1927

LEADERSHIP

President Blaisdell Commits to the Consortium

In 1927, President Blaisdell, who had been appointed head of the governing Board of Fellows of the Claremont Colleges Consortium, decided to commit himself fully to the new consortium, becoming its first president. The search for his successor at Pomona College began and turned quickly to Charles K. Edmunds, whose work Blaisdell had followed since failing to attract him to Pomona as dean a few years before. Edmunds, who had completed a 17-year presidency of Canton Christian College (later renamed Lingnan University) in China and a two-year tenure as provost of Johns Hopkins University, was amenable this time around.

STUDENT LIFE

The Sponsor System

Under the leadership of the new Dean of Women Jessie Gibson, the College created a system of sponsors for incoming women students. Upperclass women, usually juniors, were selected to serve as sponsors for groups of 10 or 12 first-year women, corresponding with them during the summer before their arrival and assisting them in dealing with the challenges of college life. The successful program was expanded in 1950 to include men.

Two Metates

There are two different Metates in the College’s archives dated 1927. The first was actually published in 1926, the other in 1927. The reason is that until 1927, the Metates were published by the junior class and carried that class's graduation year on its cover. From 1927 on, however, the Metate would carry the date of the year of its actual publication.

Newspaper Changes

In 1927, the establishment of The Claremont Colleges prompted calls for a name change for The Student Life. Students voted in favor of the name Claremont Daily Collegian, but because the final tally did not reach the constitutionally required two-thirds majority, the newspaper remained The Student Life. A name change was proposed again in 1928 when students found out that Washington University in St. Louis had published a newspaper titled Student Life since 1878, making it the oldest paper by that name in the West. Scripps students continued as staff members of The Student Life until 1937 when Scripps founded its own student newspaper, Scripture.

EVENTS

Campus Filming

In 1927, two films shot on Pomona’s campus were released. One, The Plastic Age, starred Clara Bow and Donald Keith, including a “sizzling” scene shot in the Greek Theatre and introducing an unbilled extra named Clark Gable. The other, Fair Co-Ed, starred Marion Davies, who came to Claremont with her lover, tycoon William Randolph Hearst. The two weren’t allowed to share a room at the College-owned Claremont Inn, so they set up housekeeping at an Ontario hotel. Hearst, however, didn’t seem to take it too badly, donating $5,000 shortly after to build the College’s first tennis courts.

CALIFORNIA

Rancho Santa Ana in Orange County

Susanna Bixby Bryant established Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) in 1927 on 200 acres of her family’s Orange County ranch as a place for research, study and appreciation of native California flora. The Garden would move to Claremont and become affiliated with The Claremont Colleges in 1951.

ELSEWHERE

  • The Great Mississippi Flood affected more than 700,000 people in 10 states, making it the greatest natural disaster in American history up until that time.
  • Charles Lindbergh made the first nonstop solo transatlantic flight in his single-engine plane, the Spirit of St. Louis.
  • Anarchists Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed.