University Club of Claremont rings in its 90th year

For 90 years, the University Club of Claremont has contributed cultured conversations and scholarships to Claremont and surrounding cities. It is comprised of community leaders and university and college graduates and looks to further knowledge in a broad spectrum of topics by hosting speakers at its weekly meetings.

“I was asked to come in for a program about Antarctica after coming back from a photography trip there and after the meeting I was handed an application,” said Bill Waggener, president of the University Club and member since 2011.

A program committee is responsible for coming up with speakers and topics, welcoming members and non-members to talk about virtually anything. Some of the most recent lectures include Obamacare, Afghanistan and the Claremont Homeless Advocacy Program.

Former mayor and city council member George Sumner, who would also be named its first president, founded the club in 1924 alongside Pomona College faculty. The club became a nonprofit in 1983 and since then has focused on maintaining itself as an educational institution and granting scholarships to students and groups in the community. A list of recipients can be found on their website universityclubofclaremont.org.

Throughout the years. approximately $300,000 has been awarded in grants and scholarships from the University Club through donations and member contributions. Currently, the club has approximately 140 members coming from the La Verne, Pomona, Upland, Montclair, Ontario and Claremont areas. Member contributions make up a big part of their current scholarship budget but as a non-profit organization, the University Club also welcomes non-members to continue to contribute to the fund as a tax deductable donation.

“Certainly the programs are great and the members get to be very good friends and have stimulating conversation while enjoying good food,” Mr. Waggener said regarding his favorite aspects of the club.

All are welcome to the meetings, and guests also have the option of enjoying lunch or coffee and desserts for a small cost. The University Club of Claremont hosts its meetings every Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the Hughes Community Center, making the month’s programs available on their website and promising to be “the most intellectually stimulating luncheon in town.”

—Veronica Orozco

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