Residence Halls Dedication Speech: Paul Efron '76, Board of Trustees Chair
This speech was delivered on October 1, 2011, at the dedication of Pomona Hall and Sontag Hall, Pomona's two newest residence halls. Read more and view photos from the dedication program.
Good afternoon and welcome to a very special occasion in the life of Pomona College. I am delighted so many are able to attend this dedication. My name is Paul Efron and I have the honor of serving as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the College.
We are here today to celebrate two new buildings that represent Pomona’s core values. Let me explain briefly why I say that. First, Pomona has always been and remains today a residential liberal arts college. We have been blessed with incredible residence halls--I might not have realized this during my sophomore year when I shared a room in Wig Hall, but I sure did my senior year when I had a room overlooking Frary fountain—just to the west of where we are. Pomona students don’t want to live off-campus. They want to be fully engaged with the Pomona community. And these new dorms allow us to continue to offer our students the opportunity to live together in this wonderful place.
Second, our beautiful campus is an extraordinary and differentiated asset of the College. While these new buildings incorporate state-of-the-art technology, their design--materials, colors and other architectural elements--includes and refers to aspects of the older Pomona campus, respecting that tradition. A large number of people contributed to the effort to design these buildings, and they did so with great care and attention to detail. When I toured these facilities last May with some graduating seniors, including my son, their only complaint was that they weren’t going to get a chance to live here.
Finally, as you know, these dorms are designed to meet the most rigorous standards of energy usage and sustainability. It is important that we pay attention to these values even as we move forward with our ambitious plans to continue to invest in ways to preserve Pomona’s position among the very best liberal arts colleges in the country. These residence halls will provide a great opportunity to teach our students about the significance of designing buildings in a manner consistent with preserving our environment.
While there are too many people to thank for their individual contributions to this effort, I do want to mention and pay particular tribute to the anonymous donors whose contribution has made Pomona Hall possible and to all the Sontags for continuing their family’s wonderful, generous support of the College by providing us with beautiful Sontag Hall.
Some of you may already have had tours of both Sontag and Pomona halls. If not, tours will resume at the conclusion of this ceremony, and I encourage you to see these extraordinary buildings for yourselves.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank all of you for being here to celebrate this important occasion.