CMC Parent News - Spring 2023
In this issue:
Celebrating the Class of 2023: A Commencement Overview | Leer en español
Soll Center: A Gateway to Success for CMC Students and Alumni
Introducing Peer Health Ambassadors (PHAs)
CMC Community Spotlight: Meet Coach Charlie Griffiths
New Student Parties – Summer 2023
Parent Network Board Meeting Minutes

Celebrating the Class of 2023: A Commencement Overview
By Jay Cohen P'23

Parent Newsletter  

CMC’s 75th Commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 13th. As the father of a graduating senior, this commencement will be the most important to me personally and, while part of me wishes our son’s college experience could continue longer, we are excited to celebrate four years of growth and hard work. 

For families of graduating students, there is a page set up on the CMC website with important dates, times, and additional information. Click here to learn more. 

Some key items to keep in mind are:

  • On Friday, May 12 at 4:30 p.m. everyone is invited to the Welcome Reception hosted by the CMC Alumni Association. Graduates, families, and friends should make their way to Gann Quadrangle which is located on the lawn between Kravis Center and the glass structure known as The Massoud.

  • On Saturday there are a number events, but the big show starts at 2:00 p.m. on Parents Field. No tickets are required and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Photos will be taken of each student so if you don’t have a 400mm lens, there is no need to fret. Photos will be sent around the end of the month via email. The field will be tented.

  • Toast your graduates with a glass of champagne at the 4:00 p.m. reception at Gann Quadrangle. This is the best time to snap a picture of your graduate and their classmates!

  • Hopefully your graduate will have done some serious packing during the week leading up to graduation as all students must be fully moved out of their dorms/apartments by noon on Sunday, May 14.

  • For those family members that cannot attend in person, live streaming of the Commencement ceremony will be available. Please visit on Commencement day to watch the ceremony live.

For me, I never expected to be so involved with CMC when our son decided to attend. However, my involvement with the Parent Network Board has been remarkably rewarding and I feel as if I will always be part of this wonderful community. Graduation is a bittersweet event and just writing this article I can feel my many emotions welling up inside of me. It is allergy season in the Northeast but I suspect my watery eyes are due to more than just the pollen drifting off the trees. I want to wish the best of luck to all of the graduating students. I am sure you will do amazing things in the years ahead!

Back to top

Celebrando la Clase del 2023: Información para la graduación
Por Jay Cohen P'23

Parent Newsletter  

La ceremonia de graduación tendrá lugar el sábado 13 de mayo. Como padre de un estudiante que se graduara, este momento será el más importante para mí y, aunque una parte de mí desea que la experiencia universitaria de nuestro hijo continúe por más tiempo, estamos emocionados de celebrar cuatro años de crecimiento y exitos con nuestro hijo y sus amigos.

Para las familias de estudiantes que se gradúan, hay una página configurada en el sitio web de CMC con fechas importantes, horarios, e información adicional.

Haga clic aquí para obtener más información.

Algunos elementos clave a tener en cuenta son:

  • El viernes, 12 de mayo a las 4:30 p.m. todos están invitados a una recepción de bienvenida organizada por la Alumni Association de CMC. Los graduados, las familias, y amigos deben dirigirse a Gann Quadrangle, que se encuentra en el césped entre Kravis Center y la estructura de vidrio conocida como El Massoud.

  • El sábado, 13 de mayo hay varios eventos, pero el gran espectáculo comienza a las 2:00 p.m. en Parents Field. No se requieren boletos y los asientos son por orden de llegada. A cada estudiante se le tomara una foto con su diploma, las cuales serán enviadas por correo electrónico después de la ceremonia.

  • Brinde por sus graduados con una copa de champaña a las 4:00 p.m. en una recepción de celebración en el Gann Quadrangle, por Kravis Center. ¡Este es el mejor momento para tomar una foto de su graduado y sus compañeros de clase!

  • Con suerte, su graduado habrá empacado seriamente durante la semana previa, ya que todos los estudiantes deben mudarse por completo de sus dormitorios/apartamentos antes del mediodía del domingo, 14 de mayo.

Para aquellos miembros de la familia que no puedan asistir en persona, estará disponible la transmisión en vivo. Visite el día de la graduación para ver la ceremonia.

Para mí, nunca esperé estar tan involucrado con CMC cuando nuestro hijo decidió asistir. Sin embargo, mi participación en el Parent Network Board (la Junta de la Red de Padres) ha sido muy gratificante y siento que siempre seré parte de esta maravillosa comunidad. La graduación es un evento agridulce y solo escribiendo este artículo puedo sentir muchas emociones brotando dentro de mí. Es la temporada de alergias en el noreste, pero sospecho que mis ojos llorosos se deben a algo más que al polen que cae de los árboles. Quiero desear lo mejor a todos los estudiantes que se gradúan. ¡Estoy seguro de que harán cosas increíbles en los próximos años!

Back to top

Soll Center: A Gateway to Success for CMC Students and Alumni
By Dahlia Jabro P'26

Parent Newsletter  

As the academic year draws to a close, some Claremont McKenna students are preparing to graduate and embark on their new journeys, while others are planning for their upcoming school year. Whether they are staying or leaving, CMC students and alumni can always count on the Soll Center for Student Opportunity to support them in achieving their personal and professional goals.

