The Office of the American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust is transferred to Pomona College when President David Alexander becomes the American Secretary. Alexander, who was chosen as a Rhodes Scholar in 1953 and received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in 1957, was the fourth American secretary since the office was established in 1918.
Six students traveled to Nanjing University in China in February as part of one of the first reciprocal exchange arrangements between American and Chinese institutions in modern history.
Studying Agriculture in Sri Lanka
As part of a three-year program of curricular enrichment titled “Food, Land and Power: Agriculture in a Changing World Order” begun in 1979, 11 Pomona students headed for Sri Lanka for a semester-long field tutorial. The students were housed in small villages and participated in all the daily activities of the residents while exploring and observing agricultural practices and problems in a Third World setting.
Nationally Placed Teams
The women’s basketball team and women’s swimming teams both finished in third place nationally during the winter season. The women’s basketball team ended the year 25-4, while swimming tallied 37 All-Americans, including Mary Gentry, who broke the national record in the 100-meter backstroke.
Chamberlain at Commencement
Actor Richard Chamberlain '56 gave the commencement address at Pomona’s 88th annual graduation exercises. The title of his speech was “To Thine Own Self Be True, or Never Underestimate a Cliché.”
CMC Changes Names
Claremont Men's College changed its name to Claremont McKenna College, in honor of founding trustee and Pomona graduate Donald C. McKenna ’29, five years after becoming co-educational in 1976.
- Just two months after his inauguration as the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.
- Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen pilot Columbia into orbit for the first flight of the Space Shuttle Program.
- The cable television channel MTV was launched on a cable system in northern New Jersey with the words, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” spoken over a montage of the Apollo moon landing.