Saybrook College

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Saybrook College
Residential college at Yale University
Yale University
Saybrook shield.png
Coat of arms of Saybrook College
Location242 Elm Street (map)
Coordinates41°18′37″N 72°55′46″W / 41.31028°N 72.92944°W / 41.31028; -72.92944Coordinates: 41°18′37″N 72°55′46″W / 41.31028°N 72.92944°W / 41.31028; -72.92944
MottoQui transtulit sustinet (Latin)
Motto in EnglishHe who transplanted still remains
Say what? Saybrook!
Named forOld Saybrook, Connecticut
ColorsBlue, gold
Sister collegeAdams House and Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Head of CollegeThomas J. Near
DeanFerentz Lafargue[1]
Undergraduates484 (2013-2014)
Mascotlion, historically seal
WebsiteSaybrook College

Saybrook College is one of the 14 residential colleges at Yale University. It was founded in 1933 by partitioning the Memorial Quadrangle into two parts: Saybrook and Branford.

Unlike many of Yale's residential colleges that are centered on one large courtyard, Saybrook has two courtyards—one stone and one grass, hence the college cheer beginning "Two courtyards, stone and grass: two courtyards kick your ass."

Saybrook College was one of the original Yale Residential Colleges. Its name comes from the original location of the university, Old Saybrook, Connecticut. The college has the second highest student-to-land-area ratio of any of the colleges (after Hopper College).

Saybrook students are known on campus for "the Saybrook Strip", a ritual performed during football games at the end of the third quarter. Both male and female college residents strip down to their underwear (some seniors remove all their clothing during The Game[2]) to accompaniment by the Yale Precision Marching Band, which formerly played "The Stripper" or "Sweet Child o' Mine" but now chooses different tunes from game to game. Saybrook is also known for its repeated wins of the Gimbel Cup, which goes to the college with the highest average GPA. Saybrook has won the cup 11 times, four more than the next most frequent winner, Ezra Stiles College. Saybrook won most recently in 2007.

The college was renovated during the 2000-2001 year.[3]

Saybrook College was featured in a chase scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, part of which was filmed on Yale's campus in late June and early July 2007.

Buildings and architecture[edit]

Killingworth Court

The building now home to as Saybrook and Branford Colleges was built as the Memorial Quadrangle on the site of what was once the old gymnasium. Designed by James Gamble Rogers, construction on the quadrangle began in 1917 and finished in 1922. In 1928, Edward Harkness, who had funded the Memorial Quadrangle project, gave Yale funding to build eight residential colleges, and administrators decided to reconfigure the building into two of the new colleges. The two northern courtyards became the center of Saybrook College, and a wall of dormitories on the college's south side was demolished to build a dining hall and common room for the new college.[4]

The courtyards are named for the towns Yale occupied before its move to New Haven: Killingworth Court after Killingworth, Connecticut, where Rector Abraham Pierson first held classes, and Saybrook Court after Saybrook, Connecticut, where it resided as the Collegiate School from 1703 to 1718. Among the flagstones of each courtyard is a millstone originating from their respective namesakes. The main courtyards are also decorated with carvings and inscriptions. Around the entryways are the stone heads of various associates of Yale University, including Vance McCormick, former chairman of the Yale Corporation's architectural planning committee, and Russell Chittenden, former director of the Sheffield Scientific School. In Saybrook Court are the arms of several American universities and of Elihu Yale and Edward Harkness. In Killingworth Court are the arms of Yale, Harvard, and Saybrook's sister colleges Adams House and Emmanuel College. Each student room is decorated with panes of stained glass from G. Owen Bonawit.

Wrexham Tower, modeled after the tower of St. Giles' Church in Wrexham, Wales, stands in the college's westernmost corner over a very small courtyard of its own. In the tower's base is an inscribed stone sent from St. Giles' as a gift to Yale. On the wall across from the tower's entrance is a plaque commemorating James Gamble Rogers.

Saybrook's freshmen were housed in Lanman-Wright Hall and Bingham Hall on Old Campus (as were the freshmen of Pierson College). Lanman-Wright Hall was designed by William Adams Delano and constructed in 1912.[4] Starting in the fall of 2011, Saybrook's freshmen are now housed in Vanderbilt Hall.

Arms and badge[edit]

The arms of Saybrook College are the quartering of the arms of William Fiennes, 1st Viscount Saye and Sele and of Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke, who were the early promoters of the Saybrook Colony, where Yale would later be founded. The arms of Saybrook College are described heraldically as: Quarterly I and IV azure, three lions rampant or; II and III sable, an engrailed cross within a border engrailed both or, and five roundels sable on the cross.

The badge of Saybrook College is the grapevine, derived from the original seal of Saybrook Colony. The badge appears carved in various places around the college.[5]

Saybrook strip song[edit]

The words to the Saybrook strip song change to accommodate the names of the current Head of College and Dean. The song is sung between the third and fourth quarters of every football game, as well as other times that the members of the college disrobe (such as before the Midnight Mile, a one-mile run for charity in September).

