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100 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know about Cal Poly Pomona

#1 At 1,438 acres, Cal Poly Pomona is nearly 17 times the size of Disneyland.

#2 According to lore, when cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg was deciding where to build his ranch, he narrowed his choices to two locations and tossed a coin. Heads, Pomona. Tails, Santa Barbara.

#3 The chimes you hear every 15 minutes aren’t actually bells. They’re carillons — thin rods that vibrate to make sounds. Video: Go behind the scenes and see the carillons in action.

A student juicing oranges at the Farm Store#4 More than two dozen oranges go into a half-gallon of Farm Store orange juice.
Video: Watch how the Farm Store makes freshly squeezed orange juice.

#5 In 1938, only 80 students were enrolled in classes — about the number of horses in the stables. Today, enrollment stands at more than 22,000.

#6 Students in the 1960s came up with some unconventional attempts to avoid parking citations, from hiding their vehicles among the fruit trees near the Rose Float lab to camouflaging their cars with hay bales. Security officers would pluck dozens of excuse notes from car windshields on a weekly basis.

#7 W.K. Kellogg was fascinated with the number 7. Born on the seventh day of the week and the seventh day of the month (Saturday, April 7, 1860), he was his father John’s seventh child (John was also a seventh child). Kellogg had seven grandsons. “Who can fail to make a success in anything with a combination of seven times seven in the family!” he remarked. He adopted 7 as his lucky number, making sure that the original Rose Garden had seven sections and that his mansion was shaped like a 7.

#8 At the first commencement ceremony on the Pomona campus in 1957, the names of 57 graduates were called out as they received their diploma. More than 3,600 walked across the stage at this year’s ceremonies, and every student’s name was read. It’s an important campus tradition.

#9 In the near future, three wells and two reservoirs on campus will supply water for the entire university.

King John, one of W.K. Kellogg's favorite Arabian horses.#10 Prince Charming’s steed in Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was modeled after King John, one of W.K. Kellogg’s favorite Arabian horses.

#11 Our first president, Julian McPhee, was also the president at San Luis Obispo. He would regularly make 500-mile round-trip visits to Pomona to attend student activities and sporting events.

#12 The Ornamental Horticulture Club registered the “Phalaenopsis Memoria Gwen Labounty” orchid in honor of President Hugh O. La Bounty’s wife, Gwen, who passed away from breast cancer in 1985.

#13 Nearly 300 current faculty and staff are Cal Poly Pomona alumni.

#14 Needing foliage for the first Cal Poly Rose Float in 1949, advisor Oliver “Jolly” Batcheller decided days before the parade that certain campus plants were overdue for “heavy pruning.”

#15 Professor Karl Winchel of the art department designed the university mace in 1967. The tapered handle is made of walnut, topped with a coronet-shaped bronze head. A sphere rests in the coronet, representing the atom. A faculty member carries the mace at the front of the graduate procession at each college’s commencement ceremony.

Paul Anka received an honorary doctorate in 2013.#16 Among our 21 honorary doctorate recipients are chef Julia Child, comedian Bill Cosby and, last June, singer-songwriter Paul Anka.

#17 Kovid Ho became the one millionth user of the University Library on June 27, 1985. He walked out with the books he wanted and a $25 prize — worth about $64 today.

#18 We were known as California State Polytechnic College, Kellogg Campus from 1966 to 1972.

#19 John Scolinos, who guided the Broncos baseball team to three NCAA titles, was the pitching coach for the 1984 U.S. Olympic baseball team.

#20 Cal Poly Pomona boasts about 50,000 square feet of greenhouse area, the size of almost 11 basketball courts.

#21 When Robert Kramer became university president in 1966, he quickly found out that the official mailing address was Highway 99 (which later became Interstate 10). Kramer and his staff decided that the main entrance would be on Temple Avenue, but the school was surrounded by farmland, making it difficult to designate a street address. One day, Kramer got in his car and started driving around campus. After cruising Valley Boulevard, he pulled up to the proposed entrance. Looking down at his odometer, he saw that the mileage read 3,801— hence the new address: 3801 W. Temple Ave.

