Tales of the CP
It has been quite some time since I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona...25 years to be exact! So, when I read about the proposed upgrade to the CP on the Cal Poly Pomona hill, a flood of great memories came back to me. I thought I'd share them with you.
In the mid 70's, I was a member of Lambda Chi sorority (a local sorority back then), and while pledging, my "rush" sisters and I were expected to paint the CP during our pledge period. So, one dark night, about 12 of us wearing old overalls and ratty tee shirts secretly gathered at the upper campus parking lot and carried gallons of pink paint, brooms and rags to the base of the CP hill. I was somewhat timid and worried about being caught by campus police or another Greek organization, but it was exciting. We trudged through waist-high grasses and weeds for what seemed like an eternity with our gear, wondering where in heavens the CP was. Finally, one of my pledge sisters yelled, "I see it!" Then, the fun began.
We sloshed paint onto the letters. They were much larger than I imagined...possibly 6 feet wide, maybe more. With the brooms we brought, we spread and swept the paint to maximize coverage. There were nasty nettle weeds that kept poking and scratching our legs while we maneuvered around the letters. My big sister in Lambda Chi warned me not to get "stuck" in the middle of the P or I would have to slide through paint on my bottom and have a real mess to contend with. (Actually, one of my sisters did get stuck in it.) Our laughter reverberated into the night sky and down the slope of the hill, it seemed, and we periodically checked to see if we were being watched. Finally, we completed the painting and congratulated ourselves with a healthy broom swat to each other on the legs and backside.
We made it back to the sorority house to tell our big sisters and make them proud. The next day, we took in the results of our efforts - the big CP emblazoned in Pepto-Bismol pink. Success! It was so cool to have done something sort of naughty, but tolerated, and it was quite a kick to break away from studies to team up for some silly nonsense. Alas and alack, our pink paint job lasted for about two weeks as another organization adorned the CP with their color.
I look forward to seeing the enhanced CP someday. Thank you for the opportunity to relive some good times as a Bronco.
Carol C. Proctor '78, Horticulture
Missing in Action
For years the Cal Poly Pomona landmark on Kellogg Hill had been painted and re-painted by numerous university groups and clubs. And there we were...group of ROTC cadets, soon to graduate, who felt it our turn to show some Cal Poly Pomona pride. Our task: Secure the CP site and re-paint the sign. Our purpose: To show school spirit and have fun.
It was a simple plan. A few cadets purchased the supplies, hiked up the hill at night, painted the sign, and everyone had a good time. The next morning as I drove onto campus, the sign was gone! You see cadets are soon to be members of the Unites States Army and the colors chosen for the project were what we knew best: brown, green, tan and black -- camouflage! The surrounding foliage combined with the camouflage pattern concealed the sign forming the illusion the sign had disappeared.
I laughed and grinned from my parking space all the way to campus; I had a feeling of pride and accomplishment. And then it all came to a screeching halt as I rounded the corner to the library and was met by the Senior ROTC Advisor and other assorted faculty members. For some reason they did not appreciate our efforts and hiding the sign was against the rules.
Needless to say the sign was immediately (the same day) painted traditional Cal Poly Pomona green and gold and we (the cadets) were denied to savor the endeavor.
MAJ Kirby A. Hanson
'90, Liberal Studies
Make That The 'CE' Sign
So it was the eve of the Class of 91's graduation ceremonies, and a few of us in the civil engineering department (ASCE student chapter) wanted to practice what we learned in how to transform land into a desired, useful effect. With various colors of paint, rollers, and some plywood, we fashioned the CP on the Hill into CE for the civil engineering department. The next morning, it seemed to work! Of course, we were all too busy to spend much time admiring it. A picture would have been nice. Now with the proposed addition of another P for Pomona, that would have required too much plywood! So reservations are required to paint the letters, huh? I'm sure one of our officers took care of that.
