User:Jeisenstat15/Residential colleges of Yale University/sandbox

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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.


The initial 10 residential colleges were instituted in 1933 through a grant by Yale graduate Edward S. Harkness, who admired the college systems at Oxford and Cambridge. Unlike at the latter institutions, Yale's colleges are residential and part of a unitary university, not legal entities that make up a federal university.

The system 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. [1] 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.[2]


Students are assigned to a residential college before their freshman year. Only Timothy Dwight and Silliman house freshmen; most on-campus freshman live on the "Old Campus," a quadrangle formed by older buildings. Each residential college has its own dining hall, but students are permitted to eat in any residential college dining hall or the large dining facility called "Commons."

Each college has a support structure for students, including a Dean, Master, affiliated faculty, and resident Fellows. Each college also features distinctive architecture, secluded courtyards, a furnished commons room, meeting rooms/classrooms, a gym, a kitchen, and a dining hall; other facilities, which vary from college to college, include chapels, libraries, squash courts, pool tables, 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, like the characteristic architecture of the university, is Neo-Gothic. Several have other period architecture, such as Georgian and Federal, and the two newest (Morse and Ezra Stiles) have modernist concrete exteriors.

Berkeley College[edit]

Berkeley College
Location 205 Elm Street
Nickname Berkeleyites/Thundercocks/Thunderchickens
Motto Esse est percipi (Latin)
Motto in English To be is to be perceived
Established 1934
Named for Reverend George Berkeley
Colors Red, white
Sister college Dunster House
Master Marvin Chun
Dean Mia Reinoso Genoni
Undergraduates 417

Berkeley College is named for named for the Rt. Rev. George Berkeley (1685–1753), early benefactor of Yale.[3] Constructed in 1934, it is the eighth of Yale's 12 residential colleges and was renovated in 1998. Berkeley freshmen are currently housed in the Old Campus's Lanman-Wright Hall, located across Elm Street from Berkeley College.

The south building of Berkeley College on Cross Campus

Berkeley is similar to other residential colleges, with its own gym, television room, and other amenities. Notable features include the Swiss Dining Room featuring G. Owen Bonawit stained glass, an operational letterpress printshop, and a woodworking shop. Annual traditions include the snowball fight (which pits North Court against South Court), GLO (a blacklight party), and the Bishop's Bash. Its unofficial rivals are Trumbull and Calhoun Colleges. One college tradition is the "Berkeley Streak." During the annual prospective student visit days, Berkeley students would streak from freshmen housing on old campus to Berkeley's North Court. The Streak has not happened since 1997.

The dining hall previously received national attention due to its sustainable and organic food as well as "gourmet" meals.[4][5] It was until 2006 the testing ground for an experimental organic food and sustainable produce dining plan overseen by celebrity chef Alice Waters. Currently, the dining hall has joined the rest of the residential colleges in serving the same menu, thereby rescinding its unique status. It still remains an immensely popular place to eat, and this is largely due to its central location on campus.

Notable Berkeley alumni include Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria, actress Jordana Brewster, and law professor Steve Charnovitz.

Branford College[edit]

Branford College
Location 74 High Street
Nickname Branfordians
Motto Si id vis, haud somnium est. (Latin)
Motto in English If you will it, it is no dream.
Established 1933
Named for Branford, Connecticut
Colors Blue, Green, Yellow, White
Sister college Quincy House
Master Elizabeth Bradley
Dean Hilary Fink
Undergraduates ?
Mascot the fierce and noble squirrel

Branford College is named for Branford, Connecticut, where Yale was briefly located.[6] It was founded in 1933 by partitioning the Memorial Quadrangle (built in 1917-21) into two parts: Saybrook and Branford. Branford is known for its Great Courtyard, deemed "the oldest and most beautiful"[citation needed] by the poet Robert Frost.

The base of Harkness Tower, one of the university's most prominent structures and one of the tallest free-standing stone structures in the world [citation needed], forms one corner of Branford's main courtyard. The tower contains a 54-bell carillon.

The student rooms and common areas are decorated with stained glass by G. Owen Bonawit. Branford's architect, James Gamble Rogers, required that at least one pane on every window be broken and then soldered back together, resulting in a Y-shape in many of the windows [citation needed].

The college was renovated in 2000.

On the television show Gilmore Girls, Rory Gilmore (played by Alexis Bledel) is a member of Branford College. Richard Gilmore (played by Edward Herrmann) is a fictional Branford College alumnus.

Calhoun College[edit]

Calhoun College
Location 189 Elm Street
Nickname Hounies, HounDogs, The Inferno
Motto E Pluribis Hounum (Latin)
Motto in English Out of many, one Houn.
Established 1933
Named for John C. Calhoun
Colors Black, navy blue, gold
Sister college Kirkland House
Master Jonathan Holloway
Dean Leslie Woodard
Undergraduates 435

Calhoun College is named for John C. Calhoun, vice-president and influential member of Congress of the United States.[7]

In 1933, with the institution of the new residential college system at Yale, the dormitory at the corner of College and Elm Streets became Calhoun College, named for John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, B. A. 1804, alumnus, statesman, and orator. His statue stands in Yale's Harkness Tower. A debate over the propriety of the college's name has waxed and waned, as John C. Calhoun's involvement in antebellum pro-state's-rights politics and protection of the institution of slavery has been reconsidered [citation needed]. Calhoun never had significant involvement in Yale after his student years and was never a benefactor, though at the time the college was named, the prevailing view of Calhoun was that of an exceptional statesman and principled Senator. In 1992, the graduating seniors commissioned a plaque noting the unfortunate reality of John C. Calhoun's legacy, but at the same time supported the notion that the college retain its name for historical purposes.[citation needed]

Like all other residential colleges at their inception, Calhoun had twenty-four hour guard service and the gates were never locked [citation needed]. Jacket and tie was the necessary attire in the dining hall and meals were served at the table. At first, Calhoun was considered an undesirable college because of its location at the corner of College and Elm, where trolleys frequently ran screeching around the corner. This perception of Calhoun changed under the popular Master Charles Schroeder, who once remarked that if the despicable trolley service were ever removed he would purchase a trolley car, put it in the courtyard, and hold a celebration to commemorate the event. The trolley system was indeed removed in 1949, and though a whole car proved unfeasible, Master Schroder secured the fare collecting machine from a trolley and made good on his promise to celebrate. Thus was born Trolley Night, a proud tradition of the college. [citation needed]

The coat of arms designed for Calhoun College combines the university arms, set atop the Cross of St. Andrew. The college colors are black, navy blue, and gold.

