Skip To Content

Highlights from the 2000s


The visual and aural impression we have of Cal Poly Pomona students is that they are a mix not to be found at any other large university in the country.”

Notes from the introduction in the university’s study for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in 2000



The Violence Prevention & Women’s Resource Center opens.


Greg KamanskySummer

Greg Kamansky is named coach of the men’s basketball team.

October 10

The Poly Post reports that about 230 vehicles were routed to overflow parking areas during the first few days of the fall quarter. The paper says the ability to add and drop classes by telephone helped alleviate the crunch.


October 12

About 40 students participate in a protest against Columbus Day. The march, sponsored by the Native American Student Center, begins near the cultural centers and ends at the Union Plaza.


November 7

Panda Express hosts its grand opening in the Marketplace. The event includes a lion dance, a kung fu demonstration and a chow mein eating contest.


December 1

Chef, author and TV personality Julia Child receives an honorary doctorate.



February 12

Polycentric, the Public Affairs news website, launches. It replaces the printed Bulletin.


March 9

The music department debuts its first completely self-produced musical, “The Fantasticks.”


Students sitting on the quad after an electrical outageMarch 26

Several classes are held outside during a brief but unplanned campus-wide electrical outage. 


September 14

Hundreds of faculty, staff and students turn out in the Rose Garden at 9:11 a.m. to observe two minutes of silence to remember the victims of the terrorist attacks just days earlier in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.



The Cal Poly Pomona community donates 281 pints of blood, exceeding the American Red Cross goal.

October 27

Former athletic director Don Warhurst dies at 81. He was the winningest football coach for the Broncos and guided them to a 9-1 record in 1962.



The Renaissance Scholars program, initially known as the Guardian Scholars program, is launched. It helps ensure the success of former foster youth by providing full scholarships, on-campus housing, mentoring, advising and other services.


Bill Cosby with President SuzukiFebruary 21

Huell Howser serves as the master of ceremonies, and Bill Cosby performs for a sellout crowd at the annual Founders’ Celebration. President Bob Suzuki (a friend of Cosby’s) and his wife, Agnes, are honored for their 10 years of leadership and community outreach at Cal Poly Pomona.

March 23

The women’s basketball team wins its second consecutive NCAA Division II Championship, defeating Southeastern Oklahoma State, 74-62.


May 5

Psychology major Kelly Taylor wins the national championship in the individual open equitation on the flat competition at the Intercollegiate National Horse Show in Cazenovia, N.Y.


June 14

PeopleSoft donates $5.3 million in software to the College of Business Administration.


SPresident Suzukieptember 17

President Suzuki announces his retirement at the end of the academic year.

Professor Ben Siegel with President SuzukiEnglish Professor Ben Siegel, who started his career at Cal Poly in 1957, is among those honored at the Service Awards ceremony at Fall Conference.


November 7

NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Tony “The Sarge” Schumacher visits an engineering class.



equestrian unit from the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center rides in the Rose ParadeJanuary 1

An equestrian unit from the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center rides in the Rose Parade. Kellogg horses made their initial Rose Parade appearance in 1929.


Paul Anka singingFebruary 9

Paul Anka is the keynote performer at the annual Founders’ Celebration. President Suzuki announces the university’s newly endowed Paul Anka Music Scholarship.

Bronco Student Center ribbon cutting April

The Bronco Student Center is unveiled.


The Kellogg University Scholars Program, the highest distinction offered to students in the incoming freshman class, awards 42 scholarships to California high school students demonstrating academic excellence.

Spike LeeMay 6

Filmmaker Spike Lee addresses a packed house at the Bronco Student Center Multipurpose Room. “Ninety-nine percent of the people in this world have had to work all their life at a job they hate,” says Lee, who came to campus as part of the Distinguished Speakers series. “You don’t want to be in that position, so college is critical. Don’t let anybody tell you that [your degree] does not mean anything.”

June 13-15

The university’s Commencement ceremonies are viewed via webcast more than 22,000 times in at least 22 countries including Thailand, Syria, the Philippines and Peru.

Jim Collins, Agnes and Bob Suzuki and George and Sakaye Aratani cut the ribbon during dedication ceremonies for the George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden

June 28

The 1.3-acre George and Sakaye Aratani Japanese Garden, adjacent to the CLA Building and the Rose Garden, is commemorated.

