HISTORY OF THE JCPENNEY HCSC ALUMNI CLUB
The incorporation of the Golden Rule Stores into the J.C. Penney Company on January 17, 1913 made it easier to raise credit to expand the business. But it also provoked some anxiety for Mr. Penney and his fellow manager-partners. Would incorporation weaken the two factors to which they attributed the Company's growth? One was the ethical foundation of the Company. They believed this foundation, captured in the name Golden Rule Stores, was the chief reason for the trust customers put in their stores. The other was the partnership principle, which they felt gave managers incentive to succeed.
Determined to lose neither, Mr. Penney and several colleagues met in Salt Lake City later in the year. They drafted a document they called The Original Body of Doctrine. It expressed five core principles by which the new company would do business. They were later expanded to seven and renamed The Penney Idea. These principles have guided Company practices ever since.
ADOPTION OF H.C.S.C. AS COMPANY MOTTO
Also in 1913, the partners adopted a Company motto that summarized these principles into four words: Honor, Confidence, Service, and Cooperation. They are often abbreviated to H.C.S.C. Mr. Penney presided over a ceremony in which the manager-partners pledged their loyalty to the H.C.S.C. principles. Afterwards, inductees received a lapel pin inscribed with the H.C.S.C. initials.
In 2005, the Company built on the heritage of the Penney Idea and H.C.S.C. by adopting a set of WINNING Together Principles that were intended to guide the actions of all 150,000 associates. As a result, the separate H.C.S.C. pinning ceremony that was limited to Management associates was discontinued.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIAL H.C.S.C. CLUB FOR RETIRED ASSOCIATES
In 1932, twelve retired Penney partners met in Los Angeles to discuss creating a club for social purposes. The H.C.S.C. Club was founded to keep partnership ties alive into retirement. The original requirement for membership was to be a manager or executive of the J .C. Penney Company who has retired or resigned from active service. However, membership is now open to all former associates (Management and Non-Management) who have either retired or resigned under honorable conditions, and the Club’s name has been changed to the “JCPenney National H.C.S.C. Alumni Club.”
Through the efforts and perseverance of those first 12 men, the Club added many others to its membership, until in 1951 the membership was well over 200. To cement the foundation more firmly, a program for further development and expansion of the Club was undertaken during 1951. This resulted in the incorporation of the Club as a non-profit social institution, the adoption of by-laws, the establishment of a Lifetime membership classification, and a campaign to establish Regional Meeting Groups in sections of the country beyond Los Angeles.
With incorporation in 1951, the H.C.S.C. Club was carrying out the thought that the 12 founders had in 1932. They saw a nation-wide institution of former associates banded together firmly in a social organization and extending the hand of good fellowship in friendly gatherings. Today, the Club has 12 Regional Meeting Groups across the country which meet independently at different times during the year.
To help members keep in touch with retirees from all of the Regional Meeting Groups, the Partners Magazine was created. This publication, mailed several times a year to all Club members, has grown from a four page newsletter into an attractive color magazine sharing information and fun events held by the individual Regional Meeting Groups, as well as timely JCPenney Company news. As an important addition to the Club, the website www.jcpalumniclub.org, created in 2009, provides up-to-date information to both current and prospective new members. To increase communications and camaraderie among the members a National Facebook page was added in 2021.