by Kathleen O’Beirne, ’59
This long-lived club was fouded on July 5, 1916, with 22 members who paid dues of $1.00 each! By 1953, the club had more than 25 paid members and was officially listed as a Branch by the Alumnae Associan of Smith College. By 1979, the dues were $3.00 and jumped to $5.00 in 1981. There was very much a pattern of protracted service in given roles until the 1988 revision of the By-laws with the stipulated turnover/term limits.
Today, we have approximately 250 alumnae in the region, with a paid membership that hovers around 90.The first mention of Book Awards in our records was 1988. Today we give book awards at 17 different high schools in our region. Our dues, among the lowest in the AASC constellation, are $20.00 a year.
What is remarkable about our club is our range of alumnae and our vital connections with current students and candidates. We are the intergenerational linkages that everyone cites as ideal. We would hope for more involvement by alumnae from more recent classes, but they are not a major population in our region.
In order to accommodate the weather and our snowbirds, we schedule our 3 – 4 alumnae events in the fall and late spring/early summer when possible, and offer our candidate outreach events in late August and early January. We welcome any alumnae who find themselves in our region for work or vacation, who are intrigued by our events, or who live in nearby Rhode Island.