Residential colleges of Yale University
Yale University has a system of 12 residential colleges to which students are assigned before they arrive. They form centers of residential life, including housing, dining, and common areas for students.
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The first eight residential colleges were opened in 1933 through a donation by Yale graduate Edward S. Harkness, who admired the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge. Unlike those of the latter institutions, Yale's colleges are residential and part of a unitary university, not autonomous entities that make up a federal university.
The system was expanded in 1935 with the opening of Timothy Dwight, and in 1940 with Silliman College. Again, it was expanded in 1962 with the opening of Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges. Residential colleges are named for important figures or places in university history or notable alumni; they are deliberately not named for benefactors.
In 1998, Yale launched a decade of renovations for the older residential buildings, whose decades of existence had seen only routine maintenance and incremental improvements to plumbing, heating, and electrical and network wiring. Renovations to many of the colleges are now complete. Among other improvements, the renovated colleges feature new basement facilities, including restaurants, game rooms, theaters, athletic facilities and music practice rooms.
On June 7, 2008, President Richard Levin announced that the Yale Corporation has authorized the construction of two new residential colleges, scheduled to open in 2015. The additional colleges, to be built in the northern part of the campus, will allow for expanded admission and the reduction of crowding in the existing residential colleges.
Yale's residential colleges are separately administered residential communities; unlike the Oxford–Cambridge colleges, they do not directly possess academic affiliations. Each college is headed by a Master, a faculty member who is appointed by the the university's President to serve as chief administrator of the college, and a Dean, who is appointed by the Dean of Yale College to oversee academic affairs for the students of the college. Each college has a Master's House, a multi-story, single-family home, for the Master and their family, and private apartments for the Dean's family and resident fellows of the college.
Although students once selected their choice college before sophomore year, entrenched social exclusion and economic inequality between the colleges prompted Yale to switch to a system of pre-matriculation sorting in 1962. Students are now randomly assigned to a residential college in the summer before their matriculation, with the provision that legacy students are allowed to choose whether to live in the same college as their parent.
Most freshman live in dormitories on the Old Campus, the historical center of Yale College. Members of Timothy Dwight and Silliman are the only students to live in their college as freshmen. Thereafter, students take rooms within the residential college by a lottery system. Due to overcrowding, many of the colleges have annex residences where upperclassmen members live, and some upperclassmen live off campus, though they remain members of their college.
Yale faculty affiliate with the colleges as fellows by appointment of the Council of Masters, the governing body of the residential system. Fellows advise students, attend ceremonial functions of the college, and participate in its social and academic life; a small number also keep offices in the college by invitation of the Master. Each college fellowship hosts weekly dinners for its members. Nearly all university academic functions exist outside the college, with the exception of undergraduate seminars selected by the fellows. Although nearly all university academic functions are conducted outside the colleges, the fellows select several seminars each year to be hosted in the college.
In addition to the Master, Dean, and undergraduate residents of the college, a few resident fellows live in apartments within the college. Each college also maintains a few rooms for graduate student residents, who oversee graduate affiliate programs for graduate students to receive undergraduate academic advising. The colleges also hire professional tutors to support undergraduate writing, math, and science.
Every college contains a dining hall and extracurricular facilities. Students are permitted to have meals in any college dining hall. Every college also features commons room, classrooms, a gym, and a kitchen; other facilities, which vary from college to college, include chapels, libraries, squash courts, game parlors, basketball courts, pottery rooms, music rooms, short order dining counters, cafes, and darkrooms.
While each college at Yale offers its own seminars, social events, and Master's Teas with guests from the world, most of them are open to students from other residential colleges. All of Yale's 2,000 courses are open to undergraduates from any college.
The dominant architecture of the residential colleges is Collegiate Gothic, a gothic revival style considered the characteristic architecture of the university and mimicking the Gothic quadrangles of Cambridge and Oxford colleges. Two of the original Rogers' colleges—Pierson and the interior courtyard of Davenport—are Georgian , and Timothy Dwight is Federal, references to popular, colonial American campus styles. Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges were conceived by Eero Saarinen, a prominent mid-century architect, and imagined as angular, modernist reinventions of the Tuscan village.
