A celebration of the life of James Bell, a revered and trailblazing administrator at Cal Poly Pomona, is scheduled Saturday, April 30.
The memorial will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. at Kellogg West. Registration is not required.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bell’s memory at the giving webpage or by sending a check to the Sonia Blackman and James Bell Endowment Fund, College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences, Cal Poly Pomona, 3801 W. Temple Ave., Pomona, CA 91768.
Bell was the first African American to hold the position of dean or vice president in the California State University system, serving as Cal Poly Pomona’s dean of the School of Arts and then vice president of Student Affairs. Bell also was instrumental in boosting the enrollment of African American students at Cal Poly Pomona.
He started in 1968 as a professor and coach in health, physical education and recreation, becoming the university’s second black faculty member. He also served as director of black studies and as special assistant to the vice president for academic affairs. In addition, he was the first African American elected to the board of the Pomona Unified School District.
In 1987, Bell was named acting president during the six-month absence of then-President Hugh O. La Bounty. Bell retired as the vice president of student affairs in 1989.