13 Big Things Happening at Pomona This Semester

A band plays live music on Marston Quad

From winter break we transition into a new spring semester at Pomona College in just a few days. This semester, the College breaks in the new decade with a host of big events on campus from late January to early May. Below is a sampling of what’s happening at Pomona this semester:

  1. Post/Truth. This spring, the Humanities Studio at Pomona College continues exploring the various facts of our current post/truth (un) reality through a series of speakers, seminars and other campus programming. The post/truth series includes novelist Nalo Hopkinson on January 30, “Fake News” Colloquium from February 14-15, cultural critic Tavia Nyong’o on March 5, journalist Chuck Klosterman on April 1 and cultural critic Lewis Hyde on April 16.   

  2. Concerts at Pomona. The Music Department Spring 2020 schedule will once again offer a wide range of musical performances, all free and open to the public. Concerts include the Ussachevsky Memorial Festival of Electro Acoustic Music from January 31 to February 1, Nevenka in Concert on March 1, the Afro-Cuban Music Ensemble on April 27 and Giri Kusuma on May 4, among dozens more. More concert information can be found on the Music Department’s website

  3. International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) West Quarterfinal. The collegiate competition will include up to 10 college a cappella groups from California where first and second place will move on to the western semifinal. The event is organized by Varsity Vocals, the largest international a cappella tournament exclusive to universities around the world. The 2020 ICCA West Quarterfinal will take place at 7 p.m. on February 1 at Bridges Auditorium (450 N. College Way). Ticket prices are listed online.

  4. A Conversation with Danny Russel. President Barack Obama’s top advisor on Asia, Danny Russel, will visit Pomona’s campus for a lunch conversation moderated by students Allie Pitchon ’20 and Jacinta Chen ’21. Russel, currently the vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, will address topics such as U.S.-China relations, the Japan-South Korea dispute and the Trump administration’s approach to Asia. The noon conversation is on February 4 in the Frank Blue Room (260 E. Bonita Avenue).

  5. Family Weekend. Every year, we invite families and friends of Pomona College students for a special campus visit in February where students get to share their Pomona College experience. A special schedule provides families with a number of activities, including classroom visits, lectures and talks and special events like the Payton Distinguished Lectureship. Family Weekend officially begins February 14 and ends February 16.

  6. A Conversation with Eric Holder. The third annual Payton Distinguished Lectureship will feature remarks from former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by an in-depth conversation on voting rights and inequality in the U.S. moderated by Associate Professor of Politics Amanda Hollis-Brusky. The event is at 6:30 p.m., February 15 at Bridges Auditorium (450 N. College Way). Tickets are free but required.

  7. Science and a Healthy Planet. The Pomona College Chemistry Department welcomes chemist Geraldine (Geri) Richmond to campus. The theme of this year’s Robbins Lecture Series is “The Importance of Science in the Future of a Healthy Planet.” Richmond will give four lectures about this topic. The series is free and open to the public and will run from February 24-27 at Seaver North Auditorium (645 N. College Avenue).

  8. Macbeth. Something wicked this way comes… The Pomona College Theatre Department brings William Shakespeare’s 400-year-old play, The Tragedy of Macbeth to life. The play will run from March 5-8 at Seaver Theatre (300 E. Bonita Avenue). Tickets are $6 for students, staff, faculty and seniors; $11 for general admission.

  9. An Evening with Angela Davis. The Pomona College History Department welcomes Angela Davis, an internationally known scholar and an icon in the movement to combat oppression in the U.S. and abroad, as the 2020 Ena H. Thompson Distinguished Lecturer. During her week-long visit to campus, Davis will give two public talks: “An Evening with Angela Davis” at 7 p.m. on April 7 at Seaver Theatre (300 E. Bonita Avenue) and “Radical Agendas and Possible Futures” at 7 p.m. on April 9 at Bridges Auditorium (450 N. College Way). Both events are open to the public, but priority will be given to current students of The Claremont Colleges.

  10. The Origins of Life. Join the Pomona College Geology Department for their annual Woodford-Eckis Lectureship. This year’s distinguished speaker is Robert M. Hazen, senior staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory. ​Hazen will deliver two talks: “Chance, Necessity and the Origins of Life” at 8:15 p.m. on February 28 and “The Story of Earth: How Life and Rocks Have Co-Evolved” at 11 a.m. on February 29. Both talks will take place at Rose Hills Theatre in the Smith Campus Center; they are free and open to the public.

  11. Alumni Weekend. One of Pomona’s most honored and fun traditions, Alumni Weekend brings hundreds of alumni back to campus every year to reconnect with classmates and faculty, visit favorite campus hangouts, attend special programs and events, and of course, make new Pomona memories. This year, Alumni Weekend is from April 30 to May 3.

  12. Shen Yun. The dance troupe Shen Yun comes to Bridges Auditorium with classical Chinese dance, interactive backdrops and all-original orchestral compositions. The show runs May 8 to May 10 at Bridges Auditorium (450 N. College Way). Ticket prices start at $80.

  13. Commencement Weekend. This is it for our seniors! The Class of 2020 is currently wrapping up their last semester before they have to don their caps and gowns and walk across the stage to receive their diploma. The 2020 Commencement Weekend begins on May 15, which includes the Phi Beta Kappa Induction. It continues on May 16 with Class Day and culminates with the Commencement Ceremony on May 17. No tickets are required for the ceremony.