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Santa Monica College|Administration & College Governance|Associates|About the Associates

About the Associates


​Mission and Objectives of the SMC Associates

The SMC Associates was established in 1981. It is a community-based support group that fosters and encourages scientific, literary, educational and artistic endeavors at Santa Monica College. The Associates brings outstanding researchers, speakers and professionals to the college to stimulate student excellence and enrich campus life by sponsoring:

  • On-campus lectures by eminent scholars and leaders in education, business, science and government.
  • Cultural events, performances and exhibits.
  • Academic department programs that discuss of current issues with experts in a wide range of fields in a more intimate setting.
  • Distinguished Scholars Program that provide an in-depth treatment of a single subject or concept.
Objectives of SMC Associates:
  • To promote, foster, and encourage scientific, literary, educational and artistic endeavors at Santa Monica College for students, members of the faculty and staff, and the community at large.
  • To receive gifts for the purposes set forth above.
  • To expend monies for the general welfare of the students and staff of Santa Monica College as set forth.​

About the SMC Associates

The Santa Monica College Associates membership is made up of Westside community members, business and civic leaders, faculty and staff of Santa Monica College who all believe in enriching the campus environment for students and also opening these opportunities to the surrounding communities.

Membership is open to all friends of Santa Monica College who wish to support the college in its continuing efforts to bring excellence to education. Annual membership dues range from $100 to $5,000 and are fully tax deductible, payable by check or credit card. College staff and faculty members can also choose to use a convenient payroll deduction program for their dues.

Associates members and guests are invited to special opportunities to meet speakers and performers participating in programs sponsored by the Associates, and to a special Membership Reception which takes place in September of each year. These are intellectual and social gatherings throughout the year for members at large, but there are no standing meetings.

The SMC Associates currently has a 30-member Board of Directors elected for staggered 3-year terms. Board members make recommendations for and participate in the selection of potential speakers and programs. Board members also recruit new members to the organization; oversee the budget; and create special appreciation events for the general membership.

History of the SMC Associates

The SMC Associates was founded in 1981 by a group of community leaders and college educators with a mission to enrich the college campus environment and to broaden students’ understanding and appreciation of the larger world.

Through its membership dues, the SMC Associates has annually brought in and funded a variety of events, speakers and performances. Admission to events is generally free and open to the public, extending the benefits to the wider community. The Associates has also provided financial assistance to gifted art students, the Dale Ride government internship program, and to other SMC students involved in special projects.

Some of the notable Associates-sponsored programs in past years have been anthropologist Jane Goodall, former Massachussetts Governor Michael Dukakis, US Secretary of the Air Force Dr. Donald Rice, JPL Mars exploration program director Dr. Firouz Naderi, authors Jared Diamond, Khaled Hosseini and Jonathan Safran Foer, German Body World’s creator Dr. Gunther von Hagens, British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, first woman astronaut Sally Ride, legendary entertainer Steve Allen, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Dr. George Olah, and the Actors From the London Stage in week-long residence on campus.​