Founding President of Pitzer College Honored by Residence Hall Naming

Claremont, Calif. (December 10, 2004) — The late John W. Atherton, founding president of Pitzer, is being honored by the Pitzer College community by a new residence hall bearing his name. The new residence hall will be named for both John W. Atherton and his wife Virginia Atherton. Atherton served as president of Pitzer College from 1963-1970. A generous gift of $3 million that is to name the residence hall has been given by Susan Pritzker, chair of Pitzer College’s Board of Trustees.

“We are pleased that Board Chair Susan Pritzker decided to honor the College by naming a campus building in honor of our distinguished founding president,” Pitzer College President Laura Skandera Trombley said. “In so giving this gift she is manifesting the spirit of generosity for which members of the Pitzer community are known. In my experience every community is sustained and enhanced by those individuals who so unselfishly give for the benefit of others,” Trombley added.

Pitzer is in the first phase of its residence hall project. The project will be completed by the fall of 2007. There will be two additional phases during the next decade. The College community is enthusiastic about the transformative nature of the largest construction project since its founding.

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Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility, and community involvement. For more information, please visit

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