CMC celebrates leadership mission by ringing NYSE closing bell
Claremont McKenna College had the honor of ringing the New York Stock Exchange closing bell on Aug. 17 in recognition of more than 75 years of preparing students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions.
Led by President Hiram Chodosh and Doug Peterson ’80 P’14 P’15, CMC Trustee and President and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global, a contingent of CMC students, alumni, staff, Trustees, and parents rang the bell with wide smiles from the NYSE podium while enthusiastic supporters cheered from the trading floor below.
With the bell-ringing at the iconic New York location, the College celebrated its recently-completed 75th Anniversary and the thousands of CMC alumni who have led major enterprises, driven innovation, and made significant leadership contributions to the world.
“Yes, the bell rings for CMC’s founders this afternoon, our history. Yes, the bell rings for our accomplishments. Most of all, it rings for the promise of our future. A future world of affairs that calls us to invest in this next great generation. To prepare them for the singular responsible leadership we need to seize our most significant opportunities,” President Chodosh said in remarks before the ceremonial ringing.
“The bell rings today for that. The bell rings for CMC. We are all here to answer its call.”
The NYSE bell-ringing marked another ambitious milestone for the College and its continued commitments to responsible leadership, conducting important academic research, and expanding transformative student opportunities.
In recent months, CMC has announced significant investments in its “future history,” including the Roberts Campus, which will double the size of the campus footprint and further develop the east section through a series of pedestrian walkways; a “sports bowl” with athletic, recreation, and practice fields; academic and administrative buildings; and student housing, among other notable additions. The campus expansion is underway in parallel with the construction of the Robert Day Sciences Center, which is the future home of the Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences, a revolutionary approach to undergraduate science education that integrates all science disciplines, computer and data science, hands-on research, problem-based learning, and policy, business, and ethics in one program.
As he introduced CMC before the bell-ringing, NYSE Vice Chairman John Tuttle expressed his admiration for what the College has stood for during its 75-plus years of preparing responsible leaders. “When we look at Claremont, and we think about your mission and your motto—that civilization prospers with commerce—it couldn’t be a better fit to have you here today to celebrate this.”
Zara Vakath ’24 was among several CMC students who attended the celebration. She said her brother, Zain ’27, will also be joining CMC this fall after being drawn to “the incredible opportunities and resources” she has received at all levels of her college experience.
“As an economics and literature major, I plan to pursue a career in investing. I am fortunate that I’ve had access to personalized academic support and a strong alumni network, both of which have prepared me for my future,” Zara said.
Jacinth Sohi ’11, director of member experience at Found, flew across the country from San Francisco to join the bell-ringing. She expressed how excited and grateful she was to celebrate her alma mater during this historic moment.
“Claremont taught me to really understand interdisciplinary education,” said Sohi, a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) major and Robert Day Scholar while at CMC. “I learned how to think for myself; I learned the skills for responsible leadership. And all of these different elements are so critical to succeed. The school helps you really find your passion, understand what you need to do to succeed in your career field, and sets you up for success with a network—just a true support system to get where you want to be.”
Scott Torrey '91 P'23 P'26 beamed about watching footage of the NYSE bell ringing for decades and finally getting a chance to be on the same stage that "has run commerce for so many years." In his role as President of the CMC Alumni Association, Torrey said he never takes for granted the "strong culture and shared values" that the CMC community holds dear.
"Whether I'm in Hong Kong, New York, or London, every time I get together with alumni, there's a common bond and a common experience that is very powerful," he said.
When asked what was the most memorable part of the day for him, Peterson didn’t hesitate: “Being together with students and families … and really living the dream of Claremont McKenna College, which is developing responsible leaders.” No stranger to big moments in the Big Apple, Peterson said he’s proud of how CMC is always looking for ways to “bring the best to the world.”
“Having graduated from (CMC) and having the foundations of math, of science, of liberal arts, knowing how to think, knowing how to write, and being able to apply that in the world—having this foundation of leadership—is what gave me the opportunity to now be a CEO of a major global company. And it started with an education, and I want to make sure that the students at CMC today have the same opportunities that I did,” Peterson said.
“We’ve always said, we’re trying to not just invest in the future. We’re trying to define the future.”
To watch the full stream of the bell-ringing, including interviews with the CMC community, visit the NYSE archive.