Proud to be part of the Rose Parade and CMC’s history

Natalie Bitetti ’24

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 Natalie Bitetti ’24 from La Crescenta, Calif.

Days after riding on the CMC float in the 134th Rose Parade, Natalie Bitetti ’24 will board a plane bound for Copenhagen, Denmark, for a spring semester abroad.

Both trips have her excited.

“I’m looking forward to the moment when our float turns the corner onto Colorado Boulevard, and we see the endless sea of people. I’m excited for the sudden wall of loudness and color,” says the La Crescenta native, whose family will be out in force to watch.

They live so close that the B-2 stealth bomber, which traditionally kicks off the parade, flies right over their house.

Bitetti, who plans to become a physical therapist, is a young woman of many parts. She is an All-American cross country runner and a gym rat with a passion for anthropology and human biology. She loves her CMC jobs as a hostess at the Athenaeum and a student athletic trainer aide.

“I am proud to be chosen to represent and be part of this historic moment in CMC history,” said Bitetti of her Rose Parade float ride.

CMC has been a remarkably good fit for her. “It’s a place where I am able to compete in multiple sports, study abroad, and choose an off-campus major,” she said. “And I am able to live on this beautiful campus with amazing people and facilities.”

It’s also the kind of school where her academic adviser and favorite professor, biologist Lars Schmitz, regularly runs alongside CMC’s cross country team. “He’s an incredibly positive and supportive presence and has helped me believe in myself in numerous aspects of life,” Bitetti said. “I am grateful to have had so many incredible opportunities and experiences through CMC. I have met so many friends and mentors.”

Favorite Flower: “Anything big and bright, especially orange and pink ones.”

Favorite Course: Anthropology of Science, Medicine, and Technology.

Favorite Campus Hangout: Roberts Pavilion.


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