Motto in English
|"Mindful of the Future"|
|Endowment||$134.3 million (2014)|
|President||Laura Skandera Trombley|
|Location||Claremont, California, USA|
|Campus||Suburban, 35 acres (14 ha)|
|Mascot||Cecil the Sagehen|
Pitzer College is a private residential liberal arts college located in Claremont, California, United States, a college town approximately 39 miles (63 km) east of downtown Los Angeles. Pitzer College is one of the Claremont Colleges.
With an acceptance rate of 12.9%, Pitzer has been recognized as one of the most selective liberal arts colleges in the United States. Despite Pitzer's relatively short history, the college has scored increasingly well in recent US college and university rankings. With an emphasis on social responsibility, intercultural understanding and the development of a critical approach to the traditional disciplines, Pitzer College is known to be the most liberal of the Claremont Colleges.
Pitzer College has a curricular emphasis on the social sciences, behavioral sciences, international programs, and media studies. As it is one of the Claremont Colleges, consortium resources (libraries, dining halls, etc.) are shared and students from the school are encouraged to take classes at the other four undergraduate Claremont Colleges as well as at Pitzer. Likewise, students from the other Claremont Colleges are permitted to take classes at Pitzer.
- 1 History
- 2 Campus
- 3 Rankings
- 4 Academics
- 5 Admission
- 6 Student body
- 7 Student life
- 8 Cost and financial aid
- 9 Notable alumni
- 10 Commencement speakers
- 11 Presidents of the College
- 12 Notable professors
- 13 References
- 14 External links
Pitzer was founded in 1963 as a women's college by Russell K. Pitzer (1878–1978), a California citrus magnate, philanthropist, and Pomona College alumnus. In April 1963, poet John W. Atherton was hired as Pitzer's first president, and over the next seventeen months he recruited students, faculty, and trustees and constructed Scott and Sanborn Halls just in time for the fall 1964 semester. During the College's first year, students and faculty created the curriculum and the school's system of governance. The College graduated its first class of students in 1965 and became co-educational in the fall of 1970. That first academic term began with ten professors and 153 students from sixteen states and five countries.
Pitzer College Presidents
- John W. Atherton, founding president (1963–1970)
- Robert H. Atwell, second president (1970–1978)
- Frank L. Ellsworth, third president (1979–1991)
- Marilyn Chapin Massey, fourth president (1992–2002)
- Laura Skandera Trombley, current President (2002-2015)
- Thomas Poon, Acting President (2014, 2015-2016)
Pitzer’s campus is located in Claremont, California, covering an area of approximately 35 acres (14 ha). The campus is located approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of LA/Ontario International Airport and Los Angeles can be accessed via Metrolink, with the station located approximately eight blocks southwest of campus. Access to campus is also provided via Interstate 10 and Interstate 210. The campus includes 16 buildings, including 5 residence halls. Three of the residence halls (Pitzer, Atherton and Sanborn) were built in 2007 and are Gold LEED-Certified. They received two design awards. In December 2010, the College broke ground on four new LEED-Certified residence halls on the northeast side of its campus, which were completed in fall 2012.
The Pitzer College campus occupies the northeast corner of the Claremont Colleges property, which contains seven institutions of higher education coordinated through the Claremont University Consortium. The Claremont Colleges include Pomona College (founded in 1887), Claremont Graduate University (1925), Scripps College (1926), Claremont McKenna College (1946), Harvey Mudd College (1955), Pitzer College (1963), and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences (1997). Currently, Foothill Boulevard/Historic Route 66 and Harvey Mudd College border the campus to the north, Claremont Boulevard to the east, Ninth Street to the south, and North Mills Avenue to the west. Possible future campus expansion into the Claremont University Consortium East Campus Property would extend the eastern boundary of campus towards Monte Vista Boulevard. At present, the campus is split approximately in half by Pitzer Road. Harvey Mudd College is adjacent to Pitzer’s north, Scripps to the west, and Claremont McKenna to the south.
