Women's College Scholarship Club was founded in 1938/39 as the Women's College Club. Originally it appears to have been open only to college graduates, though it was later opened to all women. In 1973 the name was changed to reflect the club's goal of providing scholarship money for Saranac Lake High School graduates seeking to attend college. They held Chapeau Teas, bazaars, card parties and musical evenings, suppers, buffet dinners and teas, listened to speakers and showed films.
There were Women's College Clubs in several other parts of the Adirondacks.
Lake Placid News, February 16, 1940
TEA FOR SARANAC AND L. P. UNDERGRADUATES
A tea for undergraduates of the Saranac Lake and Lake Placid high schools will be sponsored by the Women's College club. Miss Roslyn Chapman of Saranac Lake was named chairman of the tea Saturday, March 23. She will be assisted by Mrs. James Waldron, Mrs. Fay Hunter and Mrs. Fletcher of Bloomingdale.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 8, 1948
DISTRICT GAME MANAGER GIVES TALK TO CLUB
“Wildlife in the Adirondacks” was the subject of the address given before members of the Women's College club last evening by Greenleaf Chase, district game manager of the Division of Fish and Game of the New York State Conservation department.
Mr. Chase addressed the group following a business meeting at which Mrs. David B. Lawton, president, presided. The next meeting will be a dinner for members. The place will be announced later.
These present were the Mesdames Carl Gronemeijer, David Lawton, Emanuel Wolinsky, Dorothy A. Starkweather, Hyman Weiner, Harold Hill, John Edelberg, Lucy Roberts, Anne F. Carter, Thomas Hand, William Hopkins, Wayne Henning, Alvin Gurley, W. Mason Lawrence, Sydney Bernstein, D. Mott Chapin, Irving Edelberg, Julian Myers, Stephen Hoyt, Richard Woodruff and Erwin Heck.
Also the Misses Helen Upson, Susan Cahill, Ruby Baker, Rosemary Lambertson and Elizabeth Gronemeijer and Dr. Louis A. Nelson-Garrett and Dr. Dorothy Tyler.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 11, 1952
College Club Plan Another Busy Year
The executive committee of the Women's College Club met last night at the home of Mrs. Alvin Gurley, the president, and plans for the coming year were discussed.
Each year the club awards a scholarship to a girl graduating from the Saranac Lake High School who plans to go to college. The girl is chosen by a committee made up of club members and members of the high school faculty.
The club's program is both educational and social, and a cordial invitation to attend the meetings is extended to all college women in the area. The club meets the first Wednesday of each month, and the first meeting will be held Oct. 1.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 30, 2002
A helping hand for the college-bound
Scholarship club has been reaching out to students since '30s
By LAURIE BESANCENEY Enterprise Staff Writer
SARANAC LAKE - Since the late 1930s, the Women's College Scholarship Club has been devoted to helping college-bound students offset the costs of attending school.
The goal of the club is "to stimulate and encourage the community in educational, civic and social areas," according to Nancy Phillips, one of the club's publicity chairwomen. She said that since 1944 the club's one consistent, major project for accomplishing its goal has been to give scholarships.
Today the WCSC, with about 60 members, annually gives four $800 scholarships to high school students and two or three $500 scholarships for people continuing their education after an interruption. According to Phillips, the recipients are chosen according to school grades, activities and community service. Anyone is eligible as long as the person is served by the Saranac Lake school bus system.
The club's history says five Saranac Lake women — Mrs. Richard Woodruff, Mary Louise Kelly, Ethel Hoepfner, Winifred Erskine — met in the summer of 1938 to discuss forming a club for college women. They agreed "there was the need for an organization that would welcome the newcomer and encourage hobby and housewife — consumer groups among women with a common educational background," according to the history.
In November 1939, a group of 20 women from both Saranac Lake and Lake Placid held the first official meeting of The Women's College Club at St. Luke's parish house in Saranac Lake. They elected Elizabeth Meury their first president.
In November 1941, the club voted to join the American Association of University Women and became the Whiteface branch. But then, just two years, later, because of gas rationing, travel between the two villages became difficult. In that same month, the club drew up its own constitution and bylaws and changed the membership requirements to a two-year degree.
In November 1973, the newly independent club opened membership to any woman wanting to work for the goal and scholarship project of the club. A month later, members voted to rename the club the Women's College Scholarship Club, its current name.
The WCSC raises money for scholarships through several fundraising projects. For many years, the club provided guided tours of Camp Topridge, the 207-acre, 68 structure great camp formerly owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post. Prior to Post's death, she held fund-raising teas at the camp. After her death, the title to the property was given to the state, but WCSC was still able to hold guided tours for fund-raising purposes.
More recently, the club has held a big raffle called Taste of the Good Life. In the past, 100 items, many from local businesses, have been raffled off at the event. Also, every other year, members of the club make an Adirondack quilt and raffle it off.
For the upcoming holiday season, the WCSC is raffling off two baskets. They are on display at the Adirondack Bank on Main Street in Saranac Lake. The drawing will take place Dec. 19, Raffle, tickets can be bought from club members or at the bank.
Just last weekend, the ladies sold baked goods and light lunches at the North Country Community College's Arts and Crafts Show.
"We had the best time," Phillips said. "It brings out hidden values in our members." She said Kathleen Hogan sold pies like it was her job; she really is a nurse in the Saranac Lake Central School District.
Not all their fund-raising efforts go to scholarships, though. Last year, the women decided to donate $500 they raised to the Afghan Women's Fund of the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children.
