Simmons’ oldest academic club, the Academy, was founded in 1919. Its original purpose was to advance promotion and understanding of the arts, and membership was decided solely on the basis of proficiency in the non-professional subjects.
In 1943, the Academy was officially recognized as the Honor Society of Simmons College, and admission requirements changed to require proficiency in both professional and non-professional subjects.
In order to qualify for the Academy, a student had to maintain a better than "B" average in all her courses for at least a two-year period. New members were welcomed at the annual formal reception, which featured a guest speaker, coffee, and a chance for the initiates to chat with faculty members.
The Academy also sponsored social functions, such as Christmas parties.
From the 1920s to 1950s, the student population grew and more degree options were offered. As a way to connect Simmons students in specific fields outside of the classroom, academically-oriented clubs were formed. All of the highlighted clubs below offered students opportunities to gather for social occasions, learn about career options after graduation, and host guest speakers and prominent professionals in their fields at monthly meetings.
The Ellen Richards Club was founded in 1920 in honor of the first woman graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was the first Simmons club formed for students in a specific field. Membership was open to students in the School of Science. The club ended in 1960.
The 020 Club was founded in 1931 for both graduate and undergraduate students in the Library School, and the name comes from the Dewey Decimal Classification number for books about Library Science. The 020 Club ended in 1952, but library students continue to meet in other forums.
The Scribunal Club was founded in 1925 to promote fun and fellowship between the professors and students in the School of Business.
Scribunal had the largest membership of any club during the 1940s and was known around campus as being "the friendliest club."
The club also presented amusing skits about secretarial work, hosted Valentine's Day parties, and produced a yearly fashion show. During the fashion show, Scribunal Club members would incorporate helpful hints about color, line, and design into their comments to help teach their peers how to dress successfully for the business world.
The Scribunal Club continued until 1946.
Other clubs founded during this time included the Home Economics Club (1924), the English Club (1933), The Ann Strong (Nursing) Club (1933), and the French Club (1940).
Additionally, the Prince Retail Club and the Physical Therapy Club were established in 1950 and 1952, respectively.
The English Club, 020, and Home Economics Club held joint Christmas parties with the Dramatics Club which featured skits, refreshments, carol singing, and faculty guests.
By the 1980s, many of these clubs had disbanded and were replaced with academic liaisons, which existed as formal links between the students and faculty of each academic department.
Among other activities and events, the liaisons sponsored open houses which enabled students to converse with faculty in a more informal setting. Liaisons served to maintain a personable atmosphere and provide valuable pools of knowledge for students from any major.
From the 1980s on, new academic clubs at Simmons were primarily local chapters of national organizations, such as the Simmons chapter of the Administrative Management Society (founded 1982) and the Simmons chapter of the Finance, Banking, and Investment (FBI) Society (founded 1984).