As Written for the 90th Anniversary Celebration, May 4th, 2001
by Magdalin M. Szabo

1910 to 1919 was a decade that saw the sinking of an “unsinkable” ocean liner, an uprising in Ireland, a world war, the race to the south pole, the fight for female suffrage, the Russian Revolution……and the organization of the Woman’s Club of Washington University.

The Woman’s Club of Washington University was organized on December 5, 1910, due indirectly to the reorganization of the Medical School, which was made after Abraham Flexner surveyed it and suggested changes. Part of the change was to invite men with already proven reputations to add to the prestige of the Medical School. Hence, the first invited five men to arrive were: Dr. George Dock, Dr. Joseph Erlanger, Dr. Philip Shaffer, Dr. Eugene Opie and Dr. Howland. The faculty was growing rapidly and soon the wives of Medical School professors felt something must be done for the newcomers. Previously, faculty had been small enough for everyone to know everyone, as new members were entertained at numerous small dinner parties. Hence, the idea of a club evolved. Mrs. Erlanger, Mrs. Shaffer and Mrs. Houston met with a committee in the British Pavilion, which was built for the 1904 World’s Fair, approximately where the Fine Arts building stands today. The Club was hence organized with Mrs. D.F. Houston as temporary chairman and Mrs. George Dock, wife of the Dean of the Medical School as the first president. A Nominating Committee of 5 members presented the following names for officers: Mrs. W.W. Keysore for Vice Chairman (School of Law), Mrs. W.E. McCourt for Secretary (Department of Geology) and Mrs. T.J. Riley for Treasurer. There were 108 charter members.

Washington University at that time displayed none of its regal oaks and shrubbery, but was surrounded by farmland and pastures. The large Ames Farm bordered the campus on its north side between Melville and Big Bend.

The first meeting was held on Monday, January 9th, 1911 in the gymnasium of McMillan Hall, with an attendance of 50 women, some arriving by carriage, but most arriving by streetcar to a campus where the view was not obstructed by houses anywhere on Forsyth or Skinker.

The constitution stated that the purpose of the Club was solely for social intercourse. Dues were set at one dollar. Later meetings, referred to as a “tea meeting” were held at the British Pavilion, McMillan Hall, home of corporation members, larger homes of faculty members and in the Women’s Building. By the second meeting, held on Monday, February 6th, in the Lecture Room of the British Pavilion, there were 75 in attendance.

For the balance of the year the meetings were at the British Pavilion. At the May meeting, the women graduate students of the class of 1911 were entertained. It was determined by a vote, that once a year, there would be an evening meeting, to which members may bring an escort.

It was in their second year, that the Club, in addition to their business and social meeting started to include programs for their attendees, arranged by the newly formed Entertainment Committee. Their first program was a musical program of songs performed by Mrs. Payne. In general, the meetings began at 3:30 p.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m. Between six and eight regular meetings were scheduled for the year between October and May, with December and January meetings scheduled only if the weather was cooperative. The meeting in May was designated as the annual meeting. Usually, the three business meetings were followed by an afternoon tea and three other meetings were noted as social meetings with musical programs. The Executive Committee met as many as eight times a year.

On December 4th, 1911 it was decided that since the next regular meeting would fall on New Year’s Day, instead, a reception would be planned for “husbands of members and the unmarried men faculty of the university” later in the month of January. The gathering, on January 24th, 1912 was well received and well attended.

At the close of the year 1911, three members were elected to honorary membership status: Mrs. William McMillan, Mrs. J.T. How and Mrs. B.B. Graham. By the end of the 1912 fiscal year, membership was at 148.

In May, 1912, two club members Mrs. A. L. Shapleigh and Mrs. G.O. Carpenter donated the following items to the Club for the “comfort and enjoyment of its gatherings”; a silver tea pot, a silver lemon fork and sandwich cutter, bon-bon dishes and table cloths.

At the December Board meeting it was decided that notices of the regular meetings were to be sent under “one cent postage” and all “girls whose names appear in the school catalogue as instruction assistants were to be asked to join the Club”.

With the start of the 1913 fiscal year, it was decided that the six regularly scheduled meetings of the year were to be held on the first Monday of each month beginning with October, and that meeting may be held off campus with suggestions such as “the Public Library, City Hospital, Shaw’s Garden, Institute for the Blind and Soldan High School.”

In October, 1913 it was decided that a receiving line, comprising of the President, Chairman and Hospitality Chairman would greet members as they arrive at meetings. In addition, name tags would be used to assist new members during the social hour.

In April, 1914 records indicate that it was the duty of the hospitality committee “to prepare a list of newcomers, with addresses and to send this list to the secretary for printing.”

May 9th, 1914 was set for the open meeting, with 175 printed invitations ordered at a total cost of $3.50, with Bolmer’s Orchestra hired for the evening for $14.00. A total of 240 sandwiches were made and donated by 3 club members and the total other refreshment costs for the evening were $38.45.

On June 12, 1914 a formal “list of property” of the Club , begins with: “almost 1 pound of tea, almost 1 gin alcohol, almost ½ pound Domino sugar”, then continues with the silver items, cups, plates, bowls, pitchers, etc. and ends with “one piece of cheesecloth.” In October, 1914, 200 dues cards were printed at a cost of $2.00 and 100 envelopes cost $1.75

Beginning in November, 1914 both the executive and regular meetings were held in the Reception Room of McMillan Hall.

In December, 1914 a china cabinet was donated to the Club, but no mention of the donor’s name appears in the records.

During most of 1913 and 1914, the Club was busy with revisions to its Constitution and By-laws. These revisions were read for the first time at the February 1st 1915 general meeting and approved. 200 copies of the Constitution and By-laws were printed for members at a total cost of $6.50

The December 6th, 1915 meeting was held at the home of Mrs. George O. Carpenter, wife of one of the Directors of the University, at #12 Portland Place, with 80 members in attendance. Mrs. Carpenter chose hostesses from each of the schools. This was the first meeting held off campus. A year later, another successful off-campus meeting was held at Mary Institute.

The May, 1917 annual report of the Club indicates that membership fees for regular members are still $1.00 but fees for new members are $2.00

The October 1917 executive board minutes state that “owing to war conditions”, ice cream and cake would be eliminated from the refreshments, and only tea, coffee and bread would be offered. This was followed by a postcard vote to all members whether the social meetings should or should not be continued for the upcoming season. It was announced in December that the social meetings were to continue.

During the year 1917-18 only four meetings were held. Attendance was low, with some meetings seeing no more than 22 members in attendance, where previously 80 attended. Then in February, only 11 women showed up for the meeting. This was due to a street car strike.

In April, 1918 the annual May meeting was not held. Instead, the Club donated $25.00 to The St. Louis Chapter of the American Red Cross. On August 8th , the Club presented the stationed soldiers with a flag at ceremonies held at Francis Field, followed by a dance with financial support for the entertainment by the members of the Washington University Executive Board.

In October 1918, the Club voted to continue efforts to help the soldiers stationed at Washington University, and to use the entertainment funds for these soldiers and wounded soldiers in area hospitals. With the cooperation of the University’s Community Services Department, Chancellor Hall designated a room on campus to be used as a recreation room under the auspices of the Woman’s Club. The Club decided to start a sewing/mending group to replace the regular meetings as a show of support for the soldiers and attend to their needs during this period. Morning and afternoon sewing units were formed, which met for Monday sessions, to sew for the Society for French Wounded.

On March 8th, 1919 an evening party was held at the YMCA on campus, jointly with the Men’s Faculty Club with 100 people attending.

At the November, 1919 regular meeting, it was voted that future meetings be held in homes of Club members. Meetings during the period December 1919 through May, 1920 were held in members’ homes with programs about travels to France, China, and Japan.

The decade 1920-29 ushered in the “Roaring Twenties”; Ford mass-produced cars, Prohibition was introduced in the US, and the first “talkie” film was released.

On May 8, 1920 the seven article Constitution and By-laws consisting of nine sections were read and adopted.

Membership dues were still at $1.00. In October, the vote was unanimous that the Executive Board was to decide where all future executive, regular and special meetings were to be held.

