History of our Club

Spring Luncheon 2004: Sally Lester, Andrea Cohen, May Clark, Christine King help with registering guests.

In the 1960s, when UC Santa Cruz was first established, the Women’s Club was formed as an effort to make newcomers to the campus feel welcome. Ann Thimann suggested the organization based on her involvement in the Harvard University ‘Newcomers Club.’ The club held one meeting per semester, hosted by Jane McHenry (wife of the first Chancellor) at University House, the McHenry’s home in Pasatiempo.

The meetings were small, informal gatherings over tea and coffee with original members Jane McHenry, Kay Wagstaff, Emily Clark, Kay Kerr, Perky Hyde, and Luree Shontz. At that time there was no regular meeting schedule, no formal program, no dues, and no fundraising component.

Originally intended for people directly associated with the campus, in the late 1970s, the UCSC Women's Club began welcoming members from the entire Santa Cruz community. Thus blending 'town and gown.'

In 1976 the club presented its first scholarship of $200 to a UCSC student. Today we offer thousands of dollars to many worthy recipients.

The club’s interest groups have changed over the years although there is still a bridge and gardening group from the club’s inception. At this time, we also have several book clubs, a lunch group, an English-in-Action group, a hiking group, and much more.