History and Origin of Secretaries Day
The holiday has been (unofficially) celebrated since 1952 when the
National Secretaries Association (NSA) declared a National Secretaries
Week to show appreciation to members of the office workforce. The idea
came about when business leaders got together in the early 1950’s to
discuss the state of workers in their industries. At this meeting, Mary
Barrett, President of NSA met with C. King Woodbridge (President of
Dictaphone Corp), Harry Klemfuss (Account Executive at Young and Rubicam)
and put their heads together to come up with the Secretaries Week
concept. [Note: This was not a holiday crated by card manufactures,
florists and chocolatiers, as the urban legend tells.]
The holiday was recognized by the U.S. Commerce Commission and in
1952 Charles Sawyer, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce proclaimed the first
Secretaries Week to be held that year from June 1st to June 7th.
He also stated that June 4th would be National Secretaries
Day (misspelled Secretary’s Day). In 1955, the NSA changed the date to
the last full week of April.
The name of the holiday was changed to Professional Secretaries
Week/Day in 1981. The name of the National Secretaries Association also
made a name change and became the Professional Secretaries International
(PSI). The organization then changed its name again in 1998 to its
current International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
The IAAP has continued to sponsor this holiday since its inception in
In 2000, the International Association of Administrative
Professionals changed the name of the celebrations to the Administrative
Professionals Day and Administrative Professionals Week to adhere to the
changing environment of the modern work environment. Today’s
administrative professional is a far cry from the stereotypical
dictation taking, coffee making “secretary” of the 1950s.
This is a day set aside to show our appreciation for those in the
workforce we call "secretaries." No, we might not have one of our own,
and they might be called "admins," "executive assistants," or
“administrators” these days, but they have all helped us out from day to
day. On this day we can show that we appreciate them, and all they do
for us, throughout the year.
Who Is an Administrative Professional?
An administrative professional (a.k.a. secretary) is anyone whose
function it is to support the people who work in an office environment.
This is a fairly broad term. The IAAP defines administrative
“individuals who are
responsible for administrative tasks and coordination of information in
support of an office-related environment and who are dedicated to
furthering their personal and professional growth in their chosen
profession.” It is interesting to note that there are over four million
workers in the U.S. that fall under this description.
The Dates for Administrative Professional Day and
The holiday is celebrated on the Tuesday of the last full week of
April. See below for upcoming dates:
2005 April 27th (Administrative Professional's Week is April
2006 April 26th (Administrative Professional's Week is April
2007 April 25th (Administrative Professional's Week is April