Calhoun College

In 1989, Calhoun was the first residential college to be renovated. The renovations, mostly funded by alumnus Roger Horchow, were done quickly and over the summer to minimize disruption to student life. By 2000, the physical plant began to show wear and tear again. In the same year a limited window replacement was commissioned amid Calhoun's controversial exclusion from the most recent campus-wide renovation effort. In the end, and though partially renovated in 1989, Calhoun College underwent full renovation in the academic year 2008-09. Calhoun used to be the only residential college with its own sauna. 1 The sauna was removed from Entryway B/C during the 2005-06 school year.

Stephen Lassonde stepped down as the Calhoun Dean in June 2007 thus ending one of the longest tenure of any dean in the College's history. Within the Residential College system at Yale, deanships normally last only a few years, but Stephen Lassonde served as Calhoun Dean for fourteen years. Christa R. Dove was Dean of Pierson College from 1983 to 2005.[8] In late April 2007, he made the official announcement that he would be leaving Calhoun to serve as Deputy Dean of the College at Brown University in nearby Providence. The new dean of Calhoun is Leslie Woodard.

In late June 2007 Calhoun's six-story elm tree was cut down after rotting was discovered. The courtyard used to have a popular tire swing, which stood in stark contrast to the stunning faux-gothic architecture [citation needed] In the Fall of 1990, newly appointed master Turan Onat made it his first priority to remove the tire swing as he sought "to restore the courtyard to a grassier state." The seniors immediately reinstalled the swing overnight and Onat quickly reversed his policy.

Notable alumni include singer Jonathan Coulton, economist Paul Krugman, actress Jodie Foster, comedian John Hodgman, comedian Demitri Martin, and goaltender Mike Richter.

Davenport College[edit]

Davenport College
Location 248 York Street
Nickname D'port
Motto Camera principis, mare liberum. (Latin)
Motto in English House of a leader, a free sea.
Established 1933
Named for John Davenport
Colors black, white, maroon
Sister college Winthrop House
Master Richard Schottenfeld
Dean Craig Harwood
Undergraduates 460

Davenport College' is named for Rev. John Davenport, the founder of New Haven. Often called "D'port".[9] Its buildings were completed in 1933 mainly in the Georgian style but with a gothic façade [citation needed]. Renovation of the college's buildings occurred during the 2004-2005 academic year. Davenport College has an unofficial rivalry with adjoining Pierson College. Davenport College freshmen live in Welch Hall, which is located across from Connecticut Hall on Old Campus [citation needed].

Davenport College was, like many of Yale's residential colleges, designed by James Gamble Rogers and is privileged with two distinct styles of architecture: The York Street façade is constructed from gothically detailed sandstone while the remainder of the college has been built in the red-brick Georgian style of the colonial era. This "hybridization" is meant to complement the monumental gothic streetscape of York Street, on which the western façades of the Branford and Saybrook College complex along with Jonathan Edwards College stand opposite the gothic-inspired Yale Daily News building and University Theater; the gothic exterior of Davenport, with its fine carvings and ironwork, completes this pattern. On the inner, Georgian face, the college entrance is marked by a graceful adaptation of the eastern façade of the original Massachusetts Statehouse, in which the British imperial lion and unicorn have been replaced by a pair of yales. [citation needed] The inner face was featured in the 2008 movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.

Davenport College, Upper Courtyard viewed from the Crosspiece. Harkness Tower can be seen in the background

The enclosed space of Davenport College features three courtyards: the traditional Kumble Court (usually referred to as the "upper courtyard"), the lower courtyard and a recently created stone courtyard in front of the dean's suite, the result of the annexation of a former Theater Studies building during the 2004-2005 renovations. The upper courtyard is mostly grassy open space. A half-story terrace and two house-like residential units (one dubbed "The Cottage") flank the upper courtyard to the north. The smaller lower courtyard is given over to flower gardens and a shaded hammock. Traditionally, the college's sophomores live in the suites bordering the lower courtyard, while most of the juniors and seniors of the College live around the upper courtyard. The Cottage is exclusively occupied by seniors—generally elected by their classmates—and serves as a social hub for the college, subsidized by the Master's Office.

Welch Hall circa 1895. From Yale Yarns: Sketches of Life at Yale University by John Seymour Wood. (New York: The Knickerbocker Press, 1895.)

Separating the two main courtyards is the Crosspiece, a north-south component of the Davenport-Pierson complex which serves as the administrative heart of Davenport College, housing both the Dean's and Master's Offices and a classroom space as well as carrels and reading rooms extending from the college's Spitzer Library. The crosspiece formerly held a second library in the top floor which has since been converted to student housing, with the book holdings moved into the expanded Library.

Indoor spaces of architectural note include the Davenport Common Room, the aforementioned Spitzer Library and the Dining Hall. The Dining Hall features light broad-wood floors, ornately carved wooden wall details and a coffered, barrel-vaulted ceiling from which hangs Davenport's pièce de résistance, an elegant Waterford Crystal chandelier. The plaster ornaments "JD" on the ceiling call to mind the monogram of the college's namesake, the Rev. John Davenport. According to college alums, the Common Room, located directly across from the Dining Hall, has witnessed a return to its original design scheme since renovation, with furniture, upholstery and layout remarkably similar to that of an earlier Davenport.

