This story concerns my time just after CMC, but it shows how we are built on personal connections between students and faculty. About two years after my graduation in 1979, I was involved in a difficult legal situation and was on trial in LA county for a serious charge (I wasn’t guilty and was found so by the jury, thanks in part to this story). My lawyer asked if I knew anyone of some importance who could testify to my character. Who might that be? After thinking about it for awhile I decided...
We put out the call, and you answered! Enjoy these stories from fellow CMCers reliving memorable moments that span the decades.
Haven’t shared your story yet and feeling inspired? We’re collecting stories throughout our anniversary year. Visit our Share Your Story page.
Ryan Banfi Pitzer ’17
I will forever be in debt to the CMC literature department. Professors James Morrison, Leland de la Durantaye, Seth Lobis, Robert von Hallberg, and Bruce McKenna have had a huge impact on my career. They continue to be my mentors. Upon taking Cinema and Literature with Professor Morrison my Junior year I knew I wanted to be a professor. I am now a PhD Candidate at NYU in the Cinema Studies department, and I am working towards the goal of being a tenured scholar.
Kevin Goodwin ’79 P’16
Kathy (Evans) Hurley ’80 P’07 has the fabulous distinction of being the first woman admitted to the newly co-educational Claremont Men’s College. I believe I have the slightly less fabulous distinction of being the last man admitted in the last year of the male-only CMC. The administration may confirm or deny my claim, but I believe I am on pretty certain ground. I took some time off after high school. Two reasons. First, I knew I was not ready to go to college and would likely fail if I did....
Harry Wright ’71
I was told a story by a trio of early CMC student leaders, John Devereux ‘57, Bill Van Horn ‘58, and Fred Hayward ‘58. After graduating from Santa Barbara High School in 1954, Fred asked his friend Bill if he could ride with him to Claremont as both boys had been accepted at CMC. Bill, an accomplished athlete, explained he was required to report two weeks before the start of classes for pre season football practices. Fred, although an avid sailor, hadn’t played football in high school....
Juan Carlos Mateos ’85 P’20
In August 1981, I arrived in Claremont from Mexico City. Back then, I never imagined that this lovely city, and southern California in general, would play such a key role in my life. I am very grateful that I was able to graduate from CMC. At CMC I met my best friend in life, Andy Walter, class of ’85 as well. Our mothers met on one of my mother’s visits to Claremont and they became great friends too. After graduating from CMC in 1985 I went back to Mexico City, but until my mother’s passing...
William Mitchell ’14
This is a story about someone who made me think better. Professor Lily Geismer taught me American history and was my thesis advisor. The years have rushed by, but I still vividly remember spending long hours in her afternoon seminars furiously jotting down notes. Yet the most important things I learned from her don't fit in a notebook. She taught me what a good teacher should be. She praised me when I'd earned it and criticized me when I deserved it. She showed me that teaching demands...
Karl Bracken ’97
Professor Gaines Post was not only a fantastic teacher and a brilliant mind- he also is a great friend and has remained so over the 25 years since I graduated. He was the consummate CMC professor- caring greatly about the intellectual development of his students, both in and out of the classroom. He challenged my thinking in his courses, and as my senior thesis reader; he would come to my Stags baseball games and ask specific questions afterwards about decisions I made in a game; he had a...
Fred Hayward ’58
While I was a junior at CMC, two important events took place. 1st, I became engaged to be married during the summer between my junior and senior years. 2nd. I was elected President of the Student Body. The latter part of my junior year, I was studying at a desk on the 3rd floor of Honnold Library, and at about 8:45 P. M. I was shockingly interrupted! My shock was in first seeing the blue uniform of a Police Officer. He dutifully confirmed my name and home address. The officer then wanted to...
Douglas Johnson ’92
One memorable moment was the 2007 or 2008 collaboration between the Rose Institute and the Baron Davis Project on "Crips and Bloods: Made in America" documentary. The movie covered the 1990s gang violence in Los Angeles and the peace efforts that brought about a truce. The documentary was narrated by Academy Award winner Forrest Whitaker and directed by the legendary Stacy Peralta. A number of Rose Institute students collaborated with the production team to turn the production's hand-drawn...
Bruce Bryson ’67
A recent CMC Instagram post described the recruitment of the original faculty, and that got my brain going. I took classes from three of them - Professors Dunbar, Gibbs and Phelps. Each of them contributed very positively in their own way to later life experience. I took Labor Economics from Prof. Phelps, and I did my senior thesis for him. He wrote the textbook for the Labor Economics class, which impressed me no end. He did not assign a term paper for the class, which was a relief. Instead,...
Steve Rodriguez ’77
I really enjoyed my four years of CMC dorm life. My first two years were spent in Fawcett Hall, the next two in Berger. Many great memories. However, there is one in particular I consider special because it represents a major benefit of dorm life. I recall an early December night during first semester of my senior year. I was down in the dumps for a couple reasons, the major one being a struggle to complete my senior thesis. The research was done, but my writing lacked a semblance of order....
Ravi Shah ’18 M’21 and Nina Rathi ’19
Ravi and I met my freshman year through mutual friends, but didn’t hit it off until over a year later at CMC’s wedding party. We ended up being friends for most of college. Our first “date” was at Scripps dining hall for lunch. The summer before my senior year, we were both in LA and spent more time together. We’ve been dating seriously since then!
Lindsay Slocum ’17 and Kevin Lynch ’17
We met on the bus returning from our WOA trips in Yosemite (discussing our shared love for golf), but we didn’t start dating until senior year. We had mutual friends throughout our time at CMC - who eventually brought us together (credit goes to @ale_hanj for setting us up!) Photo is from wedding party senior year!
