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About Deer College

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Knorr Hall, Deer's oldest academic building.

Founded in 1948 in southeast Three Portlands, Deer College is a coeducational liberal arts and sciences college. Renowned for its groundbreaking integration of occult studies into a liberal arts curriculum, Deer is known for its high standards of magical practice, creative thinking, and engaged multiversal citizenship.

Deer students pursue the Bachelor of Arts degree in over 40 majors and concentrations. The curriculum includes a year-long occultism course, broad distribution requirements, and a senior thesis; each student constructs their own program of study by pairing a traditional major with a concentration in an occult field, or chooses from a number of established interdisciplinary majors. A 9:1 student-faculty ratio and small conference-style classes allow faculty members to truly mentor students and engage with them in individual discussions.


Deer Students: What Is a Deerie?

Deer students ("Deeries") are independent, curious, intellectual, and full of character; no two are exactly alike, but they all share the same love of inquiry into things man was not meant to know. We've asked proud members of recent graduating classes to tell us about themselves, their theses, and their Deer experiences.


Mission and History

Deer College is an institution of higher education in the occult arts and sciences devoted to the intrinsic value of intellectual and magical pursuits and governed by the highest standards of scholarship, critical thought, and creativity. Since its founding in 1948 as an independent undergraduate institution, Deer College has remained steadfast to one central commitment: to provide a balanced and comprehensive magical education fulfilling the highest standards of academic excellence.

History of the College

Deer College was founded in 1948, and its first classes were held in 1950. Deer is named for Reed College, its mundane counterpart in Portland, Oregon; its founders, Zachary Knorr and Matyas Szabo, were Reed alumni who were dissatisfied with the lack of occult studies at their alma mater, and decided to found a college of occult arts and sciences in the Three Portlands, upon the multiversal shadow of Reed itself. By summoning the spirits of Reed's founders, Simeon and Amanda Reed, and binding them to the Three Portlands parallel to the land on which their college stood, Knorr and Szabo were able to stabilize Reed's multiversal shadow and conjure from the aether the Deer College campus as it stands today.

Deer's first president was founder Zachary Knorr, who served from 1948-1956. He was followed by Horatio Sgariglia, 1956-1960; Jan Gringhuis, 1960-1964; Heather Davis, 1964-1977; Paul E. Bragdon, 1977-1988; Prof. Zebediah Agan, 1988-1990 (acting president); Timothy Wormwood, 1990-1998; Anna Svensdottir, 1998-2003; Prof. Elisha ben Abuyah, 2003-2004 (acting president); and Chad Gable, 2004-2011. The current college president is Benjamin Lund, who assumed the office in 2011.

Inclusion and Diversity

Deer College is a community dedicated to serious and open magical inquiry, one in which students, faculty and staff can fully participate regardless of ethnicity, race, species, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, universe of origin, socio-economic status, disability, mortality or corporeality. Numerous Deer scholarships are available to students from marginalized backgrounds, and certain groups of students have access to housing options that allow them to live with others who share their unique struggles.


Academics

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The North Reading Room of Wormwood Memorial Library

A Deer college education balances broad knowledge across the curriculum with depth of knowledge in a particular field of study. Student create their own major from two fields of study, one mundane and one occult; each student is advised by a professor from each of their departments, receiving one-on-one guidance from both. Deer's academic divisions are separated into mundane divisions and occult divisions (with the exception of the Division of Metaphysics, which includes both mundane and occult departments).


Mundane Divisions

Division of the Arts

The Division of the Arts encompasses departments which focus on all varieties of creative endeavor. While many students in the Division of the Arts choose Anart as their occult focus, it is by no means a requirement; the Division of the Arts recognizes that methods other than traditional Anart techniques can be just as expressive.

Division Head: Prof. Wenqian Liao (Art History, 2007—)

Departments & Majors: Art, Art History, Dance, Music, Theatre

Division of Literature and Language

The Division of Literature and Language includes departments which study literature and foreign languages, as well as several more general fields of study.

Division Head: Prof. Anna Gonzalez (Spanish, 2012—)

Departments & Majors: Chinese, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, English, French, German, Linguistics, Russian, Spanish

Division of History and Social Sciences

The Division of History and Social Sciences is composed of all departments that study human history, culture, and society using scientific methodology.

Division Head: Prof. Tom Humphrey (History, 1979—)

Departments & Majors: Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology

Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

The Division of Mathematics and Natural Sciences includes the departments which use mundane science to come to a closer understanding of the universe.

Division Head: Prof. Betelgeuse (Astronomy, 1952—)

Departments & Majors: Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics


Occult Divisions

Division of Unnatural Sciences

The Division of Unnatural Sciences includes those departments which, while close to mundane scientific fields, work with or study occult forces that mundane scientists disregard.

Division Head: Dr. Albert Lauingen (Alchemy, 2003—)

Departments & Majors: Alchemy, Cryptozoology, Memetics, Numerology, Parapsychology

Division of Invocation and Summoning

The Division of Invocation and Summoning includes departments which focus on interactions with extradimensional or otherwise supernatural beings.

Division Head: Prof. Mansur ibn Samyazaz (Theurgy, 2011—)

Departments & Majors: Demonology, Fey Studies, Necromancy, Theurgy

Division of Magical Arts

The Division of Magical Arts includes all occult departments not covered by another division.