Davenport College, Upper Courtyard viewed from York St. Gate.

In recent years the student run snack bar "the Dive" located under the College Common Room has served as an important gathering and social space for Davenporters. Abutting the kitchen is a modern, smartly decorated living room—complete with entertainment center—and game room, featuring a foosball table and two pool tables, one of which is a recently restored 1920s Brunswick "Regina" model.

The Davenport basement also includes a fully stocked letterpress print-shop, a pottery studio, a dance studio, and a small theater with stadium seating, all shared with students in Pierson. Davenport students also have access to shared facilities on the Pierson side of the basement, including music practice rooms and an exercise room.

For a while after Davenport College's inception into the Yale residential college system, students were known as "Hybrids," a reference to the hybrid style of the college's architecture. While the nickname appeared in a few official publications in the 1970s, it was no longer used by either Davenporters or their rivals. In 1998, then junior Thomas Shaw, upon returning from a semester of mountaineering, brought back a five-and-a-half foot tall, several hundred pound carved wooden gnome as a gift to the college. The gnome, with its green painted shirt and yellow pants, quickly developed a following in the Davenport community, and was soon proudly adopted as the college's official mascot. The gnome was first placed in the college's courtyard, but after abuse from drunken students and repeated theft by neighbor and unofficial Davenport rival Pierson College, the gnome was relocated inside. It graced the entrance of the administrative offices in Crosspiece for the first semester of the 2005-2006 school year, but was moved to the Davenport Dining Hall halfway through second semester so that it could play a more prominent role in the college.

Notable alumni include Senator Sherrod Brown, President George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush, First Daughter Barbara Bush, columnist William F. Buckley, Jr., actor Jefferson Mays, cartoonish Garry Trudeau, journalist Sarah Lyall, author David McCullough, investor Stephen Schwarzman, novelist Thornton Wilder, author Michael Gerber, and author Samantha Power.

Ezra Stiles College[edit]

Ezra Stiles College
Location 19 Tower Parkway
Nickname Stilesians
Established 1961
Named for Ezra Stiles
Colors Black, Gold
Sister college Currier House
Master Stephen Pitti
Dean Camille Lizarribar
Undergraduates 400-500

Ezra Stiles College is named for the Rev. Ezra Stiles, a president of Yale; it is generally called "Stiles," despite an early-1990s crusade by then-master Traugott Lawler to preserve the use of the full name in everyday speech. The college was built in 1961 by Eero Saarinen and is known for its lack of right angles. [10] Stiles freshmen are currently housed in Lawrance Hall on the Old Campus.

In his report on the 1955-56 academic year, Yale President A. Whitney Griswold announced his intention to add at least one more residential college to the system Yale had launched only two decades earlier. "We have the colleges so full that community life, discipline, education, even sanitation are suffering," he stated.[citation needed] This news bred wild rumors about four or five new colleges being added to Yale's system. Nothing substantial was announced until the spring of 1959 when Eero Saarinen '34 was chosen as the architect, and the Old York Square behind the Graduate School became the designated site. The Old Dominion Foundation, established by Paul Mellon '29, provided money to build two "radically different" colleges, which would alleviate the growing strain on the existing colleges.

The cornerstone of the college was laid on Alumni Day, 1961, and students took up residence in September 1962. The college was dedicated the following December 7. The purchase of the land — previously occupied by Hillhouse High School and Commercial High School — from the City of New Haven was made possible by a grant from John Hay Whitney, Yale Class of 1926.

The college, considered by many architecture critics a masterpiece of American architecture[citation needed], is built of rubble masonry with buildings and a tower in the style of pre-Gothic Tuscan towers such as still exist in the medieval Italian hill town of San Gimignano.[citation needed] The college consists almost entirely of single rooms, and in a modern attempt to capture the spirit of Gothic architecture, Saarinen eliminated all right angles from the living areas.

Stiles' adjacent "twin" residential college Morse is architecturally similar, was built at the same time, and shares an underground kitchen. Architecturally, Morse and Stiles differ from older colleges by having more private space per student and the lowest ratio of natural light aperture to wall surface.

Because none of the interior walls make right angles, Stiles' dorm rooms are furnished with built-in desks and bookshelves. The college was once heated by a system that warmed the stone floors, but maintenance troubles led Yale to abandon it and install radiators. Contrary to popular belief, the college's concrete walls were never meant to be covered with ivy.[citation needed] Residents of the tower had access through a window to the roof of the Yale Co-op, which would sometimes be covered with a sheet of ice, permitting brave students to ice skate on the open roof (without railings of course).

Stiles has had success in Yale's intramural sports program, winning the Tyng Cup — presented to the residential college with the best intramural sports performance — in 1964, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2004, and 2005.[11] This 10-cup total places Stiles just one behind leaders Pierson College and Timothy Dwight College. More recently, the college has taken second place behind Silliman College, which won the Cup in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Ezra Stiles and Morse co-host an annual Casino Night, thought to be one of the nation's best-organized college parties.[citation needed] A formal affair, the event features casino-style games and live music.

The mascot is the A. Bartlett Giamatti Memorial Moose. The stuffed moose head that graces the college dining hall was named in honor of former college Master Bart Giamatti, who in 1977 became Yale's youngest president, and in 1989 was named Commissioner of Baseball. Giamatti's son, actor Paul Giamatti, lived in the Master's House on the Ezra Stiles College grounds from birth through age five.

Notable alumni include L. Paul Bremer III, columnist Dan Froomkin, political advisor David Gergen, diplomat Linda Jewell, entrepreneur Mitch Kapor, journalist Robert Kaiser, businessman Lloyd Kaufman, actor Mark Linn-Baker, actor Edward Norton, journalist Alexandra Robbins, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, journalist Bob Woodward, and attorney Norwood S. Wilner.