Contemporary architecture characterizes the majority of Pitzer's buildings, several of which were designed by Gwathmey-Siegel following major donations from Eli Broad, a board member emeritus and former chair of the Pitzer College Board of Trustees. A notable exception is the Grove House, a California bungalow built in 1902 for a local citrus grower during the height of the Arts and Crafts movement. The building, a popular campus hangout, was purchased for $1.00 and moved to Pitzer in 1977 under the direction of Professor emeritus Barry Sanders. The Grove House is home to a cafe, the Women's Center, the Hinshaw Gallery and the EcoCenter. The John R. Rodman Arboretum is part of the campus, and most landscaping follows principles of xeriscaping. Several varieties of citrus and other fruit are grown throughout campus and an organic community garden, dedicated grove and chicken coop are located north of Mead Hall.
The George C. S. Benson Auditorium opened in March 2009 and is designed to accommodate classes, panel discussions, lectures, film screenings, dance and musical performances, etc.
The Stephen Glass Commencement Plaza and Recreation Fields are located on the southwest edge of campus. The beach volleyball and basketball courts opened in April 2010 and the first commencement was held on the new Commencement Plaza in May 2010. The plaza and fields are ringed by art benches, on which students can paint murals.
Joint Science Modular Units were installed along the southwest corner of the campus, formerly the Sanborn Parking Lot. These opened in fall 2011 and house science labs, classrooms and offices. In the future, a second Joint Science building will occupy this space.
A greenhouse, which houses the work of the Marquet/Ferre Vaccine Research Center at Pitzer College, is located northwest of the Grove House. It was completed in summer 2010 and work began there in fall 2010.
The main dining hall is in McConnell Center, and features an award-winning executive chef, organic and local ingredients and vegan and vegetarian options. The Pit-Stop Cafe, opened in fall 2009, serves organic, fair-trade coffee and espresso drinks, plus sandwiches, salads and pastries. The Shakedown Cafe, located in the Gold Student Center, is student-run and features organic world cuisine.
The Outback Preserve is an undeveloped area of campus, bordered by Foothill Boulevard to the north, Claremont Boulevard to the east, Atherton and Sanborn Halls to the south, and Harvey Mudd College to the west. The area is characterized by plant communities that once covered most of the surrounding region, coastal sage scrub and chaparral. There are many different areas situated throughout the Outback including: a small gully in the northeast corner, a stone bench/rock couch situated near the southern edge, as well as a small stone seat further north, there is an unfinished stone pyramid, and a large tree near the center.
The campus lies less than five miles (8 km) south of the San Gabriel Mountains, on top of the alluvial fans that come from nearby San Antonio Canyon. The campus is relatively flat, with a 4% uphill grade from southwest to northeast. Mount Baldy is 15 miles (24 km) north of the College and is visible from the campus. The Mount Baldy Ski Lifts is a popular spot for students to ski in the winter. On clear days, the Chino Hills are visible to the south and San Bernardino Mountains to the east.
Finca La Isla del Cielo
Pitzer owns and operates a 145-acre (59 ha) field station on secondary growth rainforest, the Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology. The facility is located approximately two kilometers east of Playa Dominical, Costa Rica. The property borders the Hacienda Barú nature reserve. The Center is home to programs in Pitzer's science, language and international studies curricula.
Pitzer Study Abroad Programs
The College runs 67 study abroad programs, including 48 international exchanges and 12 domestic exchanges. Pitzer College also operates its own study abroad programs in Botswana, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Nepal and Italy.
The U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings 2015 edition ranks Pitzer College as the 35th best national liberal arts college overall, #8 Most Selective Liberal Arts College, #7 nationwide for Most Students Studying Abroad, #20 in Least Student Debt at Graduation and #20 in High School Counselors' Picks. Pitzer College is the youngest school represented in the top 40. In addition, Pitzer is also recognized nationally as the 8th most selective liberal arts college; 20th most selective among all college and universities; 44th in best freshmen retention rate and 55th for highest proportion of classes with fewer than 20 students.
