The University Club of Albany came into being on March 21, 1901 in the chapel of the old Albany Academy. Two months later, on May 9, the Club was officially incorporated. It was then that the founding fathers stated its goals, "To establish and maintain reading and assembly rooms, to promote social intercourse among its members, and to cultivate and maintain university spirit in the city of Albany."
Within a week after incorporation, the club's 135 charter members adopted a constitution. Two days later, the Board of Directors held its first meeting, elected Russell M. Johnson as president, established an entrance fee and dues ($25 per year combined) and approved a lease for the first clubhouse. The clubhouse, the former home of Matthew Hale and Governor Tompkins at 99 Washington Avenue, is now the site of the Twin Towers.
April 30, 1907: The Club moved to its present site, purchasing the home of George Amsdell for $34,000 and spending $10,000 on remodeling.
April 21, 1908: The first talk in a series by a roster of distinguished speaker was presented. The series included such notable individuals as: the President of the United States, William Howard Taft; a Governor-General of Canada, four Governors of New York, Governor of Missouri, a British Ambassador and 15 college presidents.
June 11, 1914: The membership approved construction of an addition to the clubhouse to accommodate a restaurant and sleeping rooms at a cost of $30,000.
April 28, 1918: The Club's Coat of Arms and its motto, Sapere-Aude-Incipe (Dare to be wise; begin) were created.
November 25, 1923: A major portion of the clubhouse was destroyed by a fire.
July 30, 1924: Construction at the present clubhouse was begun and mortgage secured. The grand opening was held in May 1925.
1935: The Club received, under the will of Agnes E. Parsons, "The Lone Scout," a treasured painting by Frederick Remington.
March 1983: The Club members vote on admitting women to full-time membership. The motion will pass in favor
March 1984: Margaret Ciccolella hand delivers her full-time membership application to the membership committee. She is voted in to full-membership.
December 1998: "The Lone Scout" is sold at auction by Sotheby's
2013: Colleen Ryan was elected the first female president in the 112-year history of the University Club, a private social club in downtown Albany that began admitting women 30 years ago.