Jonathan Edwards College[edit]

Jonathan Edwards College
Location 68 High Street
Nickname JE
Motto Sux Et Veritas (Latin)
Motto in English JE SUX!
Established 1932
Named for Jonathan Edwards
Colors Green, white
Sister college Eliot House
Master Penelope Laurans
Dean Kyle Farley
Undergraduates 430

Jonathan Edwards College is named for theologian, Yale alumnus, and Princeton co-founder Jonathan Edwards. Established in 1932, it is the oldest of Yale's residential colleges. Students and alumni generally refer to the college by its initials "J.E." It is the only college with an independent endowment, the Jonathan Edwards Trust.[12]

Jonathan Edwards College, Winter 2004

In 1931, Yale University administration borrowed a housing idea from British universities resulting in Yale's residential college system. The year 1932 saw the construction of Jonathan Edwards College as the first of the original seven residential quadrangles under the direction of architect James Gamble Rogers. Jonathan Edwards College began during the academic year 1932-33 when Professor Robert Dudley French, the first Master, appointed eight members of the faculty to be the first fellows of the College. These men were chosen because they combined distinction in both teaching and scholarship, and because of their individuality and diversity of interests.[citation needed]

Together with the first Master they established a pattern for one of Yale's smallest Colleges, designed to encourage individuality and provide a forum where each could express ideas and beliefs in the company of Fellows and fellow students, both old and young.[citation needed]

The badge worn upon the College blazers is a red apple surrounded by a green serpent. It was devised by the first Master and Fellows, and designed by H. Dillington Palmer B.A. 1924. The coat of arms described in heraldic terms is: ermine, a lion rampant vert (green). This coat is a simplified form of the arms used by the Reverend Jonathan Edwards himself. The green rearing lion symbolizes courage and purity of heart. Its crimson tongue and nails exhibit willingness to pursue its goals with passion both of speech and strength. The veil of white that surrounds the lion symbolizes the Grace of God. The eleven black daggers (stylized ermine spots) may represent Edwards's eleven children.[citation needed] It has been thought[who?] that they represent the other eleven residential colleges of Yale, but there were only ten residential colleges at the time the coat of arms was conceived.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Jonathan Edwards College underwent an extensive renovation. Residential areas of the college re-opened in time for the 2008-2009 school year. Other areas of the College including the libraries, gym, buttery, and printing press were available for collegiate use by December 2008, and a formal dedication took place on December 2, 2008. Some areas, such as the wood shop, are not yet available for student use.

J.E.'s mascot is the Spider, derived from Jonathan Edwards' famous sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"—it includes the line "The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked..." The mascot is also derived from the fact that Jonathan Edwards completed the pioneer study on spiders in the New World.[citation needed]

The unofficial motto of the College is "JE Sux."[13] In 1975, several enterprising J.E. students came up with an ingenious but tragically flawed strategy for victory in the annual bladderball game. The plan was to take possession of the giant bladderball with a meathook. The bladderball deflated after being punctured by the meathook, prematurely ending the game and causing students of other colleges to chant "JE Sucks!" Since then, J.E. students have adopted the phrase as their rallying cry, with a slight twist: "Sux" instead of "Sucks". "JE Sucks" remains an abominable insult, while "JE Sux" is an ironic, self-deprecating yet proud mantra.[13]

Yale's child prodigy Jonathan Edwards left quite a prodigious legacy indeed. Jonathan Edwards is the only residential college at Yale whose patriarch has graced the pages of Ripley's Believe It or Not.[14] JE students celebrate the return of spring with Wet Monday. The freshmen storm the college with the intent of getting upperclassmen and the walls of the college wet. The upperclassmen pin their honor on preventing the onslaught.

Notable alumni include physicist Murray Gell-Mann, Senator Nicholas F. Brady, financier Wilbur Ross, Senator John Kerry, financier Glenn Greenberg, columnist Ron Rosenbaum, Governor Gary Locke, songwriter Gary Lucas, author Christopher Buckley, businesswoman Donna Dubinsky, Senator Amy Klobuchar, attorney Ellen Bork, novelist Tom Perrotta, author Andrew Solomon, author Jane Mendelsohn, and baseball manager Theo Epstein.

Morse College[edit]

Morse College
Location 302-304 York Street
Nickname Morsel
Motto In Deo Non Armis Fido (Latin)
Motto in English In God, not arms, I trust (Samuel F.B. Morse family motto)
Established 1961
Named for Samuel Morse
Colors Black, white, red
Sister college Mather House
Master Frank Keil
Dean Joel Silverman
Undergraduates ~480

Morse College is named for Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of Morse code and the telegraph. Its buildings were designed by Eero Saarinen.[15]

In his report on the year 1955-6, Yale President A. Whitney Griswold announced his intention to add at least one more residential college to the system Yale had launched only two decades earlier. "We have the colleges so full that community life, discipline, education, even sanitation are suffering," he stated. This news bred wild rumors about four or five new colleges being added to Yale's system. Nothing substantial was announced until the spring of 1959 when Eero Saarinen '34 was chosen as the architect, and the Old York Square behind the Graduate School became the designated site. The Old Dominion Foundation, established by Paul Mellon '29, provided money to build two "radically different" colleges, which would alleviate the growing strain on the older colleges.

Morse College is an eclectic structure built on an odd, angular site with many design features that are reminiscent of the Tuscan villages, most notably San Gimignano. The college consists almost entirely of single rooms, and in a modern attempt to capture the spirit of Gothic architecture, Saarinen eliminated all right angles from the living areas. This resulted, notoriously, in two rooms which have eleven walls, none of which is long enough to put the bed against and still be able to open the door. In a 1959 article in the Yale Daily News, Eero Saarinen discussed his design for Morse. "Our primary effort was to create an architecture which would recognize the individual as individual instead of an anonymous integer in a group." Although the design has its fervent supporters, some prior residents regard the design as a disaster.

