Administrative Professional's Day


Administrative Professionals Week is always the last full week of April, with Wednesday of that week being designated Administrative Professionals Day.

Administrative Professionals Day recognizes and celebrates the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, and other office professionals for their growing and diverse contributions to the workplace. In the United States, it is customary to take administrative professionals out to lunch on this day, and/or to give flowers or other gifts of appreciation. Other  common ways of recognizing your Administrative Professional(s) today are:

  • Cards, often with shopping gift certificates
  • Candies
  • Assorted Gift Baskets

Administrative Professionals Week was originally designated "National Secretaries Week" by the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and a consortium of office product manufacturers in 1952. Mary Barrett, president of the National Secretaries Association (now called the International Association of Administrative Professionals) and C. King Woodbridge, president of Dictaphone Corporation, were serving on a council charged with addressing a national shortage of skilled office workers that existed at the time. Together with Harry Klemfuss, public relations account executive at Young & Rubicam, they originated the idea for a secretaries week campaign.

National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretary's Day was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam. Klemfuss recognized the importance and value of the position to a company or business. Using his skill and experience in public relations, he promoted the values and importance of the job of secretaries and created the holiday in recognition of the importance of secretaries.  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer proclaimed the first National Secretaries Week held June 1-7, 1952, with Wednesday, June 4th designated National Secretaries Day.  

In 1955, the National Secretaries Association changed the date of National Secretaries Week to the last full week of April, with Wednesday of that week being designated National Secretaries Day. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981 when the National Secretaries Association became Professional Secretaries International (PSI).  

PSI changed its name in 1998 to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), to further reflect the expanding role of office staff. In the year 2000, the IAAP – official sponsor of the event – announced that the name would change from "Professional Secretaries Day" to "Administrative Professionals Day." The name change was made to keep in step with the changing job titles and expanding responsibilities of today's administrative workforce.

The title is changing and evolving, but the recognition is still very important. Two terms in use today are "Administrative Professionals" and "Executive Admins". These two names sometimes mean different roles and are broader terms that encompass more positions than the original "Secretary" role. Changing the name recognizes and acknowledges that the role has changed significantly since 1952.

The job of an administrative professional has dramatically changed over the years thanks to new tools, techniques and seismic shifts in the economy and culture itself. Admins continue to ensure that jobs get done right, on time and under budget.

These professionals are one of the engines of business, especially in a complex economy. In a world that demands the accurate and speedy movement of digital information, admins are masters of data while still maintaining their traditional roles of gatekeepers for organizations.