Associations with American slavery
Eight of the twelve colleges are named after American slaveowners, a fact to which some Yale students and faculty have objected. Particularly controversial is the legacy of John C. Calhoun, the namesake of Calhoun College, who was a leading slavery apologist and secessionist in Congress before the American Civil War. In 2009, a student group protested the connection by posting alternative names for slaveowner-named colleges near the college entrances.
In addition to these titular connections, two of the colleges, Pierson and Timothy Dwight, have strong architectural associations to slavery. Timothy Dwight, a Georgian Revival structure, was influenced by Southern plantation architecture. Although the name has fallen out of use, a secluded courtyard in Pierson was known widely as the "Slave Quarters" for its Southern-style house-like buildings adjacent to the college's main courtyard. In Branford and Calhoun Colleges, stained-glass windows depicting scenes of African American servitude are displayed prominently.
|Berkeley College||1934||Reverend George Berkeley||417||205 Elm Street|||
|Branford College||1933||Branford, Connecticut||450||74 High Street|||
|Calhoun College||1933||John C. Calhoun||435||189 Elm Street|||
|Davenport College||1933||John Davenport||460||248 York Street|||
|Ezra Stiles College||1961||Ezra Stiles||400-500||19 Tower Parkway|||
|Jonathan Edwards College||1932||Jonathan Edwards||430||68 High Street|||
|Morse College||1961||Samuel Morse||480||302-304 York Street|||
|Pierson College||1933||Abraham Pierson||503||261 Park Street|||
|Saybrook College||1933||Old Saybrook, Connecticut||459||242 Elm Street|||
|Silliman College||1940||Benjamin Silliman||450||505 College Street|||
|Timothy Dwight College||1935||Timothy Dwight IV and Timothy Dwight V||400||345 Temple Street|||
|Trumbull College||1933||Jonathan Trumbull||400||241 Elm Street|||
- Robert A.M. Stern Architects - New Residential Colleges
- Yale University Office of Public Affairs: "Yale to Establish Two New Residential Colleges.". Retrieved 2008-06-07.
- "Eero Saarinen: Shaping The Future". KieranTimberlake. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- The college namesakes who owned slaves were George Berkeley, John C. Calhoun, Jonathan Davenport, Timothy Dwight, Jonathan Edwards, Samuel Morse, Benjamin Silliman, Ezra Stiles, and Jonathan Trumbull. Samuel Morse was not a slaveowner but expressed pro-slavery sympathies, and Abraham Pierson's views on slavery are unknown. The other two colleges are named for towns in Connecticut.
- Antony Dugdale; J.J. Fueser; J. Celso de Castro Alves (2001). "Yale, Slavery and Abolition". The Amistad Committee, Inc. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Hefetz, Eliah (12 October 2012). "Naming a new Yale". The Yale Herald. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- "Yale Students to Protest Racist Acts on Campus". The New York Times. 11 October 1990. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Wang, Rachel (14 October 2009). "Anonymous campaign 'renames' colleges with slave past". The Yale Daily News. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Jensen, Kirsten (September 1999). "Building a University, Timothy Dwight: Page 3". Yale University Manuscripts and Archives. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Pinnell, Patrick L. (1999). The Campus Guide: Yale University. Princeton Architectural Press. p. 67. ISBN 1568981678.
- Mills Brown, Elizabeth (1976). New Haven:A Guide to Architecture and Urban Design. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 126. ISBN 0300019939.
- Jensen, Kirsten (September 1999). "Building a University, Davenport & Pierson: Page 9". Yale University Manuscripts and Archives. Retrieved 18 July 2013.
- Berkeley College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Branford College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Calhoun College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Davenport College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Ezra Stiles College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Jonathan Edwards College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Morse College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Pierson College Home Page
- Saybrook College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Silliman College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Timothy Dwight College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
- Trumbull College Home Page