Each year, Pomona College recognizes an alumnus, alumna or alumni for their selfless commitment and ongoing volunteer service to the College. The Alumni Distinguished Service Award was inaugurated in 1991 and recipients are selected by the Committee of Past Presidents of the Alumni Association.
Barbry Amberg Hogue ’72
Barbry Amberg Hogue came to Pomona from the Bay Area and majored in anthropology. This area of study, as well as natural history and biology, has been among her lasting interests over the years.
After 10 years working in the travel industry, Hogue focused her time and energy on raising two amazing children (now 32 and 29!) and taking care of her family. She volunteered at the schools her children went to and was closely involved with the charter school in Boulder that her children attended for middle school, serving as a governing board member and chair, hiring committee chair and enrollment coordinator.
Family ties brought Hogue to Oregon in 2006. She worked for nine years as the office manager for an elementary school in Bend and is now on a job break/retirement from the local school district. Her current volunteer interests include the High Desert Museum, the Humane Society of Central Oregon, the Deschutes Public Library and local public schools. Her greatest interest continues to be her family, which now includes two young granddaughters.
Hogue has volunteered for Pomona in several different cities and in a variety of roles. While living in Washington, she served as the chapter chair for the Puget Sound regional chapter and then as chair of the alumni regional chapters committee of the Alumni Association board. With a move to Colorado, she volunteered as co-chair of the Rocky Mountain regional chapter and especially enjoyed her remarkable year as president of the Alumni Association in 1998-99. She has helped with class reunion planning for the Class of 1972 since the 25th reunion and, since moving to Oregon, has organized informal local alumni get-togethers in the Bend area. Hogue participated as an alumni admissions volunteer for several years and has also helped with annual giving outreach.
“I still call on the critical thinking skills I developed at Pomona and a full range of academic pursuits and interests in my work and community involvements,” says Hogue. “I am always glad to find new ways to support Pomona as an engaged volunteer. My ties to the College have deepened and grown over time, especially with lucky opportunities to make new Pomona friends from so many class years and staff. I treasure my Pomona friends and I increasingly appreciate that the College remains an important constant in my life through several moves, family changes and a wide range of life experiences. It’s always a treat to return to Claremont to visit Pomona’s beautiful campus and to catch up on current college issues and events.”
Joan-Patricia (JP) O’Connor ’72
President Alexander once introduced JP O’Connor as the poster child for liberal arts education. Following graduation from Pomona with a B.A. in religion, O’Connor attended USC earning double master’s degrees in public relations and journalism.
In her early career she was the executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, as well as a PR-marketing consultant with an array of nonprofits including Volunteers of America in Los Angeles, the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in Arizona and The National Volunteer Center in D.C. In her work with museums, universities and charities, she developed a reputation for creating unusual special events including a 750-person sit down dinner on an aircraft carrier.
O’Connor’s later work with professional societies and trade associations in the areas of strategic planning, marketing and leadership development led her to being named one of fewer than 200 Fellows of the American Society of Association Executives. And in 2009, UCLA Extension recognized her as a distinguished faculty member for her years of teaching.
Campus life has always attracted O’CONNOR and over 30 years she worked off and on at USC in the School of Journalism, the College of Continuing Education and finally as the Executive Director of the Alumni Association with responsibility for 100+ programs and 250,000+ alumni around the world.
But O’Connor’s heart has remained with Pomona College—helping with every class of the ‘72 reunion, soliciting gifts as national alumni fundraising chair, and serving twice on the Alumni Council, including a term as president. She worked closely with the Career Development Office over the years presenting workshops on Careers in Nonprofits. And, she continues to serve as an admissions alumni volunteer—one of her favorite activities begun decades ago when she lived in D.C. Says O’Connor, “I am always amazed and humbled to meet the brilliant and capable young applicants who have such hope and hold such promise.”