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Clubs & Groups

Group of alumnae at an event
 

In 1890, the first Smith club—the Smith College Club of New York City—was founded with the goal of providing alumnae an opportunity to socialize and raise awareness about Smith. Today, there are more than 100 active Smith clubs around the world, each powered by the energy and commitment of volunteers. Some clubs are large, well-established and have a robust volunteer structure, while others are smaller with fewer financial and personnel resources. Whatever the size, clubs offer rich and interesting programs in your area. Join your local Smith club and be part of the fabric that weaves together the past, present and future of your alma mater.

Smith Clubs

Websites are created by and for the clubs of Smith College. Information on these websites is intended for communication among Smith alumnae. Use of this information for any other purpose is strictly prohibited. Smith College and the Alumnae Association of Smith College are not responsible for the content of club websites.

Alabama

Arizona

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Iowa

Illinois

Indiana

  • Smith College Club of Indianapolis
    Facebook

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

 

Michigan

Minnesota

Missouri

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Oklahoma

  • Smith College Club of Southwest Oklahoma
    Email

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

Wisconsin

Wyoming


Canada

Smith in Europe Facebook

Belgium

France

Germany

Greece

Italy

Netherlands

Spain

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom

Smith Alumnae in South Asia Facebook

Bangladesh

China

Hong Kong

India

Japan

Pakistan

Singapore

South Asia

South Korea

Sri Lanka

  • Smith Alumnae in Sri Lanka
    Email

Taiwan

Dubai

Israel


Affinity & Special Interest Groups

The Office of Alumnae Relations strives to help alumnae connect to Smith and to one another in ways that address special interests and common bonds. The Affinity and Special Interest Program offers opportunities for alumnae with shared interests to establish online and in-person communities. 

For questions or information on affinity group guidelines or creating an affinity group, please contact the OAR at alumclub@smith.edu or call 800-526-2023, extension 4.


Websites are created by and for the affinity groups of Smith College. Information on these websites is intended for communication among Smith alumnae. Use of this information for any other purpose is strictly prohibited. Smith College and the Alumnae Association of Smith College are not responsible for the content of affinity group websites.

You may submit proposals to the OAR for short-term projects or programs that may be of interest to a designated group.

Guidelines

  • Advances the interests of Smith College, the AASC and alumnae and does not conflict with their mission
  • Open to all Smith alumnae
  • Encourages involvement with local Smith clubs
  • Affirms support of the AASC by developing volunteer leaders

Individuals interested in organizing an affinity or special interest group should contact the OAR to discuss the information needed for a written proposal. Proposal requirements vary depending upon the organization.

  • Proposed group leader electronically submits proposal to alumclub@smith.edu
  • ASIC members review proposal and work with the proposed group leader(s) to make necessary changes
  • ASIC chair sends proposal approval notice to group leader via email
  • Group seeking an affinity designation submits bylaws to alumclub@smith.edu for OAR board approval

The Affinity & Special Interest Committee (ASIC), an advisory committee of the AASC Board of Directors, provides oversight, support and guidance for Affinity and Special Interest Groups (ASIGs). The committee’s mission is to support the efforts of alumnae who wish to connect through identity, interests, areas of practice or other factors outside of class year or geographic location.

The ASIC chair holds a seat on the AASC Board. ASIC members serve as liaisons to the Regional Club Coordinator Committee (RCC). The OAR plans and hosts events evaluated by ASIC to enhance college priorities. Alumnae of color and professional conferences happen on alternating years; ASIC identifies the planning committee chair for the alumnae of color conference and appoints a liaison to the professional conference planning committee.

Planning An Event

Clubs and groups engage in events that enhance the alumnae connection with the college and raise public awareness of Smith’s excellence. Smith club programs vary according to members’ interests. Examples include:

  • organizing a book club
  • sending care packages to students
  • engaging in community service
  • creating theme-based sub-groups for investing, cooking, knitting and crafts, walking/hiking
  • targeting young alumnae with events such as bowling, after work meet-ups, game night (including Smithopoly!)
  • organizing a panel of alumnae with similar fields of interest or expertise, such as women in science, law, education, the arts, or health and wellness
  • celebrating Smith traditions such as Mountain Day, Julia Child Day, Christmas Vespers and Otelia Cromwell Day
  • hosting events for prospective students or a summer send-off party for first-years and their parents

Publicizing Your Event

Does your club or group have an event you want to publicize? Contact the OAR at alumclub@smith.edu. Smith alumnae events around the world are posted on the Events Calendar.

For tips to increase event attendance and membership, see Communications.

