Prof. John K. Roth

Dear Pomona Classmates,

As I write from my Claremont McKenna College office, I look south. The Smith Tower, which was under construction when we were students at Pomona, is visible on a glorious winter day in Claremont. I have had the good fortune never to stray very far from the place where we were undergraduates. Pomona and all of the Claremont Colleges are great places, arguably better than when we were here as students forty years ago.

After graduation from Pomona, I did my graduate work in philosophy at Yale. I joined the CMC faculty in 1966 and have been teaching in Claremont ever since. Academic life has been good to me. In addition to having excellent students all these years, I have held fellowships or visiting appointments that have taken me to Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Israel, Norway, and England, as well as to Harvard and Yale. A Pomona education taught me something about research and writing, and both have been big parts of my life. I have published more than thirty books — most recently Holocaust Politics and Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust. Several of my books have been written with Fred Sontag, my Pomona teacher. These works reflect my interests in American philosophy and religion and, especially, the Holocaust and genocide. I spend a lot of time studying mass murder — how and why it happens and what might be done to prevent it. In addition to my Pomona and Yale degrees, a few honorary degrees have come my way, and in 1988 I was especially pleased to be named the U.S. National Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

My wife, Lyn, and I have been happily married for thirty-eight years. We have two children. Our daughter, Sarah, studied economics at Carleton College and did graduate work in public policy at the University of Washington. She works now in the Carleton College admissions office. Our son, Andy, studied sociology at Haverford College, and then took his Ph.D. at UCLA. Presently he is teaching sociology at Pomona.

Part of this coming summer will be spent in England, but mostly I will be writing in my CMC office, looking out the window at Smith Tower from time to time and giving thanks for the wonderful experiences Pomona gave us all.

Best wishes to everyone in the class of ‘62.