History of the College
Established in 1946, Claremont McKenna College (CMC) is a highly selective, independent, coeducational, residential, undergraduate liberal arts college with a curricular emphasis on economics, government, and public affairs. Unlike so many other colleges, which champion either a traditional liberal arts education or the acquisition of professional and technical skills, CMC builds bridges between the two. By combining the intellectual breadth of the liberal arts with the more pragmatic concerns of public affairs, based on principles established by founding President George C. S. Benson, CMC helps students acquire the vision, skills, and values they will need to lead society. As expressed in the College's mission statement CMC seeks to "educate its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions, and to support faculty and student scholarship that contribute to intellectual vitality and the understanding of public policy issues."
Originally founded as Claremont Men's College, CMC became coeducational in 1976 and changed its name to Claremont McKenna College in 1981 in honor of its most visionary and founding trustee, Donald C. McKenna. With an on-campus enrollment of approximately 1,000 students, CMC is currently the youngest and smallest college ranked in the U.S. News & World Report top 20. Our over 8,000 alumni have bolstered that recognition through their success. Fully 70 percent of CMC graduates go on to advanced degrees at prestigious institutions. And one in eight graduates now holds a position in top management. In doing so, they also do honor to the Claremont McKenna College motto: "Crescit cum commercio civitas," (Civilization prospers with commerce).
CMC houses cutting-edge Research Institutes, offering students and faculty the unique opportunity to merge research, teaching and learning. CMC is also a member of The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions. Based on the Oxford/Cambridge model, The Claremont Colleges represent the only planned consortium in the United States offering CMC students diverse opportunities and resources typically only found at much larger universities.
In September 2007, Robert A. Day, the Founder and Chairman of The TCW Group, Inc., pledged a $200 million personal gift to establish the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance and its unique programs. This was the largest recorded gift to a liberal arts institution, the largest gift in the field of finance and economics, and among the top 20 largest gifts ever given to a college or university. Through his generosity, the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance now offers multiple programs, including a Master of Arts in Finance degree.