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Letter from CMCAA President John McDowell '79

Spring-Summer 2015

John McDowell’s tenure ends; now introducing Sue Matteson King


My two terms as president of the Claremont McKenna College Alumni Association are almost at an end, and I want to thank you for your support of me, our Association and our College.

The truth is, until I became president of the CMCAA, I never fully understood the breadth and depth of support for our College by our amazing alumni. Literally hundreds of you volunteer time every year for an astounding array of activities. Your time, your talents and your dedication are what make CMC and our Alumni Association so special.

For those of you who would like to expand your participation in alumni activities, it’s easy. You can start by attending chapter events, alumni travel opportunities and on-campus events such as Alumni Weekend. For a list of opportunities to participate and serve, visit

Over the past two years, I also have had the opportunity to collaborate with two highly engaged and effective Board of Trustees Chairs, Harry McMahon ’75 P’08 P’09 and David Mgrublian ’82 P’11. Both of them recognize the value that the CMCAA brings to the Board and both of them have been welcoming to me and our Alumni Trustees and have actively sought our input on issues before the Board. I want to thank them for their support.

The members of the Board of Trustees have been welcoming as well. The average Alumni Association member, student and even faculty member has no idea of the amount of time and resources Trustees expend on behalf of our College. I certainly didn’t until I came on the Board, and I want to thank each of our Trustees — most of whom are alumni — for their deep support of our students and of our College’s future.

My two terms also have coincided with the first two years of President Hiram Chodosh’s administration. He has become a great partner for the Alumni Association as he understands how we operate, the importance of our chapter structure and our central role in “friend raising” for the College. Our alumni can be assured that he is working quickly to build on the strong foundation laid by former presidents Gann, Stark and Benson.

The members of our CMCAA Board of Directors also deserve a hearty thanks. These are the people who really run our Association. From committee work to hands-on event planning and management, they make sure that our Association is among the best in the nation. We also have top-notch staff at the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations. We simply could not function as we do without them, their ideas and their dedication to their jobs.

Finally, let me introduce our next CMCAA President, Sue Matteson King ’85 P’18. Sue has broad experience with the Alumni Association, having served on the CMCAA Board for the last nine years, as well as serving as the president of our New York Chapter and chair of the Careers Committee. Combine that with the fact that her son, Danny, is a freshman, and she has a well-grounded understanding of our College, our students and our alumni.

Moreover, Sue has been instrumental in spearheading our Pioneers project, which is profiled in this issue of CMC Magazine. The women who entered CMC while it was still Claremont Men’s College truly were Pioneers, and their legacy lives on in our College’s rise to national prominence. Sue’s team has done a great job in celebrating the contributions of our Pioneers, documenting that time in our history, and focusing on ways to further empower our female students.

Again, thank you for the honor and privilege of serving as your president for the past two years. Although I haven’t had the chance to personally meet all of you, I feel as if I know you. After all, we’re all CMCers together.

Crescit cum commercio civitas,

John McDowell ’79

2013 – 2015 CMCAA President