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University Club of St. Paul

Societies and Discussion Groups

The University Club's calendar is filled with various opportunities to learn new things, discuss ideas, and meet other members. Below is a listing of groups members are invited to join, and further details about scheduled events can be found in the University Club's monthly newsletter, The Lookout.

  • A La Carte Soloists
    • United by their common love of music and their status as either members or former members of the Minnesota Orchestra, A La Carte Soloists have performed free chamber music concerts for 20 years at the University Club of Saint Paul. Over the years the group has performed everything from Romantic showpieces, contemporary music, opera, polkas, and Bach--a musical potpourri.

      In 2006, the musicians teamed up with Minneapolis Master Japanese Flower Arranger Yoshie Suzuki Babcock and her students to showcase a breathtaking combination: Ikebana flower arrangements line the room as the A La Carte Soloists perform their lovely music. Together they have created a wonderful and unique experience, and a very memorable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
  • Alliance Francaise
    • Alliance Francaise of Minneapolis/Saint Paul holds its monthly "l'aperitif en francais" at the University Club every second Thursday of the month. University Club members are invited to join members of Alliance Francaise, its instructors, and staff to practice their skills in conversational French.
      Alliance Francaise was first organized in Paris in 1883. A Federation of French Alliances was organized in 1902 to coordinate the programs and activities of existing groups worldwide and to serve as link with the Alliance in Paris. The Minneapolis/Saint Paul chapter is part of a network of 1,300 similar organizations worldwide in more than 112 countries, 165 of which are located in the United States. The Twin Cities group was started in the 1920s by a small group interested in the language and culture of France, and now has 975 members. Since 2010, Alliance Francaise has held their annual Bastille Celebration at the University Club, a fun cultural event featuring live music, French food, face painting, petanque games, a vintage car display by the Citroen Club of Minnesota, and, of course, lots of wine.
  • Cass Gilbert Society
    • The Cass Gilbert Society first formed when representatives of prestigious organizations visited Saint Paul to view the State Capitol in 1997. The visiting delegates from the U.S. Federal Courts System, the Smithsonian Institution, and the U.S. Supreme Court collaborated on a project that would celebrate the centennial of famous Minnesota architect Cass Gilbert in New York City.

      With interested parties including the Minnesota Historical Society, the Capital Area Architectural and Planning Board, the Cass Gilbert Society was formed in 1998. The society's mission is to preserve and enhance the nation's cultural heritage through advancing scholarship and appreciation of Cass Gilbert's contribution to American architecture. Gilbert is considered to be among the best of American architects and is also referred to as the father of the modern skyscraper. He designed many public buildings throughout America, including the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. In Minnesota, he is known for designing the State Capitol building and many private homes in the Historic Cathedral Hill District of Saint Paul.

      The Cass Gilbert Society frequently presents lectures at the University Club and also organizes tours of sites throughout the United States that are home to Cass Gilbert designs.
  • Caux Round Table
    • The Caux Round Table is an international network of principled business leaders working to promote a moral capitalism. The group periodically presents lectures and panel discussions by noted individuals at the University Club.
  • Cheesebrough Varsity Blues Croquet Club
    • The University Club's Croquet Club, known as The Cheesebrough Varsity Blues, was formed in 1986 by founder and "father" of the croquet program, G.R. Cheesbrough (1937-1993), former University Club member and internationally-known illustrator, humorist and affable character.

      Today, the Croquet Club has about 20 members who, in addition
      to their scheduled matches during the summer at "home" at Lookout Park and away, gather once a year for their awards banquet, complete with trophies, ribbons, toasts and frivolity. The Club is a member of the United States Croquet Association (USCA) and the Twin Cities Croquet Society.
  • College of Visual Arts
    • Founded in 1924,  the College of Visual Arts is a private, accredited, four-year college of art and design. Based at 344 Summit Avenue with buildings and studios scattered nearby, CVA is located in the thriving urban residential areas of historic Summit Avenue and the Ramsey Hill neighborhood of the Historic Hill District of Saint Paul. In partnership with the University Club's sister property Stout's Island Lodge, CVA developed a special program in the summer of 2010 offering studies in painting, journaling, photography and illustration on location at Stout's Island Lodge near Rice Lake, Wisconsin. New classes are under development.
  • Compleat Scholar Courses
    • These courses are short, noncredit courses in the arts and humanities taught by outstanding University of Minnesota faculty and community experts. First five U Club members to register in each course are FREE. All U Club members receive 15% off the tuition of any Compleat Scholar course.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald Round Table
    • A literary society based out of the Twin Cities, the F.Scott Fitzgerald Round Table meets at the club once a month, six months out of the year, to discuss Fitzgerald's writings as well as works by his wife Zelda and other contemporaries of his.
  • G.K. Chesterton Society
    • Based in Minnesota, the G.K. Chesterton Society does everything it can to revive interest and scholarship in the writings of G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936). Chesterton was a prolific English critic and author of verse, essays, novels, and short stories, who, with George Bernard Shaw, Hilaire Belloc and H.G. Wells, was among the big Edwardian men of letters. Between 1900 and 1936, Chesterton published some one hundred books, and the Society meets monthly at The University Club of Saint Paul to discuss these works.
  • Great Books
    • The Great Books group meets monthly at the University Club as a part of the Great Books Foundation (formed in 1947) whose mission is to promote reading, thinking, and the exchange of ideas amongst people of all ages. Monthly readings by authors ranging from Aristotle to Thomas Hobbes to Leo Tolstoy provide a wonderful opportunity for members to participate in lively in-depth discussions about great literature.
  • Guthrie Theater
    • Special theater/dinner packages are offered to members several times a year that include shuttle service to the Guthrie, the performance (plays and musicals), and an after-the-theater reception and dinner highlighted by a presentation by actors, set designers, costume designers, directors and other Guthrie personnel connected with the production members have just experienced. The Guthrie presentation is followed by questions and answers. Members truly enjoy these events as they are able to discuss the performance and ask questions about what happens "behind-the-scenes."
  • James J. Hill Reference Library
    • University Club members are invited to attend presentations sponsored by the James J. Hill Reference Library, both at the downtown library and at other locations. The library's educational programming includes classes, seminars, and events on topics ranging from business research to entrepreneurship strategies.
  • Investment Club (IClub)
    • The University Club of Saint Paul's Investment Club meets monthly to discuss its investment portfolio. The monthly meeting format includes a report on the status of the portfolio and the individual investments. Individual members report on which investments they have been pursuing, and discussions and comments are encouraged on each individual report. Guests are always welcomed to participate in discussions.
  • Mother/Daughter Book Club
    • Sponsored by Saint Paul's beloved Red Balloon Bookshop (sharing the adventure of reading since 1984), the Mother/Daughter Book club meets monthly throughout the year to discuss various young adult titles. Every summer, the Red Balloon Bookshop sponsors a special book-themed tea for mothers and daughters with a character from the book as a guest!
  • Park Square Theatre
    • Park Square Theatre offers 2 special opportunities for reduced tickets to its productions for University Club members. New University Club members qualify for 50% off two full price tickets and current members receive $5 off the regular ticket price when they use the code "U Club" when reserving their tickets.
  • Readings by Writers
    • Sponsored by Public Art Saint Paul/Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk and hosted by Saint Paul's first poet laureate, Carol Connolly, Readings by Writers presents interesting new authors, poets, and their work at the University Club every month. Readings by Writers is free to members and guests.