2021 Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
The Blaisdell Award is one of the most prestigious awards given to Pomona alumni, recognizing high achievement in their professions or their community. We are thrilled to congratulate this year’s Blaisdell Distinguished Alumni Award Winners: Cathy Corison ’75, James Strombotne ’56, Martina Vandenberg ’90 and Nathan Wang ’79.
Cathy Corison ’75 was the first woman winemaker-proprietor in the Napa Valley, where she continues to produce handcrafted wines without compromise. Her grapes are sourced from some of the finest vineyards in the Napa Valley, all located on classic benchland between Rutherford and St. Helena. Corison’s vineyards are certified Napa Green. She has farmed organically for more than 25 years, with sustainability as a core value. She founded Corison Winery in 1987, guided by her belief that winemaking and wine appreciation are a timeless, creative celebration of life.
James Strombotne ’56 is a painter whose work has been featured in more than 100 one-man shows, with 14 retrospectives: four in New York City, 22 in Los Angeles, and others in San Francisco, Washington D.C., Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and Santa Fe, New Mexico, among other venues. His work has also been included in most major group shows in America and can be found in the permanent collections of museums across the United States. He is a professor emeritus at UC Riverside following his retirement in 2005 after 40 years of teaching.
Martina Vandenberg ’90 is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Legal Center, which she established in 2012 with support from the Open Society Foundations Fellowship Program. For more than two decades, she has worked to fight human trafficking, forced labor and violence against women and establish that rape is a war crime. Vandenberg has trained more than 4,000 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters. She has testified before multiple House and Senate Committees, gave the keynote address at the first NATO ambassadorial-level conference on human trafficking in Brussels and currently co-chairs the D.C. Human Trafficking Task Force’s Forced Labor Subcommittee.
Nathan Wang ’79 is one of the most successful composers in Hollywood and Asian cinema. Prolific and versatile, he has written music for Jackie Chan movies, Steven Spielberg documentaries and Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures Studios’ films. His compositions have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Opera and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He received a Singapore Grammy for Best Arrangement of a Song and an Emmy for the award-winning film Reefer Madness. Wang is an associate professor of film scoring at Beijing University.
4-7: An Annual Celebration of #SagehenImpact
Our annual 4-7 Day celebrates and honors Sagehens for their local and global contributions. Although we can’t celebrate together in person, all are invited to join us online for a special day of recognizing and discovering the extraordinary impact alumni make, bearing their added riches around the world! Visit pomona.edu/sagehen-impact to register and learn more.
4-7 Day also provides a unique opportunity to showcase the collective impact of the Pomona alumni community by supporting the growth and learning of our current students. Make a gift of $4.47, $47.47 or $447.47 to the Annual Fund today at pomona.edu/give.
Looking for other COVID friendly ideas on how to celebrate 4-7 Day? The Alumni Association Board has a few—or perhaps 47—ideas for you! Check out 47 Things to Do: COVID-19 Edition.
Coming Together as #OnePomona—and a Big Thank You!
There is a brighter future ahead, and the campus is happily ready and waiting for the return of students, faculty and staff to resume Pomona campus life in person. It won’t be long now!
We also want to pause and chirp a big THANKS to you, our alumni and families, for your support these past 12 months. The Sagehen community came together like never before to help students, faculty and staff navigate the uncharted course of remote learning and more during the global pandemic.
The incredible, ongoing generosity of alumni and families this past year ensured that students and faculty had the technology needed to successfully connect and engage in distance teaching and learning; helped expand urgently needed financial aid resources for students; supported virtual research and experiential learning opportunities in summer 2020 through the Remote Alternative Independent Summer Experience (RAISE) program; and provided support to our local community through Pomona’s PAYS program. And there is more.
This spring, we will be sharing further details about your #SagehenImpact and the many ways your gifts have done so much to promote resilience and provide opportunity and genuine care for students and the campus community. Thank you for your dedication and support! Chirp!
Reunion Celebration 2021 is Right Around the Corner!
The Pomona College Reunion Celebration will take place on Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, on the virtual Pomona College campus. We are looking forward to having this year’s online reunion classes join us for two days of activities and prizes, unique presentations, Blaisdell and Distinguished Service Alumni Award winner tributes and more.
Registration is free, so sign up today! For more information or to register, visit: pomona.edu/reunion-weekend
Join your classmates in supporting your Reunion Class Gift. Thank you!