Switchboard Hearts Chicago Reedies!

This weekend we invited Chicago Reedies to join us in a room full of fabric scraps, googly eyes, and glitter (and other amazing odds and ends) to celebrate Reed Switchboard. The unusual setting was provided by Eleanor Ray ‘07, who gladly hosted us in her new creative reuse center, The WasteShed.

Before the party started, we scurried about, whipping up decorations out of things around the shop: balloons, streamers, construction paper, whatever we could find. At party o’clock, Reedies from across the last two decades (and possibly into future ones) joined us for beers, Banh Mi and BBQ wings. Good times were had by all, but especially the youngest of us, who could hardly believe all the treasures in the many bins and buckets.

The Reed Switchboard, now in its third year of existence, is home to more than 3500 helpful Reedies. Equal parts ask and offer, Reed Switchboard’s 2000+ posts yield success after success.

Some recent favorites from the Reed Switchboard success feed:

Greg B. ‘98 helped Joe W ‘09 connect with someone at Lego Foundation, resulting in an informational interview for his dream job!

Vasily is traveling cross-country connecting with Reedies for hosting and hangouts along the way.

Laura ‘14 and Yuka ‘17 both found people to help them improve their driving in Portland.

Kaori ‘15 found more than ten Reedies across multiple generations to help her answer a big question: whether to work or travel after graduation.

These successes and so many more certainly give us a lot to celebrate. 

We heard from attendees that they loved how flexible Reed Switchboard is, allowing mini-reunions like this one to spontaneously happen through a simple “Offer.” More importantly however, they valued Switchboard as an opportunity to connect with other Reedies over shared interests and needs. Where having gone to the same school alone is not always enough to establish a meaningful connection, it is often enough to push an interest-based connection into a more substantial realm. They also talked about how excited they are to engage on their on terms, and expand on the formal meetups and reunions that the college offers.

Our next Reed Switchboard Hearts party is in NYC, and it’s going to be awesome! If you’re in the area, we’d love to see you.