Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

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.

Wed, February 15, 2023
Dinner Program
Tom Linebarger '86

Finding your purpose is not an easy thing to do and not often found in a single experience or moment. For Tom Linebarger '86, executive chairman of Cummins, Inc.—a global power technology company that pioneers new technologies to sustainably meet the world’s growing power needs—working for an employer whose values aligned with his own was the key to finding his purpose.

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Tom Linebarger '86 was appointed as executive chairman of Cummins Inc. in August 2022. Cummins Inc., a global power technology company, pioneers new technologies to sustainably meet the world’s growing power needs. Prior to this role, Linebarger served as chairman and CEO for 10 years. Before that, he served as president and COO from 2008 to 2011, executive vice president and president, Power Generation Business from 2003 to 2008, vice president and CFO from 2000 to 2003, and vice president of supply chain management from 1998 to 2000.

Linebarger was initially attracted to Cummins’ purpose-driven approach to business reinforced during a summer internship at the Cummins MidRange Engine plant in Walesboro, Indiana. Prior to Cummins, he was an investment analyst and investment manager at Prudential Investment Corporation, working in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

In addition to his work at Cummins, he is actively involved with several global and local organizations. He has been a member of the board of directors of Harley Davidson since 2008. He is a member of the Business Roundtable (BRT), an association of chief executive officers of America’s leading companies working with government officials on crafting legislation impacting American businesses.

In 2021, he was appointed chair of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) and co-chair of the Global Hydrogen Council. He previously served as chair of the U.S.-China Business Council from 2020 to 2022.

A native Californian, Linebarger received joint undergraduate degrees in management engineering from Claremont McKenna College and mechanical engineering from Stanford University. He later returned to Stanford University to earn a master’s degree in manufacturing systems from the School of Engineering and a master’s degree from the Graduate School of Business.

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Thu, February 16, 2023
Dinner Program
Agus Sudjianto

Mathematical models play a very prominent role in financial institutions for decision making. The use of models including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) carry both financial and non-financial risks. Having learned from past financial crisis experiences, banks now practice model risk management, a discipline and a process to ensure that models are developed and used responsibly including from an ethical and legal point of view. Agus Sudjianto, executive vice president, head of Model Risk, and a member of the management committee at Wells Fargo, will explore how and why responsible AI is critical in finance. 

Mr. Sudjianto’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Financial Economics Institute at CMC.

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Agus Sudjianto is an executive vice president, head of Model Risk and a member of Management Committee at Wells Fargo, where he is responsible for enterprise model risk management. 

Prior to his current position, Sudjianto was the modeling and analytics director and chief model risk officer at Lloyds Banking Group in the United Kingdom. Before joining Lloyds, he was an executive and head of Quantitative Risk at Bank of America. 

Prior to his career in banking, he was a product design manager in the Powertrain Division of Ford Motor Company. 

Sudjianto holds several U.S. patents in both finance and engineering. He has published numerous technical papers and is a co-author of Design and Modeling for Computer Experiments. His technical expertise and interests include quantitative risk, particularly credit risk modeling, machine learning and computational statistics. 

He holds masters and doctorate degrees in engineering and management from Wayne State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Sudjianto’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Financial Economics Institute at CMC.

(This event was originally scheduled for April 11, 2022.)

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Mon, February 20, 2023
Dinner Program
Noah Feldman

Abraham Lincoln is justly revered for his brilliance, compassion, humor, and rededication of the United States to achieving liberty and justice for all. He led the nation into a bloody civil war to uphold the system of government established by the US Constitution—a system he regarded as the “last best hope of mankind.” But how did Lincoln understand the Constitution? In his latest book, The Broken Constitution, Noah Feldman, professor of law at Harvard University, examines how Lincoln broke the Constitution in order to remake it. Offering a riveting narrative of Lincoln’s constitutional choices and how he made them, Feldman places Lincoln in the rich context of the thinking of the time, from African American abolitionists to Lincoln’s Republican rivals and Secessionist ideologues.

Adapted from: The Broken Constitution

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Noah Feldman is Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Chairman of the Society of Fellows, and founding director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law, all at Harvard University. He specializes in constitutional studies, with particular emphasis on power and ethics, design of innovative governance solutions, law and religion, and the history of legal ideas.

