CMC Family Weekend gives parents an inside look

More than 800 guests attended Claremont McKenna College’s Family Weekend, making this year’s celebration the largest ever.

CMC President Hiram Chodosh speaking
Town Hall meeting with CMC President Hiram Chodosh

The three-day, campus-wide event was packed with activities highlighting student life experiences through the lens of the CMC mission and strategy. 

Family members joined their students for a first-hand look at life at CMC today. Lectures and programming illustrated CMC’s unique blend of an intimate residential learning community with a shared purpose.

They heard faculty lectures from professors including Jon Shields (politics in the age of President Trump), Jennifer Taw (women and the military), and Julio Garin (economic climate); attended a career networking hour with the Soll Center for Student Opportunity; participated in a workshop with peer Academic Success Consultants; and competed in trivia night at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum.

Whether an informal meet-and-greet at Donuts with the Dean of Students office or a chance to learn about diversity, inclusion, and mental health through CARE Center programs, Family Weekend both reflected and absorbed CMC’s social warmth and strong sense of shared ambition.

“Family Weekend brings us all together. Families get to experience CMC for themselves, and we all have the chance to see what we’re accomplishing through their eyes.” said President Hiram Chodosh.

Students and parents take a break at The Hub
Students and parents take a break at The Hub

Veronica and Juan Montelongo traveled from San Antonio to be with their son Carlos ’23, a first-year economics and accounting student. “We continue to be impressed and amazed by this college,” said Juan. “It’s pretty special because Carlos is the first generation to go to college. We are so proud.”

Ganiyat Saka came from New York to see her daughter, Dorcas, a second-year science management major. “I love CMC,” she said. “Last year, when she was a freshman, I was worried because she was so far away. But she’s so happy and having incredible experiences. What more could you ask for?”

Information sessions provided an overview of signature CMC student opportunities, including study abroad offerings and the semester-long Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley programs. For the first time, the program included a special Spanish-language panel discussion with current students, faculty, and representatives from the Dean of Students Office.

Guests were immersed in campus life: they ate in the dining hall and Athenaeum, attended classes, and cheered at sporting events. For the second straight year, nearly 120 family members were also able to visit the campus—many for the first time to be with their students since orientation—through the generosity of CMC’s Kravis Opportunity Fund.

CMC President Hiram Chodosh speaking
CMC student and family enjoying Family Weekend

At his Town Hall, Chodosh welcomed family members, facilitated peer-to-peer discussions, and built his presentation of CMC’s strategy around their observations of the challenges and opportunities we face in the world today.  He also advised them to savor every moment with their students.

“The gold is in the moment,” he said. “It’s about our relationships and connections more than anything else.” Later, Chodosh and his wife, Athenaeum director Priya Junnar, hosted the 800 attendees and their students at a reception in their home.

On Sunday, some families laced up their hiking boots for a 5-mile trek at Claremont Wilderness Park. On Monday, many parents attended a full day of classes with their students.

“It’s really nice to show my parents everything,” said Carlos Montelongo. “I’m excited for them to come to my classes and see my daily routine.”

—Gilien Silsby