President Starr's Weekly Update (9/21/21)

Dear Pomona College Community, 

We are starting our fourth week of classes for fall semester, and I’m pleased to report our COVID-19 safety efforts remain on track at this point.

Testing of more than 1,900 students, faculty and staff last week yielded no COVID-19 positives, giving our campus a 0 percent positivity rate for the second week in a row. Encouraging trends continue in the region as well, with indicators such as positivity rates and hospitalizations declining in Los Angeles County in recent weeks.

However, public health officials note that case numbers are still too high in the county, and we must stay vigilant about our safety measures.  

In that vein, I was heartened to see the strong attendance at the Student Health Services flu shot clinic last week, with nearly 3,000 students, faculty and staff members from across The Claremont Colleges receiving their flu vaccinations. This is particularly important during the time of COVID-19 to help prevent a second respiratory illness from putting strain on the healthcare system. Please note that all students are required to have their flu vaccine by Sept. 30.

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, key fall activities are moving forward, whether in-person or remote.

The Intensive Summer Experience Symposium is underway this week and the Music Department is resuming its series of free concerts on campus for fall semester. A week of so back, the Career Development Office launched recruiting season with the All-Majors Virtual Career Fair, welcoming Pomona students to meet with employers and discover internship opportunities. More than 50 employers participated, from fields ranging from arts and entertainment to business, education and technology.

Sagehens do go on to take on the big challenges: On Friday, Gator Halpern ’12 saw his organization devoted to restoring coral reefs named a finalist for the new £1 million Earthshot Prize for environmental projects. I also am excited to read about Professor Sandeep Mukherjee’s latest large-scale public art installation getting such wide visibility at the YouTube Theater at the new SoFi Stadium.

Let’s keep the momentum going at this historic moment for our community. Additional information on COVID-19 safety can be found on our Return to Campus web.


All the best,