Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Kaplan Wants to Make Giving a Pomona Tradition

Financial aid made it possible for Jean Moran Kaplan ’83 to attend Pomona, her first-choice school. “I just felt so lucky when I got there,” she says.

Today Kaplan is giving back by serving as national chair of The Annual Fund, which allows the College to continue to accept students regardless of income.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to support an institution that made such a difference in my life,” says Kaplan. “And I hope the Pomona community will want to join me to support the tradition of need-blind admissions.”

An economics major, Kaplan made the most of her time at Pomona. She was a disc jockey for KSPC, a sponsor in the dorms and worked a variety of work-study jobs.

She went on to get her MBA from UCLA, and then worked as a business consultant helping to reorganize distressed companies.

Kaplan has since left the business world, but faces a major managerial challenge at home. She and her husband, Stephen, have six kids, ages 1 through 16, in their blended family. There’s an endless stream of sports practices, from karate to soccer to baseball. “I’m putting my MBA to work here,” says Kaplan, who also finds time to serve on the board of advisors for the Zimmer Children’s Museum in Los Angeles.

She re-connected with Pomona in a big way in 2003 by co-chairing her 20th reunion. At that time, she had reached a place in life where she “could take more time to think about the influence Pomona had on me and what I might want to do to give back.”

Kaplan enjoyed the reunion work, so she was receptive when later approached about becoming national chair. In her new role, she enjoys getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a college works. Her duties run from corresponding with donors to working with the board of trustees as an ex-officio member. One of her goals is to increase the level of participation by young alumni.

“I’d really like to start the tradition of giving to the College as soon after you graduate as possible, so it just becomes a habit,” she says. “I want people to continue to feel connected to the College, not just during reunion years.”
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