Insurance coverage for all club events is provided under the college’s liability policy. See Volunteer Resources for more information.

For more ideas, see Additional Resources for Clubs & Groups. We encourage you to connect with fellow club leaders for advice and counsel on ideas and best practices. The Office of Alumnae Relations staff can offer you support in planning a program.

Book clubs are a wonderful way to reinvigorate your club’s membership and keep alumnae regularly engaged. Smith book clubs have sprung up globally. See Communications for ideas on boosting attendance and celebrating diversity.

Smith College values its alumnae and provides many tools to help them connect to one another and to the college, whether in person or virtually, as individuals, or as volunteer-led affinity groups and clubs. The college does not govern alumnae groups nor prescribe content for groups’ events. The selection of a book or other program content by an alumnae group or club does not imply an endorsement by Smith College or the Alumnae Association of Smith College.

Starting a Book Club

Smith club presidents often find that book clubs attract alumnae who don’t traditionally affiliate with their Smith clubs but are interested in continuing their education and connection to the college. Book clubs require a few basic ingredients.

A Good Book

It’s best to let the point person choose the group’s first book and have participants come to the first meeting with their suggestions. Paperbacks are a good first choice for affordability and portability. Independent booksellers sometimes offer book club discounts.

A Little Time

It is standard practice to have a month to read a selection. Meetings should go for about an hour and a half, with the first hour devoted to discussion and the last half-hour for socializing.

A Regular Schedule and a Bit of Publicity

After the book list has been created, mail it to participants and include it in the club’s newsletter and web page announcements. Rotate locations and discussion leaders.

Prompting Questions

It’s good to have a few prepared questions to prompt discussion. Book publishers often offer discussion guides.

Three Willing Volunteers

The Point Person: This volunteer will field calls from interested members and maintain the book club membership list, book list and location schedule.

Book Discussion Leader: This volunteer position will rotate through the book club. This person will prepare questions and a short biography of the author.

Hostess: This position rotates and should not be either the point person or the discussion leader.

The Perfect Spot

Consider holding your event at a local library at the same time as their “Young Reader’s Circle” or other “Read Aloud” programs. This will allow mothers of small children to attend without arranging for child care. As a bonus, this will also reinforce the love of reading in the next generation.

Reading Suggestions

For ideas, browse current and past selections for entering students, read a faculty book and check out alumnae books featured in WordSmith and the Smith Alumnae Quarterly. The Gate also regularly feature the latest books from faculty and alumnae. Submit your group’s reading list suggestions to alumclub@smith.edu.

Stay connected to current students from your area by sending end-of-semester care packages to them. Students often send warm expressions of appreciation for receiving a box of homemade baked goods, gift certificates for local businesses, cards and other goodies, like warm socks for the winter. Here are some helpful guidelines to follow if your club wants to send care packages.

Timing

Care packages/gifts should arrive at least seven days before the last day of classes to ensure ample time for delivery and pick-up by students. See the Academic Calendar. Please check with your post office to allow enough time for delivery and be sure to use packaging that prevents damage during shipping.

Suggestions

Shipping

  • Label perishable items and consider necessary shipment time.
  • Put the student name and box number on each package.
  • Include the sender’s name, club name and email/mailing address. (Many students send thank-you notes.)
  • Email Mail Services to notify them of your shipment. In the subject line put “Smith Club Mailing.” Please do not send notifications to students. Mail Services will send notifications to students via email. All gift bags must be sealed, and it’s best to send them in uniform packaging. Please include:
    • Name of club
    • Number of pieces being sent
    • List of recipients and box numbers

Mail to: Smith College, Mail Services, 100 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063

If you are overseas, consider sending gift cards or certificates to local shops or ordering care packages from a local Northampton business to avoid items becoming spoiled or packages getting delayed. It will also save on shipping costs.

Help make a difference in your community by volunteering. Community service projects can be fun and rewarding ways to connect with alumnae who might enjoy giving back more than attending other club events. They also enhance Smith’s reputation in local communities. Alumnae can be asked to suggest an organization that might be willing to organize a club’s volunteer time.

Choosing a Project

  • Short-term or one-time projects are more likely than long-term commitments to attract volunteers.
  • A program whose mission is to support women and girls or college access might be especially attractive.
  • Projects that include partners and kids might appeal to alumnae with families (inquire about a minimum age for children).
  • Community service groups or book groups might complement a project with a book that focuses on service, such as Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, or The American Way to Change: How National Service & Volunteers are Transforming America, by Shirley Sagawa ’83.

