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Fall 2002
Volume 39, No. 1
Issue Home

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PCMOnline Editor: Sarah Dolinar


The Freeman/Rodi Family

Pomona has always provided strong roots for the Rodi-Freeman family tree. Karl Rodi ’29, who would later serve on Pomona’s Board of Trustees, was the first arrival. His brother Al Rodi ’34 and Bertrice “B.B.” Freeman ’33 met on campus, and two of her brothers also graduated from Pomona. A third Freeman brother, Bob, chose Occidental College, starting a friendly family rivalry. By the time the next generation came to Pomona in the ’50s and ’60s, the families were already closely intertwined. Another generation arrived in the ’80s and ’90s.

Family members were active in a variety of sports: B.B. was an avid golfer, as was Al’s and her daughter Berti Rodi Burruel ’64, who was Pomona’s top women’s player in 1964. B.B.’s brother, David Freeman ’42, won worldwide acclaim as the first American to win the world badminton championships in 1949. Al was captain of Pomona’s 1933 football team. Both his son, Pete Rodi ’62, also a football player, and his grandson, soccer player David Rodi ’87, were inducted into the Pomona College Athletic Hall of Fame. Jim Galbraith ’64 (currently an honorary Pomona trustee) and Peggy Rodi ’66 led Pomona’s men’s and women’s tennis teams in 1964.

In 1964, it was Fulton “Tony” Freeman ’37 (who served as Ambassador to Mexico and Colombia during the 1960s), who spoke at Pomona’s commencement exercises, with several of his relatives among the graduates.