The Business Insider listed Pitzer as one of The 20 Most Exclusive Colleges In America for 2012.
Pitzer was listed among Unigo.com's Top 10 Schools Where Students Follow the Beltway as Closely as Their Studies, and on Parade magazine's "College A-List."
In fall 2010, Newsweek named Pitzer a Most Service Minded School, and Pitzer was in the top ten in the service category in Washington Monthly's 2010 College Guide. Pitzer was among Kiplinger's 2010 Best Values in Private Colleges. Additionally, the 2011 Princeton Review named Pitzer a Best Western College.
Newsweek ranked Pitzer College #11 nationally in "Most Service-Oriented Schools" in its College Rankings 2011. In addition, Pitzer ranked #2 in "Best Food," #5 in "Top Schools for Activists," #6 in "Happiest Students" and #7 in "Free-Spirited Students."
In the most recent data reported by the National Science Foundation, Pitzer College ranked 8th in the number of alumni who pursued a Ph.D. in psychology, 29th in the number of alumni who pursued a Ph.D. in anthropology, and 38th in the number of alumni who pursued a Ph.D. in sociology, compared with 153 other private colleges and universities.
The Princeton Review named Pitzer College as one of 81 schools to be included in its publication, Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Schools with Great Community Involvement and Pitzer College was selected by The Carnegie Foundation for their new elective Community Engagement Classification in 2007.
As a member of The Claremont College Consortium, Pitzer students have access to nearly all facilities available to students enrolled at the other colleges, in addition to all facilities administered by the Claremont College Consortium. Any student attending Pitzer can enroll in classes at the other four colleges, and can complete an off-campus major if the major is not offered by Pitzer.
From 2010-2013, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed Pitzer first in Fulbright Fellowships among all undergraduate institutions nationwide. In nine of the past 10 years, Pitzer received more Fulbright Fellowships per capita, than any other college or university nationwide.
In 2013, Pitzer students and alums were awarded 22 Fulbrights. In its history, Pitzer students and alums have been awarded 217 Fulbright Scholarships 31 Watson Fellowships 47 Teach for America Corps 15 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships 16 McNair Scholarships 9 Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarships 12 Kemper Scholarships 12 Coro Fellowships 6 Udall Scholarships 4 American Sociological Association Minority Fellowships 3 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Fellowships 3 Princeton in Asia Teaching Fellowships 2 Freeman Foundation Asia Fellowships 1 Princeton in Africa 1 Truman Fellowship 1 Rhodes Scholarship
Pitzer offers over 40 majors, many of them cross-disciplinary, and each student is assigned a faculty advisor upon his/her arrival on campus. The College expects students to take an active part in planning that course of study, and has few distribution requirements.
The student/faculty ratio is 10:1, and 100% of Pitzer's tenure-track faculty hold a PhD or the terminal degree in their field.http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/pitzer-college-1172
Pitzer owns and operates the 145-acre (59 ha) Firestone Center for Restoration Ecology, a Costa Rican biological reserve that serves as a logistical base for undergraduate research and education. The facility is located approximately two kilometers east of Playa Dominical, Costa Rica. The property borders the Hacienda Barú nature reserve.
During the last five years the number of applications has grown by over 65%. Pitzer received 4,300 applications for the 2019 entering Freshman class. For fall 2015 entry, Pitzer offered admission to 12.9% of the applicant pool with an average 3.93 GPA. The combined (optional) SATs were 1,337, or roughly 93% percentile. 59.7% of the class entering in Fall 2015 are from outside California and students from outside the United States compose 8.2% The major geographic areas outside California represented, in order, are New York, Illinois, Washington, Massachusetts and Oregon.
