Pitzer College

Pitzer College, founded in 1963, welcomed its first students in September 1964.

An interactive timeline of Pitzer College.

1960-01-29 15:08:16

New College Recommendations

The Claremont College Intercollegiate Council explores and recommends a new college for women.

1963-01-31 10:55:22

Founding Grant Made

Ina Scott Pitzer and Russell K. Pitzer give the founding gift to establish Pitzer College.

1963-02-21 10:55:22

Articles of Incorporation Filed

Pitzer College articles of incorporation are filed. The anniversary of this day is later celebrated as Founders Day.

1963-02-26 10:55:22

First Board Meeting

The Founding Board of Trustees holds its first organizational meeting at Honnold Library.

1963-03-26 10:55:22

Campus Master Plan Presented to Architects

Local Claremont architects Theodore Criley and Fred McDowell are presented with a master plan for the campus showing the use of a central mall, a beautiful vista of the mountains and no internal motor traffic.

1963-04-16 10:55:22

John Atherton Selected as First President

After a nationwide search, John W. Atherton, Dean of the Faculty at Claremont Men's College, is recommended and chosen by the Selection Committee.

1963-05-07 10:55:22

Second Board Meeting

Pitzer’s Board of Trustees welcomes John W. Atherton to their board meeting as the first president of Pitzer College. Robert J. Bernard is named first chairman of the Board.

1963-05-07 10:55:22

Construction Begins

Construction begins on Scott and Sanborn Halls.

1964-02-21 03:14:21

First Founders Day

The first anniversary of Pitzer's founding is celebrated with a dinner.

1964-06-12 15:25:27

First Faculty Meetings

The faculty meets for four days to consider the College's program and to plan the curriculum in depth.

1964-06-16 10:55:22

2nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees

The Board meets at Claremont Men's College.

1964-07-23 05:30:49

Los Angeles Times Article Published

Los Angeles Times publishes “Pitzer College Campus Rising at River Bottom,” an article in its “San Gabriel Women” section about the future opening of the College.

1964-08-15 05:30:49

Photos for Pictorial Book Taken

A group of students are brought to campus to be photographed for a pictorial book on Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges to assist Board members in seeking gifts and pledges.

1964-09-20 05:30:49

First Students Arrive

The first students arrive and instruction begins for a student body of 150 women.

1964-09-23 05:30:49

Claremont Courier Features Pitzer Opening

The Claremont Courier features the opening of Pitzer College in a series of articles.

1964-09-29 05:30:49

First Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall meeting is established as a forum for discussion for the entire community. Steve Glass, Instructor of Classics and Humanities, is elected as the first moderator.

1964-10-13 05:30:49

First "Sound Off!" Published

Sound Off! is established as a publication for announcements, opinions and ideas. Susan Perelli-Minetti is elected editor.

1964-11-06 05:30:49

Inauguration and Dedication

President Atherton is inaugurated and Scott and Sanborn Halls are dedicated.

1964-11-06 05:30:49

TIME Magazine Publishes Article

"She's a big, tall, strong blonde," a Pitzer College admission officer scrawled enthusiastically, in summing up the qualifications of a bright and idealistic student applicant.

1965-01-19 10:55:22

Pitzer Accredited

Pitzer is accredited for a three-year period by WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, after one semester of operation.

1965-03-01 05:30:49

Ground Broken for Fletcher and Bernard Halls

The two hexagonal buildings are to be used for offices and classrooms. They are completed in 1965 and used for the 1965-66 academic year.

1965-06-06 03:14:21

1st Commencement

Pitzer's first commencement is held on Sunday, June 6. There are three graduates.

1966-02-22 23:56:51

Founders Day & Dedication of Academic Buildings

The third Founders Day and the dedication of Fletcher and Bernard Halls takes place in Scott Courtyard. It is broadcast by Pitzer students.

1966-06-06 23:56:51

2nd Commencement

Nine graduates receive their Bachelor of Arts at the second commencement. Kenneth R. Pitzer, son of founder Russell K. Pitzer and President of Rice University, is the keynote speaker.

1966-10-27 23:56:51

Holden Hall Dedicated

Holden Hall, the second dormitory, is dedicated. It is completed for occupancy in Fall 1965 but dedicated a year later.

