President’s Fund for Excellence

Students studying in the Fletcher Jones Language LabThe President’s Fund for Excellence provides a pool of immediately accessible resources to underwrite critical priorities, seize emerging opportunities, and support initiatives that celebrate the values of Pitzer College: community, diversity, dialogue, inquiry, and action. Contributions to this fund give President Melvin L. Oliver the ability to say “yes,” especially to programs and projects that ensure Pitzer is a welcoming and inclusive community for every student, faculty, staff member, and visitor.

Suzanne Oliver and President Melvin L. Oliver

We are pleased to share that during President Oliver’s inaugural year, 2016–17, $550,000 was secured for the President’s Fund for Excellence. This includes a commitment of $50,000 from President Oliver’s wife, Suzanne Oliver, in honor of his inauguration, as well as a $125,000 planned gift from married alumni Diane Parro ’80 and Jon Parro ’81.

Below are a few initial projects that received support from this fund, and we encourage you to visit this page often to see how the fund evolves and continues to support our students.

Black Intersections Conference — For the second consecutive year, provided funding to support the Office of Black Student Affairs’ Black Intersections Conference, which took place at The Claremont Colleges March 23–25, 2018. This second-annual conference explored subjects impacting Black communities both locally and globally, serving as a forum for students, faculty, and staff of African descent to share knowledge and enjoy community. The conference’s sub-themes were presence, power, and promise in education, history, media, solidarity, self-care, love, and sexuality.

Research in Botswana — Provided support for a Pitzer student to travel to Southern Africa to conduct research with Pitzer’s Vaccine Development Institute (VDI) at the University of Botswana. The VDI is focused on the development of low-cost vaccines to address urgent animal health and human welfare issues in Southern Africa.

Thank you for your generous donation to help me do research in another country and allow me to learn about the technology, language, and culture…Not only did I learn new scientific techniques but I was able to build friendships that will last a lifetime. I want to thank you again for giving me this opportunity to do research in Botswana.  ~ Jacqueline Barragan ’20

Pursuit of Graduate School — Will subsidize fees associated with the tests and preparatory materials for several students to ensure that low-income students can overcome obstacles in the pursuit of graduate studies and achieve their educational goals.

With your support, President Melvin L. Oliver
can continue to foster intellectual curiosity at Pitzer College.
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