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Calhoun College

Calhoun College
Residential college
File:Calhoun College shield.png
University Yale University
Location 189 Elm Street

41°18′36″N 72°55′38″W / 41.309974°N 72.927241°W / 41.309974; -72.927241Coordinates: 41°18′36″N 72°55′38″W / 41.309974°N 72.927241°W / 41.309974; -72.927241{{#coordinates:41.309974|-72.927241||||||| |primary |name=

Nickname Hounies, HounDogs, The Inferno
Motto E Pluribus Hounum
Motto in English Out of many, one Houn.
Established 1933
Named for Template:If empty
Colors Black, navy blue, gold
Sister college Kirkland House, Harvard
Pembroke College, Oxford
Master Julia Adams [1]
Dean April Ruiz
Undergraduates 425 (2013-2014)

Calhoun College is a residential college of Yale University.

Early history

File:Calhoun College 2011. JPM.jpg
Calhoun College courtyard, Winter 2011

In 1641, John Brockston established a farm on the plot of land that is now Calhoun College. After the Revolutionary War an inn was constructed that would later become the meeting place of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

From 1863 until 1874 the land was home to the Yale Divinity School.

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.[2]

Like all other residential colleges at their inception, Calhoun had twenty-four hour guard service and the gates were never locked. 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.

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.

Recent events

File:Calhoun. JPM.jpg
Calhoun College
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.

2005 saw the retirement of William and Betsy Sledge as Master and Associate Master of Calhoun. They were succeeded by Dr. Jonathan Holloway (PhD '95) and his wife Aisling Colón.

In the same year a limited window replacement was commissioned amid Calhoun's controversial exclusion from the most recent campus-wide renovation effort.

Though partially renovated in 1989, Calhoun College was fully renovated over the 2008-09 school-year.

Stephen Lassonde stepped down as the Calhoun Dean in June 2007 thus ending one of the longest tenures as 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.[3] 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 most recent dean of Calhoun was Leslie Woodard, who died unexpectedly at her home in Calhoun in October 2013.[4] Until June 2007 Dean Woodard was the director of the undergraduate creative writing program at Columbia University. A published author of short stories, Dean Woodard also had a history in the performing arts; she was a professional dancer in the Dance Theater of Harlem for a decade.

In late June 2007 Calhoun's mighty elm—host of the college's famous tire swing and shade provider for literally every Calhoun student since the college's founding—was felled. The tree was rotting from the ground up and was beginning to lean dangerously. Given the fact that the tree was actually taller than Calhoun (itself a five and six story building in different places), the tree posed a real danger to the college structure and Calhoun students.


A debate over the appropriateness of the college's name has waxed and waned, as John C. Calhoun's involvement in protection of the institution of slavery has been reconsidered. 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.[citation needed] 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.

Unique features

The courtyard used to have a popular tire swing, which stood in stark contrast to the stunning Neo-Gothic architecture. 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.

Calhoun used to be the only residential college with its own sauna.[5] The sauna was removed from Entryway B/C during the 2005-06 school year.

The Calhoun College Council is a student governing organization that coordinates activities and social life for the residential college. Throughout the year, the Council organizes numerous activities including: Study Breaks, a dorm-wide dance called, Calhoun Screw, and Trolley Night, an annual dance party.[6]

Notable alumni

Masters and deans


  1. ^ "Master Julia Adams". Calhoun College. Retrieved 29 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Calhoun College Home Page Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
  3. ^ Yale Alumni Magazine: Milestones Archived 13 February 2011 at WebCite
  4. ^ "Calhoun dean, Leslie Woodard, dies at 53". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Calhoun College Council". Yale University. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "Scholastic Prizes". Yale Bulletin & Calendar 26 (33) (Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications). 1998. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 

External links