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President’s Column, March 2006

I am writing this column before the Alumni Brunch, which I hope to share with many returning Alums and as many Actives as possible. Since the Brunch was initiated a few years ago, I have always enjoyed renewing old acquaintances and meeting fellow alums from many different classes.

I am always impressed with the different experiences we have had as undergraduates over the years, under various Pomona College administrations and changing economic and political times. And of course getting the current scoop from the Actives makes me feel like I am part of a younger generation, even if just for a little while.

Since my last column I have had two amazing experiences, both of which reminded me of the quality of my fellow Nu Alpha Phi alums.

Last November I flew to the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, where I met two friends who are in their first year of an around-the-world sailing odyssey. For 17 days, we traversed about 2,000 miles from Rarotonga to New Zealand on a 54-foot sailboat, stopping only once, at a spot called Minerva Reef which is just a reef – no land. Except for that stop we did not see any sign of human life. When I traced our route on a map, I was surprised to see what a small percentage of the Pacific Ocean we had crossed – while we were on the water, it seemed like we had traveled an immense distance. In New Zealand, I took a whirlwind tour of the South Island, and was impressed with the friendliness of the people there as well as the beauty of the land itself. Before the trip I met with Jim Hall (’63) and his wife Jean who gave me wonderful tips on traveling in “Kiwi land. As a professor at UCI, he has a unique and positive viewpoint.

Then this spring, I met Bob Irvine (’62) and his wife Sue in Hawaii. He is working part time now, but his writings about Hawaii were published when he was working full-time as an orthopedic surgeon.

In other words, we really do have a unique brotherhood in the very best sense. Any of us, Alumni or Active, who does not appreciate and participate in that is missing out on a wonderful part of the College experience which can last their entire life.

Jim Ach ‘63 #565


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