This past weekend, CMC was joined by a group of our young alumni for the annual Forum for the Future conference. The two-day event, hosted by the Alumni Association, consisted of faculty workshops, student speeches, and receptions, and was capped off by the always-immaculate Monte Carlo festivities.
According to the event’s website, the mission of Forum for the Future is “to actively and meaningfully contribute to the life of the institution by fostering constructive communication and interactions among members, the administration, faculty and staff, and the student population; to represent the views and opinions of the young alumni population in relation to relevant policies and issues affecting the College; to foster good relations among members, alumni, and the College community at large; and to provide opportunities for members to develop as leaders.”
Kelsey Brown ’13 was one of several recent graduates to return for the weekend. “I think the event was very well organized, and I give Darrin Roberts [the head of the Alumni Association] huge credit for its success. I loved being able to learn about what is taking place on campus this year, and to see from a new perspective how much the faculty and staff care about the students,” said Brown. “I particularly loved witnessing how the class of 2014 has grown into being the leaders on campus. I was impressed by the current students that gave presentations, and the event made me proud to have graduated from an institution that provided them with the confidence and intellect to put together such thought-provoking talks.”
Students Remy Pinson ’14, Cat Blakelock ’14, Gavin Landgraf ’14, and Madeline Hall’14 were nominated to deliver speeches as part of this year’s ForumTalks, the theme of which was exploring the role of liberal arts in decision making. Each presenter was given the opportunity to put his or her own spin on the subject, paving the way for a diverse array of ideas.
Blakelock, a member of CMC’s ROTC program, delivered a speech entitled “How the Army Benefits from Liberal Arts Leaders.” Said Blakelock, “I had the chance to express the ways in which I have incorporated the knowledge and leadership I’ve gained at Claremont McKenna into my military experiences. Not to mention, the audience’s engagement was quite palpable.”
Pinson’s speech, ‘The Heart of Decision Making,” discussed the necessity of including a more human element in decision-making. “I feel that often the process of decision making is too narrowly reliant on empiricism,” explained Pinson. “I presented an unconventional view of things, more intended to spur discussion than to convince people of my opinions. I was really pleased to have an audience that was open to the multitude of perspectives being presented. It really felt like a collaborative environment, one that was free of critique and judgment.”
Overall, the success of Forum for the Future this year appears to be an affirmation of its continued relevance, and a suggestion of exciting things to come.
Editors Note: This article had originally stated that Remy Pinson, Cat Blakelock, Gavin Landgraf, and Madeline Hall were in the class of 2010. They are all in the class of 2014.