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History of the Alumni Association

Prior to the drafting of the Constitution in 1974, there is no formal recording of the Alumni Association. However, the story that has been told, and re-told (most recently by Sylvia Stevens, M.S.S.'53, at the 75th reunion story telling event), is that during the 1950s, the Alumni Association was a "portable" one, more like regional groups centered in large urban areas. Each area elected its own officers and held the alumni records for a time.

In 1974, under acting dean Kenneth McCartney, funds and office space were set aside to allow the Association a stable home for its records. An administrative assistant was hired to maintain lists of alumni names and addresses. The current alumni office is now on the first floor of Lilly Hall.

Also in 1974, the Alumni Association became an official organization with the drafting of its Constitution, which provided for an Executive Committee that would meet on a regular basis, and regular meetings of the alumni body as a whole. The first national president of the Alumni Association was Esther Schleifer, M.S.S. '57. The primary functions of the Association were to act as a liaison between the alumni body and the School and to raise funds for the School. The 1918 Fellowship Society was also created in 1974 to recognize various levels of donations.

The School for Social Work has perhaps one of the most active alumni associations among graduate schools, with innumerable opportunities to volunteer. Over 500 alumni volunteer as recruiters, fundraisers, mentors, field placement area coordinators, and serve on various committees in support of the School.