President's Annual Report
HONORING OUR PAST
As we pause to note the many achievements of our students, faculty, and staff, we also remember the many contributions of past generations to the CMC community. This year, two of our esteemed professors, Gordon Bjork and Steve Smith, retired after a combined seven decades at CMC. Professor Bjork is a Rhodes Scholar and former college president whose zest for teaching resulted in co-founding CMC's Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Program with Ward Elliott, the Burnet C. Wohlford Professor of American Political Instutions. He also developed the legendary course, Theory and Practice of Commercial Banking, better known as Bank Sim. Based on a seminar Professor Bjork originally created for the California Banker's Association, the course simulates realistic banking operations. Professor Smith's course, Theories of the Good Life, is equally regarded among CMCers. Known as a capstone educational experience, it was described by one colleague as the most pragmatic and goal-oriented class in the CMC curriculum. We are grateful for Professor Bjork and Professor Smith for many years of passionate commitment to their colleagues, our students, and the greater community.
In 2003, we sadly lost two remarkable and unforgettable members of the CMC family with the deaths of Orme Phelps and Harold McClelland, both distinguished professors emeriti of economics and former deans of the faculty. Orme Phelps, a guiding intellectual leader, touched the lives of CMC students during seven decades as a revered member of our community. The son of a Civil War veteran, he was a rising star at the University of Chicago when he joined Claremont Men's College in 1947, one of the original faculty members hired by President George C.S. Benson. Harold McClelland, who earned his doctorate from Harvard University, joined the College in 1958. During a 1995 student interview, Professor McClelland described CMC as "one of the major success stories, if not the preeminent success story, in higher education during the past half-century." This splendid and apt description owes so much to those early faculty members, and colleagues who later joined them. Their contributions to the College were many, and Professors Phelps and McClelland will be missed.
In a time of a recall election, volatile economies, and unpredictable events in the world, the coming months will undoubtedly bring both challenge and opportunity to all of us at CMC. I look forward to working with our splendid faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends toward another memorable and rewarding year.