Five years ago, the Pomona College community set out on a daring quest to make an extraordinary liberal arts education even better—more equitable, more experiential, more sustainable and better suited to the needs of the 21st century. Today, we celebrate the successful conclusion of Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds with more than $316 million raised, $66 million more than the goal of $250 million.
For the past five years, this campaign has been an engine of positive change that has touched almost every facet of living and learning, both on Pomona’s campus and off. Through it, we have expanded opportunity and access for talented students from all walks of life. We have built award-winning new facilities that already are essential to the life of the College and filled with engaged faculty and students. We have bolstered offerings that cultivate our students’ creative potential and that confront them with real-world challenges that put their learning to the test.
And the campaign has served as a daily reminder that the purpose of all of this is to provide the world with daring minds—people with the courage of their convictions and the creative ability to do something about them.
Student Access and Affordability
Increase in students receiving financial aid from 2010 to 2015
Increase in average financial aid award from 2010 to 2015
Percentage increase of total institutional spending on financial aid since 2010
Number of new endowed scholarships during campaign
When it comes to providing access to all facets of a Pomona education for students from modest backgrounds, the Pomona family has a long tradition of paying it forward. Once again with this campaign, alumni, parents and friends have risen to the occasion, reaffirming their support for the College’s long-standing commitment to need-blind admissions and need-based aid, both as a matter of equity and as a safeguard for one of the central aspects of a Pomona education—the diversity of our community.
Their generous support has kept the College ahead of the curve even as total institutional spending on financial aid has grown by 36 percent since 2010. Their gifts have also permitted the College to extend need-based aid to international students and to continue its practice of freeing students from the burden of loans in their financial aid packages.
I've gained an immense privilege by being here that a lot of people in the world don't have. I am just so grateful because I can look toward the future, without being buried by a financial burden and work toward what I'm invested in—driving meaningful change in the world. —Muhammad Jalal '16
Learning From Experience
Growth in summer research since 2010
Record number of students who participated in 2015 summer research
Number of new endowed funds for research during campaign
Funded internships (209 domestic, 44 foreign) since the founding of the summer internship program in 2011
Number of new endowed funds for internships
From conception to completion, one of the central goals of Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds was to build and expand opportunities for Pomona students to learn from experience. Intensive real-world challenges like summer internships and research are true difference-makers. They give students a chance to explore their passions in practical ways while they also build resumes that will help them achieve the next phase of their dreams.
Since 2010, the number of students conducting summer research has grown by almost 60 percent, and summer internships, which were launched in 2011 with eight students, now offer domestic and international opportunities to more than 85 students each summer. Interest in summer internships continues to increase, and the College will continue to raise funds to meet that growing demand.
Gifts to the Daring Minds campaign have helped level the playing field by providing funding opportunities that are typically unpaid or low-paying, making it possible for all qualified students—no matter their financial situations—to gain relationships and skills that will prove invaluable in whatever careers they choose.
The summer internship program is amazing. I wouldn't have been able to work in an unpaid internship for a nonprofit or live in D.C. if it weren't for the funding I received. —Felipe Galvis-Delgado '17
A stunning new Studio Art Hall at the edge of the Wash, the rebuilt Millikan Laboratory with its planetarium dome visible from College Avenue, and two new residence halls along Athearn Field have transformed both the campus and the way students live, create, discover and work with one another.
What these different buildings share is that students, faculty and staff collaborated closely with the architects throughout the planning process, resulting in designs that respond to the unique needs of each community.
Sontag and Pomona Residence Halls
"The OEC has brought a more curricular approach to how we view the outdoors... it's a place to inspire people to go outside knowing that it will push them out of their comfort zone, which is where growth happens." —Martin Crawford, director
Opened in 2011, Sontag and Pomona halls provide suite-style housing for 150 seniors, along with staff and faculty apartments, a home for the Outdoor Education Center and a rooftop garden. Designed to balance older students’ need for privacy with opportunities to be engaged with the larger community, the halls feature a variety of spaces for interaction—from informal gatherings in the common living rooms to meals shared in the family-style lounges and kitchens.