August 1

J. Michael Ortiz takes the reins as Cal Poly Pomona’s fifth president. During his tenure, he is named by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics and by Latino Magazine as one of the Top 25 Latinos in Education.



State funding reductions to Cal Poly Pomona total nearly $12 million for the 2003-04 fiscal year. The CSU mandates a no-growth year in enrollment for 2004-05 in anticipation of additional reductions in state funding. Campuses have been advised that a financial penalty will be assessed should enrollment targets for 2003-04 and/or 2004-05 be exceeded.


November 30

The College of the Extended University and the International Center host the consul general of the Republic of Croatia, Sanja Bujas Juraga. The International Center had been recently awarded a contract from the United States Agency for International Development for a two-week training program for national and nature park managers from Croatia.




The music department opens its winter season of salsa, jazz, gospel and choir “Back to Bass-ics.”


Panelists speaking during seminarJanuary 22

The College of Business Administration marks the 10-year anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement with an educational seminar and luncheon in the Bronco Student Center. The event, attended by more than 250 people, features panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions with consul generals from Mexico and Canada, as well as educators and business executives from throughout the continent.

April 10

For the seventh consecutive year, the National Model United Nations team wins an Outstanding Delegation Award, the highest honor presented by the national conference in New York. For the fourth consecutive year, the team wins an Outstanding Position Paper Award, and alumna Jennifer Franco (’00) serves as secretary-general, the top administrator of the conference.



Cal Poly Pomona ranks among the nation's top colleges and universities for granting degrees to Hispanics, according The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine.


Paul Caligiuri coaching a soccer playerMay 5

Paul Caligiuri, who coaches the men’s and women’s soccer teams, is one of three former players elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

June 11

A moment of silence is observed before the CLASS and Science commencements in honor of President Reagan, who passed away the previous Saturday.


September 2

The Real Estate Research Council of Southern California, a nonprofit organization based at Cal Poly Pomona, hosts its quarterly luncheon meeting at the Kellogg West Conference Center. The topic is “Foreclosures Will Increase 1,500 Percent Between 2005 and 2010.”


September 20

“DPI: 2004” opens in the W. Keith and Janet Kellogg University Art Gallery. It features 30 artists from across the United States who have used computer technology to create works of art.


October 7

ASI organizes Bronco Voter Rush 2004, a campus-wide initiative to get students registered to vote. Claremont Mayor Sandy Baldonado, Chino Mayor Eunice Ulloa and sociology Professor Faye Wachs encourage students to register.


October 25

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile visits the Children's Center.


November 12

The theatre department’s production of the Obie Award-winning comedy “The Foreigner” opens. “With everything going on in the world, we thought it was important to remember to laugh,” says William Morse, the department chair.

November 18

The 2005 Rose Queen and Tournament of Roses Royal Court visit the campus to learn more about the long-standing Cal Poly Universities Rose Float tradition, see the progress on the 2005 float, tour the Rose Float Lab and meet the campus community. “This visit is something I know we’ll remember forever—which reminds me, I need to take care of my college applications!" Rose Queen Ashley Moreno says.


December 7

Students celebrate Kwanzaa in the CLA building.


December 26

Sociology Professor Faye Wachs and her husband, Eugene Kim, are scuba diving off Thailand when a massive tsunami roars overhead. They surface with their dive master, return to shore and witness the devastation. They join in helping tend to the wounded.




With the design of the parking structure complete, the university begins receiving formal bids. The structure, which will have 2,388 parking spaces, is scheduled to open in fall 2006.


Glen CampbellMarch 5

“Founders' Celebration 2005: A Goodtime with Glen Campbell” raises $325,150 for scholarships and academic enrichment.

March 13

The Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency honor the computer information systems department by designating it a National Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education for the academic years 2005-2008.


April 22

The Faculty Learning Community hosts a daylong symposium on what it means to be a learning-centered university and the roles that students will play in that environment. Students who attend the event identify some of their new responsibilities, including better use of advising, cultivation of time-management skills, and development of non-academic people skills.


May 26

The Scrid Hunters, featuring lead singer Ty Disaster, play during U-Hour.



