Honoring Bill Jacobson's legacy of gathering, connecting, and building community with Floaters.
To honor Bill Jacobson's legacy of providing opportunities for Rose Float students to gather, connect, and build community at his Cypress Mountain Ranch through this campaign which will fund a commercial-grade kitchen and dedicated outdoor dining area for Rose Float students, alumni, and volunteers.
OUR CURRENT NEED
Rose Float students work in the program's laboratory space on an estimated 30 weekends of the year. On these Lab Days, students are fed two meals. Additionally, the Rose Float Club Executive Board must plan and coordinate 40 meals for the timespan of 2 weeks from mid-to end-of-December. During this time, the Executive Board is responsible for feeding up to 200 volunteers each day. With a 73-year long legacy, the program and its supportive community continue to grow. The construction of the Rose Float Laboratory and Design Complex provides a wonderful opportunity to offer students a commercial-grade kitchen and beautiful outdoor dining area.
A RICH 72-YEAR LEGACY
For more than seven decades, students from Cal Poly Pomona have designed, built, and decorated fabulous Rose Parade floats for the Rose Parade, which is televised in multiple languages to millions of viewers around the world. The journey began in 1949 when student Don Miller spearheaded the construction of the first float in 90 days. Today, this unique, learn-by-doing program is one of the finest examples of our Polytechnic Advantage, one that highlights the creativity, versatility, and skills of our students. Students from Cal Poly Pomona and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo partner to create fantastic floats, beginning with a unique design concept and carried through construction and decoration with thousands of flowers. Throughout the process, hundreds of students have the opportunity to advance their team-building and problem-solving skills, learn floral design or computer-controlled animation, while others acquire skills in engineering, welding, engine maintenance, marketing, hydraulics, and much more.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
The new Rose Float Lab and Design Complex, located near the 10 Freeway exit at Kellogg Drive, is expected to complete construction by early 2021. This new lab will provide future Rose Float students a space to build beautiful, creative, and innovative floats. The new lab will be named after two Rose Float alumni — the late Don Miller (’52, horticulture), who got the Rose Float program started in 1948, and Ron Simons (’64, agronomy; ’69, food marketing and agribusiness management), who kept it going and ensured that it thrived.
Yes, your donation is tax-deductible! Cal Poly Philanthropic Pomona Foundation's taxpayer ID number is 83-2300241.