1966-11-01 15:08:16

Construction of Mead Hall and McConnell Center

“Two hexagonal academic buildings, Bernard and Fletcher Halls, were completed and in use during the 1965-66 academic year. Ground will be broken next month for a third dormitory and a dining center; both buildings will be ready for use in September, 1967.” – Holden Hall Dedication program, October 27, 1966

1967-03-11 15:08:16

First Parents Day Is Held

Parents come to campus and participate in classes, panels and other activities.

1967-05-09 10:55:22

Human Resources Institute Announced

The creation of a Human Resources Institute to include centers for Black Studies and Mexican-American Studies is announced.

1967-06-11 23:56:51

3rd Commencement

For the first time commencement is held in the Scott Courtyard.

1967-09-10 23:56:51

Mead Hall Opens for Fall Semester

Mead Hall opens in time for the Fall 1967 semester. It is the last residential hall to be built until 2007.

1968-06-04 09:25:24

"Declared Hours" System Passed

Declared Hours” system for sophomore, junior and senior students is passed at the Board’s annual meeting. The new system is slated to begin in September 1968.

1968-06-09 23:56:51

4th Commencement

The charter class of 91 graduates selects Stephen L. Glass, Professor of Classics, as the keynote speaker.

1968-07-01 23:56:51

Pellissier Mall Landscaping Begins

"Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Frank L. Pellissier, Jr. of San Marino, the mall in the heart of the campus will be landscaped this summer."

1968-11-13 23:56:51

McConnell Center Dedicated

Named in honor of Odell McConnell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, McConnell Center is home to a dining hall, the Harry Buffum Founders Room, the President's Office and Office of Admission.

1969-01-18 23:56:51

Mexican American Studies Introduced

Mexican American Studies, an intercollegiate program, of The Claremont Colleges, is introduced in the Spring semester.

1969-01-18 23:56:51

Mead Hall Fire

A fire, determined to be arson, breaks out in the Mead Hall lobby. 233 students are evacuated without incident. The fire causes $70,000 worth of damage to the building and additional damage to the furniture; the switchboard is destroyed.

1969-03-19 23:56:51

President Atherton Resigns

President John Atherton announces his decision to retire after the 1969-70 academic year.

1969-06-08 23:56:51

5th Commencement

David Reisman, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University, is the keynote speaker.

1969-11-11 23:56:51

Avery Hall Dedicated

Avery Hall, named in honor of the late Dorothy Durfee Avery, a founding trustee, completes the academic buildings surrounding Scott Courtyard.

1969-12-04 15:08:16

Benefit Event Held

An event is held at the home of actor Burt Lancaster with director William Wyler (Ben Hur).

1970-02-03 23:56:51

Pellissier Mall Dedicated

Pellissier Mall, popularly known as The Mounds, is dedicated.

1970-04-23 23:56:51

Brant Clock Tower Dedicated

Trustee Jane Ward makes a gift of a clock tower at the north end of the campus.

1970-05-26 23:56:51

Robert Atwell Appointed President

Robert Atwell is appointed the second college president. He serves from 1970 to 1978.

1970-06-06 23:56:51

6th Commencement

John W. Atherton, writer and Pitzer College founding president, is the keynote speaker.

1970-09-01 23:56:51

Pitzer Goes Co-ed

Pitzer starts admitting men. The enrollment in Fall 1970 is 80 men and 618 women.

1970-09-09 09:25:24

First Off-Campus Art Project

Fourteen students from The Claremont Colleges, eleven of whom were Pitzer students, participate in a nine-week art project in Tuscarora, Nevada.

1971-06-06 23:56:51

7th Commencement

Sylvia Mead (Earle), Aquanaut and the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year, 1970, is the speaker.

1971-09-09 09:25:24

External Studies Programs Started

External Studies starts a field study Appalachia program and a semester abroad in France.

1971-09-09 09:25:24

ACTION Grant Received

Pitzer receives a Federal Government ACTION Grant, which will place students as interns with Pomona Valley social welfare agencies.

1971-10-01 10:55:22

Avery Gate Installed

The Avery Gate, a gift of R. Stanton Avery, is installed. It is later moved to Mills Avenue when Broad Center is constructed.

Pitzer College

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