Athenaeum celebrates 40 years of thoughtful dialogue

Athenaeum celebrates 40 years of thoughtful dialogue.

Photos by Karina Ramirez del Real

For the past four decades, the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum has served as the heart of intellectual and social engagement on Claremont McKenna’s campus, attracting prestigious speakers and shining a light on the College as a hub for thoughtful and constructive dialogue.

On Sept. 12, 1983, the Ath opened its doors to the space it currently inhabits, and that same year launched its beloved tradition of Ath Tea, serving Rice Krispie treats, chocolate-covered strawberries, and lemon bars to the CMC community five afternoons a week.

So, it seemed appropriate to celebrate this anniversary on Sept. 12, 2023, with Ath tea and a scrumptious birthday cake. For CMCers who missed the festivities, there will be ample opportunities throughout 2023-24 to take part in the celebration.

One element will be the 40th-anniversary speaker series, featuring CMC alumni, including:

  • Billy Grayson ’00, discussing Energy, Climate, and the Future of the Built Environment/Real Estate;
  • Owen Dubeck ’19 screening Abundance, his documentary about The Farmlink Project;
  • Sheena Hui ’19 curating concert series, Renewal from Ashes: War, Destruction, Remembrance, Peace;
  • Chris Temple ’12 / Zach Ingrasci ’12 in discussion with CMC Trustee Harry McMahon ’75 P’08 P’09 and screening their new film, This Is Not Financial Advice, about the ups and downs of cryptocurrency, sponsored by CMC’s Financial Economics Institute.

“CMC alumni are—no surprise—found at the highest levels of virtually all fields, and so it makes sense that they are frequent speakers at the Ath,” said Brian Davidson ’08,  who is serving as interim director of the Athenaeum while Priya Junnar, director of the Athenaeum, is on sabbatical for the fall semester. “For the Athenaeum’s 40th anniversary, we thought it was appropriate to recognize the occasion as something of a ‘homecoming’ for all of them by designating them as 40th-anniversary speakers. That’s because the Ath is more than just a community space on campus – it also connects CMC alumni across time!”

To sign up for all open Athenaeum events, please register online.

Anne Bergman


Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing

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