In 2004 Pitzer became the first college on the West Coast to join the SAT-Optional Movement by making the SAT optional for applicants with a cumulative unweighted high school GPA of 3.50 or higher.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (February 2010)|
Pitzer College enrolls approximately 1000 students, making it the third largest of the five undergraduate Claremont Colleges (Claremont McKenna and Pomona have larger student bodies, while Harvey Mudd and Scripps are smaller). Pitzer College ranks 25th nationwide among all Baccalaureate Colleges for percentage of its students who study abroad, and Pitzer has the highest rate of study abroad among the Claremont Colleges. Students of color constitute over 30% of the total student body and Pitzer enrolls the largest number of international students of any school within the Claremont Consortium.
The Pitzer College community is especially known for its involvement outside of the classroom. Its students, faculty and staff donate over 100,000 hours to community service annually. In 2008 and 2009, the College was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This distinction recognizes students, faculty, and staff for helping to build a culture of service and civic engagement.
Much of Pitzer's community engagement occurs under the auspices of the Community Engagement Center (CEC) (formerly Center for California Cultural and Social Issues), which strives to root community-based pedagogy more deeply into the College's curricular and research agendas. By providing financial, technical and logistical support to develop innovative community-based projects as well as an institutional infrastructure to sustain and evaluate them, the Center engages international, national and local resources in a cooperative network aimed at defining and realizing the goals of various community partners.
The CEC runs the Pitzer in Ontario Program, a comprehensive semester-long service learning and cultural immersion program with a strong theoretical foundation in the human sciences informed by the best practices in the field of experiential education. The program integrates extensive internship experiences in city, private or non-profit organizations with interdisciplinary coursework that provides the theoretical framework from which social and urban issues can be effectively evaluated. Through living in Ontario, students have the opportunity to engage firsthand the diversity of voices, perspectives, and agendas that are driving those demands, and to come to a better understanding of the many layers of engaged citizenship.
At the Campus Compact 20/20 Visioning Summit on October 17, 2006, the Corporation for National and Community Service recognized Pitzer as one of 28 California campuses distinguished for community service and Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Pitzer College received Mother Jones Magazine 2006 Campus Activism for Thinking Outside of the Box.
Pitzer College students including former Speaker of the California State Assembly Fabian Nunez ‘97 were instrumental in founding the Pomona Day Labor Center. Through the Community Engagement Center dozens of Pitzer students volunteer each semester with programs at Camp Afflerbaugh and California Youth Authority Chino.
Pitzer College joins with Pomona College to field the Sagehen sports teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Sagehen teams include soccer, basketball, football, baseball, track & field, golf, tennis, water polo, swimming and diving. Pitzer students also participate in the Claremont Colleges club sports programs that compete nationally. There is a cross-campus rivalry between the Sagehens and the Stags, fielded by Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd and Scripps Colleges.
Cecil the Sagehen is the school mascot, who often leads the crowd in the fight song, “When Cecil the Sagehen Chirps,” which includes the lyric “Our foes are filled with dread/Whenever Cecil the Sagehen flies overhead!” He also travels the world in support of Pitzer.
Some recent Sagehen accomplishments include:
- Wynton Marsalis '10 was the 2010 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 800 meter champion.
- The women's tennis team advanced to the 2010 NCAA Elite Eight.
- James Kang ’10 was named the 2010 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year.
- The Sagehen football team was named to the 2010 National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society and to the division All-American Team.
- In 2010, the women's waterpolo team won their third consecutive division championship.
- The Claremont Rugby team captured the 2010 Division II National Championships.
- The men's and women's track and field teams were nationally ranked by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
- The Sagehen men's soccer team captured the 2009 SCIAC Conference Championship title.
- The National Fastpitch Coaches Association named the Sagehen women's softball team a Top Ten All-Academic Team.
