Tomorrow, October 14th, Pomona College is celebrating Founders Day. But not only is it the anniversary of the founding of the school I have come to love so much, but it is its 125th anniversary, its quasiquicentennial. (I didn’t know that was a word either.) It should be tons of fun with games performances and, most importantly, free food because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love free food? I’m excited because my family is coming up to celebrate the occasion with me and it is always fun to see them.
Something that Pomona College has been doing throughout the summer and beginning of this school year to get ready for Founders Day is unveiling cool pieces of Pomona’s 125 year history—from old yearbook pictures to videos of the stories of alumni from the class of 1947. I have loved to learn about Pomona’s past! However last night I stumbled upon the unearthed archive that has been thus far my favorite. A promotional video about the Claremont Colleges from 1963, narrated by Ronald Reagan!
I was cleaning my room last night and went onto YouTube to find a song to play. I saw that the Pomona College YouTube page had uploaded a video so I decided to check it out. 25 minutes later, with my jaw hanging open, I felt so different. I know it sounds crazy. But seeing footage of the place I call home from 50 years ago gave me the craziest feeling. The weirdest thing to me was how little seemed to change. Many of the academic buildings looked exactly the same, Bridges, Marston Quad, Seaver North Chemistry Building, the Gates, and the library haven’t changed at all. I also thought it was crazy that Ronald Reagan was narrating, almost two decades before he became president.
I just kept replaying certain parts of the video. It affected me a lot more than I could ever imagine. It made me think about 50 years from now. My time at school will be long over–my potential grandchildren would be applying to college by then, would they see the same things I’ve seen if they decided to come to Pomona? I guess I have always felt that the four years that I am spending here are some of the best and most important four years of my life, but in the story of the College, I am just one page in a long book. I think I tend to be the type of person to think of the here and now. But this video reminded me of the past, and also the future.
I feel so lucky to be able to claim even one page in the story of Pomona College, and I can only hope and dream that my page will mean something to the future story of Pomona. Here’s to 125 more wonderful years Pomona. Happy Birthday!