The college provides several amenities to its resident "Morsels." The fourteen-story main tower provides an inspiring view of all of New Haven. The common room's decorations include air hockey, pool, ping-pong, foosball, and a big-screen TV. Morse Happy Hour used to be held approximately every week, providing free beverages for the college community, but the tradition was discontinued about three years ago. The single rooms, arranged in suites but with no common rooms, reflect changing tastes in the early 1960s and provide students with greater privacy but, in some instances, greater isolation than in the more communal living quarters of some other colleges.

Morse has an adjacent "twin" residential college named "Ezra Stiles" which is architecturally similar and built at the same time. The two distinct colleges share an underground kitchen over which runs a public walkway to the Payne Whitney Gymnasium. Architecturally, Morse and Stiles differ from predecessors by having more private space per student, and the lowest ratio of natural light aperture to wall surface of any other colleges.

Morse College freshmen are housed exclusively in the historic Durfee Hall, which, built in 1871, is among the oldest buildings on Yale's Old Campus. It is known for its unique housing quarters, 80% of which are singles—the highest percentage of any freshman housing. Durfee Hall has twelve-foot vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors, at least two fireplaces per suite, and a unique walk-through suite system that allows residents access to all floors and stairwells of the building.

Notable alumni include actress Jennifer Beals, fencer Sada Jacobson, screenwriter Allan Heinberg, Senator Joseph Lieberman, financier Douglas Warner, and actor Bronson Pinchot.

Pierson College[edit]

Pierson College
Location 261 Park Street
Nickname Piersonites
Motto - (Latin)
Motto in English Pierson College, the College that dares to be all that it can be!
Established 1933
Named for Abraham Pierson
Colors Black, gold
Sister college Lowell House
Master Harvey Goldblatt
Dean Amerigo Fabbri
Undergraduates 503

Pierson College (PC) is a residential college founded in 1933 at Yale University. The College takes its name from Abraham Pierson (1646–1707), one of the founders of the Collegiate School, which later became Yale University—a statue of Abraham Pierson stands on Yale's Old Campus. Yale University constructed the Pierson College buildings in 1933 with major elements being in the Georgian architecture or "Georgian Revival" style, and including a prominent tower, inspired by that of Philadelphia's Independence Hall.[16] James Gamble Rogers, Yale Class of 1889, was the architect responsible for the original design of Pierson College. Yale renovated the College in 2003-2004, with the major effort directed at the modification of existing suites and rooms, the movement of the Dean's Office and the addition of a new building and basement facilities. Pierson shares the new basement facilities with neighbor and unofficial rival residential college, Davenport College. The College includes a large grass courtyard, and is located between Park and York Streets in New Haven, CT. The courtyard is home to the kinetic sculpture, "Two Planes Vertical—Horizontal II" by George Rickey.[17]

Pierson has been traditionally renowned for its thriving social life and once had the reputation of consistently trailing other Yale residential colleges in academic rankings. In fact, Pierson's rallying cry was at one time, "Tyng, Tang, and GPA," reflecting Pierson's reputation for winning Yale intramural sports (Tyng), an annual drinking competition among the residential colleges (Tang), and having the lowest average GPA of the all the residential colleges. In 2004, however, the Pierson was awarded the Gimble Cup for highest average GPA at Yale. In light of new Connecticut alcohol laws, Dean Fabbri has be forced to crack down upon events such as Tuesday Night Club (TNC), founded in 1981, restricting the event to Pierson seniors. However, in 2006, Pierson students were able to organize a successful Inferno, the traditional Pierson halloween party. TNC was traditionally held in the "Lower Courtyard" of Pierson, which in the past was sometimes referred to colloquially as "the Slave Quarters," an appellation now frowned upon.[18] Lower Courtyard housing is generally occupied by seniors.[19] Another famous Pierson tradition occurs on Pierson Day when Master Harvey Goldblatt wrestles another College Master, student or other willing opponent in a wrestling ring filled with yellow jello. (The Jello used in the first match was red, and the first Master to Jello wrestle was Ivo Banac). Pierson achieved world renown in 1977, as a result of the still-famous television broadcast of its Bladderball 'victory'. Pierson's most storied tradition is the theft of Davenport College's gnome mascot. Pierson's famous "song," heard annually at "the Game" between the Yale and Harvard football teams, starts off with: "'P' is for the 'P' in Pierson College; 'I' is for the 'I' in Pierson College," and continues in predictable fashion.[20]

Among the traditions and activities for which Pierson is known is the Pierson Press, one of the most active of Yale's many traditional letterpress print shops and includes a succession of Pierson Masters including John Hersey, Quincy Porter, Gaddis Smith and current Master Harvey Goldblatt. The Press for many years was located in a converted squash court in Pierson Tower, designed by Charles Willard Moore of the Yale School of Architecture. During the renovation of the college in 2004, the Pierson Press was relocated to enhanced facilities in the basement, where it is now co-located with the Davenport Press in a greatly expanded Book Arts Center that includes half a dozen presses, over 1000 cases of hand type, a book bindery, paper mill and more. Over 75 Pierson and Davenport students attended the college's rigorous Apprentice Course during the Fall of 2005. The basement of Pierson is also home for the Pierson Buttery.[19]

Pierson's Fellowship, consisting of both faculty members and distinguished outside Associate Fellows, is one of the most active at Yale. The Fellows meet twice monthly during the academic year, generously support undergraduate activities in the college (including social events such as the annual Pierson Inferno at Halloween), and have counted among their number a diverse and dignified range of members, from poet Robert Frost to actor George Takei to G. D. Mostow the mathematician of Mostow rigidity theorem fame and Calvin Hill, NFL Rookie of the Year and multiple Pro Bowl selectee.[21]

Pierson was home to one of the longest serving Yale residential college deans, Dean Christa Dove '76MPhil. Within the Residential College system at Yale, deanships normally last only a few years. Christa Dove, however, was Dean of Pierson College for 22 years, from 1983 to 2005.[8]

Pierson Freshmen are housed in Lanman-Wright Hall on Old Campus, along with freshmen from Berkeley College. Wright Hall was renamed Lanman-Wright Hall after William K. Lanman '28, donated renovation funds in 1993 and is now referred to by Piersonites as "L-Dub."[19][22][23]

