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Peter Stanley Papers

Identifier: PC-0023

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection includes general correspondence from Peter Stanley from 1991 to 1999, Development correspondence and acknowledgement of gifts from 1992 to 1993, and correspondence and ephemera related to Peter Stanley’s inauguration in 1991. In addition to correspondence, the collection includes materials related to the construction of Pomona College’s Byron Dick Seaver Theatre Complex from 1972 to 1990. A selection of Peter Stanley’s speeches and toasts from 1991 are also featured.


  • 1972-2003


Language of Materials

Languages represented in collection: English


Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to the Archives.

Biography / Administrative History

Peter William Stanley was Pomona College’s eighth president serving from 1991 to 2003. Stanley was born in 1940 and had a long and varied career prior to joining Pomona College. An Asian Studies scholar, Stanley earned his B.A. and graduate degrees from Harvard University and was a Frank Knox Memorial Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge University. Following his educational career Stanley taught American and American-East Asian History at the University of Illinois, Chicago from 1970 to 1972 before joining the faculty at Harvard as an assistant professor from 1972 to 1978. In 1978, Stanley moved to Carleton College where he was a lecturer in history for a year before serving as dean from 1979 to 1984. In 1984, Stanley joined the Ford Foundation as a program officer in charge of education and culture before becoming the director of the Foundation’s education and culture program, a position he held until 1991.

Inaugurated as Pomona College President in 1991, Stanley was, from the outset, sensitive to the role of the physical campus, an awareness that reflected, in part, the concern for heritage and regional identity fundamental to the ongoing nationwide historic preservation movement. In his inaugural address, Stanley noted the need for a campus center and pledged to see this goal realized. Dedicated in 1999, the Smith Campus Center was the most ambitious of the three important new building projects of Stanley’s tenure (the others being the Hahn and Andrew buildings) and one whose impact on the daily life of the Pomona community is particularly significant. Equally important, the building has, through its design, recaptured the spirit of Myron Hunt’s 1908 campus plan, opening north-south axes across Marston Quadrangle to Mabel Shaw Bridges Hall of Music and Sumner Hall, and creating an east-west corridor from Mason Hall to Rains Center. The period of President Peter Stanley’s tenure was remarkable for the significance of the new buildings constructed and, equally, for the number, quality, and extent of renovations of older structures. That Pomona’s campus today bears a closer relationship to its historical roots than has been the case for many years is a tribute to the sensitivity with which new buildings have been designed and older ones restored to former glory while, at the same time, being upgraded to meet contemporary needs.

The growth of the campus under Stanley’s presidency was closely tied to that of the endowment, which doubled between 1996 and 2002, ultimately exceeding $1 billion. This unprecedented increase was due in great part to The Campaign for Pomona College, endorsed in 1995. When formally launched in 1997, more than a third of the ultimate goal of $150 million was already in hand; by 2002, the campaign concluded 37 percent above its initial goal, having raised over $206 million and significantly met every program objective. A similarly impressive record was set in terms of applications for admission, which had set new highs in each of the five preceding years, as had levels of academic achievement of those admitted.

Following his retirement from Pomona College in 2003, Stanley served as the vice president of executive search firm Isaacson. In 2008, Stanley returned to campus for Pomona College’s commencement ceremonies where he was awarded an honorary degree and the Peter W. Stanley Academic Quadrangle was named in his honor.


4.8 Linear Feet (3 record cartons, 2 document boxes, 1 over-sized flat storage box)


This collection contains correspondence from Pomona College’s eighth president, Peter Stanley, as well as materials relating to his presidential inauguration and the Byron Dick Seaver Theatre Complex construction project.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is organized into the following two series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1972-2003 Series 2: Oversize Materials, 1985-1991

Folders are arranged alphabetically by file name within each series.


Additions to the collection are not anticipated.

Peter Stanley Papers
Sean Stanley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the 06 - Pomona College Archives Repository

Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library
800 N. Dartmouth Avenue
Claremont CA 91711