On April 30, 1921, the regular April meeting was replaced by a joint evening meeting with the Men’s Faculty Club, held at the Artist’s Guild, with the Faculty Club assuming most of the expenses. This joint meeting was to be an annual event taking place well into the 1980’s, until the Men’s Faculty Club disbanded. Membership at the close of the 1921 fiscal year was at 181, by 1923 it was 195, and the dues were raised to $2.00

A special business meeting of the Club was called for March 1924, where Dr. Throop spoke of the Chancellor’s requirements in consenting to the campaign for a Women’s Building. Thereafter, Club members voted to participate in the campaign to raise funds for the Women’s Building, with the Treasurer receiving and forwarding funds. Members made donations as well as the Club.

The joint meeting of the Woman’s Club and the Men’s Faculty Club was held on January 17th, 1925. Two hundred and thirty-nine members enjoyed dinner, dancing and bridge at the St. Louis Woman’s Club.

During the spring of 1925 regular meetings of the Club were held in private homes: Mrs. Archer O’Reilly, Mrs. K. Bixby, Mrs. Phil Stevenson and Mrs. S. Hadley. With a recorded average attendance of 137, one wonders just how large these homes were, to accommodate that many people. It was at this time that two Club women became involved in the idea of starting a “Nursery Group” for the children of members of the Club. The two women were Irene Tolman and Marion Gilson, who heard of this revolutionary new idea in Chicago.

By the fiscal year end of 1925, Mrs. Throop, reported that $7,935 had been pledged by members of the Woman’s Club to date for the Women’s Building fund.

At the fifth Executive Board meeting in 1927, Mrs. Erlanger suggested that a survey be conducted to find out the interests of the Club members and set up “neighborhood clubs”. On April 4th, 1928 a “Committee appointed to consider the question of organizing subdivisions of the Club in order to increase its efficiency in promoting fellowship among its members” submitted its recommendations. Thus the sections were born. On November 8th the survey results were in. Interests were: Literature, Music, Child Study, Handicraft, and Dramatics. Membership was up to 272 at the close of fiscal year 1928.

At the December 1928 meeting and luncheon, chairmen of sections made short talks about the plans of their groups for the upcoming year. The following year a Nature Study Group was added to the sections and the Dramatics Section was to include Poetry.

On February 24, 1929, the Globe Democrat devoted a full page story with colored pictures to the Woman’s Club, explaining that our purpose was purely social and what each of our then five sections offered to members. On November 17, 1929, the chairman of the Child Study Section announced the newly established Nursery School at the University and asked for the cooperation of members of the Club in making the school a success. At the close of 1930 the membership numbered 283.

During the 1930-1939 decade, unemployment and poverty spread across the world, while the Spanish Civil War raged.

During the year 1930-31, the Executive Board met five times and five regular meetings were held, culminating in an annual meeting and luncheon on May 2, 1931 which 130 women attended, where “May Baskets” donated by local florists were the table decorations. The Executive Board approved a $50.00 donation to the Piano Fund for the Women’s Building, in appreciation for the use of the Building and the piano. Club notices were mailed in envelopes requiring two cent stamps. At the fall Tea, refreshments for 60 persons cost $10.00, as reported by the Chairman of Entertainment.

During this decade, Club members became more serious about preserving their heritage, and since the Constitution and the By-laws were put in order and printed for the first time, the minutes of the last two decades were bound and placed in the University’s Archives. In the 30’s the first activity of the year, usually a special tea for new members, was held at the Club president’s home, with 60 to 75 women attending. The joint dinner-dance meeting, held with the Men’s Faculty Club that year, saw an attendance of 140.

During 1932 there was much discussion on who may be considered for membership. A letter written by President Nancy Shaffer (April 20, 1932) rejects an application from the wife of a mechanic in a scientific department, stating “membership is on the basis of academic rating only”.

During this year the Child Study Section was very active, with 15-25 members regularly attending. Lively discussions were held on the influence of the home upon the development of the personality of the child. The nursery school project, started by Mrs. Gilson a year earlier, was set aside that year (1932) because of lack of interest and a suitable place which was within the Club’s means.

In October of 1932, due to the “unstable” banking conditions, the Executive Board approved that the Club’s fortune of $133.44 be removed from the West End bank and moved to a safe deposit vault of the First National Bank of St. Louis.

In April of 1933 the matter of lowering the dues, owing to the general financial depression, was considered by the Board.

On May 13, a very successful joint dinner with the Men’s Faculty Club was attended by 220 people at the Forest Park Hotel, where Mr. Frank Parker of Principia Academy gave an enjoyable program of dramatic readings which was followed by dancing and cards. Dinner cost $1.00 per plate.

The year 1935, saw the termination of four of the nine Sections, on the grounds that new members had now fewer opportunities to meet, therefore a new section, the Newcomer’s Section was formed. In addition, the Monday Lunch group was formed, an informal get-together with new members, meeting in the cafeteria area, and lunching for 25 cents.

The Hospitality Committee Chairman in 1934 wrote: “The chief function of the Committee is to call upon all women newly eligible for membership. The women are visited by Committee members and are invited to attend the Annual Tea and other functions of the Club”. This was an additional duty of the committee, in addition to arranging the four teas per year, two luncheons and the joint dinner-dance with the Men’s Faculty Club.

1935 saw the formation of a Dancing Club, with dues of $2.50 assigned per couple for a season of six dances. The first dance was held in the gymnasium of the Women’s Building on April 4th 1936. It was a very successful group, with 25 couples attending.

In 1936 three pieces of silver, a coffee pot, sugar bowl and cream pitcher were purchased from Hess & Culbertson for $39.39.

Several times over the years the Club has been asked to participate in various projects or causes. Mrs. Bertha Dodge, Secretary to the Woman’s Club expressed the Club’s position on this very well, in April, 1937: “The purpose of our Club, as written into the Constitution, is purely social. The consistent policy of the Club has always been to adhere to its original purpose and not permit itself to become involved in any projects of civic importance, no matter how much we may, as individuals, applaud those projects”. Mrs. Dodge further stated that we “militantly maintain our frivolity in a world bowed to the ground with worthy causes”.

During 1937, to the great joy of the Secretary, the Club became “mechanized”, due to the purchase of an Addressograph machine by the University, which the Club was allowed to use for its correspondence with the 246 members.

In 1937 the Entertainment committee came up with a then innovative plan for members to better mingle and socialize at the luncheons. Members attending drew a paper from a basket, which indicated their place in the dining room, at a certain table. This was well received and continued for many years. As a courtesy, the Club paid for tuning the grand piano in the Women’s Building for a cost $2.50. Dues were still at $2.00.

In May 1937, the Club departed slightly from tradition, by holding a “breakfast” instead of the usual luncheon for its annual meeting. It proved quite popular with 127 members attending in the dining room of McMillan Hall. This was an approximately 50% turnout. During the year the following programs were arranged for the entertainment of the members: vocal and instrumental musical programs, readings of sketches and plays, book reviews, a bridge party, informal talks on old St. Louis, South America, pottery making, occupational therapy, antique glass and old tapestries.

The executive board minutes of 1938 noted that members should not make donations of food, flowers or paper products, to help defray the cost of meetings, since the Club should pay its own way, and it should not allow a precedent to be set. The year ended with five very active committees: the Entertainment Committee, the Hospitality Committee, the Faculty Dance Club, the Monday Luncheon Group and the Newcomers Group. The Entertainment committee stated in its annual report, that attendance at the teas had diminished, and that the committee was faced with new problems that year, namely the rise in price of food and the fact that due to the labor situation, maids and help, whose time previously had been donated, now had to be paid.

Because of financial difficulties in 1939, the Club voted to cancel the Newcomer’s Tea in the fall, and replace the usual Fall luncheon with a tea to cut costs. The teas, which had ranged in cost from $6.00 to $8.00 in the past several years, were now costing upwards of $15.00. The Chancellor’s office continued to furnish an annual list of those newly eligible to join the Club, somewhere between 80 and 100 names. The total number of eligible women plus members had now risen to 670 on the first mailing list of the year. Before the close of the year, a new section, The Music Section, was petitioning for recognition, with 27 signatures

During the decade 1940-1949, Nazi Germany gained power and notoriety, the newly created NATO emerged, and the boundaries of European countries kept changing.

By 1940, 705 addressograph plates were completed for the mailings. Membership was at 253. In May of 1940, the Executive Board approved a $50.00 gift to reupholster worn pieces in the Women’s Building, in appreciation for Dean Starbird’s generous hospitality in allowing Club functions to take place there..

