They say it is impossible to become a great leader without first being a great communicator. The process of relaying one’s intentions, feelings, ideas, and commands must not focus on one’s self, but seek to involve the listener. The same can be said of the Forum. It is intentional and provokes the most important dialogues at Claremont McKenna College. Leading the Conversation is about more than just talking. It is about transforming information into a relevant medium that can reach the intended receiver, and do so in a manner that is compelling, honest, and leads others to action. It is in the best interest of the college to develop leaders with a keen awareness of the messages it is sending and ensure that these messages are compelling enough to engage the intended recipients. Forum for the Future seeks to evaluate this aim and continue developing it members so they might actively and meaningfully contribute to the life of the college and their respective communities. Add your voice to the conversation at this year’s conference on Saturday, October 11, 2014.
The focus of this year’s Forum for the Future was Leading the Conversation. We started the day with a welcome breakfast in the Athenaeum, where we heard from President Chodosh, Chair of the Board of Trustees David Mgrublian ’82 P’11, various other senior staff members, and ASCMC President Ben Tillotson ’15 regarding the state of the College. The conference theme was further explored in various table discussions, where Forum members were able to offer constructive feedback to CMC Public Affairs, Advancement, and Admission staff members on issues facing the College, with a special focus on internal and external communication.
After lunch, the conference continued with ForumTalks, in which Forum members Patrick Atwater ’10 and Jessica Dang ’13 and current CMC students Jared Thomas ’15 and Clancy Tripp ’15 were given a chance to discuss their experiences on a wide variety of topics, such as “Educating, Connecting, and Empowering,” “The Conversation Starts with You,” “Towards a More Human Education Ecosystem,” and “Bread and Circuses: The Power of Satirical Writing in Leadership.” The day continued with a session on communication and leadership with Professor Ron Riggio P’10. The evening finished off with a networking reception with CMC students, a barbecue tailgate, the Homecoming football game against La Verne, and Monte Carlo.
A Picture Worth a Thousand Words: Along with more traditional reporting methods, CMC welcomed a graphic recorder to transform the high energy of Forum for the Future and the inaugural ImpactCMC Weekend (October 10-11) into a pictorial account of ideas discussed during the event, which will take place annually in the fall. The artist's board especially captures the breakfast conversation between CMC President Hiram Chodosh and Board of Trustees Chair David Mgrublian '82 P'11 on the College's foremost priorities and achievements. The pair not only provided an Athenaeum audience of more than 200 with an overview of the state of the College (enrollment and admission rates, endowment returns, building projects, fundraising goals for The Student Imperative), they also discussed CMC's future direction and its unique philosophical mission in higher education (social impact, creative innovation and leadership, engagement across disciplines). "We've never had a 'let's do liberal arts for its own sake' approach at CMC," Chodosh told the audience.