The Soll Center is home to three services: Career Services, Sponsored Internships & Experiences, and Scholar Communities. These resources offer personalized coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities for students and alumni at all stages of their careers. The Soll Center assists students and alumni in career guidance, interview skills, and job searches. Currently, 88% of the class of 2023 has utilized the resources at the Soll Center and can continue to use their services because CMC offers lifetime access to all of their graduates. Regardless of where they are professionally, the Soll Center’s doors will always be open for CMC alumni.

For CMC students, the Soll Center provides experiential learning. All students are encouraged to be in contact with the Soll Center to formulate individualized strategies to achieve their goals. “We want the internship/experience to be an exploration to determine a student’s true objectives,” said Ursula Diamond Director for Student Opportunities, “some internships require early planning.” Students interested in software engineering, consulting, and financial services will want to reach out to the Soll Center by the fall of their junior year for an opportunity in the summer of their junior year. All other industries typically recruit in the spring semester prior to the summer. CMCers interested in pursuing Investment banking internships for the summer of their junior year should contact the Soll Center by the spring of their sophomore year. “It is important that students know we are here for them all year long and to email us to schedule a meeting even in the summer as they navigate their summer experiences,” shared Amy Flanagan ’11, director of the Robert Day Scholars and Scholar Communities. 

Additional information about the Soll Center is available online. Parents or their employers who are interested in recruiting Claremont McKenna students can post opportunities on the CMC Career Services platform, Handshake, using this online form

Back to top

Introducing Peer Health Ambassadors (PHAs)
By Julie Hill P'24

Parent Newsletter  

One of my favorite things about being on the Parent Network Board (PNB) is when we have the opportunity to listen to special presentations during board meetings. Over Family Weekend in February, we were extremely lucky to learn from Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Diana “DT” Graves ’98, and two of the Peer Health Ambassadors, José Najas ’25 and Pallavi Raju ’26, who introduced us to a new initiative launched this spring for the benefit of all of our students.

We all know it has been an extremely stressful few years that has taken a toll on our children’s overall health and wellness. Peer Health Ambassadors are here to help bridge that gap. These six Peer Health Ambassadors (PHAs) are highly trained CMC students who are there to support, guide, or just listen. Each PHA has completed NASPA Certified Peer Educator Training and were chosen for these roles based on their ability to be empathetic, trustworthy and supportive of their fellow CMCers.

This spring semester, they have focused most of their activities on launching the initiative, educating the student body about who they are, offering small groups and fun activities to increase awareness, and build trust. They hold regular office hours in the Heggblade Annex, where any student can walk in and seek support.

As someone who has personally journeyed with depression, I was thrilled and touched by the warmth, consciousness and intention exhibited in the creation and execution of this program and in the selection of these six PHAs. The passion and wisdom displayed by José and Pallavi, who spoke with us, was quite awe inspiring that I took three pages of notes. They truly are here to support our children and gave such a warm, approachable impression. I know any CMC student who chooses to speak to one of the PHAs or participate in one of their events will be all the better for the experience. 

Please visit to learn more about the Peer Health Ambassador program and encourage your students to check them out!

Back to top

By Marisol Rivera Thurman P'24

Parent Newsletter  

School’s out! For some, the re-entry transition of a college student returning to live at home with parents can be stressful. Many students have planned out their summers with travel and internships. Others might still be looking for ways to fill their time. Below you’ll find two lists that can help you support your student no matter what camp they are in. 

Here are some thoughts from the Dean of Students office that might help make things smoother:

  • Remember, they have been doing life on their own all semester—with self-imposed curfews—and doing just fine.

  • Every year of college amounts to massive personal growth—they may have adopted different ways of eating, exercising, socializing, thinking about religion, politics, etc. This is the goal of a CMC education, so long as they stay open-minded to your and others’ perspectives and lifestyles too.

  • It’s ok to remind your student that living with a family often requires more patience, courtesy, and “pitching-in” than is the case when away at college. Family routines matter, and anyone living at home should be attentive and respectful of those routines.

  • For returning first-years, it may be harder for your student to connect with high school friends than they think. Remind them that everyone has grown and may have changed a bit since they headed to college.

  • Some students may find the transition home to be a bit lonely if they are leaving close friends behind at CMC. Normal—and it will pass.

  • Above all, let them feel that you missed them and you’re proud of them. That goes a long way in adjusting back home.

Many students have travel, internships or jobs lined up for the summer. Many, however, find themselves with the luxury of time after a busy and stressful college semester. If your student is feeling anxious with the sudden lack of structure and work, do not fret! There are many ways to put together an interesting and productive summer:

Consider the Following:

  • Look for part-time jobs

  • It is still possible to find internships.

  • Put together an interesting reading list!

  • Research an interesting question- Perhaps they discover a passion or the topic for their Senior Thesis

  • Do community service. The world needs them.

  • Meet with older members of the community to ask questions and learn their stories. 

