Mission Statement

The Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association, including its nineteen chapters world-wide, is an independent non-profit corporation that exists to help support the goals of the College and fellow alumni. The cornerstone of the Association's efforts is programming that is educational by nature and results in an engaged alumni population capable of providing counseling and financial support to the College.

History of the CMCAA

Paraphrased from "An Idea Becomes A College," Edited by Mabel Gibberd Benson, December, 1957.

It has been clear that from the beginning, CMC students, and hence alumni, have displayed a sense of responsibility and leadership. In 1948, members of the senior class--which, it will be remembered, was not even a "four-year class"--recognized the value both to students and to the College of an alumni association. They determined to tackle the job of organization. Dr. J. Anton de Haas (professor of international relations) gave much valuable advice on the structure of alumni associations, and it was at a meeting in his home in the spring of 1948 that the organization was actually initiated. Founding members were William Cronin, Robert Eachus, Donald Phillips, Morris Slack, Dante Vadala, James Wilcox, Walter Wiley, and Charles Wuerz. James Wilcox was elected the Association's first president.

The basic objectives of the organization--outlined in 1948 and still operative--are two fold: to keep alumni informed about activities of the College and fellow alumni, and to keep them interested in the Alma Mater. On the whole, both objectives have been achieved. The Alumni Newsletter was born in 1948. Bob Patterson and George Riser deserve special recognition for their part in starting this enterprise, which has, through the years, grown and improved. Today, the combined College news and Alumni news is published three times a year in the CMC Magazine.

From the beginning, alumni showed interest and loyalty. When the College was little known, the Placement Services (now the Office of Career Development Services) was in its developing stage, the CMCAA created a reference service for employment information. This service also offered assistance to alumni, including those already employed.

In 1951, a Los Angeles chapter of the Alumni Association was founded; in 1952, a Pomona Valley chapter; in 1953, a New York chapter; in 1954, Chicago and San Francisco chapters.

In 1955, an alumni fund was formerly established. In the time since, the contributions augur well for considerable long-range financial assistance to College projects, specifically scholarship assistance.
Although the actual operation of the Association was and is still conducted in close cooperation with the College--and indeed in those early years could not be effectively conducted otherwise--the National Council (now Board of Directors) of the Alumni Association felt that the organization would be stronger if, in legal status, it was a distinct corporation. Therefore on June 18, 1956 it was incorporated as a separate entity.

As of June, 1994 (originally May, 1957) the Alumni Association is an ever growing force in the life of Claremont McKenna College. The president of the Alumni Association serves in an ex-officio capacity on the College Board of Trustees; the CMCAA has three additional spaces for Alumni Trustee appointments; the Alumni Fund is increasing every year; alumni activities are well attended; the College publications are reaching and including more and more alumni; the local and outlying chapters not only perform an important social function but also heartily support College activities; alumni have been interested, and successful, in channeling many promising students to the College.

The ultimate test of a college, of course, is its success in training students to go on productively after their graduation. (As stated initially), we are proud of our products. They have not only satisfactorily passed through the college years which are essentially a period of preparation; they have subsequently proved their ability to continue to learn, to apply their knowledge, and to assume responsibility in the world of thought, action, and service.

Discover more CMCAA

Follow these links to learn more about your CMC Alumni Association and how to get involved.