Our History

1913-14 – The College Club is formally organized at a meeting attended by five graduates and three undergraduates. Miss Nell Doremus is elected President. The aim of the Club is declared to be "to aid in establishing a women's college at Rutgers." The first fund raiser, a pageant held in the Doremus Orchard, netted $37.

1915-16 – The chief aim of the Club becomes the establishment of a girls’ scholarship fund. Club membership reaches 35.

1919-21 – The College Club cooperates with the YWCA in a conference on vocations and colleges for girls. The first benefit Bridge Card Party is held. A Fashion Show is added in 1938, Dessert in the Fifties, and then a Luncheon in 1968. In 1973 the event is changed to its present Fashion Show-Luncheon format.

1921-23 – The first scholarship is awarded in the sum of $100. The College Club is incorporated and a Constitution adopted. It is voted that $300 be given annually to a Ridgewood High School girl graduate. The Rummage Sale is initiated and held annually through 1968.

1929-31 – Club membership reaches 200. The regular scholarship amount is increased to $450 and then to $600.The first meeting of the Education Group is held and an initial tea for new members given. A College Club Conference for high school girls is held. The first annual College Club Spring Dance takes place.

– Profit from the special event, "Gaieties of 1883," is added to the Scholarship Fund, now known as the Education Fund. College Club holds its last monthly meeting in a private home; in 1940 the Ridgewood Woman's Club becomes the official meeting place.

1944 – The College Club initiates the first Concert Series to be held in the area. The Series is presented annually through 1982.

1947 – The Memorial Scholarship Loan Fund is established as part of the work of the Scholarship Committee; both men and women upper- class and graduate students are eligible for non-interest loans. In 1971 the Loan Fund is made a separate standing committee.

1954 – The College Club Thrift Shop account is opened.

1956 – The first annual Book Fair is held in Van Neste Square. Location of this fund raiser varies until 1973 when Somerville School becomes its permanent home.

1963 – Fiftieth Anniversary of the College Club is celebrated. Among the distinguished guests is founding president, Miss Nell Doremus.

1968-69 – The first newsletter is sent to all members. The first annual Antiques Show is held, replacing the Rummage Sale.

1970-71 – The Scholarship Committee's name is changed to Grants-in-Aid. Eligibility is extended to Junior College students, and a grants-in-aid program is established for Eastside High School in Paterson. Students in all membership areas are declared eligible for grants.

1977 – First annual College Club Capers is held at the Woman's Club.

1984-85 – The first "Right in Ridgewood" benefit, succeeding the Concert Series, featured the New Jersey Ballet. Twenty-eight women are honored at the 1985 Annual Meeting for having been College Club members for fifty years. The Club membership list is computerized.

– Gala celebrated passing the $1 million mark in cumulative Education Fund and MSLF funding.

1990 – First Book and Author Luncheon held.

– Special Cabaret Evening with Geraldine Fitzgerald for Education Fund and MSLF.

– The Antiques Show celebrates its 25th anniversary.

1995 – Education Fund tops the $1 million mark with $1,047,000 going to 2,012 women. MSLF loans total $476,400 going to 319 men and women.

2000 – The first annual Las Vegas East is held.

2003 – The 90th Anniversary of the College Club is celebrated.

– Book Fair celebrates its 50th anniversary and inaugurates the Club’s website.

– The first bi-annual Women Honoring Women event is held. In addition to honoring 5 women, the original 8 founding members are posthumously honored.

– Membership eligibility qualifications are revised to include women who have earned an Associate Degree or its academic equivalent of post-secondary education, as well as those who have earned an advanced or professional degree or a degree from a foreign university.

– College Club partners with the Ridgewood Historical Society to create an exhibit, at the Schoolhouse Museum, illustrating highlights of the Club’s 95 years of community service and involvement.

– College Club creates and awards its first named scholarship to a female Bergen Community College graduate going on to a four year university.

– College Club members “strut their stuff” down the Fashion Show runway adding a new twist to an old favorite event.

– Our Literary Luncheon hosted best-selling author Linda Fairstein. Three days later, our November meeting was cancelled due to a power outage caused by a blizzard!

2012 – The College Capers performances received standing ovations from very enthusiastic audiences.

2013 – College Club celebrates 100 years! We have an amazing anniversary gala at the Indian Trials Country Club with a live 70's band. We were honored guests in the Ridgewood Fourth of July parade due to our commitment to the community over the past 100 years. We commemorate our history with a 100 year DVD. We also hold an event at Ramapo College highlighting the importance of advanced education for women.