President Starr's Weekly Update (4/20/22)

Dear Pomona College Community,

I have some initial numbers to share this week on the COVID-19 front: We had four positive test results among students yesterday and nine today.

Let’s stay committed to our safety protocols and finish the year strong as we prepare for upcoming events such as Alumni Weekend and Reunion Celebrations and Commencement as well as the special Take Two celebration for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

This academic year has been an important one for Pomona, as we returned to campus and the residential liberal arts experience we value so much. We’ve learned that to live and learn well in a world of digital immersion, we need in-person, face-to-face education more than ever before.

In these final weeks before the summer break, I do hope you can take part in some of the many activities and events on campus, from athletic competitions to career talks to music concerts to a preview for the new Center for Speaking, Writing and the Image, designed to help students with a range of communication skills.

We have much to celebrate, including recent honors for Hannah Caris ’23 and Jonathan Elisabeth ’23, as well as Associate Professor of Chemistry Nicholas Ball.

We also have much work ahead, building on Pomona’s unique role in promoting opportunity in American higher education. The pandemic disrupted many of the pathways for disadvantaged students to reach college, and in the months ahead we will press forward to uphold our commitments to equity and access through our Strategic Vision.

Last month, we admitted an exceptional Class of 2026, and this week brings new information on transfers. Pomona admitted 30 transfer students, and half of this group are first-generation college students, while 60 percent are transferring from a community college.

The admitted transfer students include seven military veterans – with two currently serving – and they come from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy.

Finally, I want to thank our faculty for their strong participation – with 74 responses -- in the Global Pomona Project survey that closed on Monday. The project team will be reaching out to students and staff in the months ahead as we work as a community to shape Pomona’s role in the world for decades to come.

With best wishes,