2016

THE COLLEGE

Pomona Joins National Initiative to Expand Access to Low-Income Students

In December, the College joined 30 of the nation's leading colleges and universities in a new initiative to substantially expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s top-performing undergraduate institutions with the highest graduation rates. The American Talent Initiative (ATI), supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, brings together a diverse set of public and private institutions united in this common goal. Aiming to welcome more of the 270 institutions with graduation rates of 70 percent or higher over the next few years, the members of the American Talent Initiative have set a goal to attract, enroll, and graduate 50,000 additional high-achieving, lower-income students at those 270 colleges and universities by 2025.

LEADERSHIP

Presidential Transition Set in Motion

Early in 2016, President David W. Oxtoby announced that he planned to step down after 14 years at the College’s helm on June 30, 2017. Toward the end of the year, the College announced the selection of G. Gabrielle Starr, dean of New York University’s College of Arts and Science, to succeed Oxtoby as the 10th president of Pomona College.

Leichter Named Founding Director of the Sontag Center

Frederick S. Leichter became the founding director of The Claremont Colleges’ Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity, informally known on campus as “The Hive.”

Oxtoby Letter on DACA Draws More than 700 Signatories

In November, President David Oxtoby issued a letter to his fellow presidents around the country titled “College and University Presidents Call for U.S. to Uphold and Continue DACA.” More than 700 college presidents around the country eventually joined him in signing the letter, which called for the continuation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. “This is both a moral imperative and a national necessity,” he stated in the letter. “America needs talent – and these students, who have been raised and educated in the United States, are already part of our national community. They represent what is best about America, and as scholars and leaders they are essential to the future.”

FACULTY

Radunskaya Receives AAAS Mentor Award

Mathematics Professor Ami Radunskaya received the 2016 AAAS Mentor Award for launching “dramatic education and research changes leading to an increase in the number of female doctorates in the field of mathematics.”

Liu Receives the 2016 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Chemistry Professor Jane Liu was a recipient of the 2016 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award given by The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The award provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000 to faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions who are accomplished researchers and committed educators.

EVENTS

Pomona College Criminal Justice Symposium: March 28-30

Pomona College’s Criminal Justice Symposium convened activists, scholars, writers, filmmakers and members of the bench and bar to engage, discuss and debate the complex issues that the current state of criminal justice in the U.S. poses. The keynote speaker was author-activist Bryan Stevenson.

Commencement 2016

Commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients were Deborah Bial, founder and president of Posse Foundation; novelist Vikram Chandra ’84; and light and space artist Helen Pashgian ’56.

ALUMNI

CRISPR Pioneer and Alumna Jennifer Doudna '85 is Recognized by TIME

Doudna and fellow pioneering CRISPR scientists were shortlisted by TIME as "Person of the Year Runner-Up" for their innovative and groundbreaking research in developing CRISPR, a gene-editing tool with boundless possibilities. Doudna also received a number of awards, including the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2016 Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics, the 2015 Gruber Prize in Genetics, the 2016 Tang Prize and the 2017 Japan Prize. She and her collaborator were prominently mentioned in national media as possible future recipients of a Nobel Prize.

ELSEWHERE

The United Kingdom decides by referendum to leave the European Union.

The app Pokémon Go is released on smartphones, breaking sales records.

In an election night surprise, Donald Trump is elected president of the United States.