The gift will provide operating expenses and endowment support to the Rick and Susan Sontag Center for Collaborative Creativity — a joint program of HMC, Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pitzer colleges — which aims to accelerate the creative development of students and equip them to address collaboratively the most ambiguous problems and complex challenges. Housed in Seeley G. Mudd Hall on the Pomona College campus, the new center is designed to enable students from the five liberal arts college to work in creative teams, be intellectually daring, and mix things up. It will provide students with the opportunity to join drop-in sessions and unstructured brainstorming, structured workshops and course-based activities, and experience a variety of learning opportunities.
In addition to this latest gift, the couple's support of the Claremont Colleges includes naming gifts to LEED-awarded residence halls on both the Pomona and Harvey Mudd campuses, as well as significant gifts to expand undergraduate research. Rick Sontag is an emeritus trustee at Harvey Mudd College, where his uncle Frederick had served as a philosophy professor for more than fifty years.
"There is no better home for this dynamic resource than the Claremont Colleges. Each of the colleges is very distinctive in its approach to liberal arts education within its own unique culture," said HMC president Maria Klawe. "The opportunity to bring undergraduate students and faculty with very different interests and backgrounds together is the embodiment of the type of creative fusion that generates discovery and solutions."