Our Long Awaited Return

August 30, 2021

Dear CMC Community:

We are here.

Look around today. Take it all in.

Linger outside Collins. Listen to the fountains. Feel your feet stride across Parents Field. Step inside the Athenaeum, Roberts Pavilion, the Hub. Snap a photo by the Four Loops. Connect with a friend, someone you haven’t seen, someone you haven’t yet met. Give yourself a moment to wonder, reconnect, share a story.

For many of us, March 11, 2020 is the last time we saw CMC filled with the energy, excitement, and social warmth we can now rediscover. For many of you, this is the first time you will share and contribute to our full community experience. Please join me in a very special welcome to two entire classes who just arrived last week for their eagerly anticipated introduction to campus life. To our first-year and transfer students, we are thrilled to have you with us in Claremont. To our sophomores, we hope you will build off the close personal connections and hard-earned resilience of last year. To our juniors and seniors, our faculty, staff, and coaches, both returning and new: let’s come together and redouble our efforts to gather ourselves and re-engage.

On behalf of our entire College community, I want to thank each and every one of you for helping us arrive at this moment of long-awaited return and renewal.

Every moment is doubly shaped by what it follows and anticipates. We are all subject to forces outside of our control, but we also have a role in shaping our own response to the challenges ahead.

This year, we face a remarkable confluence of challenges and opportunities: the resocialization of our campus community after 18 months away; a protracted pandemic with a fresh round of public health restrictions to navigate; the excitement of our multi-generational 75th Anniversary celebrations and programs; and big leaps forward in realizing the vision and implementation of The CMC Strategy through our major initiatives, from integrated sciences and computation to the expansion of student opportunity, from The Open Academy and Presidential Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America to 75th Anniversary celebrations, multiple reunions, an all-star list of Ath speakers, strong academic collaborations, and other fun signs of our past, present, and future—many you already see visually on and around campus.

After successful move-in, orientation, and welcome celebrations, we are all grateful to the extraordinary efforts of so many who made this week possible. Our world-class faculty, who bring the best, deeply personalized, and active liberal arts learning to our classrooms. Our incredible staff, who have admirably tackled any challenge thrown at them, from organizing an in-person student-only graduation in record time to getting the College ready for admission tours, residential living and dining, WOA trips, CMS Athletics competition, and the numerous campus adaptations to continuous changes in health and safety regulations. And of course, our dedicated students, who have inspired us with their enduring, generous spirit, leadership, and commitment to persevere during these past months of physical and emotional separation.

We will formally kick off the 2021-2022 academic year with a virtual Convocation at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 2. Several members of the CMC community will receive special recognition and Albert L. Park, Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies, will deliver the keynote address: “What Now?” Please be sure to join us.

Have a wonderful, healthy start to your week, and to everyone, many congratulations and a warm welcome on the occasion of our long-awaited return.

Very best,