A policy & public affairs columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, Feldman also writes for The New York Review of Books and was a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine for nearly a decade. He hosts the Deep Background podcast, an interview show that explores the historical, scientific, legal and cultural context behind the biggest stories in the news.

Through his consultancy, Ethical Compass, Feldman advises clients like Facebook & eBay on how to improve ethical decision-making by creating and implementing new governance solutions. In this capacity, he conceived and architected the Facebook Oversight Board, and continues to advise the company on ethics and governance issues.

Feldman is the author of 9 books, including his latest, The Broken Constitution: Lincoln, Slavery & The Refounding of America (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2021).

Other works include: The Arab Winter: A Tragedy (Princeton University Press, 2020), The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President (Random House, 2017); Cool War: The Future of Global Competition (Random House, 2013); Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR’s Great Supreme Court Justices (Twelve Publishing, 2010); The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State (Princeton University Press, 2008); Divided By God: America’s Church-State Problem and What We Should Do About It (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2005); What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation building (Princeton University Press 2004); and After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2003).

He is also the author of two casebooks with Kathleen Sullivan: Constitutional Law, Twentieth Edition (Foundation Press, Fall 2019) and First Amendment, Seventh Edition (Foundation Press, 2019).

In 2003, Feldman served as senior constitutional advisor to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and subsequently advised members of the Iraqi Governing Council on the drafting of Iraq’s interim constitution. 

Earning his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard, Feldman finished first in his class. Selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a D.Phil. from Oxford University, writing his dissertation on Aristotle’s Ethics and its Islamic reception. Feldman received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as a book reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for Justice David Souter of the U.S. Supreme Court and Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Source: Harvard Law School

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Tue, February 21, 2023
Dinner Program
Kevin Merida

Since taking charge of the Los Angeles Times newsroom more than a year and a half ago, Executive Editor Kevin Merida has set out to reinvent the largest newspaper on the West Coast, and one of the largest in the country. The LA Times is branching out into digital news, podcasts, scripted shows, documentaries, earthquake bots, real-time wildfire maps. At the same time, it is appealing increasingly to readers of its home region, where close to half of the residents are Latino. In conversation with Terril Jones, instructor of international journalism at CMC, Merida will speak to the changing nature of the Los Angeles Times in response to an evolving reader demographic. 

This program is co-sponsored by the Dreier Roundtable whose mission it is to inspire public service.

Terril Jones, instructor of international journalism at CMC will moderate the conversation.

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Kevin Merida is the executive editor of the Los Angeles Times. He took the helm of the largest news gathering organization in the West in June 2021 and oversees the newsroom as well as Times Community News and Los Angeles Times en Español.

Previously, Merida was a senior vice president at ESPN and editor in chief of the Undefeated, a multimedia platform that explores the intersections of race, sports and culture. Merida arrived at ESPN in November 2015 and launched the Undefeated in May 2016. Under his leadership, the Undefeated gradually expanded across Walt Disney Co. with a content portfolio that ranged from award-winning journalism to documentaries and television specials, from albums and music videos to live events, digital talk shows and two bestselling children’s books.

Prior to that, Merida was at the Washington Post for 22 years, working as a reporter, columnist, and managing editor. His résumé also includes stints as a reporter and an editor at the Dallas Morning News and as a reporter at the Milwaukee Journal. Merida is a member of the Pulitzer Prize board and serves as a trustee of Boston University.

This program is co-sponsored by the Dreier Roundtable whose mission it is to inspire public service.

Terril Jones, instructor of international journalism at CMC will moderate the conversation.

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Wed, February 22, 2023
Lunch Program
Mukulika Banerjee

Mukulika Banerjee, associate professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, will explore recent mobilizations by social movements in India (such as the ongoing Bharat Jodo Yatra (a recent 3,500 km foot march across the length of India) and the 2020-21 farmers’ movements in India that mobilized thousands of farmers in protest against the introduction of three new laws that had been forcibly introduced by the national government in India) to examine the consequences of such events for democratic culture in a context of severe degradation of democracy and to explore how cultivation is key to creating and sustaining democracy.