Division Head: Prof. Benjamin Anxi (Anart, 2008—)

Departments & Majors: Anart, Druidry, Ritual Studies, Thaumaturgy

Division of Metaphysics

The Division of Metaphysics includes departments which study the greater workings of the multiverse rather than focusing on a specific facet. It is unique in including both occult and mundane departments.

Division Head: Prof. Dominic Hall (Philosophy, 1999—)

Departments & Majors: Divination, Ontokinetics, Philosophy, Pataphysics, Theology


Campus Life

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Deer's "Old Dorm Block"

Deer College campus is located in the heart of southeast Three Portlands, only a short drive or bus ride from downtown. Most Deer students live on campus—housing is guaranteed for the first two years—although upperclassmen often choose to live in a house or apartment nearby.


Housing

Deer students are guaranteed housing for their first two years on campus. Residential life at Deer includes multiyear and multigender residence halls, college-owned apartments near campus, and several language houses. Students can also apply to live in Deer's co-op houses, which offer an opportunity for individuals to live and build communities with those who share their experiences or interests.

Residence Halls

Deer's residence halls are intended to build strong student communities, not just provide a place to sleep. From the Old Dorm Block, crystallized from the multiversal shadow of the Reed dorm with the same name, to the newly-constructed Blackwood Hall, the residence halls offer Deer students a safe, affordable, and minimally-haunted housing option. Most residence hall rooms are singles or divided doubles, although first-years might be placed in undivided doubles or triples.

Language Houses

Language houses are each staffed with a visiting language scholar, who lives with the students and helps them build a community based around a foreign language and culture. Each language houses has its own building on the eastern side of campus, with the exception of Arabic House, which takes up the second floor of the Anderson residence hall. Deer currently has six language houses: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian and Spanish. The Enochian house is merely a campus rumor; students who claim to have visited the Enochian house, to have lived in the Enochian house, or to have taken classes in Enochian should be reported to Community Safety.

Co-Op Housing

Co-op houses are generally not available to first year students. Each co-op house has its own building on the eastern end of campus; rather than having an assigned housing advisor, the students in the house choose from among themselves a co-op coordinator who communicates with the Office of Residence Life on their behalf. Certain co-ops have entrance criteria that students must meet before they can apply to live there.

Canyon House: At the center of Deer campus is the Canyon, an area of woods and wetlands that's home to a number of plant and animal species native only to Three Portlands. Somewhere in the Canyon, protected by the ancient druidic magics of Nature herself, is Canyon House, a community dedicated to understanding and coexisting with the natural world. Students who apply to live in Canyon House should be committed to ecological conservation and be prepared to live and work alongside the beasts and spirits of nature.

Haunted House: Haunted House is intended to provide a space for incorporeal and post-mortal students to build a community free from the stigma against the non-living. Applicants to Haunted House must be post-mortal entities; most applicants have been ghosts and specters, but anyone who has died and been returned from the grave via unholy necromancy, unfinished business, or simple refusal to pass on is welcome.

MadSci: If the phrase "For Science!" warms the extra heart you implanted into yourself to increase circulatory efficienct, MadSci might be for you. MadSci is a community for those dedicated to pushing the boundaries of mundane science past what man was meant to know — whether that means late-night bioalchemy study sessions, making unholy patchwork creatures in the basement, or just sharing lab coat cleaning tips. Anyone interested in the cutting edge of science and technology is welcome here.


Transport

Deer is about 45 minutes by bus or light rail from downtown Three Portlands. While students are allowed to have cars, getting them to campus may be tricky; there are no easily accessible Ways into Three Portlands that can fit a whole car in either Oregon or Maine, so American students will need to leave their cars at home. Three Portlands has excellent bike paths and public transit, so even without a car, getting around isn't difficult.

Local Transit

The City of Three Portlands has a robust and affordable public transit system. Deer campus is ten minutes' walk from a light rail station, and there are several bus lines that stop on or near campus. Bicycles are also an easy way to get around the city; there are bike lanes on most major roads, and even a separate network of bike-only Ways that makes biking faster than driving in some areas.

Students who do choose to bring their car to campus, either via the Isle of Portland or some of the less-accessible Ways in the American Portlands (contact the Three Portlands Department of Transportation for a list) can apply for a campus parking permit at Deer's Community Safety office. Although Three Portlands is partially administered by the American government, cars drive on the left rather than the right; this can be difficult for students from outside the British Isles to adjust to.

Multiversal Transit

From Deer campus, it is very easy to access Portland, Oregon via a number of Ways. Even for those without any talent for finding Ways, there are several well-marked (on Three Portlands side) placed where it is possible to travel from our little pocket dimension to the "real world". There are even two Ways on campus—one in the steam tunnels under Knorr Hall, another in a sequoia outside the library—which take the user directly to Deer's sister school, Reed.

Access to Portland, Maine and the Isle of Portland is slightly more time-consuming; the nearest Ways to the other two Portlands are each about twenty minutes' walk from campus. Portland, Maine can be accessed via the alley behind the Mug Runneth Over coffee shop on Roselawn & 17th (ask the barista for the combination); the Isle of Portland can be reached through a small tunnel in a hedge in the back yard of 3125 SE Flannigan Ave, although it's polite to ask the owners first.

Deer students also have access to the Wanderer's Library if they complete an optional two-week safety and etiquette seminar offered at the beginning of every semester. Students who complete this course will be able to access the Library through the door at the bottom of the northwest staircase of Deer's Wormwood Memorial Library by swiping their Deer ID card in the reader and offering a single drop of blood to the daemon who inhabits the lock.

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