It’s not clear from the notes of the Club, but the name of the Dancing Club was changed to The Dancing and Bridge Section….perhaps too much activity led people to appreciate some quiet near the end of an outing and preferred to end the evening with a good game of bridge!

In 1941 the dues were raised to $2.50: the cost of mailing monthly notices to 220 members for the various functions of the year, averaged 32 cents per member, and the cost of the five teas of the year averaged 24 cents per member.

In 1942, another section was to be added. A Garden Club was formed to develop the gardens of the Chancellor’s residence. In the fall of 1942 work continued on quilts in the Chancellors home as part of the Red Cross sewing activity and a section met every Monday and Wednesday in Barnes Hospital, which later moved to the campus. This group made surgical dressings at the request of the Red Cross headquarters. The sewing group completed 62 quilts, some of which were exhibited at Mrs. Throop’s home during a luncheon held there. The Garden Group had to postpone its plans owing to retrenchment by the University. The greenhouse had to be closed and the palms and stock were sold.

The speaker at the March joint meeting with the Men’s Faculty Club gave a talk on “Race Relation Problems”.

At the November executive meeting, the president, Mrs. A.S. Langsdorf tendered her resignation, because of her election to the State Legislature. Professor Hughes announced that he would be unable to give the Club his scheduled illustrated lecture on the Cyclotron because the government would not allow it.

By January 1943, the teas were kept to a minimum of three per year, with very simple fare, because of the wartime shortages. Letters were sent to all Faculty wives and Club members explaining the need of help in the Surgical Dressing Unit. Within two weeks, 125 women were working diligently and by January 1943, over 214,000 dressings were folded and packed by the Club’s unit, in addition to helping collect money for the Red Cross War Fund Drive at the Uptown and Tivoli theatres. Thirty-one red crosses had been earned by members, each cross representing 30 or more hours of work. Our Club’s Sewing Unit supplied the Red Cross Headquarters with quilts, wash cloths, moccasins, rest pads and scrub cloths, and the Washington University Infirmary with pajamas, bed slippers laundry bags, ice-bag covers and chest bands. The work continued throughout the summer, with members devoting a substantial amount of their time and energy to war activities.

In 1943 the possibility of producing a yearbook for members was explored: the cost being about $50 for 300 copies of a 25 page booklet. It was finally agreed that a 15 page booklet would be published at a maximum cost of $35. With gas rationing, attendance was down. It was at this time that the Ternion was considering excluding the names and addresses of its faculty, because of the costs, but finally agreed to print them.

A Yearbook committee was formed in 1943, but was plagued with cost problems and paper shortage, and the fact that the Ternion contained the addresses of faculty, made the Club’s efforts seem wasteful.

During the 1943-1944 year, due to unsettled conditions, the files of the Club were not up-to-date, no letters were sent to deans of schools regarding eligible newcomers, and many of the scaled-down meetings were pertaining to war themes. The second edition of the yearbook was printed in December 1944, but with a number of copies limited to 200, for a membership of 232, to stay within its budget.

For the year 1945-46 it was decided that no year book would be published. In 1945 a Publicity Chairman was named, who had some success in having the Club’s activities announced in both the Globe-Democrat and the Star-Times.

President Hildreth’s annual report of 1945 suggests that the Club do away with or at least temporarily suspend the joint dinner meetings of the two Clubs, since “the food situation is bad, clubs and hotels are not anxious for business, the cost is high and the service is poor”.
During the 1945-1946 year many homecomings were celebrated for those women who went overseas with their husbands to help shorten the war. Chancellor Arthur Holly Compton was inaugurated in February, 1946, and the March Tea was held at the Chacellor’s home. Now the programs for the Club were planned with much more zest than in the few years prior. At the 1946 April Tea the program consisted of a style show of Easter hats by Sonnenfelds. In 1946 the yearbook was again published with the idea that there may be a charge to members if need be. Programs and events returned to a normal schedule, and spirits were up, in spite of a polio scare in October. It was in 1946 that the idea of a Faculty Night originated with Mrs. Leroy Boling first suggesting it to the Woman’s Club board. Together with Mrs. Wm. G. Bowling, president of the Woman’s Club, they met with Mr. John Hubler, President of the Men’s Faculty Club. It was agreed, with Chancellor and Mrs. Compton concurring that such an annual event would add much to the community.

The Treasurer reported a “strained financial situation” with an ending balance at the close of 1947 of $502.21, which no longer allowed for secretarial service, even though addressing notices to 850 eligible new members, was no small task. By the close of 1947 membership was at 397. To supplement the treasury, table decorations at teas and luncheons were sold and yearbooks as well were sold at cost (25 cents). In the fall of 1947, 850 invitations were mailed to prospective newcomers, 227 members attended the December Luncheon and 330 attended the Annual Dinner Dance, owing mostly to the effort of a very active publicity chairman, Mrs. Lawrence Stout, who managed to place articles in no less than fourteen various publications around town.

“Galloping Teas” were inaugurated in the Fall of 1947 as a means for older and newer faculty to meet informally, since there was a tremendous increase in membership that year.

By the end of 1947, the Faculty Night idea was revived, and the gymnasium was used for this purpose, with cake and coffee available, dancing to records for those who enjoyed dancing, 12 bridge tables set for those enjoying bridge, and an area set aside with a piano, comfortable chairs, for those wishing to play the piano, socialize and just mix. The cost to use the gymnasium was minimal, with a token payment for the clean-up crew. Plans were to have four or five Faculty Nights per year, and expand the programs to include speakers, art displays, travelogues and singing and dancing performances. Mrs. Hallowell Davis and Mrs. Philip Dubois were the co-chairmen for these well-attended parties.

During the year petitions were received for the formation of the following sections: Art, Bridge, Literature, Arts and Crafts and Music. Having completed its work, the group working with the Red Cross, disbanded.

The highlight of 1949 was the Annual Guest day, held in the Field House, with over 1000 guests and members attending a “Historical and Contemporary Fashion Show. An amendment to By-law VII, the year prior, allowed members to bring an unlimited number of guests.
The Club initiated a babysitting service with the Director of the University’s Nursery School, for the young mothers attending the teas. Children ages two to six were kept busy during theirs mothers attendance at the teas, and the Club paid for the service.

The decade of 1950 to 1959 saw the Korean War, many scientific discoveries, the conquering of Mount Everest, and the start of the space war.

During 1950, there were over 200 foreign students on campus, and at the suggestion of Mrs. Dorothy Moore, the Club made plans to include students in several activities during the summer vacation, to make them feel more at ease in their new country, and allow them to discuss their ongoing problems of language, immigration, laws, etc.

“Head hunter” meant something quite different in the 1950’s than it does in the year 2001. Mrs. Carpenter, who was dubbed “Queen of the Head Hunters” was the invited speaker at a spring meeting where she displayed her many portraits of World War II veterans, which she drew of the men hospitalized in the St. Louis area.

For the first time, the Executive Board in 1950, outlined a six page “policy statement” for Section Chairmen to operate by, which was quite rigid. A Master Addresser was purchased for $31 which now made the life of the corresponding secretary much easier by eliminating hand addressing of the 1300 News Letters mailed at the start of the year. During Dorothy Moore’s administration the Club was preparing for it’s 40th anniversary. The membership was at 393. Average attendance at the Teas was 180. The Faculty Club suggested that the Faculty Night expenses be split 50-50, since it could no longer bear the greater part of the overall expense.

The 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Club was written up and printed in the Post Dispatch. The University photographer took pictures of the event. Charter members wore costumes of the eras they represented.

During 1951 Mrs. Emily Brandhorst’s committee introduced the option of coffee at the Teas, which was well received. Mrs. Gilson’s hospitality committee called on over two hundred eligible women to join the Club, and in many instances arranged for their transportation to the activities.

In the years following the war, with the membership increasing, and the activities requiring more notices, the Club had three secretaries: Corresponding, File and Recording. Dean Starbird continued the gracious offer of using the Women’s Building for the Club’s activities.

