The Center’s mission is to instill in students an understanding of human rights as central to moral conduct and ethical decisions in their personal lives, in their careers and in the public arena. In fulfillment of its mission, the Center:
- Promotes human rights globally and locally through public advocacy, service and education;
- Provides practical experience for students through internships, task forces and research;
- and Advances scholarship in the study of human rights, Holocaust history and genocide studies, including the Armenian genocide.
Claremont McKenna College educates its students for thoughtful and productive lives and responsible leadership in business, government, and the professions. Anchored in Holocaust and genocide studies, the Center’s focus on human rights distinctively augments and advances the College’s mission. The Mgrublian Center for Human Rights (formerly the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights) had its origins in teaching and research about the Holocaust that Professor John K. Roth began in the early 1970s. A founding gift from Leigh Crawford ’94 enabled President Pamela Gann to announce the Center’s birth in March 2003, with Roth as the founding director. Professor Jonathan Petropoulos succeeded Roth in 2007, followed by Professor Edward Haley who directed the renamed Center for Human Rights Leadership until 2014. In 2015, through a generous gift from Margaret Mgrublian P’11 and David Mgrublian ’82, P’11 the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights was formally named. The Center’s current director, Professor Wendy Lower, is the John K. Roth Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow.
The core of the Center’s curricular program is the Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies sequence, a selection of cross-disciplinary courses encompassing ethics, philosophy, history, government, religious studies, and others. In addition, the Center offers research opportunities via the Research Fellowship program and through faculty-student guided research projects that draw from the Center’s special collection of books and films in the Roth Library. To supplement the academic and research experience, the Center brings leading human rights and Holocaust specialists to campus to speak with students and the greater community.
The Center’s extra-curricular programs enable students to interact with scholars, activists, advocates, business and political leaders through partnered internships. The Center maintains strategic relationships with leading human rights, genocide and Holocaust organizations allowing students to gain practical experience and knowledge necessary for understanding and overcoming human rights abuses and genocide in today’s world.