Claremont, Calif. (August 23, 2012) — Pitzer College received a $500,000 gift from the Pitzer Family Foundation to establish the Pitzer Archive and Conference Center. The new archival and conference space is a leading attraction of Phase II of the College’s Residential Life Project. Opening in the fall, Phase II brings online four mixed-use residence halls designed to achieve platinum LEED certification, the highest possible rating from the US Green Building Council.
The Pitzer Archive and Conference Center will be a living showcase for the College’s dynamic history, which dates back to 1963 when philanthropist and citrus rancher Russell K. Pitzer founded the College. The archive and conference center will display photos, documents and records that reflect the College’s origins and milestones. In addition, the space will be equipped with a state-of-the-art, audiovisual system to record oral histories and will also serve as a multimedia conference room.
“Pitzer College’s history of vision, innovation and personal transformation is a compelling story,” notes Laura Skandera Trombley, fifth president of Pitzer College. “I am so pleased to be able to share our evolving history in this attractive and functional new facility made possible by the founding authors of Pitzer College’s narrative.”
The Pitzer family laid the cornerstone of the College almost half a century ago. Pitzer Family Foundation trustees Ann E. Pitzer, Russell M. Pitzer and John S. Pitzer said they “look forward to the celebration of the first 50 years of the College and the anticipation of the next 50 years of achievement.” Ann, Russell and John Pitzer are the grandchildren of founder Russell K. Pitzer. Russell M. Pitzer joined the College’s Board of Trustees in 1988 and is one of the board’s longest serving members. Ann Pitzer became a board member in 2006.
This gift continues the legacy of the Pitzer family’s pivotal support of the College that stretches from its very beginnings when Russell K. Pitzer established a sixth Claremont College dedicated to the social sciences. His son, Kenneth S. Pitzer, who was a renowned chemist at UC Berkeley and the president of Rice University and Stanford University, was elected to the Pitzer Board of Trustees in 1966. Kenneth and his wife, Jean Mosher Pitzer, created the Flora Sanborn Pitzer Professorship and Scholarship and also supported the development of a computer classroom. Their generous bequest endowed the Kenneth S. Pitzer and the Jean M. Pitzer Professorships and the Kenneth and Jean Pitzer Memorial Scholarship. Ann established the Ann E. Pitzer Scholarship. Russell M. funded the College’s initial computer network connection that allowed for the first emails to be sent from campus.
The Pitzer Family Foundation’s considerable donations have made many projects on Pitzer’s growing campus possible. The foundation provided generous support for the construction of Sanborn Hall in Phase I of the College’s Residential Life Project in memory of Kenneth’s mother Flora Sanborn Pitzer. Ann, Russell M. and John Pitzer contributed to the development of the Jean M. Pitzer Archaeology Laboratory.