Coming Home: First-Year and Sophomore Students Arrive on Campus

daughter with dad moving in

Pomona College’s move-in kicked off this week, when the College welcomed close to 900 students from the first-year and sophomore classes. By the end of the week, more than 1,700 students will be settled in on campus and ready for the start of the semester on Aug. 30. This marks the College’s full return of students after more than a year of being away due to the pandemic. 

We caught up with first-year and sophomore students as well as their families to get their reactions of moving into campus for the very first time. 

Kat Kirkpatrick ’25

First-year student from Seattle Kat Kirkpatrick ’25 will be the tenth member of her family to attend Pomona College. Her parents met as students at the College and got married on campus.   

“It was never an option just because it was my parents’ college, but I visited and just loved it,” Kirkpatrick says.  

Her mother Thanh admits she cried tears of joy when her daughter decided to attend Pomona because she and her husband have so many fond memories from college.  

“We love this place,” Thanh says. 

Sophia James '25

Sophia James ’25, a first-year student from Washington D.C., took a gap year and is happy to start classes at Pomona.   

“It is just a big moment, a dream come true. I feel so lucky to be here,” James says.  

Giovanni Tovar ’24

Hailing from Fontana, Calif., Giovanni Tovar ’24 feels privileged to finally get on campus and interact with students from so many different places.  

“It’s super exciting. I’m excited for what’s to come, very pumped, and have a lot of positive energy,” Tovar says. 

His father Javier is thrilled for his son because he really wanted to experience living at college.  

Elena Medina ’25

Elena Medina is the first sibling in her family to go off to college. She says she is nervous and excited.  

“Definitely a little nervous, never been away from home, so it’s new,” she adds. 

Alayna Nonhomme ’24

Alayna Nonhomme ’24 says she is thrilled to start in-person classes after a year of remote learning. 

“I can’t even put it into words. I’ve literally been waiting for this for a year. Surreal. I hope I have time to process it. Meeting people face-to-face. That’s one of the reasons I chose Pomona College is because of the small, intimate learning environment,” she adds. 

Cooper Tarter ’24

Coming from Waco, Texas, Cooper Tarter says that he is ready to meet other students and participate in intramural sports.  

“I’ve been waiting like a year to be at Pomona, so I’m excited. On Zoom it’s so hard to have and participate in discussions,” he says.  

Alex Kirby '24

Alex Kirby ’24 comes to Pomona College from Arizona. She says she can’t wait to start classes and work with others that have a passion to learn.   

“Actually being on campus doesn’t actually feel real yet. So, I am super excited to meet everyone I’ve met online and finally live here in California,” she says.