Letter from the Editor
The Diversity Imperative
In June, the United States Supreme Court ruled on what is probably the most important civil rights case in the past quarter century. In the newspaper headlines, it was billed as a split decision. The court ruled against the University of Michigan, six justices to three, in the case of its undergraduate admissions program (the case known in legal shorthand as Gratz) and in favor of the university, five to four, in the case involving its law school (the case known as Grutter).
I was surprised and very disappointed to see no paragraph and picture about Lucy Shelton ’65 receiving an honorary doctorate in music at the graduation ceremony May 2003. One generally expects to read about all honorary degrees when a college magazine has articles concerning graduation events. To neglect a distinguished alumna in this regard seems very strange and un-Pomona-like.
—Heidi S. Lynch ’61
Twenty years ago when I attended Pomona and walked the beautiful campuses brimming with exotic plantings, woven together by intricate webs of watering systems, no one ever mentioned water issues to us. At orientation we were never told where our drinking water came from, or where the water that maintained our bucolic haven originated. It was only upon leaving Pomona that I learned about all of the ecological issues and land-use policies that shaped Southern California and all of the ways that Southern California shapes its ecology. I remain shocked that this would not have been an essential part of my education at college.
—Jessica Thayer ’84
Organic Success Story
I am sure you are aware that the Pomona community embraces more than its students and alums. Because of Pomona’s generosity in sending your fine magazine to the parents of students and alums, we too are able to keep in touch. It is always a treat for me to read about Pomona, where my only connection lies in the fact that my daughter ventured there from the East Coast for her education.
—Rosemary Levine (P ’00)
Another Branch of the Tree
I was very pleased to see the “Family Tree” article on the Tranquada family in the Fall 2003 PCM. May I add a branch that doesn’t appear on the chart of that crowded family tree? I’m the grandson of Elvira De Silva Alverson, who was a sister of the five De Silva siblings who graduated from Pomona (Lionel ’24, Ernest ’24, Lucile ’28, Elmer ’32 and Clement ’35). Hello to all my Sagehen cousins!
—Jim Alverson ’91
Congratulations to the 1992 Pomona-Pitzer women’s tennis national champions for their induction into the Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Hall of Fame. Theirs was the best finish of any Pomona team in any sport in history. The question is, what Pomona team previously held that honor? Incredibly few people know the answer, which is: the 1967 Pomona men’s bowling team that finished second in the NAIA National Championship.
This team competed in several local matches and tournaments, rolled a six-game qualifying match and scored highest in the West Coast district, earning the right to travel to Kansas City, MO, for the Championship. Captain John Waldo ’67 and members George Ude ’68, Randy Williams ’70, Ted Ockels ’70 and Stephen Colley ’70 needed a coach. Anne Bages, who knew little of tournament-level bowling, but had a heart as big as the Wash, stepped forward and accompanied the team. After two days of hard competition, the team finished second in the nation, and Randy Williams had rolled the highest game in the tournament. No accolades were waiting upon our return; no banquets were held; and no mention of the accomplishment was published in the Metate.
—George R. Ude ’68
A Great Musician
The obituary for Carl G. Arnold ’38 in the Fall 2003 PCM rightly stressed his distinguished military career. It should not be forgotten, however, that he was one of the finest cornet players ever to attend the College and played an important role in the history of the Pomona College Band. He loved to tell the story of visiting Claremont as a high school senior and spotting the opportunity to assist in developing a formal band program. Carl, who had not previously been interested in attending Pomona, talked the director of admissions into letting him come to the College and assist first Herbert Grey and then, in his junior and senior years, the newly appointed William G. “Doc” Blanchard in that process. For four years he served as drum major for the marching band and played cornet in the concert band, which gave its first formal concert on April 1, 1935. In his senior year Carl was also assistant conductor of the concert band, in addition to serving as student body president. Perhaps his proudest moment as a musician came in connection with the First Intercollegiate Band Conference, which “Doc” had organized as part of the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the College. On February 5, 1938 in Bridges Auditorium, accompanied by the 90-member Intercollegiate Band, Carl played Herbert L. Clarke’s virtuoso cornet solo “Bride of the Waves”—one of the many pieces that Clarke had written for himself to play as cornet soloist with John Philip Sousa’s band from 1892–1917—with the composer conducting. Carl, who was also a fine conductor, directed the Pomona College Band in Fall 1947, reviving the marching band for the first time since the war. Many alumni will remember him leading the band and the audience in renditions of “Spirit of Pomona” at Alumni Weekends in 1988, 1993 and 1998. The Pomona College Band concerts in April 2003 were dedicated to his memory, and to the memory of another fine trumpet player who had played under his direction, Les Warden ’48.
—Graydon Beeks ’69
We welcome letters about the College or magazine. Letters may be edited for length, style and clarity. When a letter raises significant questions, an appropriate respondent may be invited to reply. The editor reserves the right to cut off debate on an issue after a reasonable period of time.