Sagehen Travel Program

For more than 25 years, Pomona College has assembled some of the most amazing vacation tours imaginable for alumni and their families. An extension of the College’s educational mission and part of the Lifelong Learning Program, each trip is accompanied by top faculty to deepen your appreciation of the destination and offer intellectual richness.

For more information on Alumni Travel Program trips, please email Alumni and Family Engagement.

Upcoming Tour

August 4–15, 2022: Medieval Ireland—Christianity at the Edge of the World

With the travel program assistance of Peter Watson from Duende Travel Ltd., John Sutton Miner Professor of History and Professor of Classics Ken Wolf will lead a walking tour across Ireland, surveying beautiful landscapes while searching for traces of an Ireland previous to the Catholic missions that transformed the land and culture. For more information and to make reservations, please email Karen Goodrich at Travelstore VIP or call (949) 930-9288.

Additional Information on the Upcoming Tour

Trip Inclusions
•    Group transfers from Dublin Airport on August 5, departing from Dublin Airport on August 15.
•    10 nights hotel accommodations based on double or single occupancy.
•    Meals as indicated in the itinerary
•    Lunches and dinners include bottled water and wine.
•    Hotel taxes and service charges on quoted services

Trip Exclusions
•    Cost of obtaining a passport and/or visa.
•    Communications costs, such as phone calls, emails, and faxes
•    Any items of a personal nature
•    Any items not included in inclusions.
•    International air reservations

Cost Per Person

$8,245 per person based on two people sharing a twin-bedded room. The trip cost is based on a minimum of 12 paying participants. We reserve the right to cancel this trip if a minimum number of participants is not reached.

A limited number of single rooms are available at an additional cost of $2090.00.

A deposit of $1,000 per person is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than May 1, 2022. Final payment must be made by check.

Should you cancel your trip for any reason before May 1, 2022, a $1,000 per person cancellation fee is charged. No refund can be paid if cancelled after the final payment date of May 1, 2022. If we can resell your booking, a $250 per person transfer fee will be charged.


A Message from Ken Wolf and Peter Watson

Medieval Ireland
Christianity at the Edge of the World

It is hard for most Americans of our generation to imagine a time when “Irish” and “Catholic” were not two sides of the same coin. 90% of the estimated one million Irish immigrants who made their way to the United States in the first five years after the potato blight in 1845 took their religious cues from Rome. The effect that this immense migration had on American culture is palpable, from the stereotypical Irish-American priest, to the creation of the Knights of Columbus in New Haven, to the beer that flows green across America every March 17.

But there was a time, centuries ago, when the Celtic peoples of Ireland had never heard of Christianity; a time before the first intrepid missionaries based in Briton decided to take the gospel to a place the Romans referred to as “Hibernia”, but the locals called “Éire.” There is a long-standing debate as to whether it was Patrick or Palladius who was the first to preach in Ireland. Regardless of which of the two actually holds that distinction, both were faced with the same daunting challenge: how to make a religion born in Jewish Palestine in the early first century meaningful to an audience of mid-fifth-century Celts whose culture could not have been less like the one that spawned the Jesus movement. In a broad sense, the story of the conversion of Ireland is the story that Christian missionaries abroad enacted every time they set out to heed Jesus’ last command: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The further they went toward fulfilling this radically new universalist impulse, the greater the challenges they faced translating the gospel into something that would appeal to their audiences. And there were few known places that were further away in those early years than Ireland.

How those the first missionaries to Ireland managed to create a Catholic enclave in the North Atlantic is the theme of the mini course that has been designed specifically for this trip. In the process of answering that question, we will find ourselves drawn more generally into timeless questions of the nature of religion—both the one being peddled in Ireland and the ones that were already there—and what it really means to convert in the first place.

Ken Wolf    
John Sutton Miner Professor of History

Peter Watson
Duende Travel Ltd.


Past Tours

September/October 2019: The Path to Rome

John Sutton Miner Professor of History and Professor of Classics Ken Wolf led a walking tour in Italy, traversing the ancient pilgrimage routes to Rome through the beautiful natural landscapes of Tuscany and Lazio.

June 2019: Galápagos Aboard National Geographic Islander

W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis Char Miller PZ ’75, PO P’03 led a trip to the Galápagos Islands with Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions where alumni and families saw Galápagos as Darwin did—aboard an intimate expedition ship.

May/June 2018: A Pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago

Pomona alumni and friends embarked on one of the great journeys of the world, the Camino de Santiago, done in the way it was meant to be traveled: on foot.

June 2017: Burgundy: The Cradle of the Crusades

Led by John Sutton Miner Professor of History and Professor of Classics Ken Wolf, guest enjoyed a walking tour of Burgundy. Burgundy, the east-central region of France so well known for its food and wine, was also an incubator for two of the most distinctive features of the European Middle Ages: monasticism and crusade. This trip provided the perfect context for exploring “holy violence” in the Middle Ages and its implications for the twenty-first century.

May 2016: Angles to Angels: A Short Historical Walk from the Irish Sea to the North Sea

Led by Ken Wolf, a five-time Wig Distinguished Professor award winner, coordinator of the Late Antique-Medieval Studies Program and professor of history and classics at Pomona, this trip explored the fascinating chapter of early medieval English history along the dramatic backdrop of Western Scotland, the Hebrides, the Borders, and Yorkshire.

December 2015: Hawaiian Seascapes

Rick Hazlett, coordinator of the Environmental Analysis Program and professor of geology at Pomona College, led participants on a unique cruise through the beautiful central Hawaiian Islands. Stops included Lanai and Molokai, the Maui channel, the Big Island, and Hawaii’s active volcanoes. Along the way, Professor Hazlett shared his extensive background in Hawaiian culture, history, and nature. The journey also offered snorkeling, marine life search in the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary, kayaking, and more.