This fall the Pitzer College Archives received its most valuable gift to date in relation to student life on campus. Deborah Deutsch Smith donated a trove letters that she wrote home while she was among the first students to enroll at Pitzer in 1964 up until her graduation in 1968.
The importance of this kind of donation may be overlooked by many Pitzer alumni. There is such important information in these types of documents. For example, not only did Deb write about all her classes, the College functions she went to, the student governance, the relationship of Pitzer with the other Claremont Colleges and her perceptions about professors and other students, but her letters also give us a special glimpse into what it was like to be an 18–22 year-old young woman in the mid-1960’s. The close relationship she had with her family is also conveyed, along with her unique perspective of the world.
Here in the Archives, we’re interested and seeking an utterly eclectic range of materials that help tell the story of Pitzer’s students over the years. But documents like letters home might be seen as inconsequential. I would just like you all to know that there is meaning and value to most of the artifacts from your student days. And by donating items to the Archives, you will be ensuring a good home for them.
So, as you clean out your closets and garages and offices, please keep the Pitzer Archives in mind and add your unique experience as a student to our growing collections.
The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board visited Pitzer College and Southern California for the first time on November 17 to 19. Events held around the Board’s quarterly meeting highlighted the impact of the Fulbright program worldwide and Pitzer’s role as the nation’s top producer of Fulbright students among liberal arts colleges. Pitzer President Laura Skandera Trombley was appointed to the 12-member board, which oversees the Fulbright program, by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
The panel discussion, “Expanding Engagement through the Fulbright Program: Where in the World Can Fulbright Take You,” drew a large online and in-person audience to Benson Auditorium on November 18 to hear Pitzer alumni speak about their Fulbright experiences overseas. Nigel Boyle—Pitzer professor, associate dean and director of the Institute for Global/Local Action & Study—moderated a lively, insightful and frequently funny discussion among panel participants Ben Ball ’98, Janice Cho ’11, Paul Kim ’11, Alexis Spencer Notabartolo ’07 and Mauricio Pantoja ’08. The event was streamed live, allowing a global audience to ask the panelists questions.
Pitzer College and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council co-hosted “Fulbright & the National Interest: Sharing Who We Are with the World” at The California Club on November 19. The luncheon featured keynote speaker Evan Ryan, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs. Terry McCarthy, president of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and an Emmy Award-winning journalist, served as the master of ceremonies for a discussion with Pitzer President Laura Skandera Trombley, Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Chairman Tom Healy and Fulbright Fellow Paul Kim ’11.
Tom Healy, chairman of the Fulbright Board and a poet, held a workshop on poetry and tattoos with Pitzer faculty members Todd Honma and Brent Armendinger on November 19. Healy read from works that were inspired by his collaborations with tattoo artists. After Healy’s reading, workshop participants designed their own text- and image-based temporary tattoos.
Voiceover: “The year was 1973 and the Comet Kohoutek was due to pay its first visit the inner Solar System, a visitation that was supposed to result in a spectacular display of outgassing…”
President Skandera Trombley: “Kohoutek will celebrate its 40th anniversary this spring, the Grove House is 37 years old, our Nepal program is 40, the New Resources Program is also celebrating 40 years, the Pitzer-Pomona Sagehen sports team began 41 years ago and the College is half a century old. It strikes me that the faux doomsday Kohotek comet was a wonderfully oxymoronic festival choice for a college founded a decade earlier with the motto Provida Futuri, “Mindful of the Future.” And while we don’t have an official College song, despite what you might see on YouTube, We have celebrated, danced to and played music on our campus since our beginning.”
Watch the State of the College address given by President Laura Skandera Trombley on October 10, 2013.
Renowned photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems delivered the Murray Pepper & Vicki Reynolds Pepper Visiting Artist Lecture at Pitzer College on September 19, days before she was awarded a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Award for her work that explores the subjects of black women, class, feminism and African-American history.
In 2005, Weems was honored with the Distinguished Photographer’s Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the world of photography. Other awards include the Alpert Award for Visual Arts (1996), the National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship (1994) and Friends of Photography’s Photographer of the Year (1994). Since 1980, Carrie Mae Weems’ work has been exhibited widely in the US and abroad in over fifty one-person shows and numerous group exhibitions. A major touring solo retrospective, Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, will culminate in 2014 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Weems earned a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (1981), an MFA from the University of California, San Diego (1984) and studied folklore at the University of California, Berkeley (1984-87). Born in Portland, OR, Weems now lives and works in Syracuse, NY. She is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.