On April 24, 1953 the Club held a gala affair together with the Men’s Faculty Club at the Norwood Hills Country Club celebrating the University’s Centennial Year. Maroon, green and gold decorations were used, and the Centennial Cake, decorated with the same colors, topped with 100 candles, was donated by Wotka Bakery. 216 people attended. In celebration of the centennial year, a silver sugar bowl and cream pitcher were purchased by the Club for its use at teas. By the end of 1953, 1440 people were on the File Secretary’s list as women eligible to join the Club. Twenty women made up the Hospitality Committee, chaired by Edith Boling. Twenty women were needed to help things run smoothly and efficiently, since both the Teas and Luncheons often saw as many as 200 in attendance. This fiscal year marked the first Newcomer’s Reception held in the Chancellor’s residence in October, with 350 guests attending. Mrs. Sophie Shepley was the first chancellor’s wife to open the residence to Club activities. This year, the Newsletter had a change. Previously monthly newsletters were mimeographed and mailed out in envelopes. The change consisted of the Print Shop furnishing postcards, upon which they printed the information, at no cost, and these were then mailed for 2 cents a piece to the 381 members. For invitations to Faculty Night or the Annual Newcomers Tea, the Corresponding Secretary along with a committee of 6 to 8 people needed 6 hours to address 1700 invitations.

For years the committee for International Students, led by a group of Woman’s Club members, extended hospitality to foreign students, but realized during the early 1950’s that each University Department with foreign students now had a very strong internal support system for them, and therefore this committee decided its support was not so necessary as in previous years, but would still stand by on an as needed basis.

In 1954 a Finance Committee was set up at the request of the Treasurer to review periodically the Club’s finances and to make recommendations on present and future expenditures.

The annual report of the Sections chairman in 1954 indicated 6 active sections: Art, Bridge, Current Events, Literature, Needlecraft and Newcomers. In addition, seven committees were active in the ongoing programs and smooth operation of the Club: Constitution, Dinner Dance, Faculty Night, Hospitality, Newcomers, Program and Refreshments.

At the November Executive Board meeting, Rose Klamon suggested that annually, at a Fall luncheon, our past presidents and long-standing members be honored. At the December luncheon, 16 former presidents were guests of the Club, receiving red corsages and special mention.

President Edith Boling’s annual report emphasized that members who make reservations for lunch, but do not show up nor cancel, will have to be charged the $1.25, so the Club does not carry this financial burden. Miss Reed of the University Food Services cooperated nobly to serve delicious treats at small cost, but food was prepared according to the number of reservations made, and the $3.00 dues per person did not go far when sometimes as many as 20 were “no-shows” at a function.

The formation of an “Equipment Pool” was suggested by Mrs. Ringler, embodying the idea of securing unused items (anything from sewing machines to baby beds) and loaning them to Faculty Wives.

In 1955 the dues were set at $3.50. Another financial boost came from the University Administration, whereby Assistant Chancellor, Carl Tolman offered to make up the deficit of the Faculty Night parties up to $100, and in addition absorb the cost of printing and addressing invitations and setting up the tables and chairs necessary for the evening. At the Christmas luncheon, 219 lunches were served in McMillan Hall, with one table set up in Dean Starbird’s bedroom. Christmas decorations were made and sold by the Refreshment Committee, adding a nice sum to the treasury. The Club had a 12 year War Savings Bond which matured in April 1955. It was held in the safe deposit box of the Men’s Faculty Club.

On Saturday, January 21, 1956 a Faculty Fun Fair was held in the Women’s Building with 250 attending, with hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, root beer and orange drink. No admission was charged, but everyone paid for their own refreshments. There were many prizes donated and purchased for the various games and activities.

By 1957, the Executive Board was meeting nine times a year with the 10th meeting of the year being the Annual Meeting in May. In 1957 the Annual Meeting was in the form of a picnic in the garden of the Chancellor’s residence. During the year four dessert teas, one annual December luncheon, and one annual spring picnic constituted the Club’s social events in addition to the Annual Dinner Dance and the Annual Faculty Night. For the past few years, the April gathering was set aside as the “guest tea” event, to which prospective members were invited.

The Faculty Night party, held at the Student Center, boasted an “Around the World in One Night” theme, with 25 large foreign flags placed on the patio, illuminated by spotlights. A total of 2200 invitations were printed. A most entertaining show, with Faculty and Administration dressed in costumes of different countries, was performed. A total of 11 pages describe the festivities in great detail, but no mention of the number attending.

At the start of the 1958 fiscal year, the File Secretary had secured a list of 3,484 names to send information to about the Club. This was the largest list to date. This year, the Missouri Botanical Garden furnished lovely orchids and tropical foliage for the centerpiece of the tea table for the Guest Tea in April which was attended by 160 guests.

The Faculty Night party in October 1959 was held in the Women’s Gymnasium with 380 faculty couples attending! Tables upon tables displayed the art work of faculty wives along with treasures from the world travels of university members. Lucille Wiley Ring submitted a 9 page report on this party, the longest of any chairman reports. The Newcomers Section, with approximately 300 members, held 6 regular meetings during the year. The section had it’s own telephone committee, refreshment and program chairman. Although many newcomers were eligible for membership in the Club, only about 10% showed any real interest in visiting the Sections and followed that up with a membership.

The decade of 1960-1969 saw mini-skirts, flower power, pop music, the Civil Rights movement and China’s Cultural Revolution.

1960-61 was the Golden Anniversary Year of the Club. The event to celebrate this milestone was held in the Lounge of the Women’s Building on November 4th with a Dessert Tea where charter members and newcomers were honored. Betty Hinchey’s Club History was read by Elsie Langsdorf and brought back many memories and made for a nostalgic afternoon. The Club enjoyed the largest membership to date that year, with 388 paying members. The special project for the year was compiling and publishing favorite recipes, ready for publication in December. Mrs. John Enloe, Financial Secretary for the Cookbook project, reported that 675 books were sold at the initial offering.

In April, 1961, the Chancellor’s Staff approved an appropriation of $200 annually to cover part of the expenses of the Woman’s Club Annual Faculty Night Party. In 1962, the Men’s Faculty Club suffered a financial set-back and for the first time was not able to contribute its share to the annual Dinner Dance.

On October 20, 1962 the W.U. Faculty Players presented a “South Sea Island Faculty Party”, a salute to newly inaugurated Chancellor and Mrs. Thomas H. Eliot, with several Club members writing, directing, narrating, and performing the play. Betty Ryckman was the chairman for the event.

On October 7th, 1963 the Garden Section of the Woman’s Club was organized by Mrs. Pierre Honnell, then First Vice President. The meetings were well attended by hopeful gardeners eager to receive advice form local landscape artists, the Missouri Botanical Garden and Westover Nursery.

At the close of 1963, the membership was 458, with the Executive Board numbering 25. Annual contributions to Olin Library were started in 1963 in memory of former members

In January, 1964 the Music Appreciation Group was organized at a meeting in the home of Mrs. Joan Young.

During 1963-64, 30 articles appeared about Club functions in papers off-campus, which probably accounted for the large membership, and great attendance at its functions during the year: 200 at their First Tea, 160 at the second, 245 at the Guest Tea and 260 at Faculty Night!

At the final executive board meeting of the fiscal year 1964-65, it was decided that women who have been members for 50 years, automatically become Honorary Life members and not be required to pay dues. Membership was now at 429, with 45 Honorary members.

International Neighbors section came into being in November 1964 with the help of Mrs. Eliot, with Pamela Stewart as chairman. Its goal was to call upon and visit as many of the wives from overseas as possible, with an offer of friendship, language help and anything else necessary.

1966 saw the first drop in attendance at many events, including the Annual Meeting with only 95 attending, which may have been due to the day of the week chosen, which was Saturday. The Garden Section flourished this year with 28 regular members working in the Eliot conservatory-greenhouse. At its April meeting, the Slimnastics section elected Lily Schwarzchild as vice-chairman. This was the beginning of her almost 35 year involvement with this group as its most physically fit, agile and loved member and chairman.

On May 1, 1967 the Woman’s Club of Washington University was recognized by Chancellor Eliot for “volunteer service on the campus”. Sally Silverman 1966-67 President, received the certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Club.