#22 Before it became the Voorhis Ecological Reserve, the strip of land north of Building 1 was privately owned. Housing projects were booming, and Forest Lawn Cemetery was expanding in the 1980s. If developers or the cemetery bought the land, the ecologically diverse slice of nature would be history. Fortunately, university officials were able to sell the old Voorhis campus in San Dimas to Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College, and they used the proceeds to purchase the area. Dedicated to politician and philanthropist Jerry Voorhis in 1984, the reserve is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including a threatened species, the Coastal California Gnatcatcher.

#23 The first female students arrived in 1961. They had a curfew at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. Male students had no curfew.

The Marilyn Monroe Rose#24 To entice his wife to spend time at the ranch, W.K. Kellogg commissioned the Rose Garden: Roses didn’t grow well in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Photos: Read about the different varieties of roses at Cal Poly Pomona.

#25 All Cal Poly Pomona cows are marked with a “Bar P” brand.

#26 In the 1940s, we employed no janitors or gardeners: Students maintained the campus for about 30 cents an hour, or about $5 per hour today, adjusted for inflation.

#27 At the 50th anniversary commencement ceremonies, Matt Haines was honored as the 50,000th Cal Poly Pomona graduate. Haines, a computer science student, was randomly selected from the class of 1989.

#28 The Army established a quartermaster depot here during World War II. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill that transferred ownership of the Kellogg Ranch back to the Kellogg Foundation, and soon afterward, the foundation gave the land to California State Polytechnic College.

#29 Gabrieleno Native Americans once inhabited the Pomona area. When excavating the land for Building 8 in the mid-1970s, workers found a pair of metates, a Gabrieleno tool used to grind acorns into food paste. The metates are stored in the archives, located on the fourth floor of the University Library.

#30 The northern part of the Quad used to be a parking lot for faculty and staff. Quiz: How well do you know Cal Poly Pomona? Take our quiz about buildings and facilities to find out.

#31 In the late 2000s, a white duck that lived at the pond near the residence halls was known to stop traffic on University Drive. It would wait in the road until all of the other ducks had crossed the street.

#32 What do 13,000 tulip bulbs, an 18th century violin, and a two-man submarine have in common? All were donated to the university.

#33 More than 11,000 chairs were set up in the Quad for this year’s commencement ceremonies, about twice the seating capacity of Radio City Music Hall in New York.
Video: Relive the 2013 commencement ceremony.

College of Business Administration commencement in 2013

#34 Current funding from the National Science Foundation totals $10.9 million and supports projects ranging from a national cybersecurity league to teacher training in science and math.

#35 Spring Fiesta, the oldest horse in the Arabian herd, celebrated her 31st birthday in April. She has foaled eight colts and six fillies.

#36 In 2010, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation awarded Cal Poly Pomona $42 million, the largest cash gift in the history of the California State University system. The gift more than doubled the university’s endowment.

Engineers create a replica of the sediment at the bottom of Clear Lake in a Building 13 lab.#37 The College of Engineering houses 61 laboratories and has more than 23,000 alumni.

#38 In the late 1970s, ornamental horticulture student Michael Taylor picked out an oak in what is today the Voorhis Ecological Reserve and surreptitiously built his own treehouse, using it as a quiet place to study and enjoy nature. After two years of secrecy, campus police discovered his hideaway, dubbing it “The Treehouse Caper.” Taylor was allowed to keep his special abode until he graduated. The tattered frame remains in the tree, a monument to learn-by-doing ingenuity.

#39 Cal Tech Pomona? When W.K. Kellogg grew dissatisfied with conditions at the ranch after he donated it to the University of California in 1932, he considered turning it over to the California Institute of Technology.

#40 Before he became university president, Hugh O. La Bounty was a faculty member in the English department. His first office as a professor on the Voorhis campus was a renovated janitorial closet.

#41 Senior projects were mandatory for all students until 1972.

