Peter and Sandy Briggs '64 Win Alumni Distinguished Service Award
For more than 30 years, Peter and Sandy Briggs ‘64 have lent a hand to Pomona countless times, serving on the Alumni Board , the Torchbearer Board, as Admissions volunteers, and offering help for reunions.
“For my part,” says Peter, “Pomona was central in making me the person I was able to become. What is said about a liberal arts education—that at its best, it builds within one the lifetime desire to continue learning—was so very true to me. My greatest enjoyment is paying back that lifetime debt to Pomona College.”
For this continued service to Pomona, Peter and Sandy are this year’s recipients of the Alumni Distinguished Service Award, which is annually bestowed to an alumnus, alumna or alumni in recognition of that person's selfless commitment and ongoing volunteer service to Pomona College.
Peter and Sandy met as freshman at Pomona, but didn’t begin dating seriously until their senior year, becoming engaged near graduation. Peter, a economics major, and Sandy, a Spanish major and history minor, married after Peter spent two years in the army during the Vietnam War.
Sandy embarked on a career in education, earning an MAT in Spanish and education from Johns Hopkins University, an MA in teaching English as a foreign language from CSU San Francisco, and an MA in linguistics from Stanford University. She spent most of her career in the San Mateo Union High School District, teaching Spanish and ESL, serving as department chair and district coordinator for the ESL program, and penning a series of high-school Spanish textbooks, Churros y Chocolate.
Peter, whose aunt and father also graduated from Pomona, earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and spent his career as an entrepreneur, founding five companies, and working as a senior executive for several large computer-related companies. Both Peter and Sandy are now retired and living in San Francisco.
During these busy careers, the Briggs always found time to help Pomona. Peter and Sandy first served as the Bay Area Alumni reps in the 1970s, taking over for their friends Dave and Sue Self, both ’62. Peter went on to become the area representative chairperson on the Executive Committee, the president of the Alumni Association in ’78-’79, and the founding president of the Torchbearer Board in the early ‘80s.
Sandy began her volunteer service as an alumni admissions volunteer. She was on the Alumni Board from 1989 through 1993, serving as an officer and then as president in ’92-’93, which was also their daughter Samantha’s senior year at Pomona.
“It was great fun to spend so much time on campus when Samantha was here,” says Sandy, who is now serving on the Board for a second time. “I even spent some nights sleeping on the floor of her dorm room.”
Sandy also served on former President David Alexander’s Task Force on Social Life in ’91-92, and has volunteered with the Office of Advancement to help raise money for Pomona.
“Pomona was a life-changing experience for me, but I never dreamed when I graduated that I would spend so much time working on Pomona activities over the years,” says Sandy. “I now have Pomona friends from the years before we graduated to current students.”
Both have also served on various committees for reunions. Peter chaired their 40th reunion in 2004 and co-chaired the reunion fund campaign for their 45th reunion last year. Sandy has also served on a few of the class reunion committees.
When asked what’s next for these serial volunteers, Peter says “I’m not sure what is left! Though with our 50th reunion looming on the not-too-distant horizon, I’m sure something interesting, fun and productive will arise.”