2015

THE COLLEGE

Forbes Ranks Pomona No. 1 in Nation

Forbes “America’s Top Colleges 2015” crowned Pomona College as the highest-ranked institution of higher education in America. This is the first time a Southern California college has topped the national list. Stanford University was listed in the number 2 spot.

New York Times Names Pomona One of Top 10 Colleges “Doing the Most for Low-Income Students”

Using its new “College Access Index” to measure top colleges’ efforts on economic diversity, The New York Times created its list of top institutions “doing the most for low-income students,” with Pomona coming at number 10.

LEADERSHIP

Sam Glick ’04 Becomes Chair of the Board

Sam Glick ’04 became the new chair of Pomona College’s Board of Trustees on July 1, succeeding Jeanne Buckley ’65. Glick first joined the board in the special role of a young alumni trustee, serving from 2007 to 2011, then returned as a trustee in 2012. He was appointed to serve as chair until 2018. Glick is a partner at Oliver Wyman, an international managing consultant firm, in the company’s Health and Life Sciences practice.

Bilger Named Vice President and Dean of the College

Audrey Bilger, professor of literature and founding faculty director of the Center for Writing & Public Discourse at Claremont McKenna College, was appointed vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college. In her new position, Bilger serves as Pomona’s chief academic officer, responsible for coordinating and supporting academic programs; teaching and research; and ultimately shaping and sustaining the intellectual life of the college.

ACADEMICS

Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity Opens

The Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity, informally known on campus as “The Hive.” opened in September in the former Seeley G. Mudd Science Library. The center’s declared purpose was to accelerate the creative development of students and to equip them to work collaboratively to address the future’s most ambiguous problems and complex challenges. A landmark $25 million gift from Rick Sontag, a 1964 graduate of Harvey Mudd College, and his wife, Susan Sontag, a 1964 graduate of Pomona College, made the center possible.

Pomona College Among Top Producers of Fulbrights

Pomona tied for ninth among liberal arts colleges with the highest number of Fulbrights, with the Class of 2014 receiving 10 of the prestigious awards. Four additional students were awarded Fulbrights but declined for other opportunities.

CAMPUS

New Millikan Hall Opens

The new, rebuilt Millikan Hall opened for classes in fall 2015 with state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories for mathematics, physics and astronomy. Originally built in 1958 as part of the Seaver complex of science buildings, the old Millikan Laboratory had experienced significant structural problems, including a cracked foundation and a structure that didn’t permit for sustainability improvements. After an assessment of costs concluded that complete reconstruction was more cost-effective than renovation, the old building was demolished to make way for the new 74,868 square-foot, three-story building which was designed to retain the footprint of the old building while providing for such new features as clerestory windows for natural light; a domed, digital planetarium and an open floorplan to promote collaboration.

New Pomona.edu launched

After 18 months of research, feedback sessions, collaboration and hard work, Pomona’s Office of Communications launched the College’s new website in August, with a fresh new design and updated content.

Happy 100th Birthday, Little Bridges!

Bridges Hall of Music turned 100, marking a century as an iconic center for both music and community events.

FACULTY AND STAFF

Shahriari Wins National Teaching Award

Professor Shahriar Shahriari received the 2015 Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished Teaching of Mathematics, from The Mathematical Association of America (MAA), on January 11. One of the reasons cited is his ongoing advocacy of access to mathematics. At Pomona, he wrote the original grant proposal and designed the structure and curriculum of the Summer Scholars Enrichment Program, which morphed into the Pomona Academy for Youth Success (PAYS)

Rankine Wins National Book Critics Circle Award

Professor Rankine received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry today for her most recent collection, Citizen: An American Lyric. She was the first author to be nominated in two categories: poetry and criticism.

Flaherty, Lee and Werger-Gottesman Nominated for Grammy Awards

The Recording Academy nominated Professors of Music Tom Flaherty and Genevieve Lee and Music Technologist Werger-Gottesman for their work on Nadia Shpachenko’s album Woman at the New Piano, which was recorded in Pomona’s Bridges Hall of Music.

FUNDRAISING

Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds closed December 31, 2015, five years after its launch, after eclipsing its $250 million goal with a total of $316 million raised.

Pomona Part of Group Awarded a $4.5 Million NSF Grant 

A project made up of Caltech, Pomona College and 10 other institutions worldwide was selected to receive $4.5 million over five years by the National Science Foundation through its Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE), an international program that fosters collaboration between U.S. and global scientists.

EVENTS

Commencement 2015

Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients were Michael Dickerson ’01, administrator of the new U.S. Digital Service in the White House Office of Management and Budget, Judge Stephen Reinhardt ’51 of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; France Córdova, director of the National Science Foundation; and Andrew Hoyem ’57, publisher with Arion Press.

OFF CAMPUS

President Oxtoby and Tom Erb ’18 Attend White House Climate Change Pledge Event

President David Oxtoby and Tom Erb ’18 joined college presidents from across the country at the White House, along with White House and State Department officials and environmental leaders, to commit to enacting the respective colleges’ sustainability goals and support strong action on climate change by world leaders.

ELSEWHERE

Two gunmen kill 12 people at the Paris office of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flies by and photographs Pluto.

Gravity waves are detected for the first time.