Heads and Deans[edit]

Elisha Atkins was a beloved master who served for 10 years from 1975-1985, and frequently welcomed students into his quarters for 1x1 socializing and intimate small group teas with the many famous and inspiring global citizens who cycled through Yale. After his tenure, he was replaced by Ann Ameling, who received accolades for being the first female master of Saybrook, but also got huge demerits for her perceived coldness toward students relative to her predecessor, and also for her shutting down, with no appeal, the venerable Saybrook tradition of Stickball, played in the lower courtyard for many decades before her arrival.

Antonio Lasaga, a highly regarded geochemist, began a term as master in 1996.[6] His service abruptly ended in 1998 when the FBI searched his house for a collection of child pornography, and in 2002 he was given a 20-year jail sentence for the sexual assault of a child.[7][8] Mary Miller, a scholar of Mesoamerican art, was appointed Master in 1999 to restore the college's structure and morale.[9][10] After a nine-year term, Miller was appointed Dean of Yale College in December 2008.[10] Her husband, Edward Kamens, served as interim Master before Paul Hudak was appointed to a five-year term.

In the fall of 2009, computer science professor Paul Hudak became the ninth master of Saybrook.[11] One of the designers of the Haskell programming language, Hudak is well known for his prowess in programming languages. A jazz pianist, Hudak combines his interest in programming languages and music to do work in Haskore, a programming language used for sound production. Beyond computer science, Hudak is an avid sports fan, and was head coach of Hamden High's women's lacrosse team for eight years. He is married to Cathy Van Dyke, and has two daughters, Cris Hudak and Jen Hudak. He is also the only Master of Saybrook to have participated in the Saybrook Strip.[12] In November 2010 Paul Hudak took a medical leave of absence from Yale, and former Saybrook Master Edward Kamens agreed to serve as interim master until Hudak returned at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year. Hudak eventually resigned from the mastership and died three months later.

Christine Muller, a professor of American Studies, replaced longtime Saybrook dean Paul McKinley after the 2011-2012 academic year.[13]

# Head Term Dean Term
1 Elliot Dunlap Smith 1933–1946 Thomas Adams Noble 1963–1964
2 Sydney Knox Mitchell (acting) 1944–1945 James King Folsom 1964–1968
3 Everett Victor Meeks (acting) 1945–1946 Martin Ignatius Joseph Griffin, Jr (acting) 1968–1971
4 Basil Duke Henning 1946–1975 J. Mintz 1971–1972
5 William Huse Dunham, Jr (acting) 1955–1956 C. Duncan Rice 1972–1978
6 Ethelbert Talbot Donaldson (acting) 1963–1964 Susan I. Rice 1978–1980
7 Elting Elmore Morison (acting) 1967–1968 Thomas Peter Gariepy 1980–1985
8 Charles Ralph Boxer (acting) 1970–1971 Norman C. Keul 1985–1993
9 Elisha Atkins 1975–1985 James R. Van de Velde 1993–1997
10 Louis Lohr Martz (acting) 1978–1979 Paul S. McKinley 1997–2003
11 Ann Ameling 1985–1990 Lisa Collins 2003–2005
12 James Thomas 1990–1996 Paul S. McKinley 2005–2012
13 Antonio Lasaga 1996–1998 Christine Muller 2012–2018
14 Harry Adams (acting) 1998–1999 Ferentz Lafargue 2018–present
15 Mary E. Miller 1999–2008
16 Edward Kamens 2008–2009
17 Paul Hudak 2009–2015
18 Thomas J. Near 2015–present

In 2016, the title of "Master" was changed to "Head of College".[14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Who's Who in the Dean's Office". Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ Torres, Aaron (19 November 2016). "A whole lot of college butts delayed Harvard-Yale game". New York Post. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  3. ^ MacDougall, Ewan (8 September 2000). "Men (still) at work: renovations drag on". Yale Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Pinnell, Patrick L. (1999). The Campus Guide: Yale University. Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1568981673.
  5. ^ Introduction to Saybrook College, College Master's Office, 2010
  6. ^ Ball, Molly. "The mysterious fall of Antonio Lasaga". Yale Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  7. ^ Allen, Mike (13 November 1998). "Inquiry on Child Pornography Prompts a Resignation at Yale". New York Times. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Former Yale Professor Gets 20 Years for Molesting Boy He Mentored". New York Times. 16 February 2002. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  9. ^ Paolitto, Julia (16 April 1999). "After rocky year, Saybrook finds new Master". Yale Herald. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  10. ^ a b Slattery, Margy (16 October 2008). "Miller leaves legacy of unity". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  11. ^ Merriman, Chris (16 January 2009). "Hudak Named New Saybrook Master". Yale Daily News. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  12. ^ Jaeger, Charlie, "10 Reasons Why Master Hudak's the Man", The Saybrook Blog "Why Master Hudak is the man".
  13. ^ "Who's Who in the Dean's Office". Saybrook College Website. Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  14. ^ ""Master" to become "head of college"". Retrieved 2018-10-23.

External links[edit]