President Soraya M. Coley made history in 2015 when she became Cal Poly Pomona’s sixth president of the university and the first woman and African American to hold the position.
A little more than a year after she took the helm, the university will honor her installment with a formal Investiture ceremony on Friday, Feb. 5, at 1 p.m. at Kellogg Gym.
The Investiture is an event in which symbolic authority over the university passes to a new president. Cal Poly Pomona’s ceremony includes the presentation of the University Medallion to Coley by the CSU Chancellor, the Chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, and living past presidents of the university.
Coley will use her Investiture address to share her vision for Cal Poly Pomona, higher education and strategies for student success.
The special guest speaker will be Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. TIME magazine named Hrabowski one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2009 and 2012.
Notable figures attending include L.A. County Supervisor and alumna Hilda Solis (’79, political science); Congresswoman Norma Torres, D-Pomona; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte; state Senator Bob Huff, R-San Dimas; state Senator Connie Leyva, D-Chino; state Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona; and university and college presidents. Also in attendance will be Chancellor Timothy P. White, Board of Trustees Chair Lou Monville, and emeriti presidents Bob. H. Suzuki and J. Michael Ortiz.
Coley became the president of Cal Poly Pomona on Jan. 1, 2015 and has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. She came to Pomona from CSU Bakersfield, where she served as provost and vice president for academic affairs from 2005 to 2014. She also served as interim vice president for university advancement from 2011 to 2012.
At Cal State Fullerton, from 1991 to 2001, she served as dean of the College of Human Development & Community Service, administrative fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and professor and department chair for the Human Services Department.
She was the system-wide provost and vice president for academic affairs at Alliant International University from 2001 to 2003.
Coley’s career has been marked by efforts to eliminate obstacles that prevent people from reaching their potential, fully participating in society and achieving their dreams. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Lincoln University, a master’s in social planning and social research, as well as a doctorate in social planning and policy from Bryn Mawr College.
Investiture will take place in the Kellogg Gymnasium. It is free and open to the public. Parking for the public will be available in Lot B. Members of the campus community (students, staff and faculty) are encouraged to park where they normally would and walk to the gym.
For more information, visit the Investiture site.