The year was 1881 and members of the class of 1880 had gathered on campus to celebrate their first-year reunion. As they watched the new group of graduates, the young alumnae were overcome with a sense of pride in Smith's educational legacy and immediately felt responsible for instilling those same feelings in future classes. Before the end of that reunion weekend, the idea had been hatched to found their own group-an association-that would continually revitalize the connection they felt to Smith and to each other. The class of 1880 invited the new graduates, as well as the class of 1879, to join them in their venture, and together they drew up a constitution that laid the groundwork for a world-class organization. Their purpose was simple:"To further the well-being of the college and its graduates by increasing the interest of members in the college and in each other."
Forty-seven alumnae first pledged to uphold that mission, and to this day the Alumnae Association of Smith College, which was officially incorporated in 1931, has never strayed from it. Originally conceived as a dues-paying organization, the association is now all-inclusive and boasts a worldwide membership of well over 40,000. It has grown and prospered into a vital organization that continually meets the needs of alumnae and the college community.
While remaining true to the time honored traditions that alumnae treasure, the Alumnae Association provides innovative programs and services which respond to the interests of our diverse alumnae population. Online publications, services, volunteer resources, and educational opportunities in addition to live programs that connect alumnae with current students, fellow graduates and faculty members, all provide avenues for alumnae to remain close to Smith in ways that are most meaningful to them.
The Alumnae Association was founded in 1880 and officially incorporated in 1931. Its records consist of Director's files, Board of Director's minutes, Director of Clubs files, LGBTQ Alumnae Alliance records, honorary degree files, reunion files, Alumnae House files, Alumnae Fund files, and class letters.
Dates of Materials:
1877 - 2019