Campaign Launch Speech: VP and Dean of the College Cecilia Conrad
This speech was presented at the public launch of Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds on October 16, 2010. Text of the speech is available below the video.
When “daring” describes our students and our graduates, it’s an adjective. When “daring” conveys the action of our faculty and staff, it’s a verb.
It is a double dare!
We dare to offer the highest quality liberal arts education in the world and to guarantee that it is accessible. We have remain committed to need-blind admissions; to meeting 100% of a student’s financial need; and to meeting that need with a no-loan aid package even as the economy has faltered--especially because the economy has faltered. For faculty and staff, it is a privilege to work with students chosen solely on the basis of talent, not on the basis of their ability to pay, chosen solely on the basis of their ability to develop daring minds.
We dare to invite undergraduate students to spend their summers in our research laboratories; to work side-by-side with faculty on research projects in Vietnam, Iceland, Peru and Pakistan; to explore internships with businesses and nonprofit organizations, both here and abroad.
Daring Minds like Mike Gormally and Theodore Zwang collaborated with chemistry Professors Matt Sazinsky and Mal Johal to study factors that affect infection rates in diabetics.
Daring Minds like Leanne Welds who researched “Afro-Caribbean Religious Roots of Caribbean Pop and Folk Music” with Professor of Music Katherine Hagedorn.
Daring Minds like MD Ma who used PBI and Stonehill video grants to make a film describing education resources for Hmong children in China.
Daring Minds like Naohito Miura, who used an Oldenborg grant to collect data in Japan on sustainable urban development.
We dare our students to apply the theories and methodologies acquired inside the Pomona classroom to the world outside of Pomona with the opportunities offered through the Draper Center for Community Partnerships, internships available through the Career Development Office , outdoor adventures supported by On the Loose.
Daring Minds like John Bonacorsi who led a research group of PAYS students to demonstrate food insecurity through focus groups with 50 local families.
Daring Minds like Brian Coreas, a PAYS alumnus, who is a teaching assistant in the PAYS program and a Pomona Partners coordinator.
We dare our students to take seriously the “added riches” quotation from James Blaisdell on the Pomona gates.
Daring Minds like Melvin Yee, 2009 recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award, who founded the Wage Justice Center.
Daring Minds like Kafi Blumenfield, president of the Liberty Hill Foundation.
Daring Minds like Gretchen Berland, physician and documentary filmmaker and 2004 MacArthur Fellowship winner.
Daring Minds like BrianTucker, another MacArthur Fellowship winner, who is founder and president of Geo Hazards, an organization dedicated to making the world’s most vulnerable communities safer from earthquakes.
And critical to the production of Daring Minds are extraordinary staff and faculty. Our staff who insure that our students have a beautiful, safe, nourishing and supportive environment in which to thrive. And faculty—one group of daring minds daring another.
Daring Minds Like Dwight Whitaker, Assistant Professor of Physics, whose recent paper in the journal Science reports the first observation of a plant that disperses spores with vortex rings.
Daring Minds like Sandeep Murkejee, Assistant Professor of Art, whose recent one-person exhibition in New York was a critic’s pick in Art Forum magazine.
Daring Minds like Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Pardis Mahdavi, who just completed a year as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, studying sex trafficking in Dubai.
This Campaign is for all of us--students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends. In this campaign, we say to the world:
We dare you to invest in Pomona’s future. We double-dare you!