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The Kellogg Connection

Pictured with his beloved Arabian horses, W.K. Kellogg was a lifelong proponent of education.

Pictured with his beloved Arabian horses, W.K. Kellogg was a lifelong proponent of education.

Cal Poly Pomona was founded on a legacy of giving, with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and its namesake founder being the driving force.

What is now the green wooded expanse of the university was originally the winter ranch home of W.K. Kellogg, of breakfast cereal fame. Cal Poly Pomona has carefully preserved many features of Kellogg’s hilltop Arabian horse ranch, including his mansion, rose gardens, avocado groves, stables and, of course, the award-winning Kellogg Arabian horses, featured in horse shows on campus.

In 1925, breakfast cereal pioneer W.K. Kellogg established his winter residence and ranch in the rolling hills of what is now the northern edge of the campus. He created a lush landscape, built an ultra-modern house and invited the public to enjoy performances by his prized Arabian horses. Hollywood stars often visited, and Kellogg lent some of his herd for use in movies.

In 1949, two years before Kellogg's death, the foundation that bears his name deeded the land to California’s state college system providing the land be used for educational purposes and the traditional horse shows that he launched in 1926 would continue.  The gift reflected Kellogg’s long-held love for horses and belief that “education offers the greatest opportunity for really improving one generation over another.”

Kellogg’s former winter residence and horse ranch eventually formed the core of the Cal Poly Pomona campus. In 1956, 508 students and 44 faculty and staff moved from the San Dimas campus to the Kellogg campus.

Through the years, the university and its students have benefited from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s generosity, including funds to establish scholarships and build the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center.

In 2010, the foundation bearing Kellogg’s name again provided a transformational gift to the university through a record-breaking challenge grant. The $42 million gift was a record cash gift to the CSU and came at a propitious time for the university, coinciding with the downturn in the economy and the launch of the university’s ambitious $150 million comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Sterling K. Speirn, the foundation’s president and CEO, explained Kellogg was a strong believer in higher education.

“His vision of ‘investing in people’ has translated into the foundation's fundamental belief that access to a high-quality education is vital to enhancing the lives of vulnerable youth.”

Cal Poly Pomona is built on the same fundamental belief. While the university’s programs are ranked among the nation’s best, it continues provide affordable and accessible educational opportunities for generations of students to come. 

Cal Poly Pomona has long been the gateway to opportunity for generations of Californians. Through Kellogg’s foresight and generosity, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is helping to ensure that the gateway remains open.

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Historical photo of W.K. Kellogg

"Education offers the greatest opportunity for really improving one generation over another."
- W.K. Kellogg

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