A match made in Collins

Maddie Galbraith ’23

Hometown: Westchester County, New York
Major: Biology, Pre-Health trackBiology, Pre-Health track

  • Disease Ecology Student Researcher in Professor Sarah Budischak’s lab
  • Student Director of Tour Guides
  • Class of 2023 Class Cabinet
  • Pre-Health Ambassador

When looking at their majors and CMC involvement, it might seem unlikely that Maddie Galbraith ’23, a biology major from New York, and Laura Zimmer’24, an economics and psychology major from Montana, would cross paths.

Yet when Zimmer attended tour guide office hours hosted by Galbraith, they immediately clicked and forged a bond like no other.

The glue that held them together was Collins Dining Hall. This isn’t just because Galbraith is a self-proclaimed “lover of Collins,” or the convenience and ease of not having to cook food, which they both said they appreciated, but rather how their friendship was able to grow through Collins dinner dates.

When asked if they had a standing time, they replied, in unison, “Yes, Monday night, 6 p.m.!” At this point, the two have had dozens of Collins outings together, and even participated in the annual winter dinner where they share fond memories of the “crab legs and pork tenderloin” offered that evening. While the food and memories are fun, to them, Collins means much more than that.

Laura Zimmer ’24

Hometown: Billings, Montana
Major: Economics and Psychology, Leadership Studies Sequence

  • CMS Cross Country, CMS Track and Field
  • Cross Country Leadership Committee
  • Co-President of Claremont Women in Business
  • Student Director of Tour Guides
  • Vice President of the CMS Student Athletic Advisory Committee

Although Galbraith and Zimmer came from vastly different parts of the country, they selected CMC for the typical qualities – small class sizes, access to the consortium, great research opportunities, and career preparation.

What they are going to miss when they graduate is the community fostered at CMC. As Zimmer said about Galbraith, “We’re different! We have different involvements and class years, but through CMC we have been able to become friends, which I think is very common and fostered here.”

While there are many common qualities of a CMCer, they both note how the community supports and encourages everyone’s individual passions and journeys. “We’re a school of 1,300 people, but that means there are 1,300 different CMC experiences,” Galbraith said.


Going to college is a nerve-racking task for incoming students—meeting new people, adjusting to a new environment, moving away from home—are a lot for an 18-year-old, but Zimmer and Galbraith both had some advice for incoming students. “It’s going to be okay—you're going to figure it out,” they both shared. Club opportunities, career preparations, and friendships are all waiting around the corner for all new CMC students.

As tour guides, they often are asked, “How is the food here?” Galbraith and Zimmer can tell the prospective students about the crab legs at the winter dinner, their typical go-to of a chicken breast and salad, or about consortium dining—but when they say they will miss Collins it’s not just about the food and the ease, it’s the special bond, a forever friendship, and an unforgettable community.

Kelly Sullenberger


Office of Strategic Communications & Marketing

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