Formerly The Little Pizza Place, Jay’s Place was renovated in 2005 in remembrance of Jay Wolkin ’99, who died in an airplane crash shortly before he was to graduate from Harvey Mudd. Jay, an engineering major and proctor of North Dorm, was a free-spirited person who lived life to the fullest.
The late-night eatery’s makeover—made possible in part by funds from Wolkin’s family—included an updated entrance, renovated pizza kitchen, a sub sandwich service area, pool tables and sunken seating area with wheelchair accessibility.
Jay’s Place serves pizza, sandwiches, soft drinks and snacks, and offers its night-owl patrons music, movies and billiards.
Spring 2005 Dedication
(HMC Magazine, Spring 2005)
The Pizza Place re-dedicated as “Jay’s Place”
“There were really three things Jay could not live without: cheese, duct tape and humor,” said Andrea Leebron-Clay, mother of Jay Wolkin ’99. “So, it was difficult when we were trying to decide how to remember a guy who lived so fully. Jon Strauss and the team here at HMC were amazing at helping us to transform what we felt and what we knew Jay would really appreciate into a reality, and that’s Jay’s Place.”
Members of Jay’s family and the HMC community gathered March 3 to celebrate the grand opening of the renovated campus eatery, formerly known as The Little Pizza Place. The Clays contributed funds to renovate the venue in remembrance of Wolkin, who died in an airplane crash shortly before he was to graduate in 1999.
The makeover included an updated entrance, renovated pizza kitchen, an ice cream sandwich service area, pool tables, dart boards and updated sunken seating area with wheelchair accessibility.
Former Vice President and Dean of Students Jeanne Noda said Jay’s Place benefits all Claremont Colleges students and renews the longstanding HMC tradition of having the late night dining facility at The Claremont Colleges. The eatery serves pizza, sandwiches, soft drinks and snacks until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, “and business is booming until closing when the last pizza comes out of the oven,” Noda said.
“On behalf of those of us who knew Jay,” said Noda, “I’d like to say this is truly a fitting memorial, a place of companionship and laughter. I can’t imagine anyplace better for Jay.”
- See also the Sodexho/HMC website