Dear Pitzer Community,

I’m sad to announce that Paul B. Ranslow passed away on April 9, in Lincoln, CA from complications associated with cancer; he was 70.

An educator by training, Paul B. Ranslow served as Pitzer’s director and subsequently as executive vice president for admission (1984-1991, 1992-1995), and as interim president of Pitzer College (1991-92).

Paul was beloved by colleagues and is remembered as a transformational influence on students, a steady presence in uncertain times and a steadfast advocate for providing the best possible liberal arts educational experience.

“Always a mentor and friend, Paul embraced the Pitzer community and treated the Pitzer students like family. He was approachable and welcoming,” recalled first-generation student Yvonne Berumen ’97 who decades later would follow Paul’s footsteps in becoming vice president for admission and financial aid at Pitzer.  “Even after years apart, I always felt I could call upon Paul for advice and support. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be in this role. He admitted me, believed in me and really made me feel like I could do anything. I think many others would say the same thing. We have lost someone very special.”

“Paul Ranslow positively impacted countless colleagues and students during and following his time at Pitzer. Through his support and mentoring of staff and students he left a lasting legacy here,” noted Jim Marchant, interim vice president for student affairs, who has served key roles across Pitzer since 1995. “Paul truly believed in the holistic admission process. He took chances and saw potential in students. I can still see his influence in Pitzer’s innovative and individualized student recruitment successes around the world.”

One of many stories about Paul that captures the effect he had on student lives and Pitzer involves an underrepresented, low-income local high school student who came to campus looking for a grounds services job. Instead, Paul convinced him to apply to be a student and admitted him. This Pitzer alumnus became the founder and owner of multiple businesses and a highly regarded designer in New York. He credits Paul for providing him with a critical life opportunity and his resulting success.

Paul was born in the Republic of the Philippines and grew up in Southern California, where he graduated from North Hollywood High School. His career in higher education included roles as director of admission at Pacific University, and following Pitzer, as president of Ripon College and later as president of Sierra Nevada College.

The Ranslow Terrace and Pool behind Gold Student Health and Wellness Center are named in Paul Ranslow’s honor.

Paul is survived by his wife Stephanie, his brother, Peter, sister Susan, two nieces and his mother-in-law.

The Office of the President sent condolences to the Ranslow family on behalf of the Pitzer College community. A celebration of Paul’s life is being planned and information about a memorial service will be forthcoming.


Melvin L. Oliver