The 25-Year Club was established in 1958 by Grace Asserson, the college's employment manager, as a means of recognizing and expressing the college's appreciation to those staff members—retired and still employed—who had completed 25 or more years of service. Grace retired in 1971 after 30 years of service; she passed away in 1983.
Although we now formally recognize employees with fewer than 25 years of service, this present club has a special significance for employees simply by its uniqueness and by the number of years required for membership. Our records are not complete enough to know how many charter members there were in 1958 but by 1978 membership had increased to 116 individuals, in 1988 it had increased to 167, by 1999 there were 213 members and in the past 10 years, membership has grown by an additional 183 persons to today's total of 320. The names of all current members—of whom 193 are retired and 127 are still employed—are listed in the membership.
Active Membership List (PDF) as of June 2012
Remembrance List (PDF) as of June 2012
The symbol of club membership is a gold pin which is a replica of the Grécourt Gates (in front of College Hall), with a diamond in the center of the pin. Formal recognition and club membership is accomplished at the Years of Service Awards, held each October.
Regardless of your period of association with Smith, just being among such friends and colleagues of so many years is an exciting and heartwarming experience. I hope that you have that same feeling.
Save the Date!
The next banquet will be held at the Log Cabin in Easthampton, Mass., on June 22, 2014. Details to follow.
The Margaret Bridges Blakeslee Fund is a restricted endowment established in 1948 for the purpose of "An Investment in Friendship." In 1961 the donor listed several specific activities to be funded, but left the college the ability to fund others as the occasion arose. The donor wished some of the income to be used "to gather together a group…renewing old friendships and making new friends…especially to those who have retired…"
The first mention of the 25-Year Club was in 1968. Although we do not have a record of what year the first banquet was held, we do know that banquets have been held every five years since 1978.