CMC to double campus footprint, fueled by $140 million donation from George Roberts CM ’66

A large green construction fence stands on the other side of a sidewalk.
With a sizable donation from a CMC alum, the college has plans to break ground on both sides of Claremont Boulevard to expand its campus. (HuxleyAnn Huefner • The Student Life)

Claremont McKenna College plans to double its campus footprint with new athletic facilities and a previously-planned science center, thanks to a $140 million gift from trustee and alumnus George Roberts CM ’66, the school announced in an April 22 news release.

The development will add 75 acres of land east of Claremont Boulevard, currently an empty quarry owned by multiple 7C institutions, creating “the opportunity for CMC to realize all its future academic, social and residential opportunities,” the college said.

The new and redeveloped portions of campus will feature new administrative and academic buildings, student apartments, eight athletic and practice fields, a new aquatics center, a golf practice range, a recreational area and a Commencement Green. Additionally, three pedestrian malls will be created to “encourage interaction, engagement and public art,” the school said. 

The new Robert Day Science Center, which will replace the existing baseball field along Claremont Boulevard and Ninth Street, is slated to host the Kravis Department of Integrated Sciences, which CMC said in February will focus on “computationally-rich science curricula” and “science in the public sphere.” The department was intended to coincide with CMC’s withdrawal from the Keck Science Department jointly operated with Scripps College and Pitzer College.

CMC’s athletic facility, which opened in 2016, is also named after Roberts, following his unrestricted gift of $50 million to the college in 2012. The school said it hopes this latest gift will encourage further donations to “position CMC for continued leadership for generations to come.” 

To honor the gift, CMC’s board of trustees said it would designatae the portion of the school east of Mills Avenue the “Roberts Campus.” 

“I hope this gift enables CMC to ensure its place as the college for the future, and provides the education and experience to help deserving young people contribute and compete in the world of the future,” Roberts said, according to the release.

Roberts co-founded global investment firm KKR & Co. in 1976, now one of the five largest private equity firms in the world. alongside Jerome Kohlberg and Henry Kravis ’67, who is also a trustee. Forbes puts his net worth at around $8 billion. 

Students at the Claremont Colleges have recently protested the firm’s investments, citing them as environmentally detrimental and damaging to Indigenous lands in particular, and calling for CMC to remove the names of Kravis and Roberts from campus facilities.

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