Ideas

Food Banks

Some clubs volunteer one or more times a year at food banks, where they sort or pack canned or fresh food for soup kitchens, shelters, families, schools or day-care centers. A day’s work can begin with a brunch or end with drinks to provide social time. Food donations can be requested at other club events.

Dress for Success

Dress for Success has affiliates around the country to which club members can donate clothing for use by disadvantaged female job-seekers.

Habitat for Humanity

Projects may include home building, trail clearing, knitting for homeless women or delivering cards made by school children to hospital patients.

itle I Schools

Since 1989, the Washington, D.C., club has had relationships with a Title I elementary school (majority low-income students) where 20 or more volunteers tutor individuals or read aloud to a class, helping to grow grade-level readers by the end of third grade. Alumnae are invited to bring school supplies to the club’s annual tea.

On the Rise

The Cambridge, MA, club has an ongoing relationship with On the Rise, a program for homeless women. They have collected socks and other necessities for clients; they invite donations at any club event. They also gathered 450 books in one month to create a library for this women’s shelter.

Girls Schools

Look for opportunities to collaborate with or co-sponsor an event with a girls’ school, with a group that benefits women or girls, or with an organization related to the subject area of a faculty speaker. These events also offer the opportunity to share admission materials with high school girls.

Sponsor Events & Lectures

An innovative example of an event comes from the Maine club, which co-sponsored a faculty lecture by Tom Litwin, the former director of the Clark Science Center at Smith, with Coastal Studies for Girls, a semester school for sophomores from around the country with an interest in marine science and leadership. His presentation, held at a public expeditionary learning high school in Portland where an alumna teaches science, was on climate change in the Bering Sea.


Scholarship Fundraisers

Scholarship Fundraisers

Fundraising for Smith College was historically one of the primary purposes of Smith clubs and has been an important and appreciated source of financial support for the college. Alumnae have always been passionate about supporting Smith scholarships, and alumnae groups and clubs have been doing innovative, effective fundraisers for the cause. There are a variety of ways in which you can help young women enjoy the benefits of a Smith education. 

To add your club fundraiser idea to this page, please email alumclub@smith.edu.

S’mints

The Smith College Club of the North Shore offers S’mints—handmade dark chocolates imprinted with an image of the Grécourt Gates. Available in original peppermint crunch and orange crunch.

Desk Calendars

For decades, the Smith College Club of Milwaukee has sold desk calendars across the state.

Enstrom’s Toffee

The Smith College Club of Colorado offers Enstrom’s gourmet toffee each holiday season. The almond-chocolate toffee is a wonderful treat!

Smith Aprons

The Smith College Club of Southeastern Connecticut created a wonderful red apron with “Smith Cooks” written on the front.

Tote Bags

The Smith College Club of Fairfield County created a nautical-inspired canvas tote bag with “Smith College” printed on it.

Pecans for scholarships started in 1951 with the Smith College Club of Westchester County and has since become an annual fundraising tradition for numerous clubs across the country. Typically sold during the late fall, the pecans now come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate-covered and cinnamon-glazed. The following clubs sell pecans, and many will ship.

New England

Smith College Club of Belmont | Smith College Club of Cape Cod | Smith College Club of Franklin County | Smith College Club West of Boston | Smith College Club of Greenwich-Stamford | Smith College Club of Southeastern Connecticut | Smith College Club of Southeastern Massachusetts | Smith College Club of Maine

New Jersey

Princeton Area Smith College Club

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Smith College Club

Washington

Smith College Club of Washington, D.C.

New York

Smith College Club of New York City | Smith College Club of Schenectady | Westchester Smith College Club

Florida

Smith College Club of the Treasure Coast

Indiana

Smith College Club of Indianapolis

Ohio

Smith College Club of Cincinnati | Smith College Club of Akron | Smith College Club of Columbus


Club Officer Roles

Smith clubs are self-funded organizations chartered through a set of bylaws and governed by an elected set of officers. The governing body, including the president (or co-presidents), vice president/program chair, treasurer, alumnae admission coordinator and other positions, is considered the executive committee. Officers typically serve a two-year term, elected in accordance with the bylaws. Club members must vote to amend the bylaws if they wish to change the configuration of the executive committee.

Overview

The organization president, in conjunction with the executive committee and the AASC, is empowered to make appointments, relieve an officer of her responsibilities, accept the resignation of an officer and appoint any interim officers.

