Aaron Reynolds ’73

1997 CWA Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

June 7, 1997

Even as an Upper School student, this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award winner had a creative and inquisitive mind. At 17, he built a television which lasted 20 years according to his father. At 18, he repaired a laser printer the size of a bulldozer by reading the repair manual.

After graduating from Charles Wright in 1973, he attended Reed College where he received a bachelor’s degree. He took a year off, then enrolled at Oregon State University to earn a master’s degree in math and computer science. Then, on a whim, he answered an ad in a computer journal placed by a small Northwest software company, was interviewed by a guy named Paul Allen and was hired on the spot, becoming Microsoft employee number 120.

As a Microsoft software architect since 1979, much of this Distinguished Alumnus’ accomplishments have changed the technological face of the world. He co-wrote and was part of the team that wrote MS-DOS versions 1.1, 2.0, 3.0, 3.1, Windows versions 1.1, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, and Windows 95, and is currently working on Windows NT. He was a major contributor of all Windows work and is one of few people at Microsoft to have extensive working knowledge of DOS-based programs. He is also working on a program to have and give directions to drivers via computers and satellites.

In addition to his significant professional contributions, he gives back to the community. He is involved with the University Street Ministry which helps homeless children in Seattle’s University District as a member of the Board of Directors. He meets with street kids one-on-one, counsels them and refers them to other resources. He also advises other non-profit groups who help children.

On behalf of the Charles Wright Academy Alumni Association, the 1997 Distinguished Alumni Award is proudly presented to Aaron Reynolds ’73 for his global contributions in the software industry, and his one-on-one contributions to the homeless children of Seattle.

Aaron Reynolds '73 Alumni Award