As the war wound down, Pomona adopted a new curriculum requiring expanded basic courses during the first two years and the selection of a field of concentration by the start of the junior year. Before this time, students declared a major only by invitation from a particular department’s faculty.
Sage Vets invited all veterans enrolled at Pomona to attend its first meeting. Organized to promote a closer understanding between the veterans and the College, the group included one woman, World War II veteran Betty Hicks '47, who also was the national women’s All-American Open golf champion.
The campus War Work Program offered a course in nurse’s aid for the first time. Other activities included knitting, smudging—but only if the situation was “desperate”—and weekly sales of War Bonds.
The Social Scene
From The Student Life: “A survey of the social scene at Pomona during these lean war months is not disheartening, but it is unusual at least to Pomona, famed for its atmosphere of country club ease in days past. A rather hectic note has been struck in the general run of activities, which is understandable enough. After all, it is disconcerting to arrange a formal with 400 women and 95 men despite the still active services of the vine-covered date bureau….The major source of social life for the entire fall semester was, of course, centered about the doings of our valiant football team. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it was just like the old days, but the sight and sound of the stands filled with screaming rooters, the blue and white rooter’s caps, the pompoms and a real live football team certainly did as much as anything to revive a somewhat lagging college morale.”
The Man Who Didn’t Come to Dinner
Also from The Student Life: "Despite the demand for a presentation of the Moss Hart-George Kaufman comedy that has been pressing for the past two years, the specter of A Man Who Came to Dinner without a man kept the play from happening. Rallying to the call [for a later production], an entire fourth of the male population of the college turned out for try-outs.”
Classical guitarist Andrés Segovia performed at Bridges Auditorium as part of the Claremont College’s Artist Course series.
Women’s PGA President
Betty Hicks ’47 attended Pomona while simultaneously serving as the first president of the newly-formed Women’s PGA. Hicks was named the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year in 1941 after winning the U.S. Amateur championship at age 20.
Men’s Basketball and Track Return
The basketball and track teams returned, with the “Cagehens” playing their first game in two years. There were no tall players but what they lacked in height, they made up for in scrap, according to The Student Life. Coach Nixon was quoted as saying “When you’re down, there’s only one way to go—up.”
The USS Harwood, a destroyer named in honor of Bruce Harwood ’31, was launched at the Terminal Islands yards in San Pedro. It was the last of 25 large destroyers built by Bethlehem Steel. Commander Harwood, who was serving as air officer of the aircraft carrier Princeton, was killed following the loss of the ship in the battle for Leyte Gulf in October 1944.
- A group of Marines reached the top of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima and were photographed raising the American flag.
- Diarist Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
- A B-29 Superfortress, the Enola Gay, dropped an atomic bomb, code-named “Little Boy,” on Hiroshima.
Members of the College family are part of Pomona history, and we invite them to add their memories to these pages. If you notice an objectionable comment (see our commenting policy), please flag it to bring it to our attention.