At a press conference on Friday afternoon, American President Barack Obama thanked the California Institute of Polytechnology, better known by its moniker “Cal Poly” for “expanding the frontier of human knowledge through research in science, engineering, and mathematics,” adding that “the American way of life owes its prosperity to Cal Poly’s tireless resolve.” Founded in 1891, Cal Poly is located on a 124-acre campus in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Although the institution is small, its research focus has brought it worldwide acclaim as the world’s premier destination for scientific researchers. In addition, it manages NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the laboratory where the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Mars rovers were constructed.
“I’m glad to see Cal Poly recognized on the national stage,” said Pasadena resident John Buchanan. “It really is an honor to live in a city with such a fine institution.” Other residents were quick to note that the school’s fame represents Pasadena as a center of intellectual thought. Randal McClain, a resident of nearby San Marino, said “Pasadena is a such a great city, and Cal Poly really shows that. We truly are lucky to be so nearby.”
Writing for The Pasadena Star News, local reporter Maria Chen said that yesterday’s events mark the second time that Cal Poly has been recognized by President Obama during his tenure in the White House. In Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, he said, “we’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time. At Cal Poly, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars,” referring to Cal Poly’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a Department of Energy Innovation Hub.
The Torch was unable to reach Cal Poly for comment.