Campaign Launch Speech: Paul Efron '76
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.
Good evening to everyone. My name is Paul Efron, and I have the privilege, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to welcome you to the public launch of Campaign Pomona.
Daring Minds is not just the theme of the campaign. It is, in fact, what Pomona College is all about. From our remarkable students to our accomplished and dedicated faculty, the campus is full by people who are intellectually adventurous, willing to take chances, and who have a passion to engage in scholarship and research. As you will see in the next video, “daring minds” are pervasive at Pomona College. The term also describes alumni, parents and friends of the College—all of whom care deeply about the future of the institution we and they love deeply.
Now I want to introduce to you some of the daring minds who have made the College what it is today. The presidencies of David Oxtoby’s two immediate predecessors accounted for 34 years of Pomona history—an amazing period of time. David Alexander, and then Peter Stanley, worked tirelessly to make Pomona a national powerhouse, in a league with the very best liberal arts colleges in the country.
I want to introduce Catharine Alexander and say how grateful we are for the enduring partnership she and David shared during his tenure.
Next, we are delighted that Pomona’s eighth president, Peter Stanley, is with us tonight to help celebrate this important event in the life of the College. During the 12 years of his presidency, Pomona’s reputation reached new heights, the endowment enjoyed phenomenal growth, and the faculty and the student body were enhanced in important ways. We’re going to hear from Peter at dinner tonight.
Let me also acknowledge and thank the three Trustees who are leading the campaign. Stewart Smith when he retired as Board Chair in 2009 agreed to chair the campaign and we owe him a tremendous debt for leading this tremendously important effort.
The campaign co-chairs, who are ably serving with Stewart, are Trustees John Payton and Libby Gates Armintrout, and we will hear from them shortly. Other members of the Campaign Steering Committee, whose service is critical and highly valued, are listed in the program.
For me, serving on the Board of Trustees is a great privilege, and it’s an opportunity to give back to an institution that did so much for me when I was a student here. Pomona taught me how to think, to write, and to express myself in ways that proved invaluable in my career and in my life. My goal has been to preserve and, dare I say, to try to enhance this great institution, because I know that if we aren’t moving forward, we will fall behind. And that’s what this Campaign is all about.
Now just a A few logistical points on tonight’s events: After the program finishes here, we will walk over to the Rain’s Gymnasium for dinner. It will be dark, but I’ve been told if you follow the sounds of the taiko drums—which are provided by The Claremont Colleges Psyko Taiko group—you won’t get lost.
So now let’s enjoy the rest of the program.