Dear Pitzer Community,

As we approach the end of February, I am reminded of how quickly our semesters pass into memory.  Before we turn away from a momentous first two months of 2019, let’s take a moment to recognize what we have achieved and own some justifiable pride in our way forward.

  • The entire campus community participated in intensive listening and working sessions in Phase II of the Pitzer Strategic Planning process. Themes are emerging that capture the soul and vision of the College. Soon, we will advance to crafting an implementation plan that will help us accomplish the goals the community identified to be critical to the next five years of the College’s future.
  • Pitzer hosted 340 parents and family members for Pitzer’s annual Family Weekend, that included several memorable events and plenty of quality time for families to meet professors and stoke the fires of their students’ Pitzer experiences. This was an inspiring and affirming weekend full of discovery, opportunities, social exchanges and bright new memories.
  • Pitzer celebrated parents at a record-breaking Pitzer Society dinner and auction that raised more than $100,000 for student internships in the coming year. Sixty-two Pitzer students will have funding for travel and lodging to support their internships this summer.
  • Pitzer College has been recognized as #56 out of 2,238 colleges and universities for diversity by College Factual, placing our College in the top five percent of all schools in America. We also ranked #9 among colleges in California.
  • The College’s senior leadership presented its analysis of the challenges and opportunities associated with Pitzer’s part in the Keck Science program transition.
  • Our community is continuing to discuss issues that are important to us, finding ways to navigate contentious issues through mutual respect and the values that bind us together. Trustees met with a professor and an emerita professor this past weekend and heard different perspectives on the faculty motion that proposes a suspension of Pitzer’s direct-enrollment program at the University of Haifa in Israel. I am pleased to see our students and faculty explore diverse aspects of the faculty proposal in advance of the upcoming College Council meeting scheduled for March 14.

Critical inquiry and active dialogue are hallmarks of the Pitzer College experience. Sustainable teaching, transformational learning and student achievement are at the core of the Pitzer ideal. When our passionate beliefs occasionally come into conflict, I see our community open itself to listen, consider, inquire and navigate to understanding. I am proud to be a part of a college that lives its values.

Stay strong and keep learning!

Melvin L. Oliver