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January 1, 1949 - Cal Poly's First Rose Float

first rose float

Cal Poly Voorhis Unit student Don Miller deserves credit for getting the school into the annual Tournament of Roses parade. His family, long-time residents of Pasadena, had a history of involvement with the parade. At the end of summer 1948, Don Miller received a surprise phone call from the Pasadena Rose Parade Committee asking if Cal Poly really could produce a float entry within ninety days. Don said "Sure!" Fortunately, President Julian McPhee and Dean Harold Wilson gave their approval, and with the active support of instructors Jolly Batcheller (Ornamental Horticulture) and Quin Conard (Agricultural Engineering) a student committee was formed. Using just a $258 budget, Cal Poly's first float "Childhood Memories" made it to the parade on time and received an Award of Merit. Riding on the float were Jolly Batcheller's young son Chip (on top of the horse), Beth Batcheller and Dennis Delamore (on the front corner), Donna Weeks and Carol Conard on the opposite side. Cal Poly's annual float, jointly created by the Pomona and the San Luis Obispo campuses, now has one of the longest records of participation in the parade. Cal Poly's rose floats have received numerous awards, including the Princess Award, the Founders' Award, The Mayor's Trophy, The Theme Prize and the Humor Trophy.  
 

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