The year 2020 tested the Bronco community in ways no one could have ever imagined.
COVID-19 changed in-person classes to virtual, postponed signature experiences and events, and forced the campus to find creative ways to foster connection.
Still, even though the past year has been difficult in many ways, Cal Poly Pomona has also reached milestones, secured grants for key student programs and been named the No. 1 polytechnic university in the nation.
Here is a list of 10 of the most memorable stories of 2020.
Cal Poly Pomona Ranked No. 1 Polytechnic University Nationally for Boosting Student Social Mobility
Cal Poly Pomona has earned recognition again as the highest-ranking polytechnic university in the nation on the “2020 Social Mobility Index” for propelling low-income students to financial success by graduating them into good-paying careers. In addition to leading all polytechnic institutions, Cal Poly Pomona ranked No. 6 among all colleges and universities nationwide, climbing from No. 10 in 2019.
University Receives 10-Year Reaffirmation of Accreditation from WSCUC
Cal Poly Pomona’s recent notification of reaffirmation of accreditation from WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is a strong vote of confidence in the university’s strategic plan and commitment to continual improvement. The university received reaffirmation of accreditation for a period of 10 years, the maximum length of time offered by WSCUC.
New Dining Commons Opens at Cal Poly Pomona
Centerpointe Dining Commons, nestled between new residence halls and the Student Services Building, officially opened in January, offering fresh and local menus for the Cal Poly Pomona community. With seating for 680, Centerpointe includes eight dining platforms with delicious and nutritious food stations featuring items, such as handmade tortillas, sushi, a carving station, a salad bar featuring campus grown produce, and plenty of vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free and vegetarian options.
Cal Poly Universities Rose Float Wins for Outstanding Artistic Design
Cal Poly Universities’ “Aquatic Aspirations” float debuted its colorful underwater scene at the 2020 Rose Parade on Jan. 1 and captured the Director Trophy for the most outstanding artistic design and use of floral and non-floral materials. The Director Trophy is the 60th award for the student team from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, who come together annually to build and design the Rose Parade float.
Music Professor Wins Grammy Award
Add Grammy Award winner to Cal Poly Pomona Music Professor Nadia Shpachenko’s list of accomplishments. Shpachenko won in the category of Best Classical Compendium for her contemporary classical CD “The Poetry of Places” at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards Premier Ceremony on Jan. 26. “It was all very exciting, starting with the red carpet and media interviews,” said Shpachenko. “During the ceremony, many musicians I admire very much got awards for their work. Once I heard my name and realized that my album won a Grammy, it was surreal.”
Cal Poly Pomona Earns Spot in Top 10 Most Transformative Colleges Ranking
Cal Poly Pomona was featured in the Nov. 18 Money Magazine story “These are the 10 Most Transformative Colleges in the U.S.,” coming in at No. 10. Digging into research compiled for its August list of America’s best college, Money noted that “Cal Poly Pomona’s graduation rate of 71% is nearly 35% higher than expected based on schools with comparable student demographics, according to Money’s analysis. Average alumni earnings are also higher than expected when compared with similar schools.”
Disability Resource Center Receives $2 Million Grant
Students with disabilities will continue to receive individualized support through academic advising, peer mentorship and tutoring, workshops and networking, thanks to a five-year, $2 million federal grant to Cal Poly Pomona. The Achievement, Retention, and Commitment to Higher Education Success (ARCHES) program under the Disability Resource Center (DRC) received the Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education in early August.
Scolinos To Be Inducted into College Baseball Hall of Fame
Legendary Hall of Fame Cal Poly Pomona baseball coach John Scolinos was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in August, one of 12 individuals to be enshrined with the Class of 2020. Scolinos led the Broncos to three NCAA Division II national championships and 822 wins during his tenure as the head coach at Cal Poly Pomona from 1962 to 1991. At the time he retired, he was the winningest coach in NCAA Division II history.
W.K. Foundation’s $75,000 Gift Funds Horse Center Stipends, Pasture Upkeep
At the heart of Cal Poly Pomona’s main campus are green pastures where anyone can see groups of horses run, play and graze. If a passerby is lucky, a curious horse may approach the fence looking for attention. In response to the demands that arose due to COVID-19, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided $75,000 to the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center to help maintain the pastures and support the student assistants who continue to care for the horses on campus.
Cal Poly Pomona Receives $2.5 Million for Aerospace Projects
Cal Poly Pomona receives $2.5 million to fuel its Liquid Rocket Lab and boost future STEM student recruitment as part of an Education Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). More than 200 Cal Poly Pomona students participate in the College of Engineering’s Liquid Rocket Lab, with the goal to be the first university team to build and launch a bi-propellant liquid fuel rocket to ascend 8.5 miles into space. The Bronco 1 project is led by undergraduate students who spend their weekends, evenings and school breaks to design, manufacture, test and launch a liquid-fuel rocket.