Calhoun College
Calhoun College is a residential college of Yale University.

Early history
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 Yale's 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. 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
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 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. 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. 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 has 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.

Controversy
A debate over the appropriateness 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. 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.

Unique features
The courtyard used to have a popular tire swing, which stood in stark contrast to the stunning faux-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. 1 The sauna was removed from Entryway B/C during the 2005-06 school year.

Notable alumni
  • Angela Bassett, actress
  • John R. Bolton, US ambassador, attorney
  • Jonathan Coulton, singer-songwriter
  • Jodie Foster, actress
  • Paul Krugman, economist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2008
  • John Hodgman, comedian
  • Roger Horchow, Tony Award-winning Producer and founder of The Horchow Finale
  • Demetri Martin, comedian
  • Aleksey Vayner, self-proclaimed success guru and creator of Impossible Is Nothing (video résumé)
  • Robert Curtis Brown, actor


Masters and deans

Masters of Calhoun College Term Arnold Whitridge (grandson of poet Matthew Arnold) 1933-42 John Charles Schroeder 1942-54 Archibald Smith Foord 1955-64 B. Davie Napier 1964-66 R. W. B. Lewis 1966-72 Charles T. Davis 1973-80 B. Davie Napier 1980-84 Ramsay MacMullen 1984-90 E. Turan Onat 1990-95 William H. Sledge 1995-2005 Jonathan Holloway 2005-present Deans of Calhoun College Term Stephen Windsor Reed 1963-66 Jefferey Barnouw 1966-69 Robert Wilhelm 1969-72 Eustace Theodore 1972-81 Nancy Baker 1981-82 David Spadafora 1982-85 John Godfrey 1985-89 Chris Taylor 1989-91 David Schwartz 1991-1993 Stephen Lassonde 1993-2007 Leslie Woodard 2007-present

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com