Claremont McKenna College President Pamela Gann has announced in an e-mail to students that there will be a “Gentlemen’s Studies” sequence, available to CMC male students only, beginning in the spring. Students will be accepted to the program by application only. Gann notes that “only 15 of the wealthiest, most handsome, most alcoholic and most likely to give to the CMC capital campaign” will be chosen. Students are required to complete one course from each of the following areas.
GENT 10: An introduction to the art and science of being a gentleman in the 21st century. This course will help students refine their etiquette, dress, manner of speaking and treatment of household staff. It culminates with a weeklong retreat in London to learn how to give an exceptional handshake.
A Gentleman is a Generally Good Person:
Hiring Household Staff Seminar: Have uniformed maids gone out of style? When to go illegal? How much is too much?
Introduction to Chivalry: Why it isn’t dead and why just opening doors isn’t enough.
Intermediate Philanthropy: It isn’t only for tax deductions and putting your name on cool buildings.
A Gentleman is Cultured:
A Gentleman Abroad: All students who complete the sequence must spend a semester abroad in a location that the head of the department deems “civilized.” Currently London is the only city that meets this requirement.
LIT 171 Quoting Famous Works of Literature to Make Points in Arguments: The class will place a strong emphasis on the works of Shakespeare, especially Henry V. This course is essential for any gentleman who wants to sound far more intelligent than he actually is.
A Gentleman and His Money:
Intro to Acceptable Careers: You really should know this already, but please just go make a lot of money by doing something “leaders” would do. Or just inherit it from your parents and enjoy the good life. Also, you are expected to give at least 25 percent of your estate to CMC when you die, so be ready for that.
Hedge Fund Management 120: All the boring stuff your father hasn’t told you about his job.
Leveraged Buyout Seminar With Henry Kravis: Students will learn the dirty details of this beautiful art.
A Gentleman’s Guide to Food, Drink and Dress:
A Gentleman Gets Dressed: Each student accepted will receive a $10,000 check courtesy of Brooks Brothers to revamp the basics of their wardrobe. Those unwilling to bid their Bro-tanks farewell need not apply.
Cuff Links: How silly is too silly? Which animals are unacceptable?
Beer, Wine and Cocktails: German or Belgian? Were California Pinots better in 1997 or 2007? Shaken or stirred? What are the manliest cocktails?
Wine and Cheese Tasting: Each student will be paired with a sommelier to teach them the intricacies of wine tasting.
A Gentleman’s Love Life:
Cocktail Parties: How to eat caviar without staining your linen, when to avoid the ceviche and how to get out of the conversation with that drunk guy you just met who is bitching about his ex-wife and find the ones worth talking to. Is it acceptable to bring out your monogrammed flask if the bar isn’t serving strong enough drinks?
A Gentlemen’s Guide to Courting: Is a weekend getaway with the lucky lady to Paris excessive? Are there any acceptable places to go on a date in the Inland Empire?
Choosing the Right One: Does she read The Economist almost as much as you do? Is her mother not a psycho? Does she make you as happy as the time when your mom bought you your first ascot? Chances are she’s the one.
Honeymooning 101: How to avoid getting your wife pregnant in the first week of marriage and ruining a brilliant opportunity.
Infidelity 123: Although it is the policy of CMC to recommend against this, we want you to be smart. This class is a comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of shenanigans involving fellow gentlemen’s sisters, mistresses and high-class escorts.
A Gentleman and Recreation:
Choosing the Right Country Club: A comprehensive guide to a gentlemen’s fifth most important life decision.
Pheasant Hunting: Please note that this is different from PE 194: Peasant Hunting.
Sailing with John Faranda: We bought him a bigger yacht so that more students could enroll in this class.
Croquet Etiquette: No fights, please.
Advanced Tennis and Golf Spectating: The appropriate clap is a lost art form.
Film Studies: Students watch Downton Abbey Seasons 1-3.
Students who complete the Gentlemen’s Studies sequence requirements are expected to write their Senior Thesis on a relevant topic. Some sample topics are listed below:
“Avoiding Breaking Through the Glass Floor: Why Gentlemen Have to Work at Least Occasionally”
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Losing Money at Casinos and Horse Races”
“James Bond and Don Draper: A Comparative Study”
“The Glorious Resurgence of Gin in Cocktails: Why Vodka’s Day in the Sun is Done”
– Charlie Montgomery ’15 CMC