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Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


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 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 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.

Fall 2021 speaker programming will resume in person at the Athenaeum on Monday, September 13, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.

In celebration of Claremont McKenna College’s 75th Anniversary, along with many exciting speakers, the Ath will also feature a 75th Anniversary Distinguished Speaker Series which will span the 2021-22 academic year. This will be a very special opportunity for the Ath to host extraordinary public figures and allow the CMC community, especially students, to interact with and hear from distinguished leaders in varied fields.

We will update this page with speaker details shortly.