Reed considers any student who attended a semester or more at the college to be an alumnus. Reed's notable alumni include:
- James Beard (chef)
- Dr. Demento (radio personality)
- David Eddings (writer)
- Barbara Ehrenreich (writer and social critic)
- Peter Norton (creator of the Norton Utilities)
- Emilio Pucci (fashion designer)
- James Russell (inventor of
the compact disc).
- Gary Snyder (poet)
- Howard Vollum (founder
Steve Jobs (co-founder of Apple Computer) attended Reed for one semester.