Sam Reed
Sam Reed

Washington State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will establish an endowment to fund the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility in honor of Reed’s distinguished record of public service. He will retire from public office as Washington’s 14th secretary of state in January 2013.

Reed received his bachelor’s degree in social studies and master’s degree in political science from WSU.

“Much of my grounding in political science, history, and politics came from mentors and professors in my undergraduate and graduate school years at Washington State, and I am so happy to think that future generations will benefit from a Reed Professor,” Reed said. “I am delighted that Washington State University is creating a Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility.”

Reed’s 45-year career in public service includes roles as Thurston County auditor, a position he was elected to five times, and assistant secretary of state. His career is characterized not only by commitment to public service but also by principles of civic education and democracy, according to Cornell Clayton, director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at WSU.

The Reed Professorship will be part of the Foley Institute, a nonpartisan center that fosters civic education, public policy research, and commitment to public service.

“Sam Reed’s reputation for bipartisanship and for believing that people of different political beliefs can work together to find common solutions to problems is unusual in the current political climate,” said Clayton. “Sam’s career serves as an exemplar of the commitment to public service and civil discourse.”

Reed’s reputation stems in part from his expert handling of Washington’s contested 2004 gubernatorial race, which led to improvements in the state’s voting process.

“I have done my best to make our public discourse more civil,” Reed said. “This, of course, is a continuing job for all of us and for every generation.

“I have had a productive and cordial relationship with the Foley Institute and feel confident the institute and the College of Arts and Sciences will be an ideal home for this new professorship,” he said.

Those interested in contributing to the Sam Reed Distinguished Professorship in Civic Education and Public Civility can go to the WSU Foundation website or send donations to WSU Foundation, PO Box 644235, Pullman, WA 99164-4235.