President Starr Wants to Hear What Pomona Means to You

It’s an exciting time at Pomona College as we prepare for the inauguration of G. Gabrielle Starr, Pomona’s 10th president. In her inaugural year, President Starr is determined to learn all she can about the College and wants to hear directly from our alumni and parent communities about their Pomona connections.

As you can see, messages are already coming in! Click below to submit your message to President Starr today.

And, consider sharing your thoughts for President Starr on social media using the hashtag #ShareWithPresidentStarr in the Alumni Facebook Group, Parents and Families Facebook Group, or on Twitter or Instagram. We’ll be resharing here on the message page and on our alumni and parent channels.

Submit Your Message

Some Messages from the Community

Pomona was a nurturing intellectual community that trusted me to explore two areas in which there were no established programs: linguistics and computer science. Both of these areas occupied my graduate education and professional life until 2005 when I decided to pursue a career in music education. That my alma mater also provided me with a supportive atmosphere as a student musician made this transition much more successful than it could have been.
— Walter Stutzman '71

As a first generation college student, Pomona College means opportunity. I am grateful for all the opportunities I experienced while a student and continue to receive as a professional.
— Rocio Gandara ’97

I am so at peace with the fact that my daughter is at Pomona. I find it to be a very nurturing environment both intellectually and emotionally. Pomona is bringing out the best in my daughter and preparing her to take whatever place she chooses in the world. To be her best self and in doing so to be compassionate. For this I am truly grateful. Big respect to Pomona.
— Andre Foote P'18

Pomona was a place that shaped my commitment to a lifetime of intellectual work. It was a place where I met extraordinary individuals from a great deal of backgrounds. I had an amazing first year seminar called, "Taking Sides" with late politics professor Fred Krinsky who was blind and infirm due to severe diabetes, but he showed up for each class and inspired us with his passionate commitment to intellectual work and to political change. At the end of the first year seminar, he took each one of us aside and told us a "secret" that he wanted each of us hear: "Rachel," he said, "I think you have a future in politics." Eventually over the course of the next few years, we found out that he told everyone in the class the same secret!
— Rachel Joo '98

Welcome to Pomona! As an only child (and first generation college student) raised by a single mother living on the opposite coast from all of our blood relations, Pomona and her people quickly became my adopted family. The people I met, experiences I had, and opportunities I realized served me well as a student and have continued to be a source of support and inspiration during my 37 years (ack!) as an alumnus. I look forward to a new chapter in Pomona's storied history under your leadership, and I can't wait to meet you in person. Remind me to show you my Cecil Sagehen tattoo. ;-)
— Frank Albinder '80


The minute I arrived at Pomona I felt 'at home' for the first time in my education. Classmates and faculty supported each other and challenged each other to imagine and create beyond apparent limitations. Since then, my husband ('64) and I have a code where we describe new friends to whom we instantly relate as "Pomona People." Frequently enough, it turns out that they are!
— Mary Lee Ledbetter '66 

 No one in my family had ever attended a private college, but somehow I found Pomona, and was able to attend due to the college's very generous financial aid. I enjoyed outstanding professors there, and made lifelong friends. I would never have guessed that I'd wind up making my home permanently in Claremont, however! And that I'd have a son who would become a Pomona student. The day he moved into Wig was one of my proudest days as a parent.
— Margo Tanenbaum '82

Welcome - so excited to see you take the helm! I fled suburban Philadelphia for Pomona in 1995 because I wanted to attend a fantastic liberal arts college that people where I was from didn't know about ("Is that in New Jersey?" asked my guidance counselor). I was tired of all the Ivy League pressure among my peers, tired of the snooty status symbol college seemed to be, tired of loving my ripped jeans and the doc martens I'd saved all of my babysitting money for and feeling a bit out of place, and so happy to be jetting off on what seemed like a secret mission to a hidden, sunny gem. I'm afraid high school seniors can't have this fantasy today- the secret is certainly out! And I couldn't be prouder. Thank you, Pomona, for giving me my first real taste of independence and for embracing the quirks and energy I brought to the table as a sponsor, and R.A., and an all-around Pomona fan. My time at Pomona wasn't always easy, but the countless shards of defining experience I picked up built a beautiful little mosaic that lives in my heart still today.
— Lauren Gard '99

 Pomona symbolizes possibility to me. My father passed away when I started high school, and my family was thrown into a financial, emotional, and physical upheaval. I worked hard in high school because I knew that it might be my only chance to earn a spot in higher education. Pomona offered me that spot with a full scholarship. They even sent me abroad for an entire year and offered me the reserved funds of my scholarship to keep me fed and cared for while I was in England. I can never repay that experience. And I can never forget it. Thank you Pomona.
— Todd Grossman '86


Dear President Starr: Thank you for thoughtfully taking the time to hear the experiences from a variety of members in the Pomona College community! In a word, I would say that Pomona College is an 'intersection' of opportunities, relationships, passions, philanthropy, dreams, and realities. It is a microcosm of thought leaders, doers, mentors, educators (even far beyond the campus), and servants who desire to make a positive impact in the world. I'm always grateful for all that Pomona College provided for me, as well as for the future possibilities of participating in ways to improve the world and continue adding riches to humankind. :)
— Daniel Lee '20