 

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Mukulika Banerjee is the inaugural director of the LSE South Asia Centre and an associate professor in social anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has conducted ethnographic research in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan between 1990-1993 and in India since 1998. Her publications include Why India Votes?, The Pathan Unarmed and The Sari and, as editor, Muslim Portraits. Her recently published monograph entitled Cultivating Democracy is based on 15 years of research in rural India.

She holds a D.Phil. in Social Anthropology from University of Oxford, 1994; completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Oxford, 1994-96, taught at University College London before joining LSE in 2009.

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Thu, February 23, 2023
Dinner Program
Steven Koonin

Popular and political discussions of the changing climate invariably invoke “The Science” as settled. But as theoretical physicist Steven Koonin, University Professor at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, will describe, a careful reading of the research literature and government assessment reports shows a different picture. Author of the bestselling book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, he will describe some of the surprises in the official science that belie the notion that we’ve already broken the climate and face certain doom unless we take prompt and drastic action and will suggest some pragmatic conclusions about national and international climate policies.

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Steven E. Koonin is a University Professor at New York University, with appointments in the Stern School of Business, the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Department of Physics. He founded NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, which focuses research and education on the acquisition, integration, and analysis of big data for big cities. 

Koonin served as Undersecretary for Science in the US Department of Energy under President Obama from 2009 to 2011, where his portfolio included the climate research program and energy technology strategy. He was the lead author of the US Department of Energy’s Strategic Plan (2011) and the inaugural Department of Energy Quadrennial Technology Review (2011). Before joining the government, Koonin spent five years as Chief Scientist for BP, researching renewable energy options to move the company “beyond petroleum.” 

For almost thirty years, Koonin was a professor of theoretical physics at Caltech. He also served for nine years as Caltech’s Vice President and Provost, facilitating the research of more than 300 scientists and engineers and catalyzing the development of the world’s largest optical telescope, as well as research initiatives in computational science, bioengineering, and the biological sciences. 

Koonin is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His other memberships include the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and JASON, the group of scientists who solve technical problems for the US government; he served as JASON’s chair for six years. He chaired the National Academies’ Divisional Committee for Engineering and Physical Sciences from 2014 to 2019, and since 2014 has been a trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses. He is currently an independent governor of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and has served in similar roles for the Los Alamos, Sandia, Brookhaven, and Argonne National Laboratories. He was a member of Governor Cuomo’s Blue Ribbon Commission to Reimagine New York in the post-COVID-19 era. 

Koonin has a BS in physics from Caltech and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from MIT. He is an award-winning classroom teacher, and his public lectures are noted for their clarity in conveying complex subjects. He is the author of the classic 1985 textbook Computational Physics, which introduced methodology for building computer models of complex physical systems. He has published some 200 peer-reviewed papers in the fields of physics and astrophysics, scientific computation, energy technology and policy, and climate science, and has been the lead author on multiple book-length reports, including two National Academies studies. 

Through a series of articles and lectures that began in 2014, Koonin has advocated for a more accurate, complete, and transparent public representation of climate and energy matters. His bestselling book Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters was published in 2021. 

 

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Mon, February 27, 2023
Dinner Program
Mariano‑Florentino​ (Tino) Cuéllar

Mariano‑Florentino​ (Tino) Cuéllar, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will focus on the enormous relevance of major sub-national jurisdictions like California and leading metropolitan regions on international affairs. He will also contemplate recent ideas about the foreign policy influence of the US Supreme Court and what all this tells us about the domestic sources of cross-border policy developments in an unruly world.  

Mr. Cuéllar’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at CMC.

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Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar is the tenth president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A former justice of the Supreme Court of California, he served two U.S. presidents at the White House and in federal agencies and was a faculty member at Stanford University for two decades. He is a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board.  

At Stanford he was the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and (by courtesy) Political Science. He directed the university’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and previously, co-directed its Center for International Security and Cooperation. During nearly seven years on California’s highest court while continuing to teach at Stanford, he wrote opinions addressing separation of powers and federalism, policing and criminal justice, democracy, technology and privacy, international agreements, and climate and environmental policy among other issues, and led the court system’s efforts to better meet the needs of millions of limited English speakers.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cuéllar has published widely on American institutions and public law, international affairs, political economy, and technology’s impact on law and government. In the first term of the Obama administration, he led the White House Domestic Policy Council’s teams working on civil and criminal justice, public health, immigration, and regulatory reform. He also co-chaired the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity and Excellence Commission, and earlier, co-chaired the Obama Biden Transition Immigration Working Group. He began his career at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the second term of the Clinton administration.

