Mission Statement

The Claremont McKenna College Mgrublian Center for Human Rights is committed to teaching and empowering students with a rigorous understanding of human rights. From its beginnings, through programs, academics, visiting scholars, travel, service and internships, the center has empowered students to understand the causes and legacies of the Holocaust while developing ethical commitments and leadership qualities necessary to prevent and overcome human rights abuses.

The center fulfills its role in the following ways:

  • Advance scholarship in the study of human rights, Holocaust history and genocide studies, including the Armenian Genocide
  • Provide practical experience for students through internships, task forces and research
  • Promote human rights globally and locally through public advocacy, service and education


Claremont McKenna College was founded on the mission of providing an outstanding liberal arts education and preparing students for leadership roles in government, business and public life. The Center plays a unique role within the mission of the college. The current Mgrublian Center for Human Rights Center grew out of Professor John Roth’s research and teachings on the Holocaust in the 1970s.  Founding donor Leigh Crawford 94’ establish the Center in 2003 as The Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights, with Professor John Roth the founding director. Subsequent center leadership continued with Professor Jonathan Petropoulos and Professor Edward Haley  as The Center for Human Rights Leadership 

Professor Wendy Lower currently directs The Mgrublian Center for Human Rights Director, named for Margaret Mgrublian P’11 and David Mgrublian ’82, P’11  directs the Center’s educational efforts, including student advocacy programs to combat genocide and provide relief to those afflicted by it. Professor Lower  is the John K Roth Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow in the department of History. Her most recent book, Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, was a finalist for the National Book Award.


The core of the Center’s educational program are a sequence of courses designed to enable students to understand the causes and lessons of the Holocaust and contemporary human rights abuses and genocide.

The Center’s programs offer students the opportunity to work with and gain exposure to scholars, activists, advocates, business and political leaders in four broad areas:

  • The Center’s human rights internships support students to work as interns in leading human rights, genocide and Holocaust organizations.
  • Students gain practical experience of the ways in which knowledge, political and economic policies, and leadership must be combined to understand and overcome human rights abuses and genocide in today’s world.
  • The Center also supports course work and research in these fields by faculty and students and brings leading human rights and Holocaust specialists to the campus to speak with students and the larger community.