Pitzer College Archives: A Call for Donations

deb-deutsch-smith-lettersThis 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.

Contact Stacy Elliott, Archivist, at stacy_elliott@pitzer.edu for more information.

Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Visits Pitzer College

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.

Watch the Fall 2013 State of the College Video

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.

2013 State of the College from Pitzer College on Vimeo.

Scott Hall “Rededication Tree” Planted in the Outback Preserve

Group in Outback“Your final grade is a reflection of how dirty you get today!”  That was Pitzer Professor of Environmental Analysis Paul Faulstich’s warning to his students as they planted a native California Coastal Live Oak tree in the Outback Preserve north of West Hall.  Adin Bonapart ‘16 presented the tree to President Laura Skandara Trombley on October 10 as a part of the rededication of Scott Hall, which first opened in 1964 with the gift of an orange tree to the college president.  About 25 students from Faulstich’s Restoring Nature class were present in their work clothes and hiking boots, and everyone was in excellent spirits.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of an event that is going to make a positive impact on the Pitzer community,” said Sanford Glickman ’17, a first-year student who spent much of the morning carrying a pickaxe and moving rocks out of the ground as his classmates dug a hole for the tree.  Also in attendance was Anna Leopold ‘17, who said she “loved being outdoors with her classmates and learning about the local environment.”

Now that the ceremonial tree has been planted, Faulstich and his class plan to nurture it as it assimilates into the environment over the next few months.  The tree-planting event is one of multiple celebratory events that have taken place this week as Pitzer College continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

-Chance Kawar ’17, Office of Communications Student Assistant

More more pictures of the Coastal Live Oak tree being planted in the Outback Preserve, visit our Flickr pages.

Campus-to-Coast Bike Ride; We Made It!

Robert Little '15When I arrived here in early August to prepare for the arrival of our new first years, Pitzer’s campus was eerie. “Pitzer is a shell without you students” was the go-to elevator speech administrators used in lieu of a simple “Welcome back!” I could see it, yeah, the school is a lonely place in the summer – no students clumsily slack-lining on the mounds, no barefoot Pitzer folk walking to class, and no Grove House sandwiches with home roasted turkey and balsamic parmesan spread for several months!

When I took a stroll through campus, however, I felt a loneliness that no one else had mentioned. NO BIKES. ANYWHERE. Whereas I occasionally had to resort to locking my pitzermobile (an orange single speed, so fresh) to handrails or my friends’ bikes, the sight of my bike all alone on the ribcage rack outside the residence halls caused me a tiny bit of anxiety. I felt like that dog owner who locks their pup up to a pole outside and walks away (HOW COULD YOU).

At the risk losing your attention by talking about bikes in all my posts, they’re kind of a huge deal here. Students, faculty, and staff ride everywhere – around the campuses, out to L.A.’s monthly Critical Mass, and of course bombing down Mt. Baldy before 8am class.

One of the most ambitious rides is the first-year orientation trip Pedal to The Pacific – a trip where students bike from a starting point to a handful of beaches over several days. The title is deceiving, however – we don’t actually bike fromPitzer to the beach, but bus from campus to a park along the San Gabriel river and start from there.

Although I had participated on this orientation trip three times now, Saturday, October 5, was the first time that I actually pedaled to the pacific. As part of Pitzer’s 50th anniversary celebration, 50 students, faculty, staff, and Claremont community members set out for a casual 50-mile Campus-to-Coast ride. Starting from the lot adjacent from the Green Bike program, a diverse amalgamation of road bikes, cruisers, hybrids, and even one tandem set out for a pleasurable four-hour, mostly downhill ride to Seal Beach. We toured through sunny Claremont and San Dimas before hitting the San Gabriel River trail, took a pit stop at Liberty Park for lunch, and planted tires in the sand just after one in the afternoon. I felt like a first-year again, biking next to fellow Pitzer folks who I hadn’t met before and eagerly tried to get to know. At the beach, students swam and surfed (an awesome reward after a half-century ride!)

Aside from the fact that I can honestly say that yes, I’ve pedaled to the Pacific, this ride incorporated so many aspects of why I love this school.  For one, yeah, there’s a collective effervescence when a large group of people hit the road on bikes.  This, of course, happens all over the place; what was unique about this ride was the diversity of participants.  Students from all four classes, graduates, faculty, professional staff, deans, and even two moms who “knew some nice kids who went to the Claremont Colleges” came together and bonded over some exercise outside.  Some wore spandex suits.  Others wore flip-flops.  Everyone biked 50 miles; everyone pedaled to the Pacific!

Robert Little ’15

To see pictures of our Campus-to-Coast adventure, visit our Flickr pages.

Carrie Mae Weems Delivers Murray Pepper & Vicki Reynolds Pepper Visiting Artist Lecture

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.

For more information about GLYPHS: Acts of Inscription , visit www.pitzer.edu/glyphs/