Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the relationship between the Penn Club and the Williams Club?

The Williams Club was established in 1913, and had its own building on West 39th Street until closing its doors in 2010. We now reside at the Penn Club with special “club-in-residence” status, tending to our Affiliate schools.

Williams Club members are regular Penn Club members with full access to Penn Club facilities, events, Reciprocal clubs, etc. Williams Club members’ needs are primarily met by The Williams Club director, who is a Williams College graduate. Alumni/ae of our Affiliate schools and their families exclusively join the Penn Club via the Williams Club.

2. I went to Bowdoin [same question from any other affiliate school].  Will I feel comfortable at the “Williams Club?”

Absolutely.  The entire Club membership is made up of graduates of schools that you are familiar with, including your own.

3. I am a recent grad.  Will I find many other younger people & fit in at events?

About 35% of our Club members are 35 and younger.  Our programming/events appeal to all ages, and event attendance demonstrates this.

4.  Are Williams Club members treated any differently than Penn Club members?

No.  Everyone is treated identically, and all Penn Club staff are available to Williams Club members just the same as with all other members.

5.  Does being a Williams alum automatically make me a member?

No, but it certainly makes you eligible to apply for membership.

6.  Can undergrads join?

Yes, and the cost is just $300 per membership year for full time, undergrad students.   Members must be at least 21.

7.  Can faculty/staff join?

Yes, membership is open to faculty and staff of all of our Affiliate institutions at a greatly reduced rate.

8. Can parents join?

Yes.  A parent & immediate family of an alum can join at the normal rates.  This is inclusive of Parents, Grandparents, Sibling, Children, Nieces, Nephews, Grandchildren, Uncles and Aunts.

9.  How can I pay for membership?

There are four payment options: cash, check, direct checking account withdrawal via ACH, or debit/credit card.  

10. How are house charges, gym, accommodations, etc. paid for?

The Gym is free to all Members.  There is a $20 charge for a Member’s guest.  House charges and Accommodations can be paid for via credit card.  If you’ve authorized it, your on-file credit/debit card will be charged.  Dues are paid on an annual basis.

11.  Are there any requisite minimum house charges?


12. What is the length of my membership commitment?

Our membership year runs from July 1 – June 30, and membership is a yearly commitment through the end of that period.  So, whenever you activate your account, you are committing to membership until the following June 30.  At that point a new membership year will begin, and members who choose to keep their accounts active will be committing to the next full year of membership.

13. Can I suspend my account at any time?

There is a formal option for suspending a membership account for up to three years for those that originally joined & paid an Initiation fee.  There is a very modest annual charge for this.  Be in touch before June 30 to secure this option.

14.  Can I add gym membership?

Gym is FREE!

15.  Can I just join the gym without becoming a Club member?


16.  What is membership cost based on?

With the exception of  undergrads, spouse/life partners; and affiliate school faculty & staff, membership costs vary based on age, and residence & workplace location.

Thus for most members, the categories of membership are: Resident, Suburban, Nonresident, and International. Resident members are those who live and/or work in New York City. Suburban members are those who live and/or work within a 50 mile radius of New York City. Non-resident/national members are those who live and/or work outside a 50-mile radius of New York City. International members are those who live and/or work outside the continental U.S.

17.  What happens to my Dues rate if I move to a new geographic category? When does my age change get reflected in the dues I pay?

As a new member, your dues are based on your age & location at the time that your membership is  processed.  At the time of annual renewal, July 1st,  dues are adjusted based on your age and location as of that date. Members moving mid-year do not have to “top-up” their dues or receive a refund.

18. Is the Initiation fee a one-time payment?

Yes. But this is provided that a Member doesn’t let their membership lapse.  Initiation is waived for spouses/long-term partners, full time grad students and those 21-24.

19.  Can spouses/life partners make use of the Club without their mate’s presence?  Is there a special spousal membership?

Non-member spouses/life partners need to be accompanied by their mate when visiting the Club, and charges for food & beverages can only be made by the member.

Spouses/life partners can become full members at a cost of only $450 per year.

20.  What is the Club’s dress code?

Business Casual Attire is permitted at all times throughout the Clubhouse. Acceptable business casual attire includes collared shirts for men, sweaters, turtlenecks, dress slacks, khakis, corduroy trousers, skirts and dresses. Relaxed Casual Attire is permitted at all times in the Grill Room, Lobby, Guest Rooms and Business Center. Acceptable relaxed casual attire includes business casual attire as well as jeans in good repair, knee-length shorts, and athletic shoes or sneakers.

The following attire is NOT acceptable: Shorts (with the exception of culottes and knee-length shorts), T-shirts, tank tops, sweat suits or jogging suits, Lycra or Spandex garments, blue jeans ripped or frayed clothing and/or footwear and similar apparel.  Sneakers are not permitted unless immediately en route to the Gym.

In the Palestra Fitness Center, appropriate sneakers, T-shirts, shorts or sweat suits are the only acceptable gym attire.

The Dress Code applies to members and their guests. Members are asked to inform their guests of the Club’s Dress Code.

21.  Is tipping appropriate?

Club employees may not accept tips except in the case of dining. A service fee is added to all dining, bar and banquet bills, but members can add to that.

22. Can I bring in food and/or beverages from outside the Club?

No.  Moreover NO food and/or beverages are permitted in the 11th Floor Business Center.

23.  Can cellphones, laptops and tablets be used?

The use of cellular phones is limited to private meeting rooms and day rate sleeping rooms. But also quiet and respectful cell phone usage is permitted in the 11th Floor Business Center, as well as in the telephone booths on floors 3 and 4, the 13th Floorand the front lobby outer foyer. The general rule for use of electronic equipment is respect for other Members, and appropriateness.

24.  Are there House Rules of conduct?

Yes.  Click here to view.

  • There is a special Summer Membership (June, July, August) for anyone 18 or older & less than 21 that ONLY permits Gym use.