Fall 2023 /Harvest/

Letter Box

The Women Behind Mufti

Thank you to the four women who shed their anonymity to reveal the secret of Mufti’s founding. I grew up in Claremont, surrounded by the traditions and lore of the campuses, including a healthy respect for Mufti—possibly instilled in me by a relative who may have been a member at some point along the way (though since they’ve yet to admit membership, I’ll continue to shield their identity). As a student in the early ’80s, I appreciated the wit, targeted wisdom and biting commentary Mufti provided us in an era marked by so many cultural and political transitions. And with all of that, what a delightful revelation to discover it was women of South Campus in the late 1950s who challenged cultural norms and rigidity in an effort to seek parity with their male North Campus counterparts. While I consider myself a feminist and an academically trained historian of women and gender studies, it never once occurred to me that Mufti could have been founded by women—shame on me, and 47 chirps to them! Of course this begs the question: “In what other ways have the voices and actions of women on the Pomona campus been silenced or lost over time?” Perhaps a rising senior history and/or gender studies major could take this on as their thesis for next year?

—Julie Siebel ’84

Balboa Island, California

‘PCM’ Honored

Our Bird’s Beginnings. All Right! Time to find out where I come from… Story by Robyn Norwood, Illustrated by Eric Melgosa

Our Bird’s Beginnings. All Right! Time to find out where I come from… Story by Robyn Norwood, Illustrated by Eric Melgosa

Pomona College Magazine received a 2023 Circle of Excellence Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for “Our Bird’s Beginnings,” a graphic story about the origins of Cecil Sagehen that appeared in PCM’s Spring 2022 issue. Judges praised the comic, illustrated by Eric Melgosa and written by Robyn Norwood and collaborators in the Office of Communications, for creativity, ingenuity and clever wordplay, selecting the story for a gold award in the category of writing/profile (less than 1,000 words). The judges also applauded the comic for “highlighting the unsung heroes on college campuses.” You can read the full comic.

Hey Ref! We’ve Come a Long Way

What a great joy for me to read of Melissa Barlow ’87 officiating women’s NCAA tournament games!

Melissa Barlow ’87

Melissa Barlow ’87

She brings back 1958 memories of entering Pomona as an avid basketball player, only to find women’s basketball a missing sport on campus. Having gone to an all-girls high school where basketball was the sport sans males to steal the athletic limelight, I was greatly disappointed with this omission, to say the least.

Once settled into my freshman year, this sport continued to haunt me and finally stirred within the motivation to try to muster up a team. I began by spotting women of above-average height and inviting them to play. A sufficient number of women were eager to do so, with some never having played the sport before. We began with rag-a-tag demonstration games in Renwick Gym, charging the guys an entry fee for the “special” privilege of watching. Gradually, other colleges were engaged in unofficial and unrecorded contests but the seed was thereby sown nonetheless. One cannot help but be grateful for those who then carried the banner in one fashion or another to eventually make this an official women’s sport on campus.

—Susan Tippett Bruch ’62

Santa Barbara, California

P.S. As a 5-foot-11 guard, I never had to learn how to make a basket because in those days, both guards and forwards were forbidden from crossing the center line! Furthermore, once I retrieved a rebound, I was only allowed three dribbles to get it to a forward teammate on the other side lest one might incur a foul. Obviously it was thought that this sport, played as men did, was too taxing for us ladies. … Heaven forbid! Yes, we as women in the world of sports have truly come a long, long way. Thank you, Melissa, for your current Pomona claim to fame in the world of basketball.