Spring 2001, Volume 37, No. 2


Lives of a Saint

Altruism 101
Reach Out!
Venture Catalysts
Sagehens in Paradise

-Pomona Forum-
Altruism 101
-News Print-
Professor's Philosophy of Life Unshaken

-Pomona Today-
Professor of the Year
Inside the Power Crunch
Rite of Passage
Top Five
Frats with a Difference
Bridge Over the Pacific

-New Knowledge-
The Secrets of the Hydra
-Sports Report-
Dynamic Duos
Getting On
George Moore
-Campaign Update-
American Dreams

-Parlor Talk-

-Family Tree-
-Alumni Profile-
Casey Trupin '95
-Alumni Puzzler-
-Back Cover-
Pilgrims' Progress


Measuring Up
I've always been sensitive about my weight. Imagine my panic when, as a frightened frosh, I arrived in August of 1949 only to realize that I couldn't get into the dorm without being weighed and measured! In public! By upperclassmen! I wish I could say that I felt angry about being demeaned, but I did not. I only felt ashamed of myself for not having the correct measurements. I'm glad this "tradition" has been disposed of.
   --Josephine Feagley '53, New York, New York

Christmas Supper
Having just come home from the Pomona College Choir Christmas concert, I was reminded of the wonderful tradition of the Christmas Supper at Pomona in former years. One entered a transformed and darkened Frary Hall, lit only by Christmas candles and hundreds of tiny white lights on an immense Christmas tree at the end of the hall. A roaring fire brought warmth and color while Christmas greens hung from chandeliers brightened by red ribbons. The delicious smells of the dinner mingled with the aroma of pine, and the joy and enthusiasm of all who attended was literally catching. Mrs. McCarthy, in charge of the dining hall, served the same menu each year--chicken a la king, peas, Jell-O salad, rolls, and an ice-cream ball topped with coconut and a candle. We ate standing up, while we listened to carols sung by Glee Club members. I also recall thinking, "later tonight I get to sing in the Choir Concert" while the anticipation of going home after studying hard all semester added to my expectancy.
   Since I attended Pomona during World War II, there was also a poignancy to all this enthusiasm and gaiety, as we faced a very dark world in 1943 and 1944. But somehow the Christmas Supper, in all its simplicity and splendor, momentarily put that fact out of one's mind. I can't remember why this tradition ended, or when. But seeing the young and beautiful members of the Pomona College choir sing their Christmas concert tonight reminded me that at least one part of that traditional evening still goes on.
   --Claire Kingman McDonald '47, Claremont, California
High on my list of Pomona traditions is MUFTI. They were active as early as the '30s. Since MUFTI was a secret society, only its members knew who they were. Several times a year, they put little stickers up around the College with topical comments, showing a certain genius for language and insight into College affairs. I recall the campus was pasted with these little notes saying "MUFTI's $100 Intuition" the day before the trustees announced an increase in tuition of $100. Other postings were equally timely and witty. One saying "MUFTI keeps time but is one beat off" was quickly denounced as the work of imposters. I hope someone has a collection of these, and I hope MUFTI is alive and well.
   --Stephen Ringle '69, Dover-Foxcroft, Maine
In the fall of 1935, an important part of our indoctrination as freshmen included a gathering of all freshmen on the other side of Foothill to a location in the sagebrush. A bonfire had been built and we had supper while older students spoke to us about Pomona's traditions as well as songs and yells for sporting events. By now the sun had set and the fire had burned down to glowing coals. Everyone was asked to be silent. After a minute or two, from out of the darkness the Men's Glee Club started singing Torchbearers. At first very softly and then increasing in volume. It was awe-inspiring. We never saw the singers, only heard their voices. This is a night that has been forever etched into my memory.
   To this day, I cannot talk or write about this experience without becoming very emotional. It is one of the wonderful highlights of my life that is living with me forever.
   --Harry Sheppard '39, San Mateo, California
The Great Beanie Revolt
The most most despised Pomona tradition to those of us who were incoming freshmen in the fall of '67 was the mandatory wearing of the beanie, a small blue and white skullcap that we Frosh were expected to assume whenever daring to show our faces. This hideous helmet of hazing did not sit well either (figuratively) with our sensibilities or (literally) on many a shaggy post-summer-of-love Chia pate. You say you want a revolution? We were more than happy to oblige.
   I am proud to recount (and I'm sure that the passage of more than 30 years has not burnished my recollections one whit) that it was our class, spearheaded by the spunky "Seamen" of Norton Hall, who first refused en masse to don that horrid headgear. Because of our modest act of collegial disobedience no subsequent class, to my knowledge, was ever again asked to sport a beanie. Our cohort surely made many errors, but our boycott of the beanie was not one of them.
   --Nelson Treece '71, Caribou, Maine

Question for Next Issue:

It's been said that we live in a shrinking world wherein any two people are separated by only six degrees of acquaintances. So tell us about the most unlikely Pomona-related coincidence or chance meeting you've experienced.

Send your submission by April 30, 2001, to: Sarah Dolinar; ATTN: Parlor Talk; Pomona College; 550 N. College Ave.; Claremont, CA 91711, or by e-mail to: sarah.dolinar@pomona.edu. Please include your name, class, address, and phone number. Responses will be selected based on content and will be edited as necessary for publication.