2014 Small Club of the Year: Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston
Adrienne Cecile Rich was an American poet, essayist, and feminist who once said: "The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet."
Founded in 1930, the Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston was established to provide a means of communication and a social hub for the spouses of Dartmouth alumni and mothers of current students. It will celebrate its 85th anniversary in May. Like all successful organizations, the Women's Club of Boston astutely adapted to change and now includes Dartmouth alumnae among its membership. Although this may seem in conflict with the Dartmouth Club of Greater Boston, as they operate in the same region, the Women's Club complements and strengthens all alumni organizations in the greater Boston region and provides a unique niche for its members.
Club President Mitra Sioshansi P'00 MP'06 and her dedicated Board of Directors, which has 23 members, created and implemented an engaging series of events in fiscal year 2014 which attracted over 220 participants. The schedule included a wide range of activities such as lectures, plays, concerts, luncheons, and museum tours.
Another important mission of the club is to raise money for its scholarship fund which currently has a book value of over $215,000. Through direct solicitations, a raffle and silent auction, the club raised $4,849 last year. That achievement, coupled with its ability to attract more than 200 dues payers, puts the Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston in the upper echelon of successful fundraising alumni clubs.
The challenges this club faces due to a lack of a defined geographical region are many, including how to identify potential members. Mitra and her board have addressed this issue by fully embracing technology, launching both a website and Facebook page, and utilizing email to send out event invitations and dues solicitations. In addition, they actually call every mother of an incoming first-year student in the Boston region, inviting them to join the club.
With all of its success, it is evident that the Dartmouth Women's Club of Boston epitomizes Adrienne Rich's "transforming force."