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 Complex will provide about 14,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor workspace, including a fully enclosed float construction bay with 7,200 square feet, design workspace, storage facilities, and a courtyard to host large numbers of volunteers.
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 the skills of our students. 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.
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 up to 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 it's supportive community continues to grow. The construction of the Rose Float Laboratory and Design Complex provides a wonderful opportunity to offer students a commercial-grade kitchen. Such a kitchen would allow students to avoid the financial loss that comes from catering a multitude of meals. It would also allow future funds raised by students to go directly to scholarships and student needs- rather than overpaying for meals year-round.
Yes, your donation is tax-deductible! Cal Poly Philanthropic Pomona Foundation's taxpayer ID number is 83-2300241.