#42 President Bob Suzuki received the Order of the Rising Sun on Nov. 3, 2003. The Japanese government bestows this award on those who exhibit exceptional service, and it is one of the highest honors that a civilian can receive.

#43 Established in 1995, Cal Poly Pomona’s Pride Center was the first of its kind in the CSU system.

Books are moved into the University Library in 1968.#44 The University Library moved from Building 5 to its current location in 1968. Students, faculty and staff lined up between the buildings and passed down carts of book  from door to door.

#45 The Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies is carbon neutral, made possible by two large Amonix solar panels that track the sun for maximum exposure.

#46 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo might have come first, but the truth is we were essential to their success. Way back when, the campus to the north wanted to create a citrus production program — important stuff if you fancy yourself as an agriculture school in California — but the weather was too cold. In 1938, parents at an annual event at SLO mentioned to university President Julian McPhee that the Voorhis School for Boys in San Dimas was available. Soon afterward, McPhee met with Charles Voorhis, and by September of that year, Cal Poly students were attending classes at the San Dimas campus. The Voorhis Unit paved the way for the campus at Kellogg Ranch, where we are today.

#47 The Zinfandel grapes growing near the Collins College are used to make Horsehill wine. Proceeds from the wine, which is sold at the Farm Store, support The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch culinary garden.

#48 In the early 1980s, the housing waiting list was so long that a student was allowed to live on campus for at most nine academic quarters.

#49 In 1992, horticulturist Ralph Moore created a special Cal Poly Rose hybrid. At the time, the yellow rose had the deepest coloration of all miniature rose breeds. Photos: Read about the different varieties of roses at Cal Poly Pomona.

#50 During the building boom on campus in the late 1950s, the only lunch option for students was a sandwich and a soda from food services. (Back then, students lived at the Voorhis site in San Dimas and commuted here.)

#51 More than 50 species of trees live on campus, including the native black walnut. In 2005, ornamental horticulture student Levi Cox designed the Cal Poly Pomona tree walk for a senior project to showcase their beauty. The guide is available at

#52 Eleven superintendents and five assistant superintendents in local school districts are alumni of the College of Education & Integrative Studies.

Ag student Laura Fogg with the cows in the pasture.#53 Our 52 cows each drink an average of 35 gallons of water daily. It would take 13,785 standard water bottles to quench the herd’s thirst.
Story: Ag student Laura Fogg talks about living and working in Beef Unit.

#54 Richard Saul Wurman, founder of the TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design) Conferences, was dean of the College of Environmental Design for a short time in the 1970s. The current dean, Michael Woo, was a Los Angeles city councilman in the 1980s and ’90s and later a mayoral candidate.

#55 The “C P” letters first appeared on Colt Hill in 1958 when 50 students from the Poly Service Club and the Engineering Club accidentally laid the letters outside of the campus border. The letters were soon moved, and a second “P” was added in 2004.

#56 We boast a two-time All-American quarterback: Stan Jackson, who taught in the kinesiology department and coached the water polo team before retiring in 1995. He played football for the Broncos in the late 1950s. Link: Read about other student-athletes in the Cal Poly Pomona Athletics Hall of Fame.

#57 Every Arabian horse at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center today is a direct descendant of one of three mares from W.K. Kellogg’s original herd. Photo Gallery: Baby animals at Cal Poly Pomona.

#58 Architect Myron Hunt designed Kellogg House Pomona and the original horse stables. He is also famous for designing the Huntington Art Gallery in San Marino and the Rose Bowl.

#59 In the mid-1980s, the animal science department supplied farm animals for Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch attraction. Photo Gallery: Baby animals at Cal Poly Pomona.

#60 In the 1960s, Cal Poly Pomona was the first local university to teach a course on the history of Africa.

#61 For the first day of the fall quarter in 1956, one telephone serviced the entire campus.

#62 The benches lining the walls of the College of Business Administration complex were sponsored by alumni, giving future students a place to relax.

