Fall 2016 /The Oxtoby Years/

Oxtoby Memories, Part 4

I have always admired the clarity of purpose President Oxtoby has demonstrated in terms of diversity and inclusion. He understands, at a very fundamental level, that living and learning in a diverse and inclusive environment is the best preparation for students at Pomona College. I’ve enjoyed working with him on these very important issues facing the College and I believe our students will reap the benefits of his leadership for decades to come.

Ric Townes
Associate Dean of Students


I took a selfie with him and Mrs. Oxtoby at the freshman picnic, and it just felt wonderful to get to know them on the first week of school as a freshman. I think my friends and my teachers from my international school were all pretty surprised that I got to know President Oxtoby the first week of school, and were commenting on Facebook, like: ‘Wow, you got know president already.’

April Xu ’18


What struck me about David when I first met him was his deep personal humility.  In all of our conversations about priorities and financial decisions, his thinking is guided by a strong ethical core and a commitment to what is best for students in particular and the Pomona community as a whole.

 —Karen Sisson ’79
Vice President and Treasurer


David is, in addition to everything else, a decent and caring person who detests injustice. It has been David’s commitment to justice that has led Pomona to the forefront in terms of recruiting, admitting and supporting a student body that is diverse in every possible respect.

 —Richard Fass
Vice President for Planning, Retired


David Oxtoby’s commitment to diversity and to making the Pomona education accessible to all has been consistent, wide ranging and effective. Because of his leadership, Pomona has partnered with QuestBridge and the Posse Foundation, made the Draper Center and its signature PAYS program an important part of the campus, opened Pomona’s doors to Dreamers, and increased the number and diversity of its international students. Each one of these initiatives is significant, but, taken together, they have transformed the College. Talking to students, walking around campus, sitting in classes, you can easily see, hear and sense the effect of the changed student body on the intellectual life of the campus. Those of us who have worked with David on these issues have come to realize that we can depend on his commitment to equity, and diversity. His is not a fleeting here-today-gone-tomorrow commitment; rather it comes from an inner moral compass. Pomona is a changed and better place because of it.

Shahriar Shahriari
Professor of Mathematics

Read more Oxtoby memories, part 5