The Residential Suites, which opened in fall 2003, earn a Merit Award in Residential Architecture magazine’s sixth annual Design Awards.


August 14

The cheer team receives a Superior Award, the top honor that can be earned, at the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Camp in Santa Barbara.


August 20

The California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation honors the Collins School of Hospitality Management with its coveted Foundation Award. “The Collins School has a vision for the future of the hospitality industry like none other in the state," says Jot Condie, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer.


August 28

Instructional & Information Technology and the University Library announce that the 24-hour computer laboratory on the ground floor of the library will close at the end of the summer quarter because of low usage.


September 1

Cal Poly Pomona and the rest of the CSU open fall admissions to Gulf Coast college students who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina.


November 20

Recognizing that the Aratani Japanese Garden is a serene place for students to escape the pressures of campus life, graduating seniors decide to place granite benches in the garden as their class gift.



January 2

W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center Director Bill Hughes and eight students ride horses, adorned in western, English and traditional Arabian costume, in the Rose Parade, which is held a day later because New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday.


January 15

The University Library receives a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which comes as the library prepares for its upcoming renovation and expansion. The five-year grant will be used to strengthen library-based learning.


February 18

Professor Jill Adler-Moore is recognized for her contributions to science at the Fellows Forum during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in St. Louis.


February 21

Dennis Banks, one of the founders of the American Indian Movement, speaks at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.


March 5

“Founders' Celebration 2006: Anka's Back!” featuring singer and songwriter Paul Anka, raises $334,367 for scholarships, enhanced technology and facilities, outreach programs, and faculty and student research. Anka performs many of his hits, including "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" and "Diana," in addition to a few songs from his newly released "Rock Swings" album.


April 21

The John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies hosts workshops on seed-saving, biodiesel and solar energy as part of Earth Day festivities.


Education Professor Doreen NelsonMay

Education Professor Doreen Nelson is named one of five 2006 recipients of the prestigious California State University Wang Family Excellence Award. She developed the nation's first Master of Arts degree program in education in Design and Creativity: Applying Technology, in which students of any age learn to design and construct a city of the future in their classrooms.

May 8-15

The university’s Greek community, made up of 25 organizations with more than 800 active members, marks Greek Week with a canned food drive, an evening of music and lip-sync performance, and a beautification project at the Children’s Center, among other activities.



Projected enrollment for the summer quarter is 8,000 students, up from last year's 7,000.


The university reaches a milestone: With the upcoming graduation, the number of alumni will top 100,000.


June 11

College of Business Administration valedictorian Terry Lynn Prichard is awarded a degree in management and human resources. Her son, Andrew Prichard, earns a degree in finance, real estate and law.



Construction of the $1.8 million state-of-the-art greenhouses at AGRIscapes begins.



Through iTunes, users can now download content to their Macs or PCs. “Mobile media technologies such as podcasting, are quickly becoming important tools in higher education," says David Levin, director of the Instructional & Information Technology.


September 26

Thousands of students, staff and faculty show up for a free lunch and some fun at the 23rd annual Hot Dog Caper. Muslim students, who are fasting for Ramadan, are given coupons worth $2.50, courtesy of the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation.


October 31

Michael Serna, a computer engineering major, wins the ASI costume contest. He is nearly a dead ringer for Jack, the spokesman for Jack in the Box restaurants.



Lesley Felton receives the $3,000 William R. Hearst/CSU Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement. Felton, a graduate student of architecture with a focus on sustainability, overcame many obstacles in her youth, including a winter of homelessness in Chicago.


November 17

Los Angeles Times and KPCC journalist Patt Morrison interviews Agriculture Dean Wayne Bidlack during her remote radio broadcast from AGRIscapes.


November 28

Human rights activist and Bollywood star Shabana Azmi speaks on campus.


December 17

Thirty-five student-athletes make the Dean's List in the fall quarter, and nearly half of all student-athletes on campus earn grade-point averages of 3.0 or better.



January 7

The Public Affairs website Polycentric features a story on Rosendo, Gabriel and Sergio Saldivar, three brothers who are all majoring in engineering. They are first-generation college students raised by working-class parents, neither of whom completed high school. “I do not think I would have been able to go if it was not for my parents’ and family’s support,” Rosendo says.


