Water Fights, Mr. Cat and Scholarships

Bill ReedBill Reed '76 has memories from college that could bring any listener to tears from laughter. From waking up his first morning in Cannon dorm and finding two inches of water on the floor caused by the flooding of a building during a water fight (and parents getting invoiced to cover the costs!), to hopefully choosing the right edible plants during a biology camping trip, he loved every moment of his time as a Davidson student.

To honor his meaningful experience, Bill and his wife, Molly, have supported scholarships and other endeavors at Davidson for many years and now have created a fund to honor Director of Athletics Jim Murphy '78, a longtime friend and Phi Delta Theta fraternity brother.

The Jim Murphy '78 Endowed Athletic Scholarship, to be created from a gift annuity, will support scholar athletes across the college's 21 Division I programs and, at the same time, recognize Murphy's many contributions to the college.

"In my generation, the scholar athlete connection wasn't as strong as it is today," said Bill. "Jim represented a new approach, and he has contributed to the NCAA and to building relationships with faculty in a way others hadn't done before. I think his quiet nature has allowed him to be as successful as he's been in this role."

"I'm truly honored and humbled by the generosity of Bill and Molly Reed as they create this scholarship," said Murphy. "It's very rewarding to know that this scholarship attached to my name will provide access to a Davidson education from now on for future athletes. I can't say thank you enough."

After raising their two daughters in Brooklyn and thinking about a move in retirement, the Reeds considered the tax advantages and giving characteristics of an annuity and the way it would enable them to make a significant gift to the college.

"We're happy, and the college is happy," said Bill. "The whole thing was seamless."

As they thought about where to retire, Davidson became another obvious choice.

"I've been so impressed by the alumni loyalty," said Molly. "This community has been very welcoming, and we have many connections across the college community."

Five classmates from Bill's freshman hall and their spouses get together every year. It's a bond that has continued since Bill's student days under the mask as Mr. Cat, serving on the Honor Council, working as a hall counselor and co-heading the freshman adviser role of identifying and training the incoming group of hall counselors. As an alumnus, he has continued his involvement as a member of the Board of Trustees and as a contributor to the Will Terry Scholarship. He also has worked with the Center for Career Development to help students prepare for initial job interviews.

"As a student, anything I wanted to try, I could try," he said. "Davidson was my reach school, and it turned out to be the perfect place for me."

Thanks to the generosity of the Reeds, scholar athletes in the future will be able to find their perfect place at Davidson, too.