Fall at Scripps

by Mary Shipp Bartlett

Fire in the Foothills

The wildfires that raged in the Southern California foothills in late October destroyed 66 homes in northern Claremont (primarily Palmer Canyon, Padua Hills, and Claraboya), put the College on high alert, caused smoky and sooty conditions at Scripps for days, and caused a good deal of worry to the entire Scripps community, both near and far.

While Scripps and the other Claremont Colleges were never directly threatened, these hillside fires did provide an excellent opportunity to test our emergency operational plan. In the early days of the disaster, the students were issued precautionary advisories regarding campus emergency instructions; as the status and location of the fire changed, follow-up e-mails were sent to members of the campus community, parents, and alumnae. When the fire began to head southward toward campus early Sunday, October 24, the College activated its emergency website and telephone hotline and updated them daily as information was made available. To battle the physical issue of airborne particulates from falling ash, face masks were made available on all campuses. By Thursday, October 29, cooler weather cleared the air and aided firefighters in controlling the blaze.The danger had passed, and good preparation and practice served the College well.

As life returned to normal on the campus, we discovered that, sadly, the fire had touched a number of Scripps lives in the loss of homes of former faculty members, particularly in Padua Hills. Casualities included houses once owned by Jean and Arthur Ames and by Millard Sheets (also designed by him). Betty Davenport Ford ’46’s home was spared, but Hoppy Stewart’s did not survive. However, demonstrating her indomitable spirit, 99-year-old Stewart plans to rebuild the home that she and her late husband, Albert Stewart, constructed together many years ago.

Renewal at Scripps

Continuing the subject of rebuilding, this issue celebrates the opening and dedication of the Performing Arts Center, featuring a refurbished Garrison Theater and two additional wings.This modernized facility has brought new life to Scripps and the Claremont community and is expected to significantly revitalize and expand the music and dance programs, as well as increase our opportunities for speakers series and performances by distinguished artists.

Renewal came to Scripps in another form, as it does each fall, with entering students: 210 first-years and 18 transfer students. Please read about their experiences on the following pages.

I also invite you to read, enjoy, and learn from Alumnae Speak, featuring our hot-button topic, “The Career Game.” The personal stories shared by six alumnae from the classes of 1967 through 2002 illustrate the variety of struggles, questions, and challenges each woman faced in order to find personal growth and fulfillment in their professional careers (p. 30). Due to strong interest, we will continue this discussion in the next few issues, and I encourage you to submit your own story.

Finally, you may have noticed this magazine has undergone its own renewal in a new design and use of full color throughout. As always, I welcome your thoughts on this and on the content and direction of the Scripps Magazine.

Best regards,

Mary Shipp Bartlett