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Pomona College to Inaugurate David W. Oxtoby as its Ninth President on October 11, 2003

Pomona College will inaugurate David W. Oxtoby as the ninth president of the College in a ceremony on the Pomona campus on Saturday, October 11. Events will begin with a symposium at 10 a.m., continue with the inaugural ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m., and close with a faculty recital on Sunday, October 12.

In keeping with academic tradition, the inauguration ceremony will include a processional of more than 75 delegates from colleges and universities across the nation, as well as representatives from civic, church and educational groups and Pomona College trustees, faculty, alumni and administrators. It will also feature an address from Mary Patterson McPherson, president emeritus of Bryn Mawr College and vice president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and an inaugural address from Oxtoby.

Oxtoby, an internationally noted chemist, began his duties as president of Pomona College, with a co-terminus appointment as professor of chemistry, on July 1. The first chemist to serve as Pomona's president, he was previously dean of physical sciences at the University of Chicago.

As a research chemist, Oxtoby is author or co-author of more than 165 scientific articles on such subjects as light scattering, chemical reaction dynamics, phase transitions and liquids, and has been guest lecturer at conferences and institutions around the globe. He has also co-authored two nationally popular textbooks in chemistry and received fellowships from the Guggenheim, von Humboldt, Dreyfus, Sloan, Danforth and National Science foundations. Maintaining a long-term commitment to remaining active in the classroom even while holding administrative positions, Oxtoby plans to co-teach a course in Environmental Chemistry at Pomona in the spring of 2004. He holds his doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.

The formal ceremony will be preceded by an inaugural symposium examining “Pomona College and the Pacific Rim: A Look to the Future,” which will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. The keynote address, titled “California-It’s on the Pacific Rim Too,” will be given by Steven S. Koblik, president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, in the Bridges Hall of Music (150 E. Fourth Street, Claremont). Concurrent breakout sessions from 11 a.m. to noon are as follows:

  • “This Land is Whose Land?: Environmental Challenges Facing Southern California and the Pacific Rim," moderated by Nancy S. Dye, president of Oberlin College;
  • "Factual, Fantastic or Phantasmagorical: The Media's Role in Defining the Image of Southern California and the Pacific Rim" moderated by Richard T. Schlosberg III, CEO, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and former publisher, Los Angeles Times;
  • "Raising California: The Effect of Place on the K-12 Educational System," moderated by Alexander Gonzalez '72, president of the California State University, Sacramento;
  • "The Village It Takes - Pomona College and Its Immediate Locales: Opportunities for Learning, Outreach, and Service," moderated by W. Benton Boone, M.D. '62; and
  • "A Strategic Circumference - Pomona College and Its International Neighbors: Defining Our Global Place and Purpose," moderated by William G. Keller '70, executive editor of The New York Times.

For more information on the inauguration ceremony and symposium, call David Scott at (909) 621-8141.

On Sunday, October 12, the festivities conclude with a Faculty Recital at 3 p.m. in the Bridges Hall of Music. For more information on the music event, call (909) 621-8155.

One of the nation's pre-eminent liberal arts colleges, Pomona College, founded in 1887, provides its students with a challenging curriculum in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and fine arts and an unsurpassed environment for intellectual inquiry and growth. Among its hallmarks are its small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and student research opportunities. Located in Claremont, California, just east of Los Angeles, the residential College is home to about 1,500 students.