in the ideals of liberal education,” said Diver, 58. “To me, Reed embodies those ideals better than any institution I know. It is deeply humane, fiercely independent, and uncompromisingly rigorous. I can’t think of a more stimulating environment in which to work and study. My wife, Joan, and I are also looking forward to making our home in the Pacific Northwest and becoming an integral part of the Portland community.”
Diver succeeds Peter Steinberger, who was appointed acting president of Reed following the resignation of Steven Koblik, and who will return to his position as Reed’s dean of the faculty. Diver will be the fourth Amherst alumnus to serve as president of Reed College. Dexter Keezer ’18 served from 1934 until 1942. Duncan Ballantine ’34 was president from 1953 until 1954. Paul E. Bragdon ’50 held the position from 1971 until 1988.
An expert in administrative law and regulation, Diver received his A.B., summa cum laude from Amherst, where he currently serves as a trustee, and his LL.B., magna cum laude, in 1968 from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He also holds an honorary degree from Amherst.
Amherst president Tom Gerety said Diver is “an astonishingly and delightfully intellectual man, one of our very best trustees, someone who loves ideas and the arguments and differences that come with them. He will make a great president at Reed. And I relish the chance to be his colleague in this work.”
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 1908 and named after Portland pioneers Simeon and Amanda Reed. The private, independent, nonsectarian, four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences has an enrollment of approximately 1,300 students and one of the most rigorous and intellectual undergraduate academic programs in the country. More information is available at the Reed College's Website.