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A New Era At The Olympic Club

A New Era At The Olympic ClubTufts graduate Susan Morse recently made history when she became the first female president of San Francisco’s Olympic Club.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [02.12.06] When San Francisco’s Olympic Club—the oldest athletic club in the country—first opened its doors to women in 1992, lifelong sports enthusiast Susan Morse was one of the first in line. Fifteen years later, the Tufts graduate has earned the distinction of becoming the club’s first female president.

“If it took the club 147 years before electing a woman as president, consider Susan Morse just the one for the job,” the club’s newsletter reported. “Put simply, she’s trained for the gig.”

Morse, who earned degrees in political science and history from Tufts in 1969, had her sights set on entering the business world when she was graduated from college. After attending business school at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, she jumped into the corporate finance field with both feet, according to the newsletter.

Working for New Jersey’s Prudential Insurance, Morse remembers her daily commutes to work. “I was the only woman on the platform,” she explained in the newsletter. But Morse wasn’t fazed. According to the newsletter, she “didn’t want to necessarily follow someone else’s idea of her life.”

In 1981, Morse and her husband, fellow Tufts graduate Frank Morse, relocated to San Francisco, where “a life of exotic travel and business adventure unfolded for [her],” according to the newsletter. She founded her own energy advisory firm, which required her to travel extensively to work with clients like Trust Company of the West and the World Bank.

Morse’s fast-paced career sometimes brought her to business meetings at men’s clubs in North America. She recalled in the newsletter instances in which she was asked to use back entrances or separate rooms. Despite how she’d been treated at other facilities, Morse was eager to become one of the first female members at the Olympic Club.

“I wanted to join because I was an athlete as a kid, and I wanted to get back to playing golf and working out,” the Florida native told the newsletter. “The history and the tradition of the club appealed to me.”

Morse quickly set herself apart from others members and began climbing the club’s ranks. After serving on several different committees and the Board of Directors, she was elected the Olympic Club's first female president in December 2006. While it was a historic day for the club, Morse believes it was her hard work that propelled her to the top.

“I don’t think it was a grand social statement,” Morse, who is now a senior advisor at Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco, told the newsletter. “I think they were just saying ‘she’s worked hard for the club and has important things in mind for the club’s future.’”

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