The 1967 Dinner Dance was held at Le Chateau with steak dinners costing $5.00 and filet of fish $3.50 with the Jack Engler orchestra playing dance music after dinner. In November such enthusiasm ensued over a possible gourmet section forming, that two groups were formed. One to meet during the day, and one evening group. The great interest in the Gourmet Section enhanced the idea of perhaps publishing a second cook book. At the close of 1967, there were 13 sections, 15 committees, 480 paying members, with 2200 additional women eligible for membership under the membership policy set on April 22, 1966.

Faculty Night brought out 180 merry-makers, all dressed in costumes for the Halloween Trick and Treat Night, complete with apple bobbing and fortune telling in the Witch’s Corner.

In October, Claire Honnell, chairman of the Cooking by Degrees II cookbook, called for an additional 85 recipes, to augment the existing Cookbook in which 307 recipes were published.

The Club contributed $419.00 to the University’s “70 x70” Drive.

At the close of the 60’s the club had grown from 9 sections to 15. The Club’s low annual dues, still offered a real bargain in fellowship and interesting programs and activities.

Yearbooks now cost 53 cents to produce.

The Gourmet Section met in February, 1969 at Kemoll’s restaurant for a ten course dinner which the cost $6.75 per person.

The Needlecraft Section changed it’s name to Sew and Tell, probably due to the fact that more talking about sewing went on than real sewing.

During the 60th Anniversary year, the Club’s main events were the Faculty Night in the fall, the Dinner Dance in the spring, four Teas, one being a Guest Tea, and two luncheons, a Holiday Luncheon in December, and the Annual Luncheon in May.

The Whittemore Faculty Club was finally renovated, a large patio laid, with plantings donated by the Woman’s Club. It’s inaugural party was the Faculty Night Party, held on December 13th, 1969 with 232 people attending. It was a delightful party with a varied, delicious buffet, while strolling musicians entertained.

That year the March Tea honored those who had been members for 40 years, and the Afternoon Gourmet group enjoyed an authentic Mongolian Hot Pot Lunch prepared by a student from India.

In memory of the Club’s 60th anniversary the Wedgewood china was given by Mrs. T. Eliot for the exclusive use of the Club.

Lilly Schwazschild became chairman of the Slimnastics section in 1969. They were now meeting weekly in the rathskellar of the Chancellor’s residence.

In May, 1969, the Club’s records to 1967, had been placed in the University’s Archives.

Many grateful letters from the Chancellor, the Chancellor’s wives and other administrative personnel throughout the years, are on file thanking the Club for their supportive services, their donations, and their invaluable help on many University projects.

“The greenhouse in the beginning resembled a desert and by the end of the first year, it resembled a jungle”, reported Kate Sandel in 1969. The section cooperated with the Women’s Society in a plant sale, to benefit the patio and garden beautification program of Whittemore House.
Two Whittemore House committees, the Seasonal Decorations Committee and the Garden and Patio Committee, jointly working with the Women’s Society, continued their work by pulling weeds, spreading sand, laying tiles, refinishing outdoor furniture and planting annuals in a continued effort to clean up around the recently remodeled home. This ongoing project prompted Joe Evans, Vice Chancellor to write to the Club and state that he hoped in the future we could make good use of the Whittemore facility, so we may enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Once the University’s Nursery School could no longer accommodate small children, while International Neighbors members attended Club events, volunteers cared for the small children at the Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The decade of 1970-1979 feared international terrorism, protests and political scandal. It was the time for platform shoes, punk music, the controversial war in Vietnam and the mircrochip revolution.

The 1970 Faculty Night celebrated the 25th anniversary of the United Nations with large U.N. flags and flags from many countries decorating the Whittemore Faculty Club.

The 1971 Honors Day Tea honored nineteen past presidents, with Mrs. Eliot presenting each with a miniature gavel. Because Chancellor and Mrs. Eliot were retiring, she was presented with a framed needlepoint Washington University crest at the Annual Luncheon. It is the garland of flowers used still today on many of the Club’s invitations and brochures. The work was designed by Artist Mary Harford and executed by Helen Stutsman.

This year, the Greenhouse section made the transition to Blewett Greenhouse with all the houseplants, seedlings and cuttings.

On September 21, 1971, Mrs. Rowland Berthoff wrote a four page letter criticizing that the dues were raised by a dollar (from 4 to 5) and rationalizing that since she only attended the Literature group, which was not worth the $5, she objected to most of her dues being used for “tea parties”. Further she requested an accounting of how each $5 dues assessment was to be used. She ended by writing that she did not wish “to cause dissension”.

The Men’s Faculty Club, organized in 1912, after 59 years, revised its bylaws to admit women faculty members, but did not amend its name. For decades the men had enjoyed the social events planned by their wives through the Woman’s Club of WU.

The University continued to reimburse the Club for the first general invitational mailing of the year, announcing Club events and welcoming Newcomers.

The Club made a donation to the Stix House, to help defray the cost of converting the house into a center for joint university/community activities relating to international affairs. In addition, the Club continued to donate to Whittemore House, Olin Library and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The 1972 Faculty Night planned a sparkling Inaugural Gala for Chancellor and Mrs. William Danforth at the University Club at Mansion House Center. In the absence of a formal inauguration, the entire staff of teaching, research and administration were invited.

1972 saw a loss of 50 members, which made for cautious handling of Club funds.

During 1972, the University set up work-shops for the Club to explore fields in which members could serve. This was an opportunity for providing services to the University. Five areas of interest were selected and chairmen were appointed for:
Home Hospitality: Mrs. Philip DuBois
YWCA Mrs. Roger Spencer
International Students: Mrs. Truman Drake
In-Town Students: Mrs. James Laue
Afternoon Tea Room: Mrs. Steven Schwarzschild

The Tea Shop started up in the spring, was a great success with a first time profit of $100, toward a possible scholarship fund. The teas was held once a week with a set price of 50 or 75 cents. Mrs. Lily Schwarzschild did all the baking and volunteers helped serve, in the small shop set up in the Women’s Building. Students, as well as faculty enjoyed the atmosphere provided.

During the year, a monthly couples’ Dinner-Bridge was held at Whittemore House and chaired by Louise Evans.

With the help of Jean Davis, we were granted the use of the Bulk Mailing Permit.

The Faculty Night party witnessed a Gypsy Theme, complete with dried grass on the tables, painted posters on the walls, Gypsy food and Gypsy music, all in the new Mallinckrodt Building.

In 1974, the Club donated $681.00 to the Student Emergency Loan Fund, thanks to the hard work of Lilly Schwarzschild and her committee in the Tea Room.

In 1975 the Club donated 12 dozen china plates, cups and saucers to Stix House, which the Club purchased in 1973 from the Peerless Hotel Supply Company.

A questionnaire about how members view the Club was sent, for the first time, to all members in the spring of 1975. Vice Chancellor Carl Dauten gave permission in June, for the Club to use the facilities of the Copy Center, at no cost, assigning an account number for the Club’s use.

Faculty Night was a “Bicentennial Celebration” at the Missouri Historical Society, with a buffet dinner for 124 guests, followed by a program of patriotic music. Ladies who had been members for 50 years, were honored at the December Luncheon. For the first time, the local newspapers declined many of the Club’s publicity articles.

In an effort to integrate newcomers with “oldcomers”, the name of the Newcomers Section was changed to the Welcome Section, thereby opening its activities to all members. This section sponsored a series of neighborhood teas, a Holiday party in December, a campus walk, a bus tour and a family picnic.

During 1977-78, the dues were raised to $7, a new cookbook project was started, the format for the yearbook was changed, and the memorial donation to Olin Library was set at $50.

During 1978-79, in celebration of Washington University’s 125th anniversary, the Club brought out a new Cook Book, under the chairmanship of Marcia Bernstein. With the initial sale of 742 books, all expenses were met in the first year of sales.

During the 1980-1989 decade, the yuppies appeared, the AID’s scare began, we learned about “power dressing”, about gender bending, superpowers, the green movement and the end came to the Cold War.

In 1980, the Club sponsored two CPR training sessions in which thirty-two members received first aid instructions.

University Night, under the chairmanship of Annette Gohagen, was held in the WU Gallery in Steinberg. The year’s programs offered previews of the Ragtime Festival in Edison, talks by Prof. Lewis on Health Foods and discussions on how to “Entertain Graciously.”

