About Us

The Heart of Palo Alto Life

Entrepreneurs and artists. Executives and philanthropists. Leaders and visionaries. Friends and neighbors.

These are just some of the ways to describe the families, couples, and individuals who simply want the best for themselves and their community – and have found it here at Palo Alto’s “best-kept secret.”

Set among majestic native oaks and the meandering Matadero Creek, our tranquil campus is host to a full range of sports,recreational, social and cultural activities for every member and all abilities – including tennis and aquatics, sand volleyball, basketball and bocce, horseshoes, fitness and wellness, an organic edible garden, casual and upscale dining, and much more.

Our active events calendar features everything from competitive tournaments and elegant events to family-friendly social gatherings.

Our website offers just a glimpse of our full range of amenities, events, and services. To experience for yourself all the possibilities offered by University Club membership, contact Lorraine Sarich, Membership Director, at 650.493.3972 x10 or lsarich@ucpaloalto.com to schedule a personal visit.

  • Mission Statement
    • The University Club of Palo Alto exists as a recreational and social center for its members. Although its physical plant is important, its core purpose is to provide a gathering place and social setting for its members to enjoy on a “full life” cycle. As a swim, tennis and fitness facility, the Club offers a picturesque and comfortable environment for the recreational enjoyment of these activities, but it also provides an outlet for those seeking healthy competition.

      In providing food services the Club strives to be “user-friendly”, offering a menu attractive to both the casual diner and the occasional gourmet. The Club also serves as a meeting-place suitable for business and client entertainment as well as purely social engagements. In offering a variety of athletic, social and business development opportunities, the Club intends to provide a relaxing and friendly environment, attractive without being “fancy”, in short, a place for members and their families to visit and enjoy as often as possible and to meet and develop new friends.

      While avoiding “trendiness,” the Club tries to remain flexible in order to meet the emerging needs of its membership over the years. Its activities, while family oriented, are also suitable for those whose children have grown and moved on. Although fiscally conservative, the Club remains attentive to maintaining attractive and up-to-date facilities that serve both the athletic and non-athletic interests of its members.

      The Club strives to hire employees who are respectful of the members’ desire for a friendly, low-key atmosphere, but who provide the best available coaching, dining, maintenance and other member services.

  • Maps and Directory
    • University Club of Palo Alto
      3277 Miranda Avenue
      Palo Alto, California 94304
      (650) 493-3972

      From Highway 280
      Take Page Mill East, towards Palo Alto
      Turn right on Foothill Expressway
      Turn left on Hillview Avenue
      Make an immediate left on Miranda Avenue
      (Miranda is an access road for Foothill Expressway)
      The club is the 3rd entrance on the right.

      From Highway 101
      Take Oregon Expressway West, towards 280
      Turn left on Foothill Expressway
      Turn left on Hillview Avenue
      Make an immediate left on Miranda Avenue
      (Miranda is an access road for Foothill Expressway)
      The club is the 3rd entrance on the right

  • History
    • By William V. Shaftner

      Palo Alto had just begun to spread out into the fields south of California Avenue. Truman, Churchill and Stalin were the big names in world politics. The S.P. commuter trains were pulled by steam locomotives. The Stanford Industrial Park wasn't there. That was 1952, the year when about twenty men from the business, professional and educational community met for weekly luncheons at Rickey's and formed the Palo Alto University Club.

      Feeling there was a strong need for a club that would promote good fellowship among university businessmen and families, they decided to establish a permanent organization. From a list of 250 prospective members, 115 signed up. The University Club of Palo Alto was on its way. In addition to weekly luncheon meetings, a new social program was launched - such as swimming and dancing parties and bridge evenings at Rickey's. It was not unusual to have over 100 members and wives at these events. Until our present facilities were established, the Club met at Rickey's (except for a short period during an unsatisfactory attempt to establish permanent headquarters in the President Hotel downtown).

      When it became apparent that the Club was a popular success in 1953, the members began in earnest to search for the ways and means of having their own clubhouse. Various sites and plans were studied and discussed over the next three years. Finally, in 1956, our present site was leased from Stanford and construction plans were approved. The first preference of the membership was the swimming pool. The promise of a new Club pool also proved to be a definite incentive for membership. Although the growing community sprouted several clubs, nearly 200 new members came into the University Club in 1957.

      Such a large project as building or splendid new club facility was sure to have problems. To many it seemed to be an over-ambitious dream. But enthusiasm and resolve were there and the members and officers held to their dream, giving time, talent and money to the project. The summer of 1958 saw members and their families splashing in one of the most beautiful club swimming pools in northern California. The pool was open and in use several months before the clubhouse was finished. When the clubhouse was opened in the Spring of 1959, the members were very pleased with what they saw. A whole new era had begun.

      The Directors of the Club soon found that they were dealing with a large plant and although most of them were business-oriented, this was to be a new experience for them. On their shoulders rested the heavy responsibility to steer this major investment through uncertain waters. There were many formidable problems such as running the dining room, selecting and supervising employees, pool maintenance and a hundred other items that had to be ironed out without previous experience to draw upon. Always, as with all clubs, present and future activities and growth depend on financial integrity. Decisions, especially in these formative, seemed always to be laced with complications. Fortunately, the Directors and members never lost sight of the purpose of the Club to provide fellowship and recreation for its members. Often by prudently deferring projects, and were made to meet and the Club grew on a sound basis.

      By 1962, the Club had been guided to a financially sound position. It had developed a social program in response to the wishes and needs of its members and held a position of prestige in the community. Soon the tennis courts would be added for the large number of members interested in that game, which attracted many new members. The largest addition to the Club came in 1962 when the Alumni Room was added in response to the need for an all-purpose space. It serves as a library, meeting room, bridge room, and generally enhances the clubhouse. One of the most satisfying of the Clubs projects has been the Scholarship Fund, which was set up in 1963. This has grown steadily, mainly through member donations and memorial gifts. The Club takes much pride in seeing several college students helped on their way by this Fund every year.

      The Palo Alto University Club will continue to grow and serve its many purposes of providing a meeting place and recreation for businessmen and families who find themselves "at home" in its congenial and pleasant surrounding. More importantly, the Club has been and will continue to be a place where many lasting friendships are formed.

  • UCPA Staff
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