Videos: Maya Soetoro-Ng and Founders Day at Pomona College
Watch the Video - Maya Soetoro-Ng
Watch the Video - 47 Seconds on Founders Day
On October 12, the day that Pomona College celebrated its 124th Founders Day, author and educator Maya Soetoro-Ng spoke to the campus community on "Building a Life of Global Engagement" and students, faculty, staff and families enjoyed arts activities to launch the Elemental Arts Initiative. (Pomona College's actual Founders Day is October 14, but was celebrated earlier as October 14 conflicted with students' fall break.)
Soetoro-Ng, who is the daughter of Stanley Ann Dunham and the sister of U.S. President Barack Obama, read from her new book Ladder to the Moon, a children's book inspired by her mother. She also discussed her mother's impact on her life and the importance of global engagement.
"We sometimes feel if we break out of the confines of expectation--like my mother did...who knew a kid from Kansas would spend her life as a pioneer of microfinance in Southeast Asia--it's somehow a betrayal of our community," said Soetoro-Ng in the talk. "But it's not. It acknowledges the value of different kinds of community in composing the self. And I just want everyone to remember that as you become globally engaged."
Soetoro-Ng is a faculty member at the University of Hawaii, sits on several educational nonprofits, and is an advocate for community service, engagement and education.
After the talk, the Pomona community enjoyed a multicultural array of foods for dinner, while listening to student bands and acapella group The Claremont Shades. Hands-on art projects were available around Smith Campus Center, including chalk drawing, t-shirt design and a "draw-in." There were also site-specific movement performances by students.