  • Get creative—what would help them grow the most this summer?

  • Some students choose to take classes in the summer to transfer credit back to CMC. CMC’s transfer credit policies can be found here. If your student decides to pursue summer school, always get the course pre-approved for transfer using this form.

  • The Soll Center for Student Opportunity is available to students all summer long. Students can meet with CMC’s professional staff to help guide their summer plans or plan for their next year.

  • The Center for Global Education Team is available for consultations during the summer for students who are considering taking advantage of one of CMC’s many off-campus study programs including:

  • Students might also want to start thinking about the various fellowships and national awards that they qualify for.

  • The Dean of Students Office is open all summer and ready to assist students as needed.

Back to top

CMC Community Spotlight: Meet Coach Charlie Griffiths
By Tracey Breazeale P'23 P'24 P'27

Parent Newsletter  

Charlie Griffiths has been coaching CMS Swim and Dive for 22 years, longer than most of our students have been alive. During his tenure the Stags and Athenas have experienced tremendous success with both teams winning SCIACS and qualifying several individuals and relays for NCAA championships where they have placed, won and even set national records. But to Charlie, coaching is about more than just fast swims and winning races.

Charlie originally came to CMC/CMS because he wanted to coach in a high-end academic environment in NCAA Division III at a place that offered an opportunity for success. He keeps coming back year after year because CMS continues to provide that. Plus, as someone who grew up in the Midwest, he appreciates picking fruit from a citrus tree on a sunny 75-degree day in January on his way to coach swimming outside at a pool with views of snow-capped mountains. When Charlie is not at the pool he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking and paddle-boarding with his wife and daughter. He also enjoys watching “old movies” and the team will tell you that he’s quick to quote classic 1980’s films, probably ones we all grew up watching and our kids have never heard of.

Coach Griffiths loves seeing people achieve their goals, whatever they may be, and finds it rewarding to play a role in helping direct individuals and groups toward success in and out of the pool. For him, the ultimate goal is for our student-athletes to succeed academically, improve in the pool, engage in campus life beyond their sport, and have fun through the process. Everything he does, including scheduling, training design, and how team members and coaches interact focuses on those tenets. Charlie believes that if a student can achieve those four goals, then performance results typically take care of themselves. The greatest honor for Charlie is when alumni say that CMS swimming and diving was the most memorable and meaningful part of their college experience. Many team members form life-long friendships. It is his hope that swimmers and divers appreciate today’s opportunity to learn, achieve, and positively impact those around them.

Although Charlie has seen a lot of changes over the 22 years he has been with CMC/CMS much remains the same. As an institution CMC has grown from a young, ambitious college into a more established, but still ambitious institution. Every year the level of competition within the SCIAC and the NCAA gets deeper and more competitive. We call this “swimflation.” What was considered good 10 years ago isn’t good enough now, which pushes the team to continue to find new ways to improve. However, current CMS athletes share DNA with those who came before them. Facilities and practice plans may change, but CMC has always attracted student-athletes who excel academically, athletically, and deeply connect with their teammates.

When asked what changes he hopes to see in CMS athletics, Charlie had this to say: “CMS is working from an incredibly strong foundation. There’s a phenomenal cadre of coaches in our department and the colleges support us with quality facilities, staff, and a healthy mission. It is a competitive world, though, and to unequivocally provide the nation’s premier small-college leader-scholar-athlete experience, we’ll need to grow our resources for assistant coaching salaries, travel opportunities for competitions, educational programming and targeted recruiting, plus executing the Sports Bowl vision as part of CMC’s Master Plan. It is an exciting time to be at CMC/CMS.”

Charlie has seen hundreds of CMC athletes thrive during their time at CMC and beyond. We can all benefit from his experience with these wise words of wisdom:

For those starting their college career: “Internalize your core values and arrive on campus physically fit and with a growth mindset. You’re going to meet new people and adapt to new academic, athletic, and social environments. If you’re physically ready for your sport and already know your decision-making process when faced with challenges, you’ll thrive.”

For athletes nearing the end of their collegiate experience: “You’ll have moments to reflect on your career, but remember that this will be your first and only senior year in college.” My advice for seniors is similar to my advice for anyone: Embrace the journey and live in the moment.”

And finally for parents of CMC of athletes: “Congratulate yourself! You’re the parent of a CMC athlete! Love and support them and enjoy watching your kids pursue their passion.”

Back to top

New Student Parties – Summer 2023 

Parent Newsletter  

This summer, join the Office of Alumni and Engagement all over the world to welcome the Class of 2027, transfer students, and new families. New Student Parties are fun and festive regional programs designed to help new students and their families connect with others in their area before this exciting new journey begins.

In the past years, CMC has hosted parties in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, the Tri-State Area, Atlanta, Hong Kong, and beyond. A full list of cities and registration will be available in June.

We hope to see you there!

Back to top

Parent Network Board Meetings

The Parent Network Board meets quarterly to discuss ways to enhance the College experience and to hear from College leadership. Read the February 2023 Board meeting minutes here

Back to top

Past Parent Newsletters:

Winter 2023
Fall 2022

Summer 2022
Spring 2022