Responsibilities

  • Presides at all official meetings.
  • Maintains regular contact with other executive committee members to receive updates.
  • Sends out at least one newsletter per year to club members, which could include news from the AASC and a report or letter from the organization’s executive committee.
  • In case of a resignation or vacancy, the president, in consultation with the executive committee, is empowered to appoint someone to fill the unexpired term. If an officer cannot or does not fulfill her responsibilities, it is the responsibility of the president, in cooperation with the AASC, to determine a course of action, including resignation and replacement.
  • Keeps records of important publications and communications with officers, members and the AASC, passing these on to the succeeding president.
  • Helps the treasurer file the annual report with the AASC by July 31.
  • Attends the club leadership conference and mentors new and prospective volunteers.

 

Overview

The principal duty of the vice president is to act as program chair. She appoints volunteers to committees and maintains involvement with all committee work.

Responsibilities

  • Acts for the president if the president is unable to fulfill her responsibilities.
  • Acts as program chair and organizes, plans and schedules events, including serving as the primary source for event information.
  • Submits a list of events for inclusion in the newsletter.
  • Oversees events budget.
  • Selects committees to help organize various events as needed.
  • Coordinates with alumnae admissions coordinator to plan events for prospective students.
  • Attends the club leadership conference in the absence of the president or president-elect.

The vice president makes the following appointments:

  • Program co-chair
  • Event chair
  • Event committee member

Overview

The treasurer is responsible for the fiscal management of the treasury, including the collection of dues and maintenance of all financial records.

Responsibilities

  • Sets financial guidelines for management of funds and ensures that the guidelines are ratified by the officers.
  • Assists the vice president/program chair in developing a program budget for the year.
  • Sets the dues rate for the organization, in conjunction with other officers, and solicits dues on a regular schedule.
  • Pays all authorized bills and volunteer reimbursements efficiently and ensures that the club has a firm financial base to launch annual programs.
  • Submits an itemized financial statement to members at the annual meeting and maintains records of all financial reports.
  • Submits an annual financial report to the president and the AASC by July 31.
  • Maintains a list of members and donation amounts to the organization’s scholarship fund (if applicable) for those who want credit, and submits it with the annual donation to the college.
  • Follows rules regarding disclosure of the group’s financial status, in accordance with laws governing tax-exempt status.

Overview 

The young alumnae chair works with alumnae who are more recent graduates. 

Responsibilities

  • Designs programming that appeals to young alumnae and works to boost young alumnae membership.
  • Acts as a liaison between young alumnae and the executive board.

Overview

The AAC is appointed by the executive committee in consultation with the admission office. An AAC organizes contact with students, high schools and parents to acquaint them with Smith College and assist the Office of Admission with applicants. The AAC may work alone or supervise a committee of as many as 30 alumnae.

Responsibilities

  • Contacts students whose names appear on inquiry and search cards.
  • Offers interviews to all applicants and encourages acceptances.
  • Conducts special recruiting programs for prospective applicants.
  • Attends college fairs and high school programs.
  • Develops a rapport with secondary schools.
  • Assists an admissions traveler visiting her area.

Overview

The communications chair assists with all communication efforts for clubs and groups.

Responsibilities

  • Works on the newsletter.
  • Maintains the website and social media presence.

Overview

The secretary is responsible for the administrative record keeping for the organization.

Responsibilities

  • Keeps a permanent record of minutes of all organization and executive committee meetings.
  • Keeps a complete, up-to-date membership list (if no membership chair is elected).
  • Notifies members (or all area alumnae) of the year’s programs and meetings.
  • Reports all changes of address to the records department.
  • Forwards appropriate materials to the OAR and/or Nanci Young, college archivist, at the Smith College Archives, Northampton, MA 01063, 413-585-2970, nyoung@smith.edu.

Overview

The nominating chair/committee presents a slate of officers to the organization. These officers will continue the business of the club for the next term. The committee should seek to broadly represent all club/affinity group constituencies and choose individuals who are able to meet the responsibilities of the given office. The current officer team should inform the nominating chair of the organization’s priorities for the upcoming term. Applicants’ confidentiality and clarity regarding their potential responsibilities are the committee’s primary concerns. Once appointed, the chair may select two or three members to serve on the nominating committee.

Responsibilities

  • Calls for nominations.
  • Determines the slate. Depending on organization bylaws, a single or double slate election process is required.
  • Contacts nominees and sends position descriptions.
  • Submits the slate to the organization’s president and the assistant director for clubs at the OAR. The slate should be published in the final newsletter.
  • Ensures that the slate is voted on at the annual meeting or by mail-in ballot.

 

Contact

Office of Alumnae Relations

Alumnae House
33 Elm Street
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01060

Phone: 413-585-2058
Email: alumclub@smith.edu