In October 1981, the Whittemore House went on record for the first time as declining the Club’s request to hold the Faculty Dinner Dance there. It was stated that only a Sunday evening would be available and a minimum of 100 attendees were required. This refusal, after many donations of money and volunteer time, prompted a letter of displeasure from President Amy Garfield, that they need to consider setting a policy in writing and letting applicants for use of the house know of their decision on a timely basis. Whittemore waited 4 months with their letter of refusal. The festive evening was held at Cupples House instead, squeezing the event in between two major snow falls.

The January, 1983 the Dinner Dance was held at Stan Musial & Biggies and chaired by Ruth Selfridge. Attendance was now diminishing, with only 53 guests enjoying the fine dinner and dancing to the Johnny Polzin trio.

The March, 1984 Dinner Dance was held at the Mansion House Center, chaired by Magdalin Szabo. Gardenia corsages for all attending ladies were donated by the Botanical Garden and several door prizes for concerts, dinners and glider lessons were offered. These “extras” seemed to increase attendance.

In general 1984-85 was spent almost entirely preparing for the Club’s 75th Anniversary Celebration. The primary emphasis was to honor the Woman’s Club for its long presence on the campus. Since the Board directed the Celebration Committee to raise funds for a gift to the University, three main fund-raising activities were proposed.: a) an historical house tour, co-chaired by Emilie Brandhorst and Ruth Selfridge, b) a Bazaar coordinated by Glenda Finnie and Lily Schwarzschild and c) a Dinner-Auction in Elizabeth Danforth’s honor, chaired by Magdalin Szabo. The main event was held March 16th, 1985 at the new Sports Complex with 400 people attending. Marcia Bernstein, as chairman of the 75th Year Celebration Committee, coordinated the event which honored Elizabeth Danforth for her devotion and service to the Woman’s Club. Over 75 women worked on the Auction which offered over 115 items, donated by local vendors and Club members. A 75th anniversary quilt was designed by Fannie Marie Batt and Anne Nussbaum. Many women worked on this quilt throughout the year, which was a highlight at the raffle. Additionally, two afghans and a baby’s quilt, made by Fannie Batt were also in the raffle. Following the close of the Silent Auction, a buffet dinner was served, after which Dina Feldman, Club President, gave the welcoming speech for Mrs. Danforth, followed by a slide show featuring highlights from Mrs. Danforth’s life. Dancing in the new gym to the Galaxy band was enjoyed by a sell-out crowd. Patricia Dressler designed all the invitations and brochures for the Dinner-Auction.

The Celebration Event netted over $11,000 from the house tours, the bazaar, the Dinner-Auction, the sale of food at the tour, and the sale of tote bags and aprons, which bore the garland of flowers logo, designed by Mary Harford. The proceeds were deposited in an interest bearing, no-overhead, university account, from which annually the Club releases an amount as its donation to the Lecture Fund. The Club and members continue to donate to this fund in memory of a loved one or in celebration of an event.

In 1985-86, University Night was enjoyed at a theatre party held at Edison, followed by a cheese and wine reception. Among programs of interest during the year were: a talk by Renata Rotkowitz about the Soviet Press, poetry readings, a square dance supper and the social with Governor Collins of Kentucky after the annual lecture.

To relieve the budget somewhat, the Board decided early in the 1985 fiscal year, that WU Board members and wives of Board members be sent only the yearbooks and not the newsletters during that year.

Three new sections were formed during 1986-87: Lunch at Whittemore, Dancing at Casa Loma and Movie Goers. President Anna Mae Ballard reported that the Club gave $1,000 to the annual lecture fund. Ninety-nine newcomers were added to the Club’s membership that year! Membership was at 354 plus 54 Trustees or Trustees’ wives.

Kay Parvis, who since 1967 has been chairing the International Wives group, had a chance to visit Japan during the summer. Some of her former friends, who were visiting WU in years past, hosted a wonderful get-together for her in Japan. Every Friday of the year, Kay and Gretchen Felix have planned programs and arranged baby-sitting, for this group, which was originally not a section of the Club, but a volunteer service. Over the years, however, it changed its name a few times and evolved into a very popular and much needed section of the Club.

On November 5, 1986, two 60 year members, Adele Starbird and Gertrude Hartman were honored at the fall luncheon.

In May 1987, several of our members participated in the Senior Olympics, held on Campus. Our own Elsie Glickert is a champion badminton player!

In 1987, Treasurer Magdalin Szabo established with the University General Counsel that the Woman’s Club is eligible for tax exempt status under the University’s blanket exemption. Since then, any purchases for goods or services have been tax exempt to the Club. On July 6, 1987 the Club received official notification of its tax exempt status. In another matter, on August 13, 1987, Magdalin Szabo secured an amount of $2,750 for the Club under the University’s insurance policy, for the silverware and other items missing from its closet.

At the April 8, 1988 tea, there was a capacity crowd to hear Senator Tom Eagleton speak. About 50 requests for reservations turned away.

A good time was had by all who attended the October 30th University Night Halloween Party at the Whittemore House. According to Helene Rode, chairman, costumes were requested, or at least a mask was required.

In September, 1988, the records indicated 343 paying members and 53 Trustees.
At the first Board meeting of 1989, it was decided to rescind free membership to newcomers, and charge them half-price for dues. A new committee, Campus Walking Tours, co-chaired by Sondra Ellis and Charmaine Leonard, was established.

During the 1990-2000’s we witnessed the collapse of the Iron Curtain, the ethnic conflicts, we became engrossed in the World Wide Web, we hailed the end of apartheid had strong opinions about the Presidential scandal and the “disenfranchised” voters of Florida..

In 1990-91, the Executive Board approved two new changes. The first, that it was to allow membership to women not affiliated with Washington University, who would be sponsored by active members in good standing, and second, that a Scholarship would be established. The Scholarship fund would come from surplus Club funds and/or donations, awarded to needy female students returning to university to upgrade their skills or complete a degree. Bob Benson, helped set up this program through WU. President Szabo presented the first recipient, Donna C. Wahlig, a finance major, with $500, on May 3, 1991 at the Club’s annual luncheon.

During 1990-91 a Special Study Group, coordinated by Rose Rosenthal, was formed. This committee was to make recommendations on becoming more visible in the WU community, involving new members, recognizing members or groups for outstanding service, producing a member profile booklet, preparing a comprehensive history of the Club and designing a brochure of the Club, which would included the history, information about the Club’s function, purpose and work. This study group, appointed Magdalin Szabo, on April 18, 1991 as Historian/Archivist, to prepare a comprehensive history for the 90th year celebration.

The annual dinner dance was held February 16th at the Living World at the Zoo, chaired by Marianne Unanue, with Alex Frederickson and her daughter preparing invitations and decorations,

The General Operating Guidelines committee, drafted job descriptions for all officers and committee members to be placed on file. Betty Nicholas edited all the job descriptions. A new section, Classical Music Appreciation, was formed.

Kay Parvis was honored for her many years of work with the International Wives Group, jointly by the Woman’s Club and the Women’s Society, on April 24, 1991, prior to the Starbird Lecture in the Women’s Building Lounge.

During the 1991-1992 year, teas and luncheons continued to draw our members, with the fine programs and foods arranged for by Lorraine Gnecco and her committee. Nina Totenberg was the Annual Lecture speaker. The University Night event became a “University Day” program on the “Belle of St. Louis” riverboat, with Charlotte Eldredge making the arrangements, and the Campus Tours became a popular item, both with Club members and visitors to the campus.

During 1992-93 a new group formed; the Gardener’s Section, chaired by Jan Kardos, with 20 interested members The Annual Lecture speaker was Molly Ivins. At the December mini-luncheon, Suzanne Marshall displayed the quilts she had made so carefully and lovingly during her recovery from cancer. In September, only 5 newcomers attended the Welcome Coffee, leading the Board to consider whether they should continue these events for newcomers. The University Night party was held at the Science Center with box lunches and the Omnimax movie, “Volcanoes.”

In June 1993, Jan Kardos discussed a new format for the newsletter; other members involved in this project, which gave us a very professional, easy to read and pleasing-to-the-eye booklet, were, Jean Davis, Jean Emory, Lorraine Gnecco, Isabel Van Essen and Coreen Motard. This year an all-out campaign for Newcomers resulted in 80 attending the Welcome Coffee. The Annual lecture was given by distinguished author Michael Dorris. The fall luncheon was at the Mandarin House, complete with a Chinese flute player. Betty Hinchey and Betty Nicholas, 50 and 60 year members respectively, were honored. Charlotte Eldredge proposed a new Walker’s Section, which has become quite popular.

