Fall 2011 /Time Travel/

New Alumni President Takes the Next Step

As a sports fan raised in Southern California, Dodie Bump ’76 has faced a few adjustments since she moved to Massachusetts more than two decades ago. With time, she was able to put aside the Dodger blue and become a full-fledged Red Sox fan. But she never could get on board with the Celtics; they’ve had too long of a rivalry with the Lakers. She compromised by becoming a fan of the San Antonio Spurs, since they’re led by former Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens basketball coach Greg Popovich.

If there’s one team Bump has stuck with all these years, it’s the Sagehens, and Pomona College in the wider sense. Her new role as president of the Alumni Association is the natural next step in her decades of service to the College.

An art history major and Mortar Board Society member, Bump pursued her hobby of photography at Pomona, but athletics was her biggest extracurricular activity. She played on the women’s basketball and volleyball teams, managed the men’s track team coached by Pat Mulcahy ’66, and even threw the javelin on the not-quite-official women’s track team. She also was a physical trainer for football, track and other sports in what was a rarity for a female student at the time. And for her first year after graduating, she worked on campus as an administrative assistant to Athletic Director Ed Malan ’48.

From there it was on to the Xerox Corp. in El Segundo, where she worked in a variety of administrative and marketing roles. During this time, Bump kept her ties to Pomona, serving on the Alumni Council during the 1980s, including a stint on what was then known as the Executive Committee. This was just a “natural progression,” Bump says, and “a wonderful way to stay connected to the College.”

Then Bump made a big move. Xerox was offering a voluntary buyout program, and after more than a decade with the company, Bump decided to take the buyout and move all the way across the country. Eventually settling in Wellesley, outside Boston, she quickly became a leader in the New England Sagehen community, thanks to a little nudging from former Alumni Relations Director Lee Harlan ’55. “He knew I was a sucker for Pomona,” says Bump.

After holding marketing positions at several software companies in the Boston area, Bump has found her “best job ever” as director of communications for the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Charitable Foundation. She is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Wellesley and has served on the boards of several civic organizations, including the Wellesley Historical Society and the Wellesley Club. She also plays tennis several times a week and has been a member of a book club since 1989. 

But Pomona College still tugs at her. She joined the Alumni Board in 2007 and particularly enjoys coming back to visit the campus. Bump considers it fortunate timing that she is becoming Alumni Association president at a time when the arts are a particular focus on campus. Arts initiatives are a major component of Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds, and this year the much-anticipated “It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973” exhibitions are unfolding at the College’s museum.

“I’m definitely interested in making sure alumni are aware of the incredible plans the College has for the arts,” Bump says. “They are such an essential component of a top quality liberal arts education, and I’m thrilled that Pomona is committed to ensuring that its arts program is second to none.”