Issue Theme

Imagine. Create. Engage. Together.

A look back at October 14, 2017, the day G. Gabrielle Starr was inaugurated as Pomona’s 10th President.
Starr delivers her inaugural address.

Starr delivers her inaugural address.

THE FOLLOWING ARE excerpts from the inaugural address of President G. Gabrielle Starr:

During the morning-long Inauguration Symposium, Dominic Mensah ’20 discusses a student empowerment program he helped found in Ghana.

During the morning-long Inauguration Symposium, Dominic Mensah ’20 discusses a student empowerment program he helped found in Ghana.

“We discover. We create. And every discovery begins with a question, an observation, something that piques the human imagination. As a community we test our knowledge, engaging deeply with our fields, our peers and the world beyond us. We don’t close our eyes to critique, to alternate possibilities, to the reality that we may be wrong. And the ultimate result is something new in the world: a new idea, a new solution, a new molecule, a new policy, a new work of art, a stronger community.”

 

Starr poses with four chairs of Pomona’s Board of Trustees—from left: Stewart Smith ’68, current Chair Samuel D. Glick ’04, Starr, Jeanne M. Buckley ’65 and Dr. Robert E. Tranquada ’51.

Starr poses with four chairs of Pomona’s Board of Trustees—from left: Stewart Smith ’68, current Chair Samuel D. Glick ’04, Starr, Jeanne M. Buckley ’65 and Dr. Robert E. Tranquada ’51.

“We have a voice—indeed, many voices—what will we say, and how will we say it to the world? When this College was launched ‘the world’ meant something different. Our place, now, is different. We must decide together what that place will be. We have stood for access. We must stand for equity and inclusion. We have stood for principle. We must stand for nuance. We are smarter than slogans, smarter than simple binaries, smarter than the world always knows. We can be humble. We can open our voices to the world. We can shape discourse now. Listen to each other. Hear each other. And, please, mark these words: As one Pomona, we realize the future of our own making. Thank you, let’s celebrate each other, let’s party, and then—let’s get to work.”

 

Inaugural Messages

Starr is hooded during the installation ceremony.

Starr is hooded during the installation ceremony.

Leading up to her inaug­uration, President Starr went online to ask alumni and parents to share stories, memories and thoughts about their own Pomona experience. Here are a few excerpts. Others are available here.

“Pomona College offered me unparalleled opportunities as a first-generation, low-income, undocumented student. I was able to attend Pomona College cost-free, study abroad and visit 11 different countries, engage and partner with the surrounding communities to bridge socioeconomic barriers, think critically about what I was learning in the classroom and how to best apply such knowledge to better my home community.”
—Sergio Rodriguez Camarena ’16

Chair of the Board Samuel D. Glick ’04 applauds after the completion of Starr’s official installation as Pomona’s 10th president.

Chair of the Board Samuel D. Glick ’04 applauds after the completion of Starr’s official installation as Pomona’s 10th president.

“I hope I can meet you next year at our 60th, for you also exude that openness that meant so much to me then and has allowed me to persevere in my efforts to guide a broken world toward a saner future.”
—Carolyn Neeper ’58

“When I think about what Pomona means to me, I think about one particular conversation I had with my son, Franklin, early on during his time at Pomona. We were talking just before he was scheduled to go meet with a family friend who was visiting Pomona as a prospective student. I asked him, ‘If he asked you what the best thing about Pomona is, what would you say?’ Without hesitating, he answered, ‘I am surrounded by people who care about me.’”
—Sarah Marsh P’17

Starr speaks after the installation.

Starr speaks after the installation.

Starr receives congratulations.

Starr receives congratulations.

“Pomona College wasn’t just a great educational experience. It was a new perspective on a bigger, more diverse world of different cultures, national and global politics and society, in general—a total game changer.”
—James Blancarte ’75

“Pomona and her people quickly became my adopted family. The people I met, experiences I had, and opportunities I realized served me well as a student and have continued to be a source of support and inspiration during my 37 years (ack!) as an alumnus. I look forward to a new chapter in Pomona’s storied history under your leadership, and I can’t wait to meet you in person. Remind me to show you my Cecil Sagehen tattoo.”
—Frank Albinder ’80

During the reception following her installation, Starr speaks with Assembly member Cristina Garcia ’99.

During the reception following her installation, Starr speaks with Assembly member Cristina Garcia ’99.

Darkness falls as diners enjoy a community picnic and party on Marston Quadrangle.

Darkness falls as diners enjoy a community picnic and party on Marston Quadrangle.

Partygoers enjoy a game of ping pong on a lighted table.

Partygoers enjoy a game of ping pong on a lighted table.

Dramatic lighting on the front of Bridges Auditorium reveals banners with the College mark, the inaugural logo and the theme of the inauguration—”Imagine. Create. Engage. Together.”

Dramatic lighting on the front of Bridges Auditorium reveals banners with the College mark, the inaugural logo and the theme of the inauguration—”Imagine. Create. Engage. Together.”

Dancers take over a lighted dance floor under the stars.

Dancers take over a lighted dance floor under the stars.

Dancers with a colorfully lit Bridges Auditorium in the background.

Dancers with a colorfully lit Bridges Auditorium in the background.

Photos by Carlos Puma and William Vasta