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.
Since 1983, 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.
Historically, each season draws from a robust list of featured speakers. During the 2016-17 academic year, the fall semester brought a diverse group, including award-winning journalist Rukmini Callimachi, poet Kelly Tsai, and lauded constitutional historian Jack Rakove. In the spring, AEI president Arthur Brooks, former U.S. ambassador Cameron Phelps Munter, Iranian-American humorist Firoozeh Dumas, and Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, were featured speakers. Many successful alumni return to speak at the Ath, including Brandi Hoffine ’06, assistant press secretary and spokesperson for the Obama White House and Michael Shear ’90, White House correspondent for the New York Times’ Washington bureau, who appeared together to discuss the tension between politics and the press in fall 2016.
Now that the Spring 2017 semester has concluded, we look forward to seeing you back at the Ath on Tuesday, September 12, when we will kick off the 2017-18 lineup. Among many exciting speakers this year, the Ath will host Dave Rubin of the Rubin Report, award-winning writer Leslie Jamison, University of Chicago economist Steven Kaplan, NYU’s Jonathan Haidt, South Sudanese human rights and education activist Valentino Deng, Harvard physicist Lisa Randall, AI/Watson expert Jay Bellissimo P’20, and documentarian Lynn Novick.
Thank you for your support.
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.