Among the first generation of CMCers, the Tortugateers' passion for adventures, Scrippsies and Foothill's plethora of watering holes united them as the first brotherhood of Claremont Men's College. No matter a brother's background, be it a war veteran or recent high school graduate, the Tortugas frequently trekked to the top of Mount Baldy, hunted possums in the nearby orange groves and defended Boswell against their rival Knickerbockers of Wohlford. Their pledges wore a burlap sack filled with calf's liver around their neck and tried to steal the Knick's mascot, a piglet. Their shenanigans are further chronicled on their website.
Though much has changed around CMC, the Tortugateers still storm campus every year for their annual tailgate before the Stag homecoming football game. This year, Rudi Smith '63, Frank Meyers '62, Bob Anderson '64 and Jeff Smith '65 led their brothers back to campus and took every opportunity to reach out to current students (and the Chapman cheerleaders).
We caught up with Rudi before the football game at the Biszantz Tennis Center. He reminded us that the Tortuga heritage "represents a historic time of growth and coming of age' for CMC, and includes important traditions that should be appreciated and remembered." In 2005, the Tortugas collectively created a scholarship fund to be awarded based on character. The most recent Tortuga/ Mara Toga Scholars are Will Knowles '13 and Annika Jessen '14. Their dedication to our future and the preservation of the CMC culture sets an example for all future alumni to follow.