Susan Tippett Bruch

After graduating from Pomona, I went to Stanford for a Masters in Education and a teaching credential. While teaching in Palo Alto, I continued to take graduate courses at Stanford with plans of obtaining a PH.D. During this time, I met my husband, John, who was also working on his doctorate at Stanford. In 1967, my life was diverted from my graduate work when we were married and John started his career as a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara.

The wonderful interaction with faculty at Pomona, both on campus and in their homes, had planted several seeds in my life. First of all, I often thought that I would like to marry a professor – a dream come true! I had also always wanted to be involved with college-age students on some sort of level. Taking advantage of being a faculty wife, I began my “career” by establishing a program with the cooperation of the Chancellor and the student counseling services to facilitate the interaction of faculty and students on an informal basis outside the classroom. This became very crucial, as the campus climate was extremely intense after the burning of the Bank of America in the late 60s.

In l972, I also initiated a Faculty Women’s Club Bible Study that was very enriching as the members' backgrounds were so varied: Unitarian to Mennonite! Finally in 1976, John and I became the Faculty Advising Couple for UCSB’s Chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a large dynamic interdenominational group of students who have a meaningful focus to their lives other than the UCSB party scene. We have continued in this very satisfying role over the past 26 years. The group has averaged about 150 students/year and many have been in our home for fellowship, food, counseling and fun. Fund raising for the fulltime InterVarsity staff members is an added dimension that keeps many contacts with former students alive.

John’s capacity as a Professor in dual departments (Engineering and Mathematics) has also enabled us to have a fascinating variety of numerous sabbaticals and conferences around the world. Four months in Paris was a highlight!

Life in Santa Barbara has been close to idyllic. We live in the semi-rural area of Montecito that allows us to have numerous animals including chickens and horses. The trail network in our area is truly awesome. Also, our beach house nearby gives us access to an exquisitely beautiful and all but private cove. We feel very blessed and privileged and look forward to many years of the same.

In closing, as I contemplate returning to Pomona for our 40th reunion, I must say that 1958-62 was another “privileged” time of my life. One aspect of this institution that I greatly treasured was that the students were such an eclectic collection of persons with diverse interests. There wasn’t a mold that one had to “fit” to be the typical Pomona student. Whether art and drama, science or fraternity, all had their accepted contributions to the atmosphere of the campus. Being a small and friendly college, we were also fortunate as students to be able to get to know administration and staff all the way from the President to the janitor.

Pomona’s emphasis on giving us a broad liberal education vs. training for a profession was also very special intellectually. However, my dad once commented, with a smile, “If I had known that when you graduated from Pomona you couldn’t do anything and I would have to pay for grad school, I would have sent you elsewhere!” Thank God he didn’t know this or I would have missed out on a great four years that greatly influenced my life that followed. Hail, Pomona, Hail!!