Welcome to The Athenaeum
Unique in American higher education, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum (the “Ath”) is a signature program of Claremont McKenna College. Four nights a week during the school year, the Ath brings scholars, public figures, thought leaders, artists, and innovators to engage with the CMC and Claremont College community. In addition, the Ath also hosts lunch speakers, roundtables, and smaller presentations in its two auxiliary dining rooms.
For decades, the Ath has hosted a spectrum of luminaries with expertise and insight on a wide range of topics, both historical and contemporary. In the Ath’s intimate yet stimulating setting, students, faculty, staff, and other community members gather to hear the speaker, pose questions, and also to build community and exchange ideas over a shared meal.
At the core of the Ath is a longstanding commitment to student growth and learning. Central to the Ath are its two student Fellows, selected annually to host, introduce, and moderate discussion with the featured speaker. Priority is given to students in attendance during the question-and-answer session following every presentation. Moreover, speakers often take extra time to visit a class, meet with student interest groups, or give an interview to the student press and podcast team.
We look forward to seeing you at the Ath.
Gregory D. Hess is in his fifth year as the 16th president of Wabash College.
Prior to his tenure at Wabash, Hess was dean of the faculty and vice-president of academic affairs at Claremont McKenna College and the James G. Boswell Professor of Economics.
A native of San Francisco, he earned his bachelor’s degree with high honors from the University of California-Davis, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from The Johns Hopkins University.
The senior thesis requirement at CMC is challenging and rewarding and seniors endeavor to produce innovative, thoughtful, comprehensive, and well written work. In this second annual Senior Thesis Showcase, seniors across the disciplines will present 5 to 7-minute synopses of their capstone project. Come hear about their research, motivation, and findings, as well as their overall thesis journey. Most importantly come support and celebrate your CMC peers!
Brian Chmelik, Michael Choi, Tarah Gilbreth, Mohammed Kaamil Hussain, Siqi “Audrey” Liu, Madison Lodge, Shivani Pandya, Larissa Peltola, and Campbell Streator, all members of CMC's Class of 2018, will present their findings.
A major figure of the Polish New Wave literary movement of the early 1970s and of the anti-Communist Solidarity movement of the 1980s, Adam Zagajewski is the author of Unseen Hand; Eternal Enemies; and Without End: New and Selected Poems, which was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. Zagajewski’s other collections of poetry include Mysticism for Beginners, Canvas, and Tremor: Selected Poems. His most recent publication Slight Exaggerations, a collection of essays, was published in early 2017. He is also the author of a book of essays and literary sketches, Two Cities: On Exile, History and the Imagination, and of Solidarity, Solitude: Essays.
The New York Review of Books states “Zagajewski is now one of the most familiar and highly regarded names in poetry both in Europe and in this country.”
Mr. Zagajewski's Athenaeum reading is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.
David Lesher is co-founder, editor, and CEO of CALmatters, a non-profit media organization launched in 2015 to cover state policy and politics. Today, CALmatters has the largest news staff in Sacramento and its work is shared with more than 100 media, including all of the state’s major newspapers and radio stations.
Lesher has worked with top state leaders and major California issues for more than 35 years as a journalist and policy analyst. He was in the newspaper business for more than 25 years, largely at the Los Angeles Times where he was a political writer, state Capitol reporter and assistant national editor for the White House campaign. He also served as editor of California Journal magazine, California director for the DC-based New America Foundation, and government affairs director for the Public Policy Institute of California.
Mr. Lesher's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute for State and Government at CMC.
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.