Events and traditions
Kohoutek Music and Arts Festival: or Kohoutek, began in 1974 and is a student-run multi-day outdoor music and arts festival held each spring on the Pitzer campus. The event, which is free and open to all Claremont Colleges community members, is named after Comet Kohoutek, discovered by Czech astronomer Lubos Kohoutek. Past groups that have headlined Kohoutek include: O.A.R, Blackalicious, The Roots, Tea Leaf Green, Breakestra, Zolar X, Lyrics Born, Akron/Family, Zion I and Toubab Krewe. Last year's headliners were Matt & Kim, Blu and Mr. Lif and featured a performance by special guests Mandrill. The festival generally includes a number of non-music components including off-campus and student vendors, fire performances, a farmers market, and other activities.
Dining with Democracy: was a student-run speaker series that brings politicians and community activists to campus. All speeches were open to the Claremont College community. Following the speech a private dinner was held with the speaker and randomly selected students, faculty, and staff. Participants have included: Alfre Woodard, Christopher Hitchens, Chalmers Johnson, the Honorable Kimba Wood, John Hueston, Mike Bonanno of The Yes Men, Ralph Nader, Don Beck, Brian Swimme, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Groove at The Grove: generally refers to those concerts or other performances held on Thursday nights at the Grove House, but the term may be used at other times as well. The event represents Pitzer's most consistent contribution to the weeknight arts and music scene at the Claremont Colleges. Acts set-up on the front steps of the Grove House with the audience standing immediately in front of the structure. Numerous student and professional groups have performed at the event, including We Are Scientists.
Hammocks on The Mounds: refers to the hanging of hammocks on the Pitzer Mounds, the uneven grassy area located directly north of McConnell Center. The hammocks are generally donated by students and/or alumni, or purchased by the student government. The College declared November 2 to 9, 1998 Pitzer College Hammock Week, stating that community members are encouraged to "bring a hammock to the mounds, string it up and just hang around." It has since become an annual tradition at the College.
Halloween in the Halls is an annual community outreach program held inside select College residence halls. Occurring during a single evening/night on or near Halloween, the event draw hundreds of local elementary school students to trick-or-treat between students' rooms in the Pitzer College dorms. There is often a decoration competition between participating hallways, and prizes are awarded to those halls that receive top placement.
Orientation Adventure: or OA is the College's pre-Welcome Week program for incoming First-Year, Transfer, and New Resource students. The newly mandatory student-led program offers multi-day thematic trips throughout California. Over the program's history themes have included, among others, backpacking, sustainability, coastal biking, grassroots movements, surfing, and Los Angeles arts & music. Trips generally vary in length from three to six days and destinations of past trips have included: Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Chávez National Center, San Gabriel River Trail, Newport Beach, Los Angeles, San Onofre, community gardens, and San Diego.
Murals provide unique visual atmosphere to Pitzer college. Murals are painted by students, staff, and guests artists on the interiors and exteriors of campus buildings and along the pillars that line the Mounds. Diverse themes include portraits, politics, literature, and purely whimsical imagery.
Snackie Snack occurs weekly, and is a free late-night snack featuring food from local businesses served by the Pitzer Activities Programming Board. During exam periods, Snackie Snack is served by the president and members of the cabinet.
"Reggae Fest": or "The Bob Marley Festival", "BobFest" or "One Good Thing Festival" began in 2003 as a fall concert event. "BobFest" occurs during the first weekend in November and features Reggae, Dancehall, Afrobeat, and World music. The festival runs over the course of a single day and features 5-9 live, professional bands, free food and beverages. The event has been hosted by California reggae personality Junor Francis each year since its inception.
The majority of Pitzer students live on campus in one of five residence halls: Atherton Hall, East Hall, West Hall, Mead Hall, Pitzer Hall and Sanborn Hall. Each hall is equipped with laundry rooms, common rooms for meetings or social gatherings, study rooms, full kitchens and has a full-time in-residence hall director. All Pitzer residence halls, balconies included, are non-smoking.
