• Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

  • Marian Miner Cook

    A distinctive
    feature of social and
    cultural life at CMC

Unique in U.S. higher education, the Athenaeum brings today’s leading scholars and activists, innovators and entrepreneurs, politicians and poets, scientists and musicians to engage our community in an intimate and relaxed setting. A complete, current list of open events is available.

New: The Athenaeum now has a mobile app for Apple and Android devices, enabling you to see what's coming up at the Ath and quickly add events to your mobile calendar. Download the iPhone and iPad version or the Google Play version for Android phones.

Coming Up at the Ath

Friday, October 28, 2016 - Special Program
Unpopular Government: How Populism is Reshaping Politics & Trade
Honorable David Dreier ’75 and Honorable Mickey Kantor
The Dreier Roundtable's third annual conference focuses on the rising tides of populism, both in the United States and abroad and will feature a lunchtime discussion between David Dreier ’75 and Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Commerce Secretary, U.S. Trade Representative, and chair of the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign.

The US presidential election has challenged many assumptions about the Constitution, the political process, and has shaken the foundations of the two leading political parties. The aftershocks of the Brexit vote are still being felt in Europe, and France is headed into a legislative and presidential election likely to be shaped by populist discontent over immigration and defense. On both continents, economic populism is turning public opinion away from free trade and globalism and toward nationalism and isolation.

The 2016 Dreier Roundtable will bring together public policy leaders and researchers from around the world to discuss how unpopular politics will affect the future of elections and trade. 

More information is available at the Dreier Roundtable Conference page.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - Evening Program
Covering China: A Journalist’s Tale
Andrew Jacobs
Andrew Jacobs will present an insider’s look at the challenges—and occasional joys—of the nearly eight years he spent reporting for the New York Times from China.

Andrew Jacobs has been a reporter for The New York Times since 1995. Over the years, he has covered a variety of beats, from the New York City Police Department and criminal courts, to the American South, Styles and New Jersey politics. He is currently based in New York City and covers a number of topics, including Brazil and China's relationship with the rest of the world.

Jacobs was part of a team of reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for coverage of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan, and in 2009 he was part of a team of reporters that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting related to the Eliot Spitzer prostitution scandal.

Mr. Jacob’s Athenaeum talk is co-sponsored by CMC’s Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - Evening Program
Polarized: The Rise of Ideology in U.S. Politics
Steven Schier
The 2016 presidential election features the two most unpopular major party nominees in the history of opinion polling. How did that happen? 

Steven E. Schier is the Dorothy H. and Edward C. Congdon Professor of Political Science at Carleton College. He is the author or editor of 21 books, including the prize-winning Panorama of a Presidency: How George W. Bush Acquired and Spent His Political Capital (M.E. Sharpe, 2008).

He has analyzed U.S. politics in national newspaper columns and television appearances and is the lead author of Presidential Elections with David Hopkins, Nelson Polsby and Aaron Wildavsky, now in its 14th edition from Rowman & Littlefield.

Professor Schier’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Other Events and Announcements

Monday, November 7, 2016 - 5:30pm
Strange Days Indeed: The 2016 Election
Jack Pitney

John J. Pitney, Jr. is Roy P. Crocker Professor of American History and Politics at Claremont McKenna College where he teaches courses on Congress, interest groups, political parties, and mass media. A leading expert on the structure and practice of American politics, Pitney is a widely published author or co-author of six books on American politics, including The Art of Political Warfare (2001) and The Politics of Autism: Navigating The Contested Spectrum (2015). He is currently writing a book on the 1988 presidential campaign. In addition to his books, Pitney has published numerous scholarly articles and short essays, and is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines. He is routinely featured on NPR and other television and radio programs. 

Pitney has not only shaped the study of government at Claremont McKenna College for nearly 30 years, he has also helped shape government itself through his many roles, including as the acting director for the Research Department of the Republican National Committee (1990-1991) and as the Senior Domestic Policy Analyst for the US House Republican Research Committee, among other important appointments. 

Pitney holds a B.A. in political science from Union College, where he was co-valedictorian, and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He received the CMC Presidential Award in 2013 and was named one of the 300 best professors in the United States by the Princeton Review in 2012. 


Follow the Athenaeum


Unless otherwise noted, lunch begins at 11:45 a.m.; speaker presentations begin at 12:15 p.m.
Evening receptions begin at 5:30 p.m.; dinner is served at 6 p.m.; speaker presentations begin at 6:45 p.m.

The Athenaeum facilitates dynamic interactions and dialogue that underscore
the essence of a liberal arts education.

About the Ath

View a brochure that describes how the Ath has been an integral part of the CMC experience for decades.

Weekly Menus

Events at the Ath feed not only the minds of CMC community members, but also their stomachs as well.