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Ralph Dalton Cornell (1890-1972) was a Pomona student who went on to become the College's most important landscape architect, pioneering the idea of Pomona as a “college in a garden” and serving in this position for more than 40 years after he began in 1919. A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design, he was said to have “done more to change the complexion of Southern California than any other person” through his many projects in landscape design, including UCLA, Torrey Pines Park in San Diego, the Los Angeles Music Center, La Brea Tar Pits, Beverly Gardens, Oak Park Cemetery, and multiple years of the National Orange Show in San Bernardino, California.

The Ralph Cornell Society is named in honor of this man and his service to the College, his love of native California plants, and in the hope that Pomona College will continue to allow its students to take an active hand in the maintenance and design of its campus landscape.

You can learn more about Ralph Cornell and read the following essay: Ralph Cornell and the College in a Garden [pdf] .