- 2011 LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
- 2013 Builder's Choice and Custom Home Design Awards for cutting-edge, inspired projects, by a jury of builders and architects
Studio Art Hall
The Studio Art Hall, opened in 2014, reflects a more modern, integrated vision of the arts and an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, with interconnected studios that bring together disciplines ranging from sculpture, drawing and painting to digital arts and multimedia.
“The architecture has had a huge impact on the way the Studio Art Hall has extended and expanded our vision. I see it in the ways students are thinking about their work in terms of light, scale, domesticity, public, private—all kinds of issues that have to do with space. For me, the art hall is like a painting, a live painting that I walk into every day.” —Sandeep Mukherjee, Associate Professor of Art
With more than half the building’s exterior made of glass, the open, free-flowing design encourages interaction and collaboration in shared spaces, including the Pamela Creighton and Margaret Hunter Courtyard. The 36,000 square-foot hall, which more than doubled the space for faculty and student artists, also includes the Bernard Chan Gallery, a darkroom, computer lab and student studios.
- 2015 LEED Gold certification, U.S. Green Building Council
- American Institute for Steel Construction (AISC) 2015 IDEAS Award
The New Millikan Laboratory
The new Millikan Laboratory provides much-needed space for Pomona’s robust Mathematics Department, and laboratories and classrooms where physics and astronomy students can build nanotubes thousands of times smaller than a human hair or look at galaxies millions of light years away.
The almost 75,000 square-foot building—part of a project that also included a renovation of the adjoining Andrew Science Hall—is one of only a few science buildings with a Platinum LEED rating in Southern California.
- 2015 LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
- 2015 Sustainable Innovation Award for Energy and Atmosphere Merit, U.S. Green Building Council
Creativity and Collaboration
Located on the edge of Pomona’s north campus, the Draper Center for Community Partnerships and the Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity are hubs for student-initiated projects—from exploring ways to use a mobile GIS app to developing tutoring programs for Native American high schools.
The two centers also bookend Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds, with the Draper Center established at the onset of the campaign and the Sontag Center developed in the past year. While each has its own mission, both centers share a commitment to collaboration, creative solutions, student-directed programs and outreach to the community both on and off campus.
The Draper Center for Community Partnerships
The Draper Center provides Pomona College students with wide-ranging opportunities to step beyond campus and apply their passions and values to real-world problems. Through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and other organizations, students have the opportunity to strengthen their leadership skills, connect academic concepts and theories to tangible issues and recognize the ability to make positive contributions to the greater community.
Draper Center programs include:
- Food Recovery Network: reducing food waste and feeding families
- Alternabreak: social action alternative to spring break
- ESL Tutoring: pairing student tutors with Pomona employees who are learning English
- Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS): free college prep program for first-generation and low-income high school students
- Theatre for Young Audiences: collaboration between Theatre and Dance Department, Draper Center and Fremont Academy in Pomona
“Health Bridges wouldn't have existed or been as successful if I hadn’t been part of the Draper Center. People ask: ‘How did you learn to do interviews and recruit people and make grant proposals and manage relationships with hospitals?’ I tell them working at the Draper Center gave me all the skills I need. The Draper Center is really invested in the students, so that when you leave college, you are prepared to not just live in the real world but to thrive in it and to help bring about social change.” —Hong Deng Gao '15, founder of Health Bridges, a bilingual advocacy program at Pomona Valley Hospital
The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity
(The Hive) is an innovative setting where students from the five colleges can work in creative teams across disciplines to address complex challenges with no clear answers. The center offers a range of activities from unstructured brainstorming to mini workshops and full-credit courses.
We take the spirit of being able to try new things, of being able to explore, of being able to work together and collaborate, and we take that to every other part of our education—into the classroom, into our conversations in the dorms. I think that’s a fundamental part of a liberal arts education. —Gail Gallaher ’17