#63 Nearly all of the hay that the horses and livestock eat is grown at Spadra Ranch, a 125-acre farm on Pomona Boulevard. Since 1953, the farm has been used for crop growing and student research projects.

#64 A time capsule was placed in Building 1 in 1961. The capsule, which rested behind the plaque outside the main doors, includes copies of the Kellogg Foundation deed and bill of sale for the ranch, a college catalogue, an issue of the Poly Post and four postage stamps featuring astronauts. It was opened at the second annual Founders’ Day in 1995.

#65 The Bronc’s Cheer was the university’s first student newspaper. In 1942, the name was changed to Poly Views. When people began to confuse the newspaper with an annual celebration called Poly Vue, the staff changed the name to the Poly Post, which has stuck since 1962.

#66 Since 1949, the joint float team from Pomona and San Luis Obispo has won 51 awards at the Rose Parade.
Photo Gallery: The award-winning 2014 float, Bedtime Buccaneers, travels down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.

The 2014 Rose Parade float is Bedtime Buccaneers.

#67 Our trash cans are smart, just like our students. Powered by solar energy, the BigBelly trash cans compact waste and recyclables. When they’re full, they use the campus Wi-Fi to send a message to facilities management.

#68 On Nov. 26, 1993, women’s basketball coach Darlene May celebrated her 500th win. May’s teams averaged nearly 26 wins per year and never had a losing season. The gym where she built her legacy was named in her honor in January 1996, just months before she died of breast cancer.

#69 The first building constructed on the Pomona campus was Building 3, where the College of Science laboratories are housed. The building was renovated in 2008. Quiz: How well do you know Cal Poly Pomona? Take our quiz about buildings and facilities to find out.

#70 Many buildings on campus have had previous lives. Building 1 housed administration offices before the CLA was built, and Graphic Communication Services and a campus snack bar once resided in the College of Engineering building. The M.A.S.A. building (the small structure south of the library) was an office for the University of California when it operated the Kellogg Ranch. In the 1950s it was used as a student photography lab. Quiz: How well do you know Cal Poly Pomona? Take our quiz about buildings and facilities to find out.

#71 There’s strong evidence (though no conclusive proof) that King John is buried near the Rose Garden. Another of W.K. Kellogg’s favorite horses, Rossik, might be buried near the old stables, now called University Plaza.

#72 Since its inception in 2002, the Renaissance Scholars program has helped 34 former foster youth earn their bachelor’s degree.

#73 An oak tree in the AGRIscapes courtyard stands in commemoration of alumnus Stuart Sperber, whose company helped develop AGRIscapes and the Aratani Japanese Garden.

#74 Before Michael Ortiz was ever a university president, provost or professor, he was a student at the University of New Mexico. He worked his way through school at a service station, leaving home at 5 a.m. to put in a shift before his first class at 9 a.m. After his last class ended at 2 p.m., he’d go back to the service station and work until closing. “It was great for a sophomore to go to the university smelling like a service station!” he recalls.

Fans cheer the Broncos win over Cal State Dominguez Hills at Kellogg Gym on March 1, 2013.

#75 And in case you didn’t know the fight song, here it is. We assume you know the tune.

Video: Fight song sing-along!

Fight you Broncos

Fight, fight, fight!

Charge on in, get the win

To-night, night, night.


Broncos have the will to score

Increase the lead and watch us soar

That’s the way, we end the day

Po-mo-na is here to stay.


Fight you Broncos

Fight, fight, fight!

Time to show the other team

Our might, might, might!


The green and gold will get the win,

We are the best there’s ever been,

The Broncos of Cal Poly

#76 In 1971, a campus-wide contest was held to name an Arabian gelding designated as the university mascot. English major Ann Hardman came up with the winning name: Special K.

#77Since 1957, Cal Poly Pomona athletes have earned more than 400 All-American titles.

#78 The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library is one of the world’s largest public collections of Arabian horse materials.

#79 In the 1940s, certain orange trees were reserved for students. However, they were asked to not pick from trees whose production was being measured by students in citriculture.

