Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum is a popular venue for special CMC community events when it is not otherwise in use for its signature speaker series. These events may include class/award dinners, mid-year graduation dinners, Inside CMC showcase, certain alumni gatherings, special College events, weddings (as further described bel0w), as well as Institute and Board of Trustee events.  

Because of the Athenaeum’s unique mission, not all events may be held at the venue.  In considering non-speaker series reservation requests, priority will be given to events that are CMC-mission centric and include significant participation by students, faculty, staff, and trustees. All events outside of the Athenaeum speaker series must be approved by the director and manager of the Athenaeum prior to confirming the reservation

The Office of Special Events can provide recommendations for alternate venues for events that are not suitable for the Athenaeum or when the Athenaeum is unavailable. The Athenaeum is not available for private events or third-party rentals.

Designation as Speaker Series Events or Other Events

Occasionally there is confusion as to what events held at the Athenaeum are categorized as official Athenaeum speaker series events.  Not every event held at the Athenaeum involving a speaker or CMC students as attendees is considered part of the speaker series. The director of the Athenaeum retains authority to approve and designate which speakers are invited to campus as part of the official Athenaeum speaker series and which events fall outside of the speaker series. This policy is designed to help clarify what events fall outside of the speaker series and thus are subject to this policy and the costs associated with holding an event at the Athenaeum.

Generally, the following are examples of events that fall outside the speaker series (even if a speaker is part of the program) and thus subject to this policy:

  • Awards banquets (i.e., Academic, Departmental, Institute, and Athletic)
  • Departmental/Institute receptions, lunches/dinners, workshops, and conferences
  • Trustee events
  • Departmental colloquia
  • Thesis defense and presentation
  • Faculty meetings, receptions, and meals
  • Alumni events

Reservation Process

All requests for events must be made by submitting an online reservation request.   

The reservation must be approved by the director and manager of the Athenaeum. A CMC account number must be provided before planning or advertising for the event may occur.

Class Dinners and CMC Student Organizations

CMC student groups (including clubs, sports teams, and other College-recognized organizations) as well as CMC classes (including the professor and enrolled students) are allowed to reserve one meal function per semester at no charge. This can include lunch, dinner, or a tea-time reception. Reservations must be requested through the online reservation form and will be processed in the order received. Typically, these events will be held in the Parents or Freeberg room. The director of the Athenaeum must approve any outside speakers. Additional bookings by the same group in one semester will be charged the standard lunch or dinner rate per person. (NOTE: This benefit is available for CMC clubs only; 5C clubs do not qualify.)

Rates and Guarantee Information

Please see itemized list of charges for items related to Athenaeum reservations and catering. The Athenaeum requires a meal guarantee three days prior to the event, and this amount (along with any final adjustments) will be billed to the account number provided.

Wedding Receptions

The Eggert Dining Room is the only Athenaeum room that is available for wedding receptions. With permission of the director and manager of the Athenaeum, wedding ceremonies may also be held. CMC alumni, CMC faculty/staff, and the children of CMC faculty/staff, may request the Athenaeum for wedding receptions. The College can accommodate weddings in the month of June only. All requests for weddings must be made by submitting an online wedding reservation request at least three months prior to the date requested and are subject to approval by the director and manager of the Athenaeum. Reservations will be considered in the order in which the requests are made.

Once a wedding request is approved by the director and manager of the Athenaeum, a contract will be executed, and proof of insurance as outlined in the contract must be provided. The Office of Special Events will assist the requestor with the contract and insurance requirements. A $500 non-refundable deposit will be required upon signing the contract (which is applied to the final bill), as well as a $500 refundable damage deposit.  

All catering services (including alcohol) must be provided by the Athenaeum. Upon approval of the menu, 35% of the total cost will be due. Full payment is due one week prior to the event and must be by check (personal, Cashier’s Check, or money order). No credit cards will be accepted. Please see complete list of charges for items related to a wedding at the Athenaeum.

Please note the following rules with respect to weddings at the Athenaeum:

  • Receptions are available for lunch or dinner. Generally, receptions can be held for approximately five hours; evening receptions should end by midnight. An additional hour is provided for clean-up of the venue after the end of the reception.
  • The time frame for decorating the venue as well as delivery of items such as cake and flowers must be approved in advance by the manager of the Athenaeum. Vendors may access the venue one hour before the reception.  
  • The final number for guest attendance must be provided to the manager of the Athenaeum at least three days in advance of the reception.
  • Capacity is:
    • 300 people without a sit-down meal or dance floor;
    • 200 people with a sit-down meal but without a dance floor;
    • 100-150 with a sit-down meal and a dance floor.
  • The Athenaeum is to be enjoyed in its natural state. No alternative place settings or chairs are permitted. No decorations may be attached to the walls, rafters, or chandeliers. Balloons, candles, and sparklers are also not allowed in the space. Other decorations must be approved by the manager of the Athenaeum.
  • Bands or DJs are permitted, and the manager of the Athenaeum will approve location of a dance floor. 
  • Receptions include use of the outdoor patios.
  • A microphone and speakers are available and can be arranged with the manager of the Athenaeum. Additional AV support must be requested through the manager of the Athenaeum at least two weeks prior to the reception.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

Claremont McKenna College
385 E. Eighth Street
Claremont, CA 91711


Phone: (909) 621-8244 
Fax: (909) 621-8579