Marian Miner Cook

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC


A Winter's "Singing Party"

Wed, December 6, 2023
Dinner Program
Noah Mesel '83 P'25, piano
Adrian Flynn '25, guitar
...and YOU!

Join the Athenaeum to celebrate a beloved CMC tradition to cap off the semester: The "Singing Party!"

For decades, renowned Professor of Government Ward Elliott (1937 - 2022) held "singing parties" every semester in his home. Featuring his wife Myrna's legendary seven-layer dip, Ward's guitar and piano, and an abundance of good cheer, these events drew crowds of students, faculty, staff, and friends, who all gathered to sing folk songs from the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and beyond.

After dinner, we'll gather 'round the the piano with Noah Mesel '83 P'25, a student of Professor Elliott's, and our own Woolley Athenaeum Fellow Adrian Flynn '25, on guitar, who will lead us in an evening of song. But remember: this is a singing party, so attendees should feel free to bring their own instruments (guitars especially) and song requests. Don't know the songs? No problem -- we'll have lyrics for you. But come ready to sing!

Possible songs include: 

Blowin’ in the Wind

California Dreamin

The MTA Song

The Sound of Silence

Leavin’ on a Jet Plane

Build Me Up Buttercup

16 Tons

Puff the Magic Dragon

Wonderful World (Don’t Know Much About History)

Surfer Girl

Tainted Love

… and your favorites!

Noah Mesel ’83 P’25 was a student of Ward Elliott’s at CMC, as well as an avid attendee of multiple singing parties.  Some might say he was a repeat offender!  His daughter Rachel is a junior studying Philosophy and Public Policy.  He holds a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law (which also conferred a law degree on Professor Elliott), and has served as general counsel for several public and private Silicon Valley companies.  He is currently Chief Legal Officer at QuSecure, Inc., a quantum-resilient encryption software company where Skip Sanzeri ’83 serves as Chief Operating Officer.  When Noah is not practicing and performing on the piano, he trains in martial arts: he holds a third-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Adrian Flynn '25, an International Relations and Public Policy dual major from New York City, is a Woolley Athenaeum Fellow this academic year. Alongside his interest in international space policy and science diplomacy, Adrian is an artist and guitarist.

Professor Ward E.Y. Elliott (1937 - 2022) was the Burnet C. Wohlford Professor Emeritus of American Political Institutions. He joined the CMC faculty in 1968, and had the rare distinction of serving under all five CMC Presidents. A scholar of American government, constitutional law, the Supreme Court, and the economy, Elliott held three degrees from Harvard, and served for two years as Order of Battle Officer in the U.S Army's 1st Cavalry Division at the Korean DMZ. His interests extended into smog prevention and Shakespeare; a prolific author, he published numerous articles in journals including Ethics, Shakespeare Quarterly, Oxfordian, Tennessee Law Review, Computers in the Humanities, and the Transportation Quarterly. Alongside John Roth and Gordon Bjork, he co-founded CMC's Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program in 1985. Even after his retirement in 2014, Elliott remained active at CMC, attending his last Athenaeum dinner in October 2022. He passed away on December 6, 2022, exactly one year ago, at the age of 85, and is missed by generations of CMC faculty, staff, and students.

Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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


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