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Giving back as a team
2005 Alumni Distinguished Service Award winners
Bruce Prestwich '55 and Carolyn Tranquada Prestwich '54 share a deep
sense of commitment in all they do.
Bruce Prestwich ’55 was among the first in his family to go to college,
thanks to a scholarship provided by Pomona alumni. Carolyn Tranquada
Prestwich ’54 was immersed in Pomona lore from a young age, since her
parents and many other relatives were graduates.
They met working in the dining hall. A lineman on the football team,
Bruce knew right away that Carolyn was somebody he wanted to spend time
with. Carolyn took a little convincing. “He was an underclassman,” she
recalls. “I had to do a little research.”
They wound up getting married in Little Bridges, just like Carolyn’s
parents had. Today their relationship is still going strong, and so is
their commitment to Pomona.
For their decades of volunteer service, the pair will receive the Alumni
Distinguished Service Award during Alumni Weekend. They are only the
second couple to receive this honor.
Over the years, both Bruce and Carolyn have served on the Alumni
Council. Bruce also has chaired many of his class reunion fund
committees and served as an alumni admissions volunteer, interviewing
high school students. “For us, Pomona kind of became a lifestyle,” says
Barbry Hogue ’72, who served on the Alumni Council with Carolyn, notes
that Bruce also would show up at meetings to help and offer input.
“I really think of Bruce and Carolyn as a wonderful team,” she says. “I
think it’s terrific that the two of them are receiving this award
She says the Prestwiches aren’t the kind of people who are looking for
recognition, which made the award all the more fitting. “They do this
out of love for the College,” she says.
The Prestwiches enjoyed their time at Pomona so much that it seemed only
natural to stay connected. The alumni secretary signed them on before
they graduated. “I don’t think we ever had a doubt that that would be
something we wanted to be involved in doing,” says Carolyn.
A sociology major, Carolyn sang in the choir and served as a sponsor in
the dorms. Besides four years of football, economics major Bruce sang in
the glee club and also was a sponsor.
Bruce’s job as a salesman for IBM meant they moved often over the years,
living in Riverside, Glendale, Santa Barbara and Saratoga, near San
Jose. Carolyn worked as an elementary school teacher and in church
ministry for children, but devoted most of her time to their four kids.
Pomona instilled in them a commitment to community service, and as they
moved from city to city, Carolyn quickly got involved in PTA, church and
other community activities. And they always stayed in touch with Pomona,
serving as area alumni representatives in different communities they
Retired today in San Diego County, they always feel at home returning to
campus. Marston Quad brings back memories for Carolyn as the center of
campus life. Bruce looks for the old oak tree where the football players
used to hang their sweaty clothes between three-a-day practices.
He still vividly remembers the day—May 1, 1951—that his acceptance
letter arrived from Pomona. “I couldn’t stop walking around the house
with the letter in my hands,” he says.