Jerry Dunaway '91, Civil Engineering
In May of 1975 (my senior year), a grass fire burned near the CP. Many fire trucks and firefighters arrived and there was lots of excitement. Since it was a Friday afternoon, my Alamitos Dorm friends and I decided to sit on the curb and watch the efforts from below. It didn't take long before others joined us and a festive atmosphere developed, not unlike a street fair. We managed to get some cans of beer and cheered on the firefighters to victory!
Keith Dyas '75, Civil Engineering
Did You Know
QUESTION: Have there ever been lights on the existing "CP"? If so, when and for what occasion?
ANSWER: Yes, the very first time that any lights were placed and lit on and around the "CP" was in 1960. The occasion was homecoming. The homecoming queen was Lala Noblest, who through the, "magic switch" turned on the lights for the very first time. Mr. Cal Poly Pomona was Ernie Arutunian, and also for the first time in the history of the university, hundreds of people saw Cal Poly Pomona's Second Annual Homecoming Parade stream through downtown Pomona.
Oh, yes, the homecoming chairman was me. There was a lot of moral support from Dean Henry House and many others. The evaluation by King Hallet, editor of the Madre Tierra, 1960, recorded the event as "the most successful in the history of the university."
Robert B Mading '60, Food Marketing
More Colorful Than the Letters
I really enjoyed the yearly Rose Float trip to the CP. I always seemed to find myself covered in more paint than the CP letters.
Ron Welemin '87, Engineering Technology
A Sorority Scandal
I am only passing this on with the presumption that a statute of limitations protects my cohorts and me)....
While today's campus organizations may reserve a time to paint the CP their colors, back in the early 70s, we just did so when we got inspired. During the annual Lacylop week of activities and fun-spirited competitions that preceded the Spring Open House called Polyvue, the colors were likely to be different daily. Organizations did not consult with each other. No time was this more apparent than when some members of the organization I was in went up to paint the CP just hours after another group had. Their paint had not even dried, so we got some of their color on our clothes while we were mopping on our own colors. Even though this effort had cut into our sleep time - as surely it did theirs -- we all arrived early on campus the next morning just to see our "rivals'" faces when they noticed the color change. And not that we needed to in order to be identified as the culprits, but some of us even wore our "work clothes" from the night before that had splatters of our two colors as well as smudges of theirs. Memories of the whole scenario now make me think of one of those "Priceless" advertisements!
Debbie (Wheeler) Corey '74, Social Science
A Real Paint Job
I remember going to the hardware store to purchase paint for the letters as part of initiation into my sorority. It was kind of difficult to explain exactly what kind of paint we needed as we figured we'd get "found out" so we just guessed and hoped for the best. One night we climbed up that hill with all its dried out shrubs, thorns and tumbleweeds while keeping an eye out for the university police. That hill sure was higher than we thought and much harder to get to than we anticipated! We painted as quickly as we could and got out of there as soon as possible. The next day we were very pleased when we saw our sorority's blue and red colors high on the CP sign!! Mission accomplished and a job well done!!
Joan Stathis Duryee '77, Liberal Studies
While I was at Cal Poly Pomona, I was a member of the fencing club. One night in 1986 or 1987 some of the club members were contemplating whether we should paint the CP or not. We came to the conclusion that the only color that would represent our club was, unfortunately, all white. Thinking that would be a bit plain, we thought about what we could do to set ourselves apart from what everyone else had done. What we decided on turned out to be much more involved than what it seemed at the time.
On the night that three of us went to the sign we had paint, mops, and cardboard wrapped in tin foil. We quickly realized that the letters were larger than expected and we would be out of paint prior to completion. Somehow we covered the letters with paint and then set out to add the "extra" touch. The cardboard was unfolded and laid out in two large pieces to form crossed swords. The cardboard by itself wouldn't be very visible so by adding the tin foil we captured the sun-light. That next morning driving to school we were all very pleased that you could see the swords from the 57 Fwy. and the 10 Fwy.
The CP only lasted that way for a few days, but it was a lot of fun to do. I still have pictures of the letters crossed over with swords.
Louis Alvarez, '91, Hotel & Restaurant Management