Through the Faculty in Residence Program, each year two members of the Pitzer faculty live in one of the two faculty apartments in the residence halls on campus, and design and run events for students. The dean of students and the assistant dean of students also live on campus.
First- and second-year students are not permitted to bring cars to campus, although exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.
Atherton Hall is a four story building adjacent to the Gold Student Center. Atherton accommodates 62 students. Rooms are double occupancy with two rooms sharing an adjoining vanity, bathroom and shower. Common areas include a living room, six study rooms, and laundry facilities. The basement level of Atherton Hall is home to the mailroom, a music practice room, the Lenzner Family Gallery, art studio with classroom, and the Writing Center.
Pitzer Hall is a four story building southeast of the Gold Student Center that houses 78 students. Rooms are double occupancy, with two rooms sharing an adjoining vanity, bathroom and shower. Common areas include a living room, eight study rooms, and laundry facilities. The first floor houses the Office of Admission. One of the two Faculty in Residence apartments is also in Pitzer Hall.
Sanborn Hall is a two-part three story building east of the Gold Student Center. Sanborn houses 178 students. Rooms are double occupancy with two rooms sharing an adjoining vanity, bathroom and shower. Common areas include a living room, nine study rooms, laundry facilities and a kitchen. One of the two Faculty in Residence apartments is also in Sanborn.
Holden Hall was a two story building which housed 180 students in four wings. Rooms were double occupancy, with two rooms sharing an adjoining bathroom and shower. Common areas included a living room, television lounge, two study rooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. As of July 2014, this building has been demolished and replaced by a temporary garden space.
Mead Hall is a three story, six-tower complex which houses 225 students. Each suite shares a common living room with four or eight residents in each unit. Common areas include a community kitchen, laundry facilities and a television lounge. Mead is home to Career Services, Center for Asian Pacific American Students, The Rabbit Hole (substance abuse education and outreach program), the Marquis Library, and the Writing Center. This hall offers a Substance Free Tower and a Community Involvement Tower that exemplifies one of the College’s educational objectives: awareness of the social and ethical implications of action. Residence life in the Involvement Tower is generally self-governed within the parameters of Pitzer’s residential life policies, subject to amendment by Pitzer College Student Senate. Students are required to attend Tower meetings and participate in Pitzer’s community or the community at large.
Residential Life Project
Pitzer is currently engaged in a multi-year, multi-million dollar Residential Life Project to significantly expand the facilities of the College.
The Residential Life Project is expected to be completed in three phases over the next 10 to 15 years. Phase One, which included Sanborn, Pitzer, and Atherton Halls, was completed and inaugurated in September 2007. The College broke ground on Phase II, which incorporates four new residence halls, a demonstration kitchen, an archive, a board room and program/faculty offices, in December 2010. It was completed in 2012.
Robert Redford and Ed Begley, Jr. were the keynote speakers at the dedication ceremony of the Residential Life Project. The residence halls opened in 2007 received LEED Gold recognition from the United States Green Building Council in 2008. The College expects Phase II to receive Platinum certification. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the national standard for sustainable buildings created by the U.S. Green Building Council.
When Pitzer's Residential Life Project is complete, the College expects to become the first college in the nation to have all Gold or Platinum LEED certified residence halls.
Student clubs and organizations
There are more than 150 student clubs and organizations available to join within the Claremont College consortium.
Notable amongst these is the Green Bike Program (GBP), a student run bicycle collective that maintains a full service shop, as well as fleet of 100+ recovered and reused bicycles that are raffled off free of charge each semester for student use. The GBP works to provide an alternative mode of transportation to combat the predominate and destructive car culture in Southern California, as well as to reduce consumption and consumerism while increasing the practical use of recycled and reused materials. The GBP maintains a strong DIY ethic, and has become a social hub for both student and community activism.