The renovation of 2003-04 was extensive, including: the reconfiguration of student suites, student activities areas, and dining facilities; new bathrooms, new interior finishes and lighting; additional student rooms included in a new Upper Court building; complete replacement of all mechanical and electrical systems; new security, fire protection, and information technology systems; new elevators, ramps, and other enhancements to accessibility; and repairs to windows, masonry, roofs, and gutters.[24] The renovation also included enlarging the library and adding a mezzanine level computer cluster.[24] The completion of the additional building, increased Pierson College's dorm space capacity from 264 to 310.[24] During the renovation, students who would otherwise live in Pierson College, lived in what is called the "Swing Space," dormitories located near Payne Whitney Gymnasium and a facility without an included dining hall.[24]

Notable alumni include businessman Jeffrey Bewkes, academic administrator Richard Brodhead, Governor Howard Dean, basketball player Chris Dudley, actor Paul Giamatti, football running back Calvin Hill, football coach Dick Jauron, Governor Tony Knowles, baseball executive Jeffrey Loria, political advisor Eric Mogilnicki, Governor George Pataki, journalist Jim Sciutto, critic Gene Siskel, and author Joel Spolsky.

Saybrook College[edit]

Saybrook College
Location 242 Elm Street
Nickname Saybrugians
Motto Qui transtulit sustinet (Latin)
Motto in English He who saw [us] over [here (across the Atlantic)] prevails.
Established 1933
Named for Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Colors Blue, gold
Sister college Adams House
Master Paul Hudak
Dean Paul McKinley
Undergraduates 480

Saybrook College is named for Old Saybrook, Connecticut, the town in which Yale was founded.[25] It was founded in 1933 by partitioning the Memorial Quadrangle (built in 1917-1921) into two parts: Saybrook and Branford. The college was renovated during the 2000-2001 year.

Each student room is decorated with panes of stained glass from G. Owen Bonawit. Unlike many of Yale's residential colleges that are centered around one large courtyard, Saybrook has two courtyards—one stone and one grass. The college has the second highest student-to-land-area ratio of any of the colleges (after Calhoun College).[citation needed]

Saybrook students are known on campus for "the Saybrook Strip," a ritual performed during football games at the end of the third quarter (the "Strip" actually begins two minutes earlier when students remove their shoes and shout "Shoes!"). Both male and female college residents strip down to their underwear (some brave seniors remove all their clothing during The Game) 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 which has won 7 times. Saybrook won most recently in 2007.

Saybrook College was featured in a chase scene in Indiana Jones 4, part of which was filmed on Yale's campus in late June and early July 2007.

Mary Miller, Sterling Professor of the History of Art and the current Dean of Yale College, served as Master of Saybrook from 1999 to December 2008. She has also served as Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Undergraduate Studies for History of Art. Master Miller is a specialist in the art of ancient Mexico and Central America, especially the Maya, and she teaches classes in Maya, Aztec, and Mesoamerican Art. Upon her appointment as Dean, Edward Kamens, Miller's husband and the Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Literature, was appointed the new Master. In the fall of 2009, computer science professor Paul Hudak will begin his term as ninth master of Saybrook.

Paul McKinley has served twice as Saybrook's dean, first from 1997–2003 and then again since 2005. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama's Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism program, Dean McKinley teaches in Yale's Theater Studies program.

Notable alumni include director Oliver Stone '68, artist Maya Lin '81, former Yale president A. Bartlett Giamatti, actress Kellie Martin, and actor James Whitmore.

Silliman College[edit]

Silliman College
Location 505 College Street
Nickname Sillimanders
Motto ? (Latin)
Motto in English -
Established 1940
Named for Benjamin Silliman
Colors Red, white, green, gold
Sister college Dudley House, Pforzheimer House
Master Judith Krauss
Dean Hugh Flick
Undergraduates 450

Silliman College is named for noted scientist and Yale professor Benjamin Silliman. About half of its structures were originally part of the Sheffield Scientific School.[26] It opened in September 1940 as the last of the original ten residential colleges, and includes buildings that were constructed as early as 1901. It is the largest college in terms of area, consisting of a full city block in New Haven, Connecticut, bordered by College, Wall, Grove and Temple Streets.

The older, Indiana limestone part of the college consists of the Vanderbilt-Sheffield dormitories and Byers Hall, both originally part of the Sheffield Scientific School. The Van-Sheff portion of Silliman was built between 1903 and 1906 by architect Charles C. Haight in the Collegiate Gothic style. Byers Hall was built in 1903 and was designed by Hiss and Weekes architects in the modified French Renaissance Style. The newer, Georgian brick portion of the college, which includes most of the core facilities and the Master's house, was completed in 1940 when the college was opened. Architect Eggers & Higgins designed this part of the college.

Due to Silliman's size, the college is able to house its freshmen in the college instead of on Yale's Old Campus. The College has links to Harvard's Pforzheimer House and Dudley House, as well as Trinity College, Cambridge and Brasenose College, Oxford. Its rival college at Yale is Timothy Dwight College, located directly across Temple Street.

Silliman College's shield has a white background, three curving red lines emerging from near the bottom of the shield (representing salamander tails), and a green crossing bar containing three acorns. In heraldic terms, the shield is described as "Arms argent. Three piles wavy, gules. On a fess vert, three acorns gold." The colors represent the four ancient elements: red for fire, white for air and water, and green for earth. The acorns are an element taken from the family crest of Frederick Vanderbilt, 1876, who funded the college's construction. The college's mascot is the salamander.

Special facilities within Silliman include Yale's only undergraduate art gallery, called Maya's Room (named for Maya Tanaka Hanway, '83), a big-screen movie theater (Silliflicks), a dance studio, a half-court basketball facility called the Sillidome, computing facilities, a student kitchen, multiple music practice rooms, and a state-of-the-art[27] sound recording studio. The college's library, located in the third floor of Byers Hall, is commonly referred to as the Sillibrary. The Buttery, a student-run eatery in the basement that serves greasy goodness on weekday nights, is designed in the style of the 50's and its surrounding area includes games such as ping pong, air hockey, and pool.

