Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Open Events

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.

Here is a list of open events at the Ath. If no sign up button appears under the event, it is because the event is no longer accepting reservations.

Unless otherwise noted, lunch begins at 11:45 a.m.; speaker presentations begin at 12:15 p.m. Evening programs typically begin with a reception at 5:30 pm; dinner is served at 6 p.m; and the talk begins at 6:45 p.m. Reservations are required for the meals.

Unless otherwise noted, the talk itself is free and open to all, and no reservations are required to attend the talk only. Seating for only the talk itself is on a first-come basis.

Please click "Sign Up" under individual events to sign up for open events. If there is no button showing, registration is currently closed, but please check back later. When meal reservations are opened to members of the other Claremont Colleges, a note will be added to the event listing. An explanation of the reservation process and a list of frequently asked questions is available. Questions may also be directed to the Ath at

The Athenaeum 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.


Monday, April 24, 2017 - 11:45am
A Moderated Conversation with Neel Kashkari
Neel Kashkari
Neel Kashkari, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will make some opening comments before a brief moderated conversation. The majority of the program will be dedicated to audience questions.

Neel Kashkari took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on Jan. 1, 2016. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington. In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the bank, including supervision and regulation, and payments services.

Kashkari began his career as an aerospace engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he developed technology for NASA space science missions. Following graduate school, he joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he helped technology companies raise capital and pursue strategic transactions.

From 2006 to 2009, Kashkari served in several senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2008, he was confirmed as assistant secretary of the Treasury. In this role, he oversaw the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) during the financial crisis. Kashkari received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor for distinguished service.

Following his tenure in Washington, Kashkari returned to California in 2009 and joined PIMCO as managing director and member of the executive office. He left the firm in 2013 to explore returning to public service.

In January 2014, Kashkari was a gubernatorial candidate in the state of California, running on a platform focused on economic opportunity.

Kashkari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

(Source: The Minneapolis Fed's Website)

This event is closed.
Monday, April 24, 2017 - 11:45am
This Creative Life: How to Survive and Succeed without Breaking Your Heart and Losing Your Mind
Gabriela Pereira
Here’s the secret no one tells you: survival (and also success) as a creative entrepreneur has little to do with talent or technique, it’s all about mindset and attitude. In her talk, Gabriela Pereira shares her experiences as founder of and discusses mindset shifts that have helped her succeed in her career. Her talk will energize and inspire, and also give you tools you can apply to find that elusive work-life balance.

Gabriela Pereira is a writer, speaker, and self-proclaimed word nerd who challenges students to find their voice and use their words for the power of good. As the founder and instigator of, her mission is to empower writers, artists, and other creative individuals to take an entrepreneurial approach to professional growth.

Pereira earned her MFA in creative writing from The New School and teaches at national conferences and regional workshops, as well as online. She also hosts DIY MFA Radio, a popular podcast where she interviews bestselling authors. Her book DIY MFA: WRITE WITH FOCUS, READ WITH PURPOSE, BUILD YOUR COMMUNITY is out now from Writer’s Digest Books. When she’s not teaching or developing new courses, Gabriela enjoys writing humor essays, middle grade and teen fiction, and a few "short stories for grown-ups" thrown in for good measure. A New Yorker born and raised, she lives in her beloved city with her husband, two kids, and office cat.

Ms. Pereira Athenaeum's talk is co-sponsored by the Berger Institute for Work, Family & Children at CMC.

This event is full. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please contact the Athenaeum.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 11:45am
LGBTQ Inclusion at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Helen Carroll
Helen Carroll has devoted her efforts towards fighting homophobia in sports by directing the National Center for Lesbian Right’s Sports Project and will join Kris Brackmann '17 in an interactive discussion on the current participation and visibility of LGBTQ student-athletes. 

Helen Carroll is the director of the NCLR’s Sports Project, which aims to ensure fair and equal treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender players, coaches, and administrators at all levels of sport. Before joining the NCLR in 2001, Carroll served as the athletic director at Mills College for 12 years and won an NAIA National Championship as a player with the University of North Carolina-Asheville women’s basketball team in 1984.

Carroll will be joined by Kris Brackmann ‘17, an anthropology and psychology dual major at CMC, who played four years of Athena basketball at CMS. Brackmann completed her senior thesis on the “Gender Division in Sport: Through the Eyes of Female Student-Athletes at CMS” and is proud to present her findings with this discussion led by Carroll in hopes of cultivating a more inclusive culture for the LGBTQ community at the 5Cs. 

This Athenaeum program is co-sponsored by the Women and Leadership Alliance and CMS Athletics.   

Meal reservations now open to everyone in The Claremont Colleges.
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 11:45am
A New Vision for the City of Pomona
Tim Sandoval
Running on a campaign of creating a One Pomona vision and embracing servant leadership model, Tim Sandoval was elected mayor of Pomona and took office in December 2016. 

Tim Sandoval attended Pomona High, Claremont McKenna College, and University of California Riverside. After completing his education, Sandoval returned to Pomona to help others in the community access college as well. He led Pomona Valley Community Center’s youth programs and then taught English at Charter Oak High School from 1999-2002. In 2001, Sandoval became a founding member of Bright Prospect, a mentoring organization that has helped more than two thousand low-income youth become part of the first generation of their family to complete their college degrees. Sandoval served as the program director for Bright Prospect from 2002 through 2016.

Meal reservations now open to everyone in The Claremont Colleges.
Friday, April 28, 2017 - 11:45am
Law and Legitimacy: Legal and Policy Innovation in California
Kevin de León (Pitzer '03)
Senator Kevin de León (Pitzer '03), president pro tempore of the California State Senate, will speak about the challenges and opportunities presented by legal and policy innovation in California.

With a focus on using the public policy process to empower the least fortunate and voiceless, Senator Kevin de León, a Democrat from Los Angeles who represents California's Senate District 24, leads an agenda to increase economic opportunity for all Californians focused on education, equity for women, immigrants and low-wage workers, public safety, and on maintaining the state’s leadership in building a clean-energy economy that benefits everyone.

Senator de León has authored groundbreaking legislation on a variety of issues that have become national models and exemplify his ambitious approach to policymaking. He employs this today as he leads the upper house in California’s legislature.

As leader of the Senate, pro tempore, de Leόn also serves as chair of the Rules Committee, which is responsible for vetting the Governor’s appointments that are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

De León served four years in the Assembly before his election to the Senate in 2010. He is the first person in California history to serve as the chair of the Appropriations committees in both the Assembly and Senate. In 2014, he became the first Latino elected leader of the Senate in over a century. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school, later earning a degree with honors from Pitzer College. He is a Rodel Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a guest lecturer at the University of Southern California.

Senator De León is the keynote speaker for the 2017 Southern California Law and Social Science Forum (SoCLASS) which is sponsored by the Dreier Roundtable. 

Read more information about Senator De León.

Meal reservations now open to everyone in The Claremont Colleges.

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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.