Following an event for alumni of Yale College in 1865, several of the attendees who were living in Boston formed a Committee, "to make arrangements for a general gathering of all the Alumni of our venerable Alma Mater residing in Boston and vicinity...for the purpose of forming a permanent Association."
That committee, comprising George Blagden '23, Ezra Palmer '28, Henry M. Dexter '40, H. A. Scudder '42, Edwin Wright '44, Charles G. Came '49, and Asa French '51, and chaired by future Massachusetts Attorney General Dwight Foster '48, sought to establish this organization "for mutual pleasure and advantage, and with the hope of benefit to the College."
The organizing dinner was held on January 29th, 1866, at the then-recently reopened Parker House, the same venue that gave the world scrod, the Boston cream pie, and both the marriage and the Senate campaign of John F. Kennedy.
Yale President Theodore Dwight Woolsey attended; as did Professors Noah Porter and Timothy Dwight V, both future presidents of the college; and a host of the area's alumni. At this event, the Yale Alumni Association of Boston and its Vicinity was founded.
The organization expanded from there. By 1909, we had absorbed the Yale Club of Massachusetts. In 1912, the sitting President, William Howard Taft '78, addressed our Annual Dinner.
In 1922, we incorporated as the Yale Club of Boston, for the purpose of purchasing a clubhouse. Sadly, the Great Depression left us unable to afford the upkeep of the building, and we were forced to sell it in 1934. To this day, the iron balconies on our old building at No. 10 Derne Street are decorated with the same "YC" YaleBoston uses for special occasions.
Having somewhere along the way lost track of our founding date, we celebrated our centennial in 1967, with Yale President and Massachusetts native Kingman Brewster in attendance. Five years later, the Association of Yale Alumni was founded, with the Yale Club of Boston serving as the regional organization for eastern Massachusetts.
In 2016, we celebrated the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of our founding with a gala dinner at the Parker House, held on our actual birthday, January 29th. Some two hundred and fifty alumni attended, including former members of our board from all over the country and Yale President and Massachusetts native Peter Salovey. The event saw the publication of our first club history, and was followed by an entire year of sesquicentennial festivities.
Today, we're looking to the future, to the next hundred and fifty years of Yale alumni in Boston. If you'd like to join us, don't hesitate to get in touch - we're always looking for more talented and dedicated people to join the cause!