Based in the east Los Angeles county of Claremont from which it is named, Claremont McKenna is a liberal arts college in operation since 1946. A focus of the university is on business management and political sciences, enforced by a motto which translates as ‘civilisation prospers with commerce’. The W.M. Keck foundation is named for the philanthropist, and its donations have contributed to the construction of many campus facilities.
As well as being a dedicated liberal arts college, there are no less than eleven research centres at CMC. The Keck Centre for International and Strategic Studies strives to give students a firmer worldview on a shifting geopolitical landscape, and in 2016 hosted a retrospective on China’s influence in the four decades since the death of Mao Tse-tung. The Mgrublian Center for Human Rights was previously chaired by Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, and organises summer internships for undergraduate students at human rights organisations across the globe.
The Keck Sciences department encompasses the three disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics. The department also offers a concentrated year long introductory course in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, which offers freshman the opportunity to fulfil major requirements in a condensed time.
Vice-President of Starbucks Peter Thum, CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch Michael Jeffries, and Montana governor Steve Bullock are all alumni of the university. Academy Award winner and legendary comedian Robin Williams was briefly a political science major at CMC, but left to pursue his acting career.
Though a commutable distance from the L.A. city, Claremont is renowned for a rustic ‘small town’ feel. The area is also the location of conservative think tank the Claremont Institute.