Press Releases

Sekou Andrews ’94 and Keiko Budech ’14 Receive 2023 Alumni Awards

On the left Keiko Budech wears a teal and pink jumpsuit as she stands and holds a colorful frame with her alumni award certificate. Budech has straight shoulder-length brown hair. On the right Sekou Andrews wears a gray jacket over a black T-shirt and faded jeans with various words and patterns written in blue and black ink. He stands and holds a colorful frame with his alumni award certificate. Andrews has shoulder-length dark brown hair and a beard with dark brown and gray hair.Claremont, Calif. (May 3, 2023)—Each year, Pitzer College recognizes alumni who exemplify the College’s core values in their profession and in their community and who act in service for the College.  Pitzer recognizes Sekou Andrews ’94 as the College’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and Keiko Budech ’14 as the 2023 Young Alumni Achievement Award recipient. Andrews and Budech were honored for a celebration and awards dinner during Pitzer’s Alumni Weekend 2023. Andrews is a Grammy-nominated poet, a two-time poetry slam national champ, a powerful performer, and an inspirational storyteller who has performed for President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Quincy Jones, along with many others. Budech is a community builder, racial equity practitioner and facilitator, and transportation policy expert.
May 3, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Cornella Ver Halen ’83: Teaching ESL With a Novella and a Rolling Chair

Cornella Ver Halen sits across a wood desk from a student and has an open spiral notebook in front of her as she explains something. Ver Halen has short white hair and wears glasses and a black jacket vest over a blue long-sleeved shirt.Claremont, Calif. (April 26, 2023)—As a teacher, Pitzer alumna Cornella Ver Halen ’83 did not stand by a whiteboard and lecture to students snoozing at their desks. Instead, she rolled. Her chair's little wheels squeaked as she maneuvered to sit beside each student and guide them through whatever they were working on in their workbooks. This was Ver Halen’s teaching style for over 50 years. Until her retirement in December 2022, she was an English as a Second Language (ESL) and sewing teacher at Tri-Community Adult Education/Pioneer Center in Covina. “By working one on one, I let them progress at their own speed,” said Ver Halen. “I said if I couldn’t make grammar interesting, I would quit. I think I succeeded.”
April 26, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Susan Warren ’78 Inspires Children’s Love for Learning on Pitzer’s Campus 

Susan Warren holds her toddler grandson on her hip with one arm and holds a pale yellow reptile in her other hand. Warren and her grandson wear red Project think shirts with the logo of a line drawing of The Thinker sculpture.Claremont, Calif. (April 24, 2023)—As Pitzer alumna Susan Warren ’78 stands on the campus she knew as a first-generation college student, she laughs joyfully at the sea of red T-shirts and children squealing and romping around the grassy mounds. Such a scene has played out many times since Warren founded Project Think 40 years ago. From the STEAM academic enrichment nonprofit Project Think to Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center, Warren has helped found local, innovative education programming.
April 24, 2023
Press Releases | Spotlights

Grace Greene ’20 Blends Brain Science, Social Impact, and Tech  

Grace Greene wears an orange collared shirt, a silver nose ring, and hoop earrings and has long dark hair in braids.Claremont, Calif. (March 21, 2023)—Is social media our society’s downfall—or a tool for change? Pitzer College alumna Grace Greene ’20 believes in the latter. As a research associate at the social innovation lab and impact investor Hopelab, Greene combines behavioral science and technology powered by and for youth. Discover how Greene wields her cognitive science major, study abroad experience in four countries, and commitment to social justice to make the digital narrative more inclusive. 
March 21, 2023
Press Releases | Sagehen Athletics

Six Sagehens to Be Inducted Into Pomona-Pitzer Hall of Fame

An angled photo of the first floor taken from the second floor. On the left is a photo collage of Sagehens student-athletes playing basketball, football, soccer, baseball, swimming, and other sports against a blue backdrop. On the right is white shelf full of trophies with blue text above it that reads Pomona-Pitzer Wall of Champions. A comfortable gray couch and chair are scattered across dark blue striped textured carpet.The Pomona-Pitzer Athletic Hall of Fame will induct six individuals on April 14. Those being inducted include Pitzer College alumni Ruchi Patel ’09 for volleyball and Jose “Chico” Cortez ’09 for baseball. Over the course of her career, Patel earned All-American Honorable Mention, First Team All-West, two-time First Team All-SCIAC selection, two-time Team MVP, and captain her senior season. During his time with the baseball team, Cortez was an All-American all four years at Pomona-Pitzer, two-time West Player of the Year in 2002–2003, four-time First Team All-SCIAC Selection, and a two-time SCIAC Champion with the team in 2002 and 2003.
March 9, 2023
Press Releases

Honoring Past and Present: Inaugural Founders Day Features the ‘Women of the Sixties’

Six of Pitzer’s early alumnae stand with their arms around each other and smile. Behind them are people gathered in orange chairs around round tables.Sixty years ago, Pitzer College was nothing more than a dirt field, a pile of rocks, and a dream. The founding members inspired generations of students to take ownership of their education and build a transformative community. On February 21, 2023, Pitzer hosted an inaugural Founders Day event to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary and the people who made that possible. Dubbed the “Women of the Sixties,” the first Pitzer graduates returned to campus to share their groundbreaking history with students, faculty, and other alumni.
February 27, 2023
Press Releases | Sagehen Athletics

Madison Quan ’22 Makes History in Women’s Basketball

Madison Quan wears her long dark hair in a ponytail and a white basketball uniform with Pomona-Pitzer in blue text and 12 in orange text on the front. She jobs across the court against a backdrop of a blurred out crowd in the navy blue bleachers.Madison Quan ’22 is the SCIAC Offensive Player of the Year as announced by the SCIAC. A recent Pitzer alum and a current Claremont Graduate University student, Quan played this season as a Sagehen after missing one year to Covid as an undergraduate. Quan becomes the first SCIAC Player of the Year in program history after she leaves her mark all over the Pomona-Pitzer Women's Basketball record books. Quan ends her career sixth in all-time points with 1,313, the all-time leader in three-pointers with 164, fifth in career assists with 359, and third in career steals with 285.
February 23, 2023