In August 2007, after three years of on and off construction, students moved back into a newly renovated Silliman College. Students now enjoy a reconfigured dining hall and servery, a stadium-seating movie theater, and a large student activities space that includes a new art gallery, dance studio, gym, basketball court, weight room, buttery, game room, and television entertainment space. The Silliman College courtyard was also restored to its former glory, with new patio spaces, benches, and grass. The renovation cost some $100 million, by far the most spent on any residential college renovation at Yale.[28]

Because of the size of Silliman College, the renovation work on the college was completed in several phases instead of the 15-month renovation completed on other colleges. In the summer of 2004, the roof and windows were replaced on the brick section of the college. Extra dormers were also added to the roofs so that student rooms could later be installed in the former attic spaces. In the summer of 2005, the Silliman Tower underwent a complete interior renovation. The entire college was shut down during the 2006-2007 school year for the rest of the renovation. All students from the college moved into either Swing Space (a new dormitory built especially to house students during college renovations), the Elm Street Annex or into independent off-campus housing until the renovations were completed.

In 2006, Silliman College ended Ezra Stiles College's 3-year Tyng Cup winning streak and was crowned Tyng Cup Champions for having the best intramural record of Yale's 12 residential colleges during the 2005-2006 academic year. Each fall, Silliman hosts a Yale-wide 80s theme party called the Safety Dance, the largest dance at Yale.[citation needed] For its own students, Silliman has an annual Freshman Olympics where students from its various entryways compete in teams for the "Clean Sweep" broom and Richfest (named in honor of Rich Marshall, a member of the Silliman class of 1996), an outdoor day of fun complete with a dunk tank, cotton candy, and a moon bounce, thrown as classes end in the spring. A short-lived winter edition of Richfest, called Rachfest (after Rachel Wasser '04), featured an inflatable jumping castle in the snow.

Mona Lisa Smile was partly filmed in the Silliman College courtyard and common room. The Grove Street facade of Silliman was used to represent Harvard University, and the Wall Street Gate and the common room were used to represent Wellesley College. When Indiana Jones 4 was filming in New Haven (summer 2007), Dean Hugh Flick and several other Silliman students were cast as extras. A car/motorcycle scene was also filmed along the College Street side of the college, even while it was still under renovations.

Famous alumni include director George Roy Hill, tennis player Renée Richards, Senator James Jeffords, journalist Strobe Talbott, author Daniel Yergin, newscaster Stone Phillips, activist Evan Wolfson, actor David Hyde Pierce, mayor Anthony A. Williams, author Elizabeth Kostova, musician Nerissa Nields, and author Ben Greenman.

Timothy Dwight College[edit]

Timothy Dwight College
Location 345 Temple Street
Nickname TDers
Motto Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit. (Latin)
Motto in English Someday, perhaps, it will be pleasant to remember all this.
Established 1935
Named for Timothy Dwight IV and Timothy Dwight V
Colors Red, silver
Sister college Leverett House
Master Jeffrey Brenzel
Dean John Loge
Undergraduates 400

Timothy Dwight College, commonly abbreviated and referred to as "TD", is a residential college at Yale University named after two university presidents, Timothy Dwight IV and Timothy Dwight V.[29] The college was designed in 1935 by James Gamble Rogers in the Federal-style architecture popular during the younger Timothy Dwight's presidency, and was most recently renovated in 2002. In 2009, TD won its Yale-leading 12th Tyng Cup, the championship prize for Yale's year-long intramural athletic competition between the twelve residential colleges.

Timothy Dwight College, Yale's ninth residential college, opened on September 23, 1935 at an over-budget cost of $2,000,000. At the time, the Yale Alumni Weekly called it "one of the most architecturally satisfying colleges." The design of the college was meant to reference an early 19th-century New England town hall, and the college's brick work with white trim, green shutters, and hand-hewn dining hall beams are all of Federal inspiration. In the college's inaugural year, a number of plaster ceilings collapsed in the college, leading the TD Social Activities Committee to sponsor a Plaster Dinner and Mr. Plaster dances, a tradition that continued until the 1970s.[30]

The students of Timothy Dwight were originally nicknamed "Prexies," a slang term for the college's presidential namesakes, but TD's current mascot is the Lion. The college's official motto, appearing on the college crest, is a quotation from the Aeneid (I, 203), when Aeneas seeks to comfort his men as they embark upon an arduous journey to Italy: Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit. This is traditionally translated approximately to, "Someday, perhaps, it will be pleasant to remember all this."

The college's popular but unofficial motto is "Ashé," which means "We make it happen" in Yoruba. Ashé was brought into usage by the current Master, Robert Thompson, known to students as "Master T." The Timothy Dwight fight song, often sung en masse at The Game, is the most enthusiastically vulgar of all the residential colleges: "Ring the bell, ring the bell! God damn, fuck, hell! Horseshit, assbite! Nobody's better than Timothy Dwight!"

Timothy Dwight has a sister college at Harvard called Leverett House. At the annual Harvard-Yale football game), students from Timothy Dwight and Leverett will host each other depending on the site of that year's Game. Historically, TD's intramural sports champions often played the winner of Harvard's own intramural leagues, but this practice has since been discontinued.[30]

Timothy Dwight is one of the few residential colleges at Yale in which freshmen live within the college, rather than in Old Campus. Freshmen in the college are treated every September to a trip to a nearby Fellow's ranch, complete with athletic fields and a pool. The estate's nickname, Llama Land, comes from the llamas that are penned near the pool.

