In honor of Caltech’s 125th, we asked alumni: What’s your favorite Caltech story, personal or historical? Here are just a few of those memories.


Late one night in 1954, I joined numerous Ricketts Rowdies to cheer on housemate miscreants as THEY MOVED A 3-DIMENSIONAL RECRUITMENT POSTER (a wingless F-84 fighter jet) from the Olive Walk to a convenient parking spot in front of Caltech’s AFROTC commander’s residence on Allen Avenue.


When I helped form Caltech’s first gay (LGBTQ) student group in 1971, the flyers I posted around campus for the first meeting all disappeared in one day. So, I replaced them that night and again for several more days until they eventually stayed up. Change takes perseverance—even today.




It is such an honor to be one of the first four woman graduates of Caltech and the only one in engineering. I thank the late Professor Pol Dewez for giving me my first taste of research, which has been my excitement for over 40 years.


As a math major and senior, I took graduate-level physics courses taught by Richard Feynman, Rudolf Mössbauer, and Kip Thorne. THREE GREAT TEACHERS teaching three great courses, each in a subject for which the teacher is, to put it mildly, well known.



My favorite of all time was the great ROSE BOWL HOAX OF 1961. Maybe that dates me, but I was swollen with Caltech pride when I read about it in the national media just after graduation. It was done completely low tech with skills familiar to most of that generation’s Techers (lock picking and copy centers!).