This association for Queen's women graduates was founded at the turn of the 20th century to serve the university and especially to help female students. Its main accomplishment during its 90-year history was to found and help fund the university's women's residences, which were also operated by the Association until the early 1970s. Residents were initially housed in rented buildings near campus - but thanks mostly to funding from the Alumnae Association, the first residence for women - Ban Righ Hall - was completed in 1925.
In exchange for its contribution to the University, the association fought for and won a role in the management of the residence from the Board of Trustees. Association volunteers sat on the Ban Righ Board and continued to have a direct role in running (and funding) the growing number of women's residences until the early 1970s, when the University took over the management of the residences and the Ban Righ Board became an advisory body only.
The association also insisted that any surplus from the running of Ban Righ be put to other women's residence purposes, and the Board of Trustees agreed.
By the end of the era of alumnae management, a large surplus had accumulated, and part of this money was used to launch and maintain the Ban Righ Foundation for Continuing Education (now the Ban Righ Centre) in 1974.
In 1962, the Alumnae Association published a collection of retrospective articles by leading association members on the early days of the association and its struggle to build residences for women at Queen's (for that story, visit the Ban Righ Centre website). The book was called Queen's University Alumnae Association 1900-1961 and Women's Residences at Queen's (see Books about Queen's). It was edited by Mary Chown, Melva Eagleson, and Thelma Boucher. In 1992, to help celebrate the University's sesquicentennial anniversary, the Alumni Association reissued the book, edited for republication by Margaret Gibson (Arts '46) under the title A Generous Loyalty: The Queen's Alumnae Memory Book.
The Alumnae Association ceased to exist in 1990, and was replaced by a Committee on Women's Affairs within the Alumni Association.