Athenas champ to represent CMC on Rose Parade float

Ella Brissett ’25

Nine Claremont McKenna students (and one recent alumna) are practicing their smiles and waves over winter break, getting ready to take their places on Claremont McKenna’s Rose Parade float as it glides down Colorado Boulevard on January 2, 2023.

These exemplary CMCers will ride the float and represent Claremont McKenna, which celebrates its 75th Anniversary and “bright future” in line with the parade’s theme, “Turning the Corner.”

Meet our float rider, Ella Brissett ’25, who clinched the Athenas tennis team’s second national title earlier this year.

Growing up in Houston, Texas, Ella Brissett ’25 never missed watching the Rose Parade on television with her family.

Now, as a member of the Claremont McKenna float rider team, the biochemistry major said that her family is excited “to cheer me on and enjoy the moment through me.”

This year, Brissett gave her family and CMCers plenty to cheer about. A member of the Athenas tennis team, she won 24 of 27 singles matches – including the final victory clinching the Athenas’ second national championship.

With hopes to enter the medical field, focusing on women’s and public health, Brissett shared, “Claremont McKenna provides the perfect environment of rigorous academics, strong athletics, and a tight-knit community. Because I’m in STEM, a lot of people ask me how hard it is to balance athletics and academics and still participate in CMC activities. I’m able to tell them, honestly, I can, because CMC has so many resources that allow me to do that.”

“CMC is a special place, and I am honored to represent our community in the Rose Parade.”

Favorite Flower: “My favorite flower is the bluebonnet, as it is the Texas state flower.”

Favorite Classes and Professors: “My top two classes are ‘Blackness and Hollywood Film’ with Professor Derik Smith and ‘Organic Chemistry’ with Professor Anna Wenzel. Both topics interested me and challenged me! Also, the professors were both so passionate about their respective subjects.”


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