WASHINGTON — The Cosmos Club, an all-male bastion of the capital's elite, is trying to end a 13-year-old debate over admitting women by asking prospective members to promise that they will not try to change its single-sex policy.
Over the objection of nearly a third of the club's 3,100 members, its board of management now requires a signed statement from all nominees "to recover a tranquil and sociable atmosphere . . . and maintain the Cosmos Club as a social club for men of accomplishment."
Prominent members include nuclear physicist Edward Teller, Sen. Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.), National Gallery of Art Director J. Carter Brown, U.S. Ambassador to West Germany Arthur F. Burns and former CIA Director William E. Colby.
The new policy was announced in a memorandum to members dated May 10 and distributed recently in the club's June bulletin. A copy of that memorandum was obtained by the Associated Press.