Devotion to Waterbury and Education Prompts $1 Million Gift

David and Joan Reed, donors to UConn Waterbury
David and Joan Reed.

David and Joan Reed have a special fondness for Waterbury and for UConn, and they’ve made their affection permanent with an endowed gift of $1 million to the University’s Waterbury campus.

Their donation will create the David and Joan Reed Faculty Fellowship to bring UConn’s best faculty to teach at the Waterbury campus.

With excellence in teaching as the key criterion for the selection of fellowship recipients, the Reeds believe their gift will bring exciting new life to UConn Waterbury and keep its education vital. The teaching fellowship dovetails with UConn’s Academic Vision, which prioritizes teaching effectiveness as an overarching goal in its aspiration to become one of the nation’s top universities.

“Access to great education is an essential ingredient of a flourishing community, and we believe our gift will be helpful in enriching UConn Waterbury and the entire area,” said Reed. Both David and Joan Reed were born in Naugatuck and graduated from Naugatuck High School. David attended the UConn Waterbury campus for two years before transferring to Storrs, where he graduated in 1955.  He went on to Yale for medical school. Joan received an MBA from Southern Connecticut State College.  The couple spent their adult lives in the Waterbury area— David to practice internal medicine in affiliation with Waterbury Hospital and Joan to teach mathematics for several years at Amity Sr. High School and as a volunteer for many social and charitable organizations.

When Reed retired in 2009, he wanted to “keep his mind sharp,” so he began teaching a course on the Soviet Union in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UConn Waterbury campus.   The Institute, one of 122 OLLI programs nationwide, offers nearly 40 non-credit courses for adults from more than 65 towns and cities in Connecticut. Reed enjoyed the experience so much that he developed a follow-up course on espionage tactics and strategies employed by the Soviets and the Americans to keep tabs on each other.  That course proved even more popular than the first, and Dr. Reed went on to teach another course on Eastern Europe. He is now a practiced presenter for the OLLI program.

In recent years, he and Joan have watched with great pleasure as the Waterbury campus has moved and grown.  “During my time, classes were held in a converted elementary school building,” said Reed.

In 2003, the branch relocated to a new building in downtown Waterbury.  It now serves more than 1,100 students and, besides providing entry to UConn’s more than 100 undergraduate degree programs, it offers seven bachelor degree programs and three graduate degree programs as well as course work for the Master of Social Work.

Another expansion underway will add more classroom, meeting and study space in the “Rectory” building across the street.

“The Reed Fellowship will bring exceptional professors and exciting content to the Waterbury campus,” said Mun Y. Choi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “The holder of the fellowship will mentor others in teaching and stimulate intellectual debate and discourse, and the fellowship provides funds for curriculum development and for instructional technologies that enrich learning.”

The first Reed Fellow is expected to be named in the spring.

“Students at UConn Waterbury enjoy smaller classes and a high level of interaction with faculty members,” said William Pizzuto, campus director.  “We are grateful to the Reeds for their generous gift, which ensures that education here continues to provide the same quality and rigor as the Storrs campus.”

Join the Reeds in supporting UConn Waterbury