The September 1994 Newsletter contained the history of the Club (1910-1950) written by Betty Hinchey. The Newcomers, a group which had been inactive for some time, was re-instated, under the chairmanship of Jill Taylor. Also in September the Club helped sponsor author Susan Faludi’s annual lecture.

In November 1994, Magdalin Szabo proposed the following changes to the Constitution which were approved by the Board: 1) Sponsored members may not hold an executive office nor chair a committee, 2) Executive Officers may serve a term of two years, if asked, 3) The Vice President, at her discretion, may appoint a Newsletter editor, and 4) Former Officers, may be nominated to hold an Executive Office for a second term.

During 1994-95 a Southwestern Night, arranged by Sylvia Silver at Jersey Lil’s Saloon, complete with line dancing instructions and southwestern fare was enjoyed by 90 people on February 20th, 1994. The dues were raised for the 1994-95 year to $15.00 At the Fall Luncheon, Rose Klamon, a 60 year member and Marion Gilson a 70 year member were honored. Violet Bowling was honored as a 60 year member at the Spring Luncheon held at the Sappington House Tea Room.

Washington University was soon to experience a milestone. Chancellor Danforth was retiring at the end of the 1995 fiscal year. Therefore, in October 1994, Jan Kardos and her committee submitted a plan to Special Events Chairman Magdalin Szabo, of a special gift for Ibby Danforth, who had supported the Club throughout many years and events. A Butterfly Garden would be established near the Stix House. Its upkeep would be the responsibility of Club members. They could help work in the garden, donate items to the garden or donate to the fund. The Butterfly Garden suggestion was received from Dolly Schultz, with Dr. Steven Cline of the Botanical Garden offering his help in the layout and planning of the plants needed and June Hutson offering her designing expertise. A Butterfly Garden was decided on, rather than a regular garden, so it could be filled with native plants to attract native butterflies that were declining in number over the years. In addition, a wind-chime would also be given Ibby for her home garden, to remind her of the garden being prepared in her honor. Funds would be raised by donations specifically to the Club for this purpose. This gift of a Butterfly Garden was deemed most appropriate, since all members could participate in some way in this living tribute. At first a modest goal of $500.00 was set to help start the soil preparation, order an appropriate plaque and purchase the recommended perennials and plants.

The Arts and Crafts Group established during 1994-1995 under the leadership of Mary Kay Cerza, made beautiful wreaths for the Silent Auction held at the annual holiday luncheon. $537.00 was collected from donations and sales at this luncheon. By March 1995, a total of 120 people had made contributions to the Butterfly Garden, bringing the total well over $3,702.00 by the time of the celebration luncheon. Contributions are still being received every year.

The special event of the year, The Woman’s Club Tribute to Elizabeth Danforth, chaired by Magdalin Szabo, was on March 3d, 1995 at the St. Louis Woman’s Club. Marcia Bernstein read a touching, appropriate poem, “My Mother’s Garden”. Guests were treated to a muscial interlude by Christianne Cheetham, Soprano, accompanied by Sue Taylor. Elsie Glickert presented the chimes. Jan Kardos, President, made the presentation speech and gave a surprised and unsuspecting Mrs. Danforth the architerctural drawing of the site and a card listing the generous people who made this gift possible. Jean Davis and her committee created lovely flower arrangements for the tables. A sell-out crowd of 136 attended. Among the guests were Ibby’s family members, long time friend Jane Rand, former Chancellor Carl Tolman’s wife, Irene and several WU Trustee wives. Others who worked on this special event were Betty Nicholas, Rose Rosenthal, Rena Schechter and Janese Welty. Jennifer McKnight had been commissioned to create the butterfly design used on the invitations.

In April 1995 Jan Kardos commissioned a Graphic Arts student, Yael Kats to design the Club’s brochure, which is still being used today.

Fiscal year 1995 ended with 289 members total.

In May 1996, Mary Kay Cerza began the arduous task of gathering recipes for Cooking By Degrees III, for publication in the following year. A student from the School of Fine Arts designed the cover.

The High Tea, held in September in Chancellor Wrighton’s newly renovated residence, was attended by 120 people.

The “21st Century Lectures”, chaired by Judith McKelvey were scheduled on the Medical School campus during the noon hour, in hopes of attracting some women medical students. The September 17th lecture featured Chancellor Mark Wrighton, talking on Molecular Electronics.

On October 10, 1996 the Butterfly Garden was formally dedicated when Ibby Danforth unveiled a plaque which read “Ibby’s Garden”. Ninety-nine people attended the reception, chaired by Millie Kaufman, in the McDowell home, with Sue Taylor and student Elizabeth McDouell providing harp and cello music. The house sparkled with music, great food, and pride in a job well done!

The newly formed Ambassadors Group chaired by Pat Sarantites was actively involved with the Admissions Office twice weekly handing out packets of information to visiting high school students and prospective college students. Just another way the Club performed community service.

During 1996 the membership was at 263 of which 12 were sponsored members. Sylvia Sachs and Marguerite Grant were honored for 50 years of membership at the Fall Luncheon held at the Central Institute for the Deaf.

Sylvia Silver agreed to take over the Presidency in mid-term, since President Lorraine Gnecco was accompanying her husband for the next semester to Australia.

Shirley Baker, in charge of WU’s Home Page on the internet offered to help the WCWU come up to the standards and requirements of the age, by establishing a home page for the Club. By the end of the fiscal year, the Club’s web site gave a short history, listed the officers, the calendar of events and special meetings, detailed the sections, gave information about ordering the Club Cookbook, presented beautiful pictures of flowers in Ibby’s Garden, and invited new members to inquire about the Club.

Jane Smiley, author, was the guest at the Annual Lecture in Graham Chapel, and was entertained by the Club at a reception preceding her lecture.

The December mini-luncheon had an overwhelming 101 guest in attendance. Ralph Morrow, the University Historian was the guest speaker. Greek food was a-plenty, and the International Wives made the ginger bread houses as table decorations which were then sold by the Club.

The Spring mini-lunch, chaired by Pat Sarantites, was attended by 99 members and guests and was held in historic Bixby Hall, which dates back to the 1904 World’s Fair. The annual luncheon was held at Whittemore House with Sue Clancy, executive director of Forest Park Forever, as the guest speaker.

This year Tedi Macias joined Jan Kardos as co-chair of the Butterfly Garden Committee. The committee noted that there was no access to the Garden from Forsyth Avenue, and the dirt and mulch footpaths needed continuous work.

The 1997 High Tea had over 100 guests at the Stix House, who heard Chancellor Mark Wrighton address the group. Gini Lappas and her committee prepared delicious finger foods.

At the November 14th, 1997 Fall Luncheon held at the University Club, Iren Tolman, a 70 year member, Eleanor McClure, a 60 year member and Helen Wilson, a 50 year member were honored.

By spring, 1998, Jean Davis took over from Jan Kardos to co-chair the Butterfly Garden Committee with Tedi Macias.

Jen Jensen chaired the Dinner Dance on March 28th in Holmes Lounge which was a great success with 85 reservations.

The year ended with 273 members.

A reception was held on September 23d in the Butterfly Garden for all those who helped make the garden a great success. The proceeds from the “white elephant” sale at the Mini-luncheon are earmarked for a garden bench.

The Annual Lecture speaker on October 29, 1998 was Louise Arbor, Chief Prosecutor for the International War Criminals Tribunals. A buffet supper was planned later that evening at the McDowell home, to which all Club members were welcome.

The honored guests at the Fall Luncheon included 50 year members Emilie Brandhorst, Alice Gutsche, Lu Miller and Eleanor Shank, 60 year members Florence Bockhorst and Dorothy Moore, and 70 year member, Willie Mae Kountz.

A change to Section I, Article III was made to the Constitution, on April 9, 1999, clarifying who the voting members of the Club are.

Elizabeth Hartman was the scholarship recipient at the Spring Annual Luncheon.

Through the generous support of Maia Schultz and Bill Smith, the Butterfly Garden received a flagstone path throughout the garden, making it also accessible from Forsyth Avenue. The pathway was completed in October, 1999. A luncheon in the garden was held on October 29th to honor the contributors.