February 20

Members of the campus community mark Lunar New Year.



The Hunt Seat and Western horse teams jump, trot and gallop their way to the regional championship at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition.


March 19

Viggo Butler (Business Administration, ’64) is honored as a California State University Alumnus Advocate of the Year. The award recognizes one alumnus from each CSU campus who has demonstrated an outstanding level of services and commitment to the university.



The university’s 35 most frequently used websites are upgraded to meet federal accessibility requirements, and many more will be upgraded in the coming months.


April 10

Billy Mills, who won the gold medal in the 10,000-meter run at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, speaks to the track team.


May 7

Hundreds turn out for the grand opening of the new parking structure.



Political science Professor Renford Reese leads a group of students on a two-week trip to the West African nation of Ghana. The students interview Ghanaians of all ages to learn firsthand their views on topics such as the Americanization of their society.



The Children's Center is awarded nearly $200,000 from the California Department of Education, the largest in the center's history. It will allow the center to offer more children free, full-day service.


July 5

Peruvian purple potatoes are harvested at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.


July 7

Behavioral science major Jonathan Williams runs the anchor leg for the United States, winning the 4x100 relay at the Pan American Junior Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.


KTLA reporter Gayle Anderson interviewing students about biodieselSeptember 12

KTLA reporter Gayle Anderson visits the John T. Lyle Center to check out student projects, including a biodiesel-fueled tractor.

September 17

More than 1,500 people attend the 35th annual Fall Convocation, the symbolic start to the new academic year. President Ortiz highlights five initiatives: the Climate Neutrality Commitment, Prioritization and Recovery, the University Master Plan, WASC Accreditation and the Accessible Technology Initiative.


KIIS radio traffic reporter Chuck Street lands his helicopter on campusSeptember 27

KIIS radio traffic reporter Chuck Street lands his helicopter on campus before the start of the annual Hot Dog Caper.


October 27

The Ahimsa Center sponsors a public lecture by A.T. Ariyaratne, a champion of social and economic justice in Sri Lanka, on “The Power of Love."


December 8-21

Members of the campus and surrounding communities are invited to join in the annual tradition of decorating the Rose Float. Work includes painting the float and processing the decoration materials.



January 1

The Cal Poly Universities 60th float entry, “Guardians of Harmony,” is awarded the Fantasy Trophy for the most outstanding display of fantasy and imagination.


January 3

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger releases his proposed state budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year. It calls for $312.9 million in cuts to the CSU. “These are not easy times,” President Ortiz says in a special message to the campus community. “The chancellor is projecting that 10,000 qualified students will not be admitted to the CSU next year.”


January 27

In response to the impending CSU budget crisis, President Ortiz calls for a university-wide hiring and procurement freeze.


February 9

“The Vagina Monologues” is presented at the Bronco Student Center. Proceeds go toward the Stop Violence Office and the Cesar Chavez Center for Higher Education to support programs that address violence against women in diverse communities.


April 8

"CSU Is the Solution" is the resounding message at a rally in the Quad attended by nearly a thousand people expressing their concern about proposed steep budget cuts to higher education.


April 21-26

The National Model United Nations team wins recognition for the 11th consecutive year. The Outstanding Delegation Award is the highest honor presented by the national conference, which attracts more than 4,000 students from universities and colleges from more than 25 countries around the world.


May 4

Nearly 550 people attend the inaugural Southern California Tasting & Auction at the Rose Garden and Aratani Japanese Garden. Proceeds of nearly $300,000 will go toward scholarships and academic enrichment.


June 1

The Baja SAE Team finishes first at the international racing and design competition in Edwards, Illinois.


June 14

Andrew Cherng, founder and chairman of Panda Restaurant Group, is awarded an honorary doctorate.


June 19

The Staff Appreciation Day talent show includes stand-up comedy, dancing, musical performances and a physics magic show.



U.S. News & World Report again lists Cal Poly Pomona among the best public universities in the Western United States.


August 14

Marten denBoer becomes provost. He comes from Queens College of the City University of New York, where he served as associate provost.


August 16

Alumnus Eddy Hartenstein (’71), who was a pioneer in satellite television, is named publisher of the Los Angeles Times.


