More than 100 people gathered by the fountain on Western University of Health Sciences’ Esplanade on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, to witness the unveiling of a statue honoring Dr. Philip Pumerantz, the University’s founding president.

The bronze statue, commissioned by WesternU’s Board of Trustees and created by artist Raymond Persinger, shows the president with his arms open, welcoming all to campus.

The statue’s plaque reads: “I am here for you, you can be sure — In 1977, Dr. Pumerantz envisioned a university, which began as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, restoring the dream of many supporters. Never wavering from his vision, he forged a path to greatness for the health sciences and led the University to renowned prominence in scientific excellence and humanistic philosophy. His tenacity created a perpetual legacy for all who study, teach, and work within the University.”

Dr. Pumerantz, who was joined at the ceremony by several family members, said he was grateful for the honor, thanked his wife, Harriet, and their family for their support over the years, and said that WesternU’s success is not his alone, but rather is the result of many dedicated people working together to make the world a better place.

The unveiling was emceed by Dr. Richard Bond, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees and WesternU’s very first graduate, and included remarks by board Chairman Warren Lawless and Trustees Dr. Ethan Allen and Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis.

The statue was the end result of a Board of Trustees resolution, passed in 2009, directing that a “suitable work of art” be placed somewhere on campus to honor Dr. Pumerantz and his contributions to medical education and humanism. Work on the statue and its placement was coordinate by Charlene Atwell, Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary to the Board of Trustees.

Saturday’s audience for the unveiling included several dignitaries, including state Sen. Bob Huff, Rep. Norma Torres, and Pomona City Council members Cristina Carrizosa, Freddie Rodriguez and Danielle Soto.