"I think Blaisdell may have believed the other colleges would be feeders to the graduate school, but later he came to believe undergraduates should go elsewhere," Maguire said.
"Now, as all the schools are increasingly recognized elsewhere, only 14% of our students were undergraduates at Claremont (Colleges), and 11% are international students."
Most of the students who attend Claremont Graduate School, the largest in the cluster, have established themselves professionally and attend on a part-time basis.
One recent graduate is Tom Jones of San Marino, who earned a master's degree from UCLA in 1964 and entered Claremont Graduate School in 1980 to earn another master's degree in business and a doctorate in executive management.
"Going back to Claremont allowed me to update myself in everything that happened in the theoretical side of management in the past 20 years," said Jones, a real-property manager who devotes much of his time to philanthropic work.
"Peter Drucker helped me work on my dissertation, and that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," Jones said. "He was already famous 20 years earlier when I was at UCLA. I never dreamed I would study with such a great man. I couldn't have planned a better experience."
Jones' recent book, "Entrepreneurism: The Mythical, the True and the New," is based on his dissertation. He is Southern California alumni chairman for Claremont Graduate School's first major capital campaign, to which he and his wife gave $1 million last year.
Maguire said the $50-million "Campaign for Preeminence" is now over the $40-million mark.
Claremont Graduate School
Number of applicants 1,300 Number accepted last year 860 Total enrollment 1,700 Tuition (full time) $9,930 Endowment (combined with Claremont University Center) $50 million
When she was asked in 1923 to endow a new college in Claremont, Ellen Browning Scripps, 87, asked only that it be "something special and unique."
The result was a women's school that opened in 1926 and stayed a women's school when most others--including Pitzer College--went co-ed in the 1960s and 1970s.
Scripps, who played a significant role in the founding by her family of the Scripps-Howard Newspapers, told James C. Blaisdell that she wanted "a campus whose simplicity and beauty will unobtrusively seep into the student's consciousness and quietly develop a standard of taste and judgment."
The result was 26 acres of Mediterranean-style buildings furnished with fine antiques, forming a quadrangle of lawns and gardens.
The curriculum, Scripps wrote to Blaisdell, should have "the objective of developing mental equipment rather than amassing information . . . to enable the students to live confidently, courageously and hopefully."
Thus the curriculum focused on the humanities and the arts.
Despite the Scripps fortune, and partly because it is a women's school, Scripps College suffered financially for years. President John Chandler said the lack of money--which resulted in low faculty salaries and deteriorating buildings--stemmed partly from "old patterns in which a husband would make a major gift to his school, but his wife was expected to get hers out of the sugar jar."
But the school's financial fortunes have changed recently, Chandler said, and Scripps raised $8 million in 1986, double its 1985 figure.
Scripps College's special gift to higher education, Chandler said, "is that women's college students develop much more quickly and broadly, so that when they get out into the world a disproportionate number of our graduates become leaders in their work or as volunteers. Studies show this is partly because male students tend to dominate classroom discussions. Even though we have a few men from the other colleges in most of our classes, there is no way a Scripps woman would not speak up. Here, they don't hide their brains or their values. That does a lot for them."
Brighid Brady, a senior English major from Riverside, said she "didn't choose this because it was a women's college, but because it was academically strong."
"But there's something about a women's college--a special atmosphere. You get such support in the dorms and classes," she said.
Lucinda Payne, a senior American studies major from Seattle, said Scripps "is a better school because it's small, and it's for women. You get more sure of yourself, with the kind of support we give each other."
One of the students' resources is a library with several outstanding collections, among them one of the country's oldest collections of books, magazines and manuscripts by and about women. Another is a collection of Gertrude Stein memorabilia.
Scripps has opened a new Humanities Institute that last weekend was host to participants from all over the country in discussions of "Justice and Its Limits."
Number of applicants 647 Number of freshmen 168 Total enrollment 578 Tuition $10,800 Total costs $15,720 Median SAT Scores, Verbal 540 Math 560 Endowment $49.3 million