Fall 2016 /The Oxtoby Years/

The Oxtoby Years



The campus is alight on the October evening of Oxtoby’s inauguration as Pomona’s ninth president. Students welcome him from his previous job as dean of physical sciences at the University of Chicago with a party featuring a Chicago-style jazz band and a “Taste of Chicago” fare of hot dogs and deep-dish pizza. The next morning, Oxtoby leads a 10-mile bicycle ride with 40 cyclists, including faculty, students, staff and alumni.



The Richard C. Seaver Biology Laboratory is completed, providing state-of-the-art research and teaching labs for genetics, cell biology, neurobiology, plant and animal physiology and ecology. The building receives the College’s first LEED certification (silver) from the U.S. Green Building Council.



“47 Things Every Sagehen Should Do” challenges student to break out of the “Claremont Bubble” and explore the cultural institutions, outdoor recreation opportunities and other resources of Southern California.



The College’s student-built Organic Farm becomes an official part of campus and part of the Environmental Analysis Program, which offers its first Farms and Gardens class.



Pomona dedicates the new Lincoln and Edmunds halls, housing the departments of Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Computer Science, Geology and Environmental Analysis, as well as three intercollegiate programs—Asian American Studies, Black Studies and Chicano/a Studies. The buildings receive LEED gold certification. In the courtyard, Pomona’s newest work of public art is completed. The LA Times calls “Dividing the Light” (below), a Skyspace by James Turrell ’65, “one of the best works of public art in recent memory.”



The stock market crash marks the beginning of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Pomona’s endowment tumbles by about 25 percent. The College freezes salaries and institutes other belt-tightening measures but actually increases funding for financial aid to assist students affected by the events. The College also reaffirms its decision, announced earlier in the year, to no longer include loans in financial aid packages.



The Office of Community Programs is renamed the Draper Center for Community Partnerships, with plans to expand educational and community outreach, including the College’s long-term commitment to the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS).



The College publicly launches Campaign Pomona: Daring Minds, setting a goal of $250 million. The five-year campaign focuses on raising funds for four main areas: increasing endowed scholarship aid, enhancing teaching and learning, improving critical facilities, and expanding the Annual Fund. Five years later, the campaign closes with more than $316 million raised. (At right, Stewart Smith ’68, one of the campaign co-chairs, at the campaign launch)



Sontag and Dialynas residence halls open on north campus. The halls, featuring suite-style apartments for about 150 students, are certified LEED Platinum, becoming the first college residence halls in California to achieve that rating and the second such project anywhere in the nation.



Oxtoby is among 180 influential artists, scientists, scholars, authors and institutional leaders who are inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.



Pomona is one of 22 colleges in the country named to The Princeton Review 2014 Green Honor Roll for earning the highest possible score based on its environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings.



The College celebrates the opening of its new Studio Art Hall with performances, art activities and installations. The hall replaces Rembrandt Hall, doubling the space for painting, drawing, sculpture, digital arts and photography. The following year, the Studio Art Hall receives LEED Gold certification.



Founders Day marks the dedication of the rebuilt Millikan Laboratory and renovated Andrew Science Hall with an afternoon of family-oriented events and activities. The Millikan and Andrew buildings, which house the Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy departments, are certified LEED Platinum.



Plans are announced for a new Pomona College Museum of Art as part of the College’s proposed master plan.