Join the Club: Student Groups, 1902-1960

Since the founding of Simmons College, students have sought learning experiences that extend beyond the classroom, applying their newly-found knowledge and skills to real-world situations.  In addition to internships, independent studies, and field experiences, students developed clubs and activities to explore their academic subjects, the world around them, and themselves. 

During the College's first half century, student extracurricular life focused on Simmons.  Policies of dormitory life and social custom rarely permitted students to leave campus, leading them to form an array of intellectual, academic, and cultural clubs and societies to engage their growing knowledge and interests.  Through these activities, students produced literary, news, and alumnae publications, deepened their understanding of their chosen majors and professions, governed themselves, and enjoyed the performing arts. 

In response to the great social changes of the 1960s, residence hall rules began to allow students more freedom to leave campus and explore the world beyond Simmons. Educational programs changed as well, focusing less on professional preparation, and more on a liberal arts education.  Many of the clubs and activities that had marked the first half-century of Simmons life ended, replaced by others that more accurately reflected the times in which Simmons students lived.

Displayed at the entrance to the Simmons Library, the College Archives' exhibit, Join the Club, highlights a selection of the clubs and organizations that enriched the Simmons experience during the first 60 years of the College.  Many of these activities—or those similar to them—continue today and are an enduring hallmark of the Simmons learning experience.