He chairs the board of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and serves on Harvard University’s primary governing board (the Harvard Corporation). Previously, he chaired the boards of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies. He served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Social and Ethical Implications of Computing Research and was a presidential appointee to the Council of the U.S. Administrative Conference. Born in Matamoros, Mexico, he grew up primarily in communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. He graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, and received a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University.  

Mr. Cuéllar’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at CMC.

Source: The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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Tue, February 28, 2023
Dinner Program
Justin Brooks

In his new book, You Might Go to Prison, Even Though You're Innocent, Justin Brooks, director and co-founder of the California Innocence Project, puts readers at the defense table by forcing us to consider how any of us might be swept up in the system—whether we hired a bad lawyer, bear a slight resemblance to someone else in the world, or are not good with awkward silence. He offers up-close real-life accounts of wrongful convictions and innocence claims he has fought, embedding them within the larger landscape of the American justice system. 

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Justin Brooks is the director and co-founder of the California Innocence Project. Over the course of his career, he has served as counsel on many high-profile criminal cases and has exonerated more than 35 innocent people, including former NFL player Brian Banks. (He is portrayed by Academy Award nominated actor Greg Kinnear in the feature film, “Brian Banks.")

Brooks has been recognized several times by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California, and in 2010 and 2012, California Lawyer Magazine honored him with the “Lawyer of the Year” award.

He has founded innocence organizations throughout Latin America and speaks around the world about innocence work.

He is the author of the only legal casebook devoted to the topic of wrongful convictions and the non-fiction book You Might Go to Prison, Even Though You’re Innocent which details what he has learned about wrongful convictions from his more than three decades as a criminal defense attorney and innocence organization director.

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Wed, March 1, 2023
Dinner Program
Charles Kesler, Daniel Livesay, and Troy Mills, panelists; Andy Busch, moderator

The publication of the New York Times’ 1619 Project brought to the foreground issues of race, slavery, and the American Founding. Was the true founding of America in 1619, the year the first slaves reportedly arrived in Virginia? Or was it in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence proposed that “all men are created equal” and arguably put slavery on the way to eventual extinction? This panel discussion, featuring CMC faculty Charles Kesler (government), Dan Livesay (history), and Troy Mills (religious studies) will address these questions.

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Charles Kesler is Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Daniel Livesay is  associate professor of history at Claremont McKenna College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Troy Mills is a post doctoral fellow and visiting instructor of religious studies at Claremont McKenna College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

Andy Busch, Crown Professor of Government and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College, will moderate the converstion.

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Thu, March 2, 2023
Dinner Program
Davy Rothbart

Follow your dreams! Yeah, sure. But... how? In clear, accessible, entertaining, and deeply personal terms, bestselling author, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and creator of Found Magazine, Davy Rothbart breaks down 12 steps to help you advance your creative and professional goals and build a meaningful, enjoyable, and adventurous life after graduation.

Mr. Rothbart's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

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Davy Rothbart is a bestselling author, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, the creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life, and the author of a book of personal essays, My Heart Is An Idiot, and a collection of stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly for GQ and his work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Rothbart's documentary film, MEDORA, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling Indiana town, executive produced by Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci, aired on the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens, and won a 2015 Emmy Award.

His latest documentary feature, 17 BLOCKS, called "unshakable!" (The New York Times) and "a singular achievement in documentary film" (Variety), was released in 2021 by MTV Films, executive produced by Sheila Nevins, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and two Cinema Eye Honors Awards. He also contributed writing to the 2020 Oscar-winning short The Neighbor's Window.

Rothbart is the founder of Washington To Washington, an annual hiking adventure for city kids, and lives between Los Angeles, California and his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Mr. Rothbart's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Gould Center for Humanistic Studies at CMC.

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Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum

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

Phone: (909) 607-8244
Email:

Contact

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