Yale College was the official name of Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA, from 1718 to 1887. The name now refers to the undergraduate part of the university. Each undergraduate student is assigned to one of 12 residential colleges. Yale was founded in part from funds realized from the sale of Equivalent Lands.
The current residential college system was instituted in 1933 through a grant by Yale graduate Edward S. Harkness, who admired the college systems at Oxford University and Cambridge University. Each college consists of a dormitory building or buildings, surrounding a quadrangle or courtyard. Each college includes a dining hall; student facilities, ranging from libraries to squash courts to darkrooms; and a few faculty, including a dean, a master, and two or more resident fellows. Most college buildings also feature distinctive architecture, and each has developed a different flavor or area of emphasis. Although Yale students take part in academic and social programs across the university, and all of Yale's 2,000 courses are open to undergraduates from any college, each college has a carefully constructed academic and social structure for its students, including seminars, social events, and master's teas with notable guests from around the world.
In 1990, Yale launched a series of massive overhauls to the older residential buildings, whose decades of existence had seen only routine maintenance and incremental improvements to plumbing, heating, and electrical and network wiring. Berkeley College was the first to undergo complete renovation. Various unwieldy schemes were used to house displaced students during the yearlong projects, but complaints finally moved Yale to build a new residence hall between the gym and the power plant. It is commonly called "Swing Space" by the students; its official name, Boyd Hall, is unused.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Yale created plans to create a thirteenth college, whose concrete facade would have broken with the campus's more prevalent Gothic and Georgian architecture. The plans were scrapped, after the city of New Haven put up substantial financial barriers, and the proposed site was eventually filled with condominiums and shops (Whitney Grove Square, among others).
In June 2008, Yale announced plans to build two new residential colleges, bringing the total to fourteen. The colleges would allow the school to increase enrollment by about 15 percent to approximately 6,000. The schools are to be built north of Grove Street Cemetery and are being designed by the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, Robert A. M. Stern. The new colleges were originally scheduled to be completed by 2013, but construction was delayed by the recession that started in 2008.
List of residential colleges
Residential colleges are named for important figures or places in university history or notable alumni; they are deliberately not named for benefactors.
- Berkeley College – named for the Rt. Rev. George Berkeley (1685–1753), early benefactor of Yale.
- Branford College – named for Branford, Connecticut, the town in which Yale was founded.
- Calhoun College – named for John C. Calhoun, vice-president of the United States. The smallest college.
- Davenport College – named for Rev. John Davenport, the founder of New Haven. Often called "D'port".
- Ezra Stiles College – named for the Rev. Ezra Stiles, a president of Yale. Generally called "Stiles," despite an early-1990s crusade by then-master Traugott Lawler to preserve the use of the full name in everyday speech. Its buildings were designed by Eero Saarinen.
- Jonathan Edwards College – named for theologian, Yale alumnus, and Princeton University co-founder Jonathan Edwards. Generally called "J.E." The oldest of the residential colleges, J.E. is the only college with an independent endowment, the Jonathan Edwards Trust.
- Morse College – named for Samuel Morse, inventor of Morse Code. Also designed by Eero Saarinen.
- Pierson College – named for Yale's first rector, Abraham Pierson.
- Saybrook College – named for Old Saybrook, Connecticut, where Yale was briefly located.
- Silliman College – named for noted scientist and Yale professor Benjamin Silliman. About half of its structures were originally part of the Sheffield Scientific School,
- Timothy Dwight College – named for the two Yale presidents of that name, Timothy Dwight IV and Timothy Dwight V. Usually called "T.D."
- Trumbull College – named for Jonathan Trumbull, 18th-century governor of Connecticut.
In popular culture
- The anti-Tom novel Aunt Phillis's Cabin by Mary Henderson Eastman is partially set in Yale College in the 1850s.
- In the American TV series Gilmore Girls, Rory Gilmore attended Yale College, choosing it over Harvard.
- Holden, Reuben A. Yale: A Pictorial History (1967).
- Kabaservice, Geoffrey. The Guardians: Kingman Brewster, His Circle, and the Rise of the Liberal Establishment, (2004). 573 pp.
- Kelley, Brooks Mather. Yale: A History. (1999). 10-ISBN 0-300-07843-9: 13-ISBN 978-0-300-07843-5; OCLC 810552
- Pierson, George Wilson. Yale College, An Educational History (1871–1921) (1952).
- Welch, Lewis Sheldon, and Walter Camp. Yale, her campus, class-rooms, and athletics (1900). online
- Yale to Establish Two New Residential Colleges
- Lewin, Tamar: "Yale to Expand Undergraduate Enrollment by 15 Percent", New York Times, June 8, 2008
- "Architect Announced". Yale University Office of Development. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Stephenson, Tapley; Natasha Thondavadi (6 April 2012). "With designs set, new colleges waiting on funds". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- Aunt Phillis's Cabin: or, Southern Life As It Is – M. H. Eastman (1852)
- Official Website of Yale College
- The Yung Wing Project hosts the memoir of the first Chinese-American graduate of an American university (Yale 1854).