Richard “Skip” Wiltshire-Gordon

Upstairs at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, in a converted office with black soundproofing material cascading down the walls and a hunk of electronics on a table, Nandeeni Patel ’21 and Zach Wong ’19, quickly review their notes. All set.

Today’s guest, Benn Steil, senior fellow and director of international economics at the Council of Foreign Relations, arrives. It’s 4:28 p.m. The trio exchanges handshakes and hellos before they settle at the round table and adjust their mics. How’s the sound? Good.

And they’re live.

Wendy Sherman

Ambassador Wendy Sherman has been in some tough rooms before.

As lead negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal during the Obama administration, Sherman helped forge diplomatic relations with one of the United States’ most formidable adversaries for the first time since the late ’70s. Under President Bill Clinton, Sherman also had a front row seat to tense Israel-Palestine and North Korea negotiations. Often, she’s been the only woman at the table.

George Will

Two days after the elections, George Will could have spent an hour talking about the midterms and President Donald Trump.

Instead, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist explained that everything you need to know about American political philosophy is an argument between two former Presidents and Princeton alumni (also Will’s alma mater), James Madison and Woodrow Wilson.

Will called Madison’s belief in the doctrine of natural rights the basis of our Constitution. Human nature is fixed, so government should inherently be limited, he said.

Erwin Chemerinsky

Erwin Chemerinsky, the 13th Dean of Berkeley Law and a First Amendment scholar, spoke at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on Oct. 8. He has been named the most influential person in legal education in the United States by National Jurist Magazine and is the author of more than 10 books including The Case Against the Supreme Court and Free Speech on Campus.

Hamsa Srikanth and Bruno Youn

The Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum has an established and cherished history as Claremont McKenna College’s beacon for the cultural, social, and academic exchange of ideas.

“The Ath” brings some of the brightest scholars and speakers to campus to discuss—perhaps even debate—the most important topics of our time. In the spirit of community and fellowship, it’s all done over a shared meal in the Eggert Dining Room.

Nadine Strossen

“Too often,” Nadine Strossen told her audience at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum April 5, First Amendment advocates assert that “hate speech is absolutely protected,” adding that “I’ve been a little bit guilty of that myself.”

In fact, she said, “the brilliance of U.S. law” is that “it is much more nuanced. It does draw a very sensible line between when hate speech is protected and when hate speech is not protected.”

Dave Rubin speaks at the Ath


The 2017-18 Athenaeum speaker series makes its return to the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum tonight, hosting political commentator and comedian Dave Rubin. Per Ath tradition, the evening programming will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m., with the speaker presentation, The Rubin Report: An Evening of Free Speech with Dave Rubin, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Wesley Whitaker ’18 and Isabel Lilles ’18

The Athenaeum is pleased to present the Woolley Fellows for the 2017-18 school year: Wesley Whitaker ’18 and Isabel Lilles ’18.

Whitaker, who was born in the Bay Area but now lives in Sacramento, says that after “flirting with majoring in government,” he decided on a Philosophy and Public Affairs dual major.