In the 90th year, under the leadership of President Pat Owens, the Club is stronger than ever. Membership is at 266, the dues have just been raised to $20.00 (still a great bargain) and the friendship and social events continue through the 19 sections and special events scheduled year round.

Past presidents still meet annually at a luncheon to talk over the good old times and wonder at the new times and exchange family news and pictures of the latest grandchild, and Ibby Danforth annually invites the past presidents to her home for a holiday luncheon.

Our members come from varied backgrounds: housewives, professionals, students, faculty and staff. We may be married, widowed, retired. We may be local born, or from a far-away land. We may like to read, paint, write poetry, cook, listen to jazz or a symphony, or just talk about our babies or grandchildren. But we all agree to come out for good food, a good program, a bit of relaxation and fun, and we are not afraid to take on a challenge and work together for a common goal. In short, we enjoy being together!

Yes, we started out as an “incurably social” organization, but let’s examine this statement. Our members were involved in starting a nursery school, helping the Red Cross during the wars, sponsoring fund raisers for emergency student loans, for buildings on campus, for the library, for the Botanical Garden, for annual lectures, for annual scholarships and for a beautiful living tribute to Ibby Danforth, the Butterfly Garden. Are these events brought about by just gathering at social events for pure enjoyment? No, it shows the ingenuity of the Club members, by working together diligently to reach worthy goals, goals which enrich our lives, the students’ lives and the community which we serve. And we have done all this, with love and joy always under “social” settings! One cannot now conclude that we are just a social club. We have shown time and again that we can mix a socially good time with good works for the benefit of many! Following are comments from past presidents and honorary members, when asked. “What year, event or accomplishment stands out most in your opinion”?

“When I joined in 1928 and was welcomed as a young bride fresh from Canada, and when I became a 60 year member in 1988”
Irene Tolman, Honorary Member

“Although we did not come to the University until 1925, I knew all the women who founded the Woman’s Club in 1910”!
Marion Vose Gilson, President 1952-1953

“Welcoming our new Chancellor Eliot at Faculty night was a great event”!
Florence Bockhorst, President 1961-1962

“A memorable event was the special program with Herb Weitman showing his wonderful photographs”.
Rose Roenthal, President 1967-1968

“Our organization was the first to use the recently-founded Faculty Club (Whittemore House) then in 1970; and in 1971, Mary Harford a past president and an artist, designed the Woman’s Club logo, which was framed and presented to Mrs. Eliot as a farewell gift”
Janese Welty, President 1970-1971

“We began (in 1976) the writing of a monthly newsletter and calendar to our members, and varied our schedule to include morning, afternoon and evening events”
Marcia Bernstein, President 1976-1977

“We helped to pave the Campus Walk! Our donation of $50.00 paid for one block of cement – part of the 125th WU Anniversary Celebration”
Joan Stephen, President 1977-1978

“The September 17, 1980 Luncheon was the last one that former Chancellor’s wife Betty Compton participated in. It was a joint effort with the Women’s Society, and the fashion show that followed included models from both clubs. Ibby Danforth, Jean Davis and Ruth Selfridge were great hits”
Emilie Brandhorst, President 1980-1981

“This was the winter of the big snow. It snowed all of January and February. We had to hold the Board meeting in Brown Hall so people could get there”
Amy Garfield, President 1981-1982

“In 1983 we made plans for the celebration of our 75th year. We planned and auction, and most of our plans were enlarged and put into effect the following year
Rose Klamon, President 1983-1984

“Two especially memorable events of the year were the program honoring Elizabeth Danforth at the 75th Anniversary Celebration, and the presentation of a check to the University signifying our establishment of an annual lecture fund”
Dina Feldman, President 1984-1985

“During my Vice-Presidential year, we worked mostly on the 75th Anniversary celebration, in particular on the Bazaar. It was a lot of work, but very satisfying in retrospect. My Presidential year was very quiet in contrast”!
Charlotte Eldredge, President 1985-1986

“Two great guest speakers stand out in my mind: Senator Tom Eagleton, who spoke on presidential campaigns and Dr. June Osborne, who spoke on Aids”
Betty Nicholas, President 1987-1988

“The first mini-luncheon I chaired as Refreshment Chairman was in 1979 when the program called for Native Costumes put on by the International Wives. Even the children wore costumes. It was a lovely, memorable event”
Coreen Motard, President 1988-1989

“The year was 1985. The event: the Dinner-Auction honoring Ibby Danforth. What made it so memorable was that Club members donated their time, merchants generously donated many auction items, the University donated the space, the American Society of Women accountants donated their expertise, to make this a resounding success, so we in turn could donate a much larger than anticipated amount to set up an ongoing fund for annual lectures”.
Magdalin M. Szabo, President 1990-1991

“When we came to WU in 1939, the members of the Woman’s Club met every Friday for lunch in the basement cafeteria of the Women’s Building. There usually was a fine little program of general interest”
Livia Youngdahl, Honorary Member

“The year we celebrated our anniversary with a gala house tour and dinner auction was a lot of work on many people’s part, but I think it brought the club members together”
ElizabethDanforth, Former Chancellor William Danforth’s wife

Dear Club members:

Following is a history of events and activities of the Woman’s Club of Washington University, spanning 90 years.

This history was written in celebration of our 90th year and is dedicated to all presidents, executive board members and chairmen, who made all the events detailed herein, possible with their dedication and hard work. I have often heard that we are a “social club”, and have throughout the years remained “militantly frivolous”. With this in mind, I have attempted to document our activities, so the reader may seriously consider whether we have changed somewhat over the years and have indeed used social events to attain loftier goals than mere entertainment. The events over the years are earmarked by decade happenings in history, for a better perspective of our goals and involvement.

It was an honor to be asked to document some of our history of the past 90 years, and look back over the almost 30 years I have been a member.

Our original charter members had an idea of what our Club should stand for. For friendship, devotion, learning, fun and service to our community.

Indeed our members find all this in the Sections:
Slimnastics, where the few pounds we may have
gained at the gourmet group may be easily and enjoyably shed.
Current Events where we meet to discuss the world problems and what can be done about them.
Needlecraft where we create all kinds of handiwork as we try to keep pace with the shifting hemlines.
The Gourmet Group which shows us that there is more interesting cooking than just mashed potatoes and gravy.
The Literature Group which helps make a much neglected area in our lives come alive with reading, lively discussions and fine tea treats.
The Bridge Sections where the most courteous of friends, never trump a partner’s ace and always patiently wait out the chatter from the one whose turn it is to play. Here we maintain our mental acuity.
The Art Appreciation group which leads us to the Museum, to the Artists Guild and to several home studios.
The Newcomers group, where not only our recently arrived faculty wives learn about us and our city and culture, but we learn so much about their country and their culture, thereby enriching and widening our world and our lives.

Annually we are delighted to give a scholarship to a deserving female student; we look forward to special guests at the annual lecture and at our luncheons, we take great pride in the Butterfly Garden we created, and we delight in honoring our long-time members and rejoice that so many of them are still with us.

And, all this for a mere $20.00 annual membership. A true bargain in this 21st century!

Written for the
90th Anniversary Celebration
May 4th, 2001
Magdalin M. Szabo

With special thanks to:
Lorraine Gnecco for her encouragement.
Nicholas Szabo for help in formatting.
Carole Prietto, WU Archivist.
Barna Szabo for help in proof reading.
WCWU Executive Board, for funding this project.

The prize for the longest President’s annual report goes to Phyllis Hill, with 7 typed pages! Close runner up is Marcia Bernstein with 6. The shortest: Anna Mae Ballard with one and a third page. Kudos to Anna Mae, everything that needed to be mentioned and praised, was!

There are secretaries who go on and on in detail, and that gets quite tiresome. The on the other hand there are secretaries who sum up a two and a half hour meeting on one page; and sometimes in their effort to be brief it is amusing. For instance, and I quote (without the real names mentioned) “Eighteen people were at the March 18th meeting, which was hell at Mary Smith’s house! Sub committees were formed, for telephones, watering, weeding and socials A committee will work on getting a sign, like some of the other signs on campus. The expenses could be quite large. Anne and Mary are planning a white elephant. Save your elephants!