"We try to make money in a few big, concerted efforts rather than a bunch of little events like bake sales and car washes," says vice president Linda Beairsto, who joined many years ago because she is a teacher and says she believes in education and raising money for education.
"Today, it is equally acceptable for men and women to attend college," says Phillips, who attended Vassar from 1938 to 1942, at a time when few women considered going to college. In the 1980s, the club decided to start giving scholarships to males as well, she said.
Meagan Doty (attending the University of Buffalo); Petrina Piro (Skidmore College), Sarah Snizek (Fairleigh Dickinson University) and Arran Smallets (Mount St. Mary College) all received scholarships from the club last summer.
At each WCSC meeting, there is an informative program about local accomplishments or local people's interests and adventures in other parts of the world. Each meeting also has a social break — a time to meet friends and enjoy the food made by members.
A particularly interesting meeting, according to the history, took place in 1969, when Mrs. Van Seagraves, the former "Sissie" Dall, talked about her life in the White House with her grandparents, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
The next WCSC meeting will be held on Dec 4 at the Saranac Lake Library. Heidi Kretser will be showing slides of the Arctic Wildlife Refugee. WCSC invites anyone who wishes to help further education for college-bound seniors and career-bound adults The complete history of the club edited by Nancy Phillips, can be found in the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 13, 1964
Spring Hats Will Blossom At Club Tea
Committees for the annual Chapeau Tea, sponsored by the Women's College Club for the benefit of its scholarship fund, are completing last-minute details for the tea tomorrow at 2 p.m.
The Hotel Saranac ballroom has been decorated by a committee headed by Mrs. David Young. The announcements, designed by Mrs. David Hunter, have been distributed by a committee in the charge of Mrs. Breckenridge Chapin. Mrs. Gerald Corbett's committee is tallying tickets. Mrs. Saxon Martin has prepared the programs. Mrs. William Meyer has appointed a committee to help the hotel staff serve refreshments. Mrs. Richard Basile and Mrs. William Schwartau are in charger of the fashions.
Models will be Mrs. Arthur Mrs. Martin, Mrs. James Monroe, Mrs. Robert Rand, Mrs. Louis George, Mrs. William Appell, Mrs. Thomas Long, Mrs. George Maclntyre, Mrs. Arthur Niederbuhl, Mrs. Robert Workman, Ms. Chapin, Mrs. Irving Edelberg, Mrs. Holt Hughes, Mrs. Pamela Oik, Mrs. Edwin Woodward, Miss Paulette Pecheux, Miss Gail Chapin, Miss Susan Edelberg, Miss Beth Norton, Miss Cindy Corbett, Miss Andrea Pecheux.
Also Miss Sara Swett, Miss Elizabeth Swett. William Hagar, Charles Hoffman, Miss Leslie Hoffman, Miss Pam Young, Miss Martha Young, Miss Lisa Feinberg and Richard Meyer.
Mrs. Thomas Waterman will be the commentator. Miss Alfreda Reynolds will be pianist.
Local shops that have lent hats and accessories for the show are Altman's, Kennedy's, J.J. Newberry, Town and Country, The Fair Store, Ann Foley's, Parnell's, the Hotel Saranac Gift Shop and the Cinderella Shop.
Lake Placid News, April 5, 1940
COLLEGE WOMEN HAVE DINNER MEETING HERE
Placid and Saranac Organization to Sponsor Program
Forty-seven members and prospective members of the Women's College club of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid attended the program and dinner-meeting of the club held Tuesday evening at the Mirror Lake Inn here.
The guest speaker was F. W. Lowenstein of Tupper Lake who talked of his homeland, Germany. Dr. Lowenstein spoke briefly of his life in Berlin, where he was born, Upper Silesia where he lived for several years and of Vienna and Switzerland where he studied medicine. He also told of his first impressions of New York city and how he and Mrs. Lowenstein enjoyed residing in the north country.
Following the program a meeting was conducted by Miss Elizabeth Meury, president, and members discussed the possibility of promoting a community program of speakers or artists for next year. Further plans for the program will be completed at the next meetings in May and June.
On the first Tuesday in May the club will meet in the Harrietstown hall when Madame Jeanne Rieffel will be guest speaker. Madame Rieffel will talk on France and the Basque country and will show illustrated slides.
Among those attending were Mrs. Bert Howard, Mrs. Willard W. VanAllen, Mrs. Alice Williams, Mrs. Richard Woodruff, Mrs. Robert Reed, Mrs. Walter Noble, Mrs. Fay Hunter, Mrs. Fletcher, Mrs. William Hopkins, Mrs. Raymond Ryan, Mrs. James Waldron, Mrs. Mariner Woodruff, [sic] Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Laurine Decker, Mrs. Glenn T. Manning, Mrs. Harold Soden, Mrs. Howard Page, Mrs. Merrill Thomas, Mrs. Clifford Wilkins, Mrs. John Hayes and Mrs. Howard Godson.
Also Miss Ruth Pelton, Miss Virginia Kendall, Miss Goodreau, Miss Roslyn Chapman, Miss Agnes Kennedy, Miss Elfreda Samuels, Miss Baird, Miss Mary Kelly, Miss Ethel Hoepfner, Miss Lillian Ryan, Miss Rita Donnelly, Miss Sally Johnson, Miss Hilda Hughes, Miss Helen Young, Miss Mary McDonald, Miss Gertrude Powers, Miss Marion Kennedy, Miss Mabel Smith, Miss Thelma McCurdy and Miss Thornton, Mrs. Harold Golding, Mrs. Mary Ware, Mrs. Irene Campbell and Mrs. Louise Campbell.
See also: Chapeau Tea