Justin Rodriguez ’19
The most unforgettable time of my tenure at CMC was my time as an RA. I met one of my best friends—Jeremy Anderson ’19—who introduced me to my day 1 friend—Katie Carrillo ’19. Such a rigorous, difficult, but life-changing experience was made perfect by introducing me to people who I intend to have lifelong friendships with. I'll always love my time at CMC and everything it has done to develop me personally and professionally.
Ruben Medina ’74
Time has passed very quickly. However, vivid memories of Boswell Dorm as well as those many friends, professors, and administrators are cherished today. CMC and the leadership-academic education obtained assisted me during my 40+ years executive-management career. I have lived and worked in Japan, Mexico, and USA, as well as travelled to over 30 countries in my executive life after CMC. Thank you!!
Joe Schreiber P’92
Little did I realize that when I accepted the position as Director of Planned Giving at CMC in 1983, that 38 years later I would still be as excited about our college relationship as a CMC parent and a college supporter. Our son, Darren ’92 PPE, is a professor at the University of Exeter in Exeter, England, teaching political science. Diane and I never expected that he would attend CMC since it was where "Dad worked." His experience at CMC was amazing and provided him with the expertise to be...
Grace (Werner) Gengoux ’02
It was in Dr. Marji Charlop's Autism Clinic that I first discovered a love for working with families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Now, more than 20 years later, I direct my own set of clinical and research programs at Stanford, building directly on the lessons I learned from her at CMC. I will never forget the importance of bringing humor and joy to my work and the valuable role of good data in helping improve quality of life for families. Thank you, Marji!
Dan Goldzband ’78
We were asked to share our graduation memories. Commencement for the class of 1978 began with the playing of Copland's “Fanfare for the Common Man.” We graduates that year were certainly all capable, but not the superstars that the college has successfully attracted, thanks to coeducation and its growing prominence among educational institutions. Rather, we were reasonably intelligent, middle-class men (and women!) who worked very hard and succeeded, and I thought that musical selection was...
Robert Archibald ’72
I'm curious as to whether any other families had 3 sons all attend CMC earlier in its history than my brothers (Richard Archibald-Woodward ’74 and David Archibald ’78) and I. My freshman year began in 1968, Dick's began in 1970, and Dave's began in 1974.
John Mack ’90
If your career is in business, it is hard to imagine a world without spreadsheets. As a sophomore in 1988, spreadsheet software was a recent invention, so it was a rarity for students… especially those like me, who didn’t even own a computer yet. In Marc Massoud’s accounting class, I learned to prepare and analyze financial statements the traditional way… with paper, pencil, and calculator. While I wondered if I would ever use this knowledge, I trusted his guidance and persevered. He even made...
Rick Diaz ’78
When I came to CMC, I was sure I would major in poli sci. At that time, you were required to take a psychology class. Reviewing the catalog, I settled on Behavior Modification with Dr. Laura Schreibman. Taking that class and being inspired by Dr. Schreibman made me question my choice of major. Did I mention it was second semester sophomore year? Did I mention that the following semester I was headed to Madrid? Around December junior year, I decided that I needed to follow my heart, returned...
Susanna Ingalls ’07
In 2006, as a junior, I went to Marc "Dad" Massoud for help because I dreamt of living and working abroad and was exploring ways to do it. He enthusiastically connected me to another student, Greg Pelz ’06, who had done an internship in Frankfurt. I followed in his footsteps, and that was the starting point for a career in the private sector abroad: 7 years in Europe in financial services and now nearly 6 in the Middle East running my own business. Our app just hit 1 million transactions, and...
Peter Gale Nelson ’83
Days before graduating, I hosted a reception in my Claremont tower single—inviting fellow students and many of the faculty with whom I had studied. Robert Fossum was the one faculty member who dropped by for a glass of wine and an exchange of good wishes. Over the years until his death, I got to know Dr. Fossum during chats in the Fossum family living room—sometimes we talked about literature, and often he shared stories by which he expressed his great love for his family. He taught with wit,...
Jeff Lasher ’68
Surfing trips in questionable old $50 vehicles to Baja California Norte and Mazatlan with Hawaii's Bruce "Face" Facer ’68, a gentle spirit, environmentalist, and a great surfer. Facer worked in Alaska's fishing industry for a while, built a kayak, then took 5 years to paddle alone from Alaska to Santa Cruz, CA. "Face" passed away in his sixties. His life story on video is available online.
Carl Roer ’74
My first class as a freshman at CMC in 1971 was English with Robert Fossum. He was instrumental in teaching me how to write effectively. He took the time to meet with me in his office and work with me to improve my writing skills, which helped me immensely in school and in my career.
Deborah Hall ’02
Two psychology professors from my time at CMC solidified my interest in an academic career in the field, Professors Dan Krauss and Mark Costanzo. Professor Krauss has remained a mentor throughout the years. One of the most rewarding parts of becoming a tenured professor was getting to share the news with him.
John Hillbrand ’72
In 1969, I transferred from the U.S. Naval Academy to CMC, and in 1970 my economics professor (and mentor of marginal utility), Procter Thomson, reviewed my term paper titled “Opportunity Cost in the Game of Monopoly” and wrote "A+, brilliant idea, I hope you find the time for more inspiration like this." That comment soon guided me to plan for a one-year independent study in Europe in 1971, and I arranged with the Philosophy department to gain credit based on my journal and records.
Dan Goldzband ’78
My most impressive CMC memories involved being able to meet the remarkable people who came to visit the college. One memory stands out in particular. In 1976, I took Dick Wheeler's Contemporary British Politics course. It was basically a graduate seminar with only 7 students. One evening we had a special guest, Patrick Duffy, a Labour Member of Parliament. He joined us for sherry and then dinner, and how remarkable that was to a sophomore political science major! One of the students, the late...