Students in Timothy Dwight have excelled at intramural sports since the college's founding in 1935. In 1937, TD captured its first of its 12 Tyng Cups, Yale's intramural sports competition between the twelve residential colleges. TD has won the Tyng Cup more than any other college, including four more times than its rival, Silliman College.[31]

The Timothy Dwight blog, "The unofficial blog of the greatest residential college at Yale," was started on October 14, 2008. It was recognized as the second "Best Alternative Media Outlet" for 2009 in Allison Go's column "The Paper Trail" in US News and World Report.[32] The blog focuses on life within the residential college and is generating interest in blogging in other colleges at Yale.[33]

In heraldic language, the coat of arms may be described as Argent, a lion passant above a cross crosslet fitchy gules; in a chief gules a crescent silver. The arms were likely invented by Jacob Hurd,[34] a Boston silversmith, who engraved them on a tankard which he made in 1725 for the grandparents of the elder Timothy Dwight.

Notable alumni include Yale president Kingman Brewster, Jr.,[35] judge Guido Calabresi,[36] NBA athlete Chris Dudley,[37] CIA director Porter Goss, editor Rosemary L. Bray McNatt, cryptologist Ron Rivest, computer scientist Oren Patashnik, Governor Lowell Weicker,[38] documentarian Nathaniel Kahn, and figure skater Sarah Hughes.

Trumbull College[edit]

Trumbull College
Location 241 Elm Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06511
Nickname Trumbullians; bulls
Motto Fortuna Favet Audaci (Latin)
Motto in English Fortune favors the brave.
We must consult Brother Jonathan.
Established 1933
Named for Jonathan Trumbull
Colors Maroon, gold, black, and white
Sister college Cabot House
Master Dr. Janet B. Henrich
Dean Dr. Jasmina Beširević-Regan
Undergraduates ~400

Trumbull College is one of twelve undergraduate residential colleges of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The college is named for Jonathan Trumbull, the last governor of the Colony of Connecticut and first governor of the State of Connecticut, serving from 1769 until 1784, and a friend and advisor to General George Washington throughout the revolutionary period who dedicated the resources of Connecticut to the fight for independence. He was the only colonial governor to support the American Revolution.

One of the University's older colleges, Trumbull was originally two free-standing dormitory buildings flanking the old gymnasium. When university President James Rowland Angell instituted the residential college system in 1933, the gym was torn down and the dormitories connected with a new building in the Gothic style, forming the Sterling Quadrangle; the fourth side of the quadrangle is Sterling Memorial Library. The new building contains the Trumbull dining hall, common room, and library, and a new dorm wing was constructed parallel to the originals. A Master's House was also constructed in the northeast corner of the quadrangle.

James Gamble Rogers, the architect of many of Yale's colleges, considered the dormitories that would later be incorporated into Trumbull his magnum opus, inscribing the initials of the men who worked on the project on shield carvings along the outside of the buildings.[citation needed] The buildings of Trumbull are modeled after King's College, Cambridge. Three separate courtyards — Alvarez (Main) Court, Potty Court, and Stone Court — grace Trumbull's interior. The college is also home to Nick Chapel. Yale architecture students designed and built the chapel in the 1970s with funding from a bequest by former master John Nicholas. Frequently used as a theater, the space is in high demand by Yale students of all colleges.

Renovations near completion in August 2006, as seen from Sterling Memorial Library.

Trumbull's freshmen are housed in Bingham Hall along with students from Calhoun College. Bingham, located at the corner of College and Chapel streets on the former site of the Osborne Lab, is the only building on Old Campus with rooftop access. Other features of Bingham are its tower and accompanying elevator and the laundry facilities in its basement which serve about half of Old Campus. Trumbull is the smallest of Yale's residential colleges, both in terms of students affiliated with the college and students housed in the college.[39]

At present, due to a lack of space within the college, nearly half of Trumbull's junior class is annexed to McClellan Hall on Old Campus. While freshmen and sophomores are guaranteed and required to live in on-campus housing,[40] seniors have priority in selecting the remaining housing, leaving some juniors without a room in the college. The university seems to have recognized this problem, as it has assigned fewer freshmen to the college this year than in years past. The planned construction of two additional residential colleges is also expected to help reduce Trumbull's overcrowding.

Trumbull traditions include Assassins, Cornhole, a Crier who shouts from the balcony of the cozy dining hall, "It's six o'clock in Trumbull College, and all is well!" and made announcements of upcoming events. Potty Court Frisbee is a game popular in the 1970s and 1980s played in the Potty Court by two teams of two players each. The general idea was to try to throw a frisbee through the wrought iron arch at the one end of the courtyard from the other arch while the other team's two players tried to stop it. Defenders could stand on and lean out from the low stone wall next to each arch, and could hang from the arch, but could not touch the walkway under the arch. The attempts alternated between the teams, with a scoring system that gave more points for getting the frisbee through the smaller gaps in the arch. To discourage defenders from committing to defense of the arch before the opponent threw, the thrower could also score a point for a shot that hit the wrought iron fencing next to the arch. The first team to get seven points won. The game included arcane terminology for the different point levels, including a "Grundel" for a more difficult throw through the small gaps in the arch. Other than the frisbee, the only other equipment used were leather gloves (optional) for hanging from the sharp wrought iron. A 1970 Yale Daily News article gives an overview of the game and profiles some early enthusiasts.[41]


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  28. ^ Yale Daily News - Expansion Projected at $600 Million [dead link]
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  34. ^ Jacob Hurd Archived February 14, 2011, at WebCite
  35. ^ Timothy Dwight College. "Brewster". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved August 3, 2006. 
  36. ^ Timothy Dwight College. "Calabresi". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved August 3, 2006. 
  37. ^ Timothy Dwight College. "Dudley". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved August 3, 2006. 
  38. ^ Timothy Dwight College. "Weicker". Archived from the original on 2011-02-13. Retrieved August 3, 2006. 
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  40. ^ Yale University Dormitory Regulations Archived February 14, 2011, at WebCite
  41. ^ "Bull and Frisbee at Yale," the Yale Daily News, 7 May 1970. Archived February 14, 2011, at WebCite

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