Cal Poly Pomona’s polytechnic ethos runs deep. It’s been part of the curriculum from its inception, giving students what they need to thrive and adapt in a changing world of work.
Cal Poly opens on 150 acres in San Dimas in 1938 as the all-male Voorhis Unit of California State Polytechnic College, San Luis Obispo. Agriculture service and inspection, citriculture, deciduous fruits and landscape gardening make up the curriculum — all of it requiring students to get their hands dirty.
In 1949, Cal Poly enters its first float in the Rose Parade, working with zero experience, a budget of $258, no committee and a 90-day deadline. “Rocking Horse” wins the Award of Merit.
Engineering classes begin on the Kellogg campus in Pomona in 1957 during a building boom. Today, the College of Engineering has the largest civil engineering undergraduate program in the nation.
Agriculture students use weather bureau statistics to predict the days of planting maturity and harvesting of specific crops.
Students compete for the first time in the National Model United Nations program, representing Poland. Despite having no experienced delegates, the team receives “Best Delegation” recognition.
More than 100 juniors and seniors in the social services department participate in community internship programs to complement their classroom instruction.
In 1989, the Cal Poly Pomona Solar Energy Team, led by Professor Mike Shelton, starts to design, build and race solar cars, eventually competing in the United States, Australia and Japan.
The Center for Hospitality Management, later renamed The Collins College of Hospitality Management, opens its first building, which includes classrooms, offices, kitchen laboratories and The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch. The restaurant puts students in charge, allowing them to perform every function.
Crews break ground for the first phase of the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies. The center gives students an opportunity to come up with creative solutions to environmental challenges.
The music department debuts its first completely self-produced musical, “The Fantasticks.”
Students showcase their diverse research projects, from battling antibiotic resistance to studying the impact of a feed additive on young pigs, at the College of Science’s inaugural Summer Research Symposium.