September 22

Student and Olympian Kim Rhode is presented with a new competition shotgun at Fall Conference. Ten days earlier, her prized shotgun had been stolen. Six weeks earlier, she had won a silver medal at the Games in Beijing, her fourth medal.



Keeping with the university's commitment to go green, Los Olivos Dining Hall starts trayless dining in an effort to decrease food waste and the use of power and water.



Landscape architecture students capture five awards in competition hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architecture. They outperform their counterparts at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.


October 18

The third annual Matthew Myers Memorial 5K Run/Walk draws 635 runners and raises more than $30,000 for scholarships.


October 30

In acknowledgement of the state's worsening economic condition and sharp revenue decline, Governor Schwarzenegger calls the Legislature into a special session. He proposes further budget cuts of $66.3 million to the CSU.


November 30

The Princeton Review ranks the College of Business Administration's graduate business programs among the best in the country.


December 1

Senior middle blocker Vanessa Williams is named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America team.


December 7

Fresh-cut Christmas trees from Oregon are for sale at the Farm Store. The Noble fir, Douglas fir, grand fir and Scottish pine are priced from $39 to $100.



February 24

Hilda Solis (’79) is confirmed as Secretary of Labor, joining President Obama’s Cabinet.



The university looks to formally adopt a summer work schedule of four 10-hour days.


March 28

The men’s basketball team, which ended the regular season unranked but went on a tear in the playoffs, loses the Division II national championship game to the University of Findlay in overtime, 56-53.



Thanks to a partnership between The Collins College of Hospitality Management and the College of Agriculture, a field outside the hilltop restaurant is transformed into a culinary garden.


May 2

The computer and information systems department marks its 40th anniversary.


May 10

In a special message to all CSU faculty, staff and students, Chancellor Charles Reed says the CSU's budget is almost $600 million below its basic "workload" needs for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 fiscal years, due in large part to the state's deteriorating economy.


May 15

“Our past budget issues pale in comparison to what we are addressing today,” President Ortiz says in a message to the campus community.”


May 19

The annual Robot Rally draws dozens of fifth- and sixth-graders who put their engineering and math ideas to the test in a Lego robot sumo competition and an "archeological dig" in the Building 17 atrium.


May 31

The CSU budget crisis forces the university to cancel state funding for the summer quarter and operate classes on a pay-as-you-go system.


June 4

Professor Bernard Zimmerman, who helped establish the Department of Architecture and taught in the College of Environmental Design for more than 30 years, dies at 79.


June 10

Cal Poly Pomona's inaugural vintage of Horsehill Vineyards Zinfandel Rosé wins the Gold Medal, Best of Class in the Best Rosé Limited Production category at the 70th annual Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Competition.


June 13

Alumnus Don Huntley is awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his service to the agriculture industry and the university. Richard N. Frank, chairman of Lawry's Restaurants Inc., receives an honorary doctorate the next day.



In a video message, Chancellor Reed discusses the budget crisis. Among of the actions taken to manage severe cuts are furloughs for virtually all CSU employees, effective August 1.



The Upward Bound program receives a five-year, $1.25 million grant to prepare local high school students for success in college in the fields of math and science.


Agriculture Professor Jon Phillips leads a crash course in farming techniques for 18 members of the California National Guard's 40th Infantry Division who will deploy to Afghanistan. The goal is to diminish the Taliban's influence by showing Afghan farmers how to grow better crops and raise more productive livestock.


September 11

The Southern California Shakespeare Festival opens its fifth season on campus with the romantic comedy "Much Ado about Nothing."


October 12

The university welcomes new and returning veteran students to campus with a reception and networking mixer. “Cal Poly Pomona and the entire California State University system have a place for you known as the Troops to College program,” President Ortiz says. “We're nailing down a comprehensive plan to create a clear path to a college education.”


November 7

John Scolinos, the legendary baseball coach who led Cal Poly Pomona to three national championships, dies at 91.


November 17

Henry House, former dean of students and the first Rose Float advisor, dies at 87.


November 21

More than two dozen students remove trash and graffiti at several Pomona bus stops. The outreach is organized by the Center for Community Service-Learning.

 ^ Back to the top