2023 Top Stories: New Green Space, CPP Ice Cream and Milestone Anniversaries

The Park at 98 with the CPP letters entrance.

The Bronco family had plenty of cause to celebrate for 2023.

From the Model UN team soaring to victory to Cal Poly Pomona athletes reaching new heights to the Rose Float team gearing up for its 75th Rose Parade entry, it proved to be a good year marked by milestones and student success. Check out the top 10 stories of 2023.

#1: Park at 98

The campus gained a new green space where the CLA Tower once stood. The Park at 98, completed in March, features three levels of terraces, chairs in various spots and CPP letters perfect to pose by in photos. The space also pays homage to the CLA with a V-shaped seating wall constructed along the same footing as the original building.

#2: Rose Float Program Submits 75th Entry

It has been three quarters of a century since the Cal Poly Universities submitted its first Rose Parade float entry. On Jan. 1, 2024, the latest creation, a 55-foot-long float dubbed “Shock n’ Roll: Powering the Musical Current,” depicting sea creatures enjoying a rocking swim party, will roll down Colorado Boulevard to be viewed by thousands in person and millions on television. Since 1949, the student teams from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have won 61 awards, including the 2023 Extraordinaire Award.

Rendering of the 2024 Cal Poly Universities Rose Parade Float "Shock n' Roll

#3: High Ranking

Cal Poly Pomona ranked No. 2 Top School in the West and No. 3 among Best Regional Universities West on the U.S. News & World Report 2024 U.S. Best Colleges list. U.S. News also ranked the university No. 2 Best Colleges for Veterans in the West. CPP also earned high marks for awarding bachelor’s degrees to Latinx students, making The Hispanic Outlook on Education’s Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics list.

College of Science grads celebrate during the 2023 commencement ceremonies.

#4: Savor the Flavor

Cal Poly Pomona now has three flavors of branded ice cream. Cal Poly Pomona Enterprises, the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture and Coney Island Creamery created the flavors — satsuma mandarin, avocado and pumpkin caramel swirl — in partnership and made it available to the public in August. The ice cream is sold in the Farm Store and select Dining Services locations on campus.

CPP Farms Ice Cream Avocado and Satsuma Mandarin.

#5: The Collins College Turns 50

It started as a tiny program under the College of Business Administration. Five decades later, The Collins College of Hospitality Management is nationally and internationally respected, consistently ranked as one of the top hospitality programs in the world. The college had a banner year, rising to No. 5 in the world on CEOWorld Magazine’s list of the 2023 “Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools” and selecting Margie Jones, a longtime professor and former interim dean in the program, to serve as its dean.

Collins College of Hospitality Management staff pose in front of a 50th Anniversary banner.

#6: Model UN Team Wins Top Prize

The student team representing Cal Poly Pomona at the National Model United Nations conference in April won the Outstanding Delegation title, the diplomacy competition’s highest honor. CPP competed against more than 164 teams around the world.

#7: Hot Dog Caper Celebrates 40 Anniversary

The annual Hot Dog Caper celebrated its 40th year with a superhero theme and a slew of games and giveaways. Hundreds of volunteers, including administrators, staff and athletes, came together to distribute 11,000 hot dogs and veggie dogs, 4,000 bags of chips, 13,000 beverages and 4,400 popsicles.

#8: CPP to DTLA Made Easier

Foothill Transit unveiled a new bus stop at Cal Poly Pomona early in the year that made it possible for Broncos to travel to downtown Los Angeles in less than an hour on weekdays and improve access to and from campus. The Silver Streak rapid bus line serves not only downtown Los Angeles, but also Pomona, West Covina, Montclair and El Monte. All Cal Poly Pomona students can get a free Class Pass bus card to ride. The university also offers a Student Adventure Pass, which connects them to Metrolink stations.

The Foothill Transit silver streak bus in front of the SSB building.

#9: Having a Field Day

The men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball each dominated their respective seasons and combined, had one of the winningest falls in university history. Men’s soccer, women’s soccer, and volleyball combined had a 47-15-8 overall record and a .729 winning percentage. Both men’s soccer and women’s volleyball competed in the NCAA Tournament, while women’s soccer won their first CCAA regular season title. The men’s cross-country team placed second in the CCAA Championship and third in the NCAA regionals, earning them their 23rd trip to the national championships. The women’s cross-country team placed third in the CCAA Championships, their best finish since 2019 and sixth in the NCAA west regionals.

#10: Home Sweet Home 

Roots House, a market-ready and energy-efficient family home designed and built by a team of Cal Poly Pomona students, won 10 awards including a Top 3 spot in the inaugural Orange County Sustainability Decathlon. Besides the overall recognition, the team also finished first in communications and marketing and tied for first in health and comfort and energy efficiency; won second place in architecture and interior design and lighting and appliance; and earned third place in market potential, water use and conservation, sustainability and resilience, and engineering and construction (tied).

Roots House