The origin of a long and intricate familial relationship with Pomona College traces back to the mid-1800s, when brothers Charles A. and John G. Lorbeer married sisters Aurelia and Emma Wickes. Many descendants of both couples would go on to matriculate at the College.
Among the numerous Sagehens on the Charles A. Lorbeer side of the family were "The Lorbeer Nine," who were the children of Charles I. Lorbeer and Mary Coe and the grandchildren of Charles A. and Aurelia. All nine graduated from Pomona between 1906 and 1924. When Wendell Lorbeer, last of the nine, was about to receive his degree at the 1924 commencement, President James A. Blaisdell suddenly stopped the procession.
"This is a tribute to a noble mother," who shepherded all her children through to graduation, he is said to have told the audience, according to Wendell Lorbeer's daughter, Margarita Lorbeer Horner '49.
Of the many family members on the John G. Lorbeer side to attend the College, six were sons or daughters of Etta Lorbeer Gillette and Daniel "Jay" Gillette. One of those, Lawrence Gillette '14, was an accomplished athlete whose hopes of competing in the Olympics were dashed by the outbreak of World War I. A newspaper of the time described him as "the fastest man in the West," family members say.