In memory of Elizabeth Buttler Reed (Elizabeth Schmidt) and in appreciation of the generous bequest received by Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Association, on November 14, 1992 the Association Board established the Elizabeth B. Reed Scholarship.
Elizabeth Schmidt was born in Friedrichshafen, Germany on May 19, 1923 of American parents. She moved to the U.S. at age nine months.
Elizabeth, who preferred to be known as Frieda, left home at 16 to become an actress at the Pasadena Playhouse. In 1941 she married one of her instructors, Robert Reed. They moved to San Francisco, where she designed and silk-screened greeting cards and studied the Mandarin Chinese language.
Her parents were living in Pearl Harbor at the time of the bombing, and although they were not hurt, Frieda became very active in the war effort. She worked the night-shift at Marin Shipyard, Sausalito, as a "burner", cutting iron with an oxy-acetylene torch.
She and Robert divorced and she decided to go to sea. The U.S. Merchant Marine would not accept women, so she hired on as a waitress on a Norwegian Freighter. She studied radio telegraphy on board, replaced a drunken radio operator, and was made an officer of the Norwegian Merchant Marine. She also found time to become proficient in Russian.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U.C. Berkeley in 1949, did postgraduate work at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, then received her MD degree from U.C. San Francisco (U.C.S.F.) in 1953. She discovered a remedy for gout. She also studied the cello.
In 1960 she married Kurt Bendit. During their 27-year marriage, they were active politically, and in their middle age, they were involved in the anti-war protests in Berkeley. She obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1967 from U.C.S.F. From about 1982 to the time of her death she was a part-time physician at Student Health, U.C.S.F. She published numerous papers, translated Russian scientific papers, and also became fluent in Italian.
Frieda is listed in Who's Who In American Women. She had an interest in numerous socially responsible organizations in addition to PBK, including The Nature Conservancy, The Cousteau Society, The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and many others.
Although she had treated countless patients suffering from lung cancer, Frieda smoked heavily, and succumbed to lung cancer at age sixty-seven on February 12, 1991. Frieda had no children.
We of Phi Beta Kappa are very grateful to Frieda Reed for her thoughtfulness in contributing part of her estate to the Association.
In selecting the recipient of this prestigious award, we try to relate to the interests and research to Ms. Reed, not all that difficult considering the wide range of interests she had!
We look forward to next year's award!
|2020||Anna Nisi||UC Santa Cruz||Environmental Studies|
|2019||Emma Steigerwald||UC Berkeley||Environmental Science, Policy, & Management|
|2018||Yvanka de Soysa||UC San Francisco||Biomedicine|
|2017||Rebecca Ora||UC Santa Cruz||Film and Digital Media|
|2016||Racheli Wercberger||UC San Francisco||Neuroscience|
|2015||Stephanie Redmond||UC San Francisco||Neuroscience|
|2014||Carissa Chu||UC San Francisco||Medicine|
|2013||Andrew Chang||Stanford||Chemistry / Bioengineering|
|2012||Elizabeth (Liz) Boatman
||UC Berkeley||Materials Science & Engineering|
|2011||Noël Bakhtian||Stanford||Aeronautics and Astronautics|
|2010||Lilliana Radoshevich||UC San Francisco||Biomedical Sciences|
|2009||Laurel Seely||UC Santa Cruz||Literature|
|2008||Manisha Bahl||UC San Francisco||Medicine|
|2007||Robert Pringle||Stanford||Biological Sciences|
|2006||Corinna Riginos||UC Davis||Ecology|
|2005||Sarah Eyerly||UC Davis||Musicology and Criticism|
|2004||Lisa Lital Levy||UC Berkeley||Comparative Literature|
|2003||Boris Yanislav Wolfson||UC Berkeley||Slavic Languages and Literature|
|2002||Roopali Phadke||UC Santa Cruz||Asian and Environmental Studies|
|2001||J. Winston Chiong||UC San Francisco||Medicine|
|2000||Julie Anderson||UC Berkeley||Comparative Literature|
|1999||Helen Fox||UC Berkeley||Integrative Biology - coral reefs|
|1998||Laurie Schaffner||UC Berkeley||Sociology -female juvenile delinquency|
|1997||Serena Volpp||UC San Francisco||Biology, Woman's Studies; Medicine|
|1996||Katherine L. Wu||UC Santa Cruz||Astronomy and Astrophysics|
|1995||Cathryn C. Clayton||UC Santa Cruz||Cultural Anthropology in contemporary China|
|1994||Elizabeth M. Oudens||UC San Francisco||English, Medicine|
|1993||Michelle M. Walker||UC Davis||Chemistry, emphasizing Cancer research and therapy|