Cost and financial aid
For the 2010-2011 academic year, tuition is $37,512, a double room is $7,540, the meal plan is $4,410, and other fees are $3,610. Over fifty percent of Pitzer students receive financial assistance in loans, work study, scholarships, and/or institutional grants. Pitzer utilizes the Federal FAFSA and the CSS Profile to determine financial need, and Pitzer has stated a commitment to meeting 100% of every student's demonstrated financial need. The average financial aid package at Pitzer is $36,500, and over the past five years, Pitzer has lowered the average cumulative debt of its students by 24%--from $22,000 to $16,000. Pitzer's Office of Admission states a commitment to building a student body that "reflects a wide range of economic, ethnic, racial and geographic representation."
||This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability or notability policies. (December 2013)|
Government and politics
- Todd Eachus '85, former majority leader, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
- Mablean Ephriam '71, former Los Angeles Superior Court Judge and host of television's Divorce Court
- Matthew Karatz '94, deputy mayor of Los Angeles
- Kevin de León '03, member of the California State Senate, 22nd District
- Fabian Núñez '97, former Speaker of the California State Assembly
- Debra Wong Yang '81, former United States Attorney for Central District of California; first Asian-American woman US attorney
Arts, media and entertainment
- Anne Archer '68, actress
- David Bloom '85, anchor, NBC News
- Max Brooks '94, Emmy Award winning writer for Saturday Night Live; New York Times best-selling author
- Matthew Cooke '96, filmmaker
- John Darnielle '95, musician, novelist, and member of The Mountain Goats
- Danny Elfman, musician/composer, singer for Oingo Boingo
- Dennis Cooper '76, novelist, poet, critic and editor.
- Susan Feniger '76, chef, star of Too Hot Tamales on the Food Network; owner, Street Restaurant; co-owner, The Border Grill and Ciudad
- Amy Gerstler '78, poet and essayist, winner of the National Book Critics Circle award for poetry
- Jenniphr Goodman '84, independent filmmaker, co-writer and producer of The Tao of Steve
- John Landgraf '84, president and general manager, FX Networks
- Seth Leibsohn '91 author, political consultant and radio host
- Jonah Matranga '91 singer/songwriter and ex-frontman of Far, New End Original and Gratitude
- Matt Nathanson '95, Billboard Hot 100 singer/songwriter
- Susan Patron '69, author and winner of the Newbury Award
- Alex Greenwald '01, lead singer of Phantom Planet, producer of albums by The Like and The Young Veins
- Michael Simpson '86, Grammy-Award winning producer/composer; one half of the Dust Brothers
- Nick Simmons '11, Musician, comic book artist, voice over actor, son of KISS bassist Gene Simmons
- Hunter Lovins '72, president and founder of Natural Capitalism, Inc. and named “Hero of the Planet” by Time Magazine
2014: Van Jones
2013: Jon Lovett
2012: Angela Davis
2011: Max Brooks
2010: Cory Booker
2009: David Feldman (comedian)
2008: Samantha Power
2007: Eric Schlosser
2006: Fabian Núñez
2005: Sarah Weddington
2004: Bernardine Dohrn
2003: Naomi Wolf
Presidents of the College
- Alfred Bloom, Psychology - Former president of Swarthmore College (1991–2009); Vice Chancellor NYU Abu Dhabi
- Judith Grabiner, Mathematics - Mathematical Association of America's Debora and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching.
- Tom Hayden, visiting professor of Sociology - Served in the California State Assembly (1982–1992) and the State Senate (1992–2000); Founder of Students for a Democratic Society (1962)
- Phil Zuckerman, Sociology and Secular Studies
- Guy Carawan, Folklorist-in-Residence
- Dana Ward, Political Studies - Founder of the Anarchy Archives, Executive Director of the International Society of Political Psychology (1998–2004)
- Halford Fairchild, Psychology and Black Studies
- As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2015.
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- Official website
- Official Pitzer College athletics website
- Pitzer College at National Center for Education Statistics: College Navigator