Beverly Butler James

My life has not turned out at all as I was expecting it to, when we graduated in 1962. I’m willing to bet that we can all say that!

Instead of becoming a zoologist, the goal to which I was so dedicated in 1962, I much later wound up as a real estate broker - the one thing I was very sure I would never become. In between were a 10-year marriage, years as a stay-at-home housewife, two adopted kids, a short stint teaching at Cal Poly (didn’t like it), a start in the insurance business, a lot of alcohol for a lot of years which culminated in sobriety since 1980 (thanks in part to my good friend, classmate Marilynne Clemens), a wonderful and exciting and successful 18 years in the development/home building business, and finally, after the economic downturn of 1991, a career in more traditional real estate brokerage. That’s the summary of the last 40 years in one long sentence!

Our four years at Pomona were an exciting and joyful experience for me. Coming from what I considered the isolated and insulated little town of San Luis Obispo (and it was!), where the major cultural event was Cal Poly’s spring glee club concert, and from a school where the most challenging courses you could take included a year of biology and a semester of trig, Pomona was a huge and exciting new world! I worked and worried a lot during those Pomona years, but I consciously loved every day of them, too. I loved the people, the professors (who turned out to be people, too), the campus, and the amazing-to-me opportunities to learn and experience new things. What the school taught us best, I think, is how to learn. There have been some bad decisions made by me over the last 62 years; however one that I have never regretted for a moment was attending Pomona College.

Today? Life is good!! I still work hard – too hard, probably, but then I got a late start. I can’t imagine being bored, but sometimes I think I might like to try it. One of these days I will slow down professionally and make a more serious attempt to tackle my ever growing list of things I want to learn, places I want to see, and things I intend to do, “when…”. In the meantime, as I said, life’s GOOD!