In the 75 days leading to our anniversary year, starting July 1, Claremont McKenna College is thrilled to celebrate the moments, milestones, and memories that have made it a beloved institution.

CMC 75th Anniversary Countdown

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Our 75th Anniversary is a special time for everyone to come together and share their stories, reconnect with classmates, engage with the College, and explore the past, present, and future of CMC. Join us for the yearlong community celebration!

OUR HISTORY

The College’s history is the product of insightful leaders, generous donors, and an involved community. The 2021-22 academic year will be spent commemorating the milestones of the last 75 years in monthly exhibitions that will focus on faculty, students, campus buildings, presidents, coeducation, research institutes, the role of veterans, and others. This first exhibition will explore the “prehistory” of the College. The story of the College’s founding begins more than 100 years ago at Pomona College and ends with the first day of classes at Claremont Men’s College on September 23, 1946.

1927

A committee to look into the founding of a third college is formed by the Board of Fellows of the Claremont Colleges.

1937

Pomona College graduate George C. S. Benson, grandson of Charles Burt Sumner (a founding trustee of Pomona College), is identified as a prospect in leadership of either the graduate school or men’s college.

1944

The Claremont Colleges are reorganized to effect a more collegial governance and renamed Claremont College. Robert Bernard, who kept the idea of a third college alive, is appointed to the position of managing director of Claremont College.

1946

The Bixby Smith home is renamed Story House in honor of Russell Story’s leadership of the new college. The campus’ only permanent building, Story House is transformed into a dormitory for non-veterans with a kitchen, a dining facility for the student body, and recreational space.

 

 

1946

On June 4, the Board of Fellows appoints George Benson (far right) as director of the men’s college, authorizes Benson to recruit faculty, and accepts the budget raised by the organizing committee ($88,000).

1946

Fifty students are admitted with 10 more on the verge of accepting admission.

1946

On September 22, the day before registration, the student body stood at 86, 11 beyond the break-even point.

1927

A committee to look into the founding of a third college formed by the Board of Fellows of the Claremont Colleges

1937

Pomona College graduate George C. S. Benson, grandson of Charles Burt Sumner (First president of Pomona College), identified as a prospect in leadership of either the graduate school or men’s college.

1944

The Claremont Colleges are reorganized to effect a more collegial governance and renamed Claremont College. Robert Bernard appointed to the position of managing director of Claremont College, who kept the idea of a third college alive.

1946

The Bixby-Smith home is renamed Story House in honor of Russell Story’s leadership of the new college. It is the campus’ only permanent building. Transformed into a dormitory for nonveterans with a kitchen, a dining facility for the student body, and recreational space.

1946

On June 4, the Board of Fellows appoint George Benson (far right) as director of Men’s School, authorized Benson to recruit faculty, and accepted the budget raised by the organizing committee ($88,000).

1946

Fifty students admitted with ten more on the verge of accepting admission.

1946

On September 22, the day before registration, the student body stood at 86, eleven beyond the break-even point.

CMC STORIES

Share Your Story

The lifelong friend you met on move-in day … the research paper you finished in triumph with a beloved professor … a senior road trip you took for one last CMC hurrah with roommates … We need your story for the 75th Anniversary! Join the yearlong fun and share a personal memory with us. Whether life-changing classes, clubs, and athletics teams, unforgettable mentors and speakers, or a cherished tradition on campus, we’d love to learn about what made your CMC experience special.

Help us build a library of submissions to go live on the 75th Anniversary website on July 1. Share your story here, or if easier, send us a photo and caption. We will be in touch if we have any questions. We can’t wait to hear from you!

CMC 75th Anniversary Website Privacy Policy

Consent/Release Form

Claremont McKenna College requests your permission to use, publish, distribute, and reproduce through printed, audio, visual, or electronic means your 75th anniversary post submitted herein. Your authorization will enable Claremont McKenna College and/or its authorized representatives to share your 75th anniversary post without providing compensation and without the right to inspect or approve the finished version. By submitting, you also release and hold harmless Claremont McKenna College and/or its authorized representatives from any and all claims, damages, costs, or expenses (including attorney’s fees) brought by you or your representatives which relate to or arise out of any use of your 75th anniversary post.  You also acknowledge that Claremont McKenna College and/or its authorized representatives shall have the exclusive right, title, interest, and copyright in your 75th anniversary post.

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JOIN US

Be a part of CMC’s 75th Anniversary celebration! There’s never been a better time to get involved. Share your career insights with students or become a mentor. Engage with alumni, faculty, and students in our virtual events. Invest your time, talents, or treasures. And be sure to check back on July 1 for a complete schedule of special anniversary events.

GET SOCIAL

Follow us on social media for information about upcoming events and the latest news about the 75th Anniversary. Each day leading up to July 1, we will have special posts spotlighting each year in CMC’s history, with fun facts, trivia, stories, photos, and more.

If you've ever grabbed a snack from Collins, you have Whitley and Amelia Collins P'51 to thank!

CMC's dining hall is named after the couple, whose son Rogg graduated from CMC in 1951. Whitley, a CMC trustee, and his wife Amelia pledged the initial gift to build what came to be known as “Collins Dining Hall.” The original construction was completed in 1957. Collins Dining Hall then sat 300, distinguished by a magnificent view of Mt. San Antonio. In 1964, Collins Dining Hall was expanded by another 2000 square feet and remodeled.

Now, the view includes the recent installation of Carol Bove art sculptures that further add to the dining experience.

What's your favorite Collins snack? Leave an emoji in our comments to let us know!

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With its state-of-the-art soda fountain, its student lounge and offices, and its convenient auditorium, the McKenna Auditorium and Student Fountain added a note of further solidity to the campus identity of what was yet a pioneering institution when it first opened in 1953.

CMC Founder Donald McKenna proposed to enlist his family in financing an auditorium if the 600-seat facility would be named in honor of his father, A. G. McKenna.

Ground was broken on Parents’ Day, Oct. 25, 1952. A year later, Parents’ Day, Oct. 31, 1953, the new $225,000 facility was dedicated.

What has been your favorite event held at McKenna Auditorium?

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CMC science faculty past & present :
 
By CMC’s academic year 1963-64, majors were available in chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Freeman C. Bovard, a professor within the CMC-Stanford management engineering program, became CMC’s first chemistry professor, leading a new wave of science teaching on campus.
 
Today, CMC’s science faculty have expanded their teaching and found themselves innovating to meet the needs of virtual learning in the COVID-19 era. For Janet Sheung, assistant professor of physics, this meant reimagining a lab curriculum. One of her solutions? Sending each of her students a DIY catapult kit so they could conduct their own experiments outside the classroom.

How did science have an impact during your time at CMC? Did it inspire your career choice? Comment below!
 
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#CMC75🥳🎉 In 1955, out-of-state enrollments at CMC increased to approximately 40. Foreign student enrollments increased to around 20, including a program to bring undergraduates from Thailand and Turkey to the campus. Today, CMC students represent 48 states and territories, and 42 countries! #CMCisMe
In CMC's first academic school year in fall 1946, the Student Council - CMC's earliest form of student government - was created with a constitution. Included were proposed social activities, plans for campus improvement, and an intramural athletic program.

Today, the official student government of CMC - now known as the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) - serve, represent, and lead the CMC student body through direct advocacy work, inclusive programming, and campus organization funding.

Are you a current student or alumnus/a who has served on ASCMC? Comment below with your ASCMC title and grad year!

Check out our stories to meet our current ASCMC leaders and learn what leadership means to them!

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