#80 Since the Voorhis days, Cal Poly Pomona has been a part of the LA County Fair. In the 1940s, students enjoyed Cal Poly Day at the Fair and a handicapped horse race.

#81 The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center is the oldest active breeding center of Arabians in the United States. Photo Gallery: Baby animals at Cal Poly Pomona.

#82 The Los Robles Horticulture Club is one of the oldest student organizations on campus. It was founded in 1940 with only nine members.

A child holds a pumpkin at the Pumpkin Festival.#83 Campus events are so successful, they’re held for decades: The Insect Fair has been held for more than 25 years, while the Pumpkin Festival celebrated its 21st event in 2013.

#84 Scenes for the television movie "The Return of I Spy" were filmed on campus in the summer of 1993. Entertainer Bill Cosby, playing a retired secret agent working as a Cal Poly Pomona language arts professor, “taught” in a classroom in Building 3.

#85 The College of Environmental Design became a college in 1970. Before then, the programs were housed under the College of Agriculture.

#86 The original stables were built in 1926 and housed 30 Arabian horses. W.K. Kellogg told one of his friends that visitors watching the progress of the building commented that “Mr. Kellogg certainly had a lot of bedrooms in his new home.”

#87 Landscape Services maintains more than 525 acres of landscaped grounds or 9 million square feet. That’s about three times the size of Knott’s Berry Farm.

#88 In the early 1970s, the University Library rented out typewriters and calculators to students. Students now enjoy a computer lab open 24 hours a day.

#89 The Voorhis Ecological Reserve is also home to Kellogg Creek, a small water source that nourishes neighboring trees. The creek begins below Kellogg House Pomona and ends above Building 1.

#90 During the move from the Voorhis Unit to the Kellogg campus, things got a little hectic. Temporary signs for classrooms and offices had been posted everywhere, but English professor Hugh La Bounty accidentally led President Julian McPhee into the women’s restroom. After that, the installation of permanent signs became a priority.

Los Olivos makes pizza daily.#91 The most popular foods at Los Olivos Dining Commons are chicken nuggets, pizza and cheeseburgers.

#92 Cal Poly Walnut? Part of Parking Lot J and the CPP letters are actually within Walnut city limits.

#93 The carillons chime every 15 minutes on today’s campus, but they were also once used for broadcasting important ASI and college messages, as well as a PA system for the university’s PolyVue event. Video: Go behind the scenes and see the carillons in action.

#94 The silos in Ag Valley were used as grain harvesters during the 1970s. Now, cows and Beef Unit managers alike enjoy them as decoration. 

#95 After World War II, the Army no longer had the money to run Kellogg Ranch as a remount station. It transferred the ranch to the Department of Agriculture, which began to sell the Arabian horses to keep the ranch afloat. The Kellogg Foundation, the Arabian Breeders Association and countless community members who enjoyed the horse shows protested the sales. When coverage of the protests made it into the local newspapers, the USDA transferred the ranch and the remaining Arabian horses back to the Kellogg Foundation.

Charles Lindberg flies over the old stables in the Spirit of St. Louis.#96 The current Cal Poly Pomona logo, which was introduced in the early 1990s, reflects two on-campus structures in its design: the point of the CLA Building and the arch from the Old Stables.

#97 The Kellogg Ranch was also known as an airport. The fields that the Arabian horses currently graze in comprised a large landing strip. Opening in 1928, it was reported to be the largest privately built and maintained airport in the country.

#98 From earthquake prediction and star formation to artificial intelligence and fruit pollination, projects in the College of Science are incredibly diverse and have real life applications. Video: Graduate student Jake Cecala talks about his research into bees and fruit pollination.

#99 In the 2013-14 academic year, nearly 1,000 students are participating in 27 fraternity and sorority chapters.

#100 The P’s of the CPP letters are each 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. Although the colors change on a regular basis, the university’s Greek Council paints the letters green and gold every June to mark commencement.

Students paint the CPP letters in 2004.

Want to learn more about Cal Poly Pomona and its history? Check out the online timeline.