The Serendipity Club was organized on March 31, 1936, when Mrs. W. H.
Stevenson, Mrs. C. H. Brown, Mrs. B. W. Hammer, and Mrs. J. A. Wilkinson
invited a group of women to meet at the Wilkinson home in Ames, Iowa, to
form a new club. The
purpose of the club is to promote friendship and reading among its
members. At the first meeting it was agreed that each member would
purchase a book, through a committee of the club, and the book would be
passed by rotation to all members.
Each member would choose her own book, thereby making the reading
The club meets
on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 2:30 p.m. at members' homes.
The meetings begin in September and continue through the fourth
Wednesday in May each year. Membership
is limited to 16 people. Prospective
members are voted on by written ballot.
A unanimous ballot is necessary for election to membership.
Mrs. Godfrey, chair of the committee to find a suitable name for
the club, proposed it be named the Serendipity Club at the second
meeting on April 30, 1936. The
word, serendipity was coined by Horace Walpole, English wit and man of
letters (1717-1797) in allusion to a tale, The Three Princes of
princes in their wanderings were always discovering, either by chance or
sagacity, desirable things which they did not seek.
Hence the word has come to mean -- the art of acquiring something
that is both pleasurable and profitable without any seeming conscious
effort. The proposal pleased the membership and the name was
adopted by unanimous vote.