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Letter From the Chair: Pomona Readies for Campaign Launch

Each member of the Pomona College family has a unique story to tell about the importance of the College in his or her life. My own Pomona story begins before I was born, when my father graduated from the College in 1936. In my turn, I arrived in 1964 as a shy teenager and left four years later as a vastly more self-assured young man, armed with all the knowledge, skills and confidence I needed to make a life I could be proud of. Since then, I’ve watched as two of my children received Pomona College diplomas and began building their lives upon that strong foundation.

As an alumnus and parent, I am deeply grateful for what the College has done for my family and me. As a trustee and donor, I’ve had the privilege of giving back and playing a role in keeping Pomona vital and relevant for the remarkable young men and women who will pass through the College gates in the years to come. Today, I am honored  to be part of a new effort that will provide the resources the College will need to give a world-class education to future generations of students.

In October, Pomona will officially launch Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds, the most ambitious fundraising effort in our history. This campaign will seek funding for a range of core initiatives in areas that define the Pomona experience, such as providing endowed scholarship aid, enhancing teaching and learning, renewing our investment in creativity and the arts, improving critical facilities, and expanding intensive experiences that permit students to engage with real-world problems both within and beyond the academic setting.

The quiet phase of this campaign began two years ago. Since that time, we have secured a number of significant early donations. These gifts come from people who, like me, have profoundly personal reasons to give back to the College. In this inaugural campaign newsletter, we offer just a few of their stories.

There’s Osman Kibar ’92, who made his first trip from Turkey to the U.S. to attend Pomona as a 17-year-old, received much-needed financial aid and went on to become an inventor and entrepreneur who develops new technologies in energy and health care. There’s Dale Robertson ’49, who discovered that he wanted to pursue a career in research while working with Chemistry Professor Corwin Hansch. And there’s Eleanor Savage-Gildersleeve ’60, who credits the liberal arts education she received here with giving her the foundation she needed to join the foreign service in 1960 and spend the next 38 years breaking down barriers for other women in diplomatic careers.

I know they would all join me in saying that our commitment to Pomona and to this campaign goes far beyond the personal. I believe that the education Pomona provides is the best preparation for today’s rapidly changing world and that we—the alumni, parents and friends of the College—have a responsibility to make sure it will always be available to the students who are most capable of benefiting from it, regardless of their financial circumstances.

We have so much to be proud of. Pomona is one of the finest liberal arts colleges in America thanks to the spirit of renewal and innovation that has been passed from generation to generation in the Pomona College family. It is up to us to leave that same extraordinary legacy for future generations of students.