Davenport College
Davenport College (colloquially often referred to as D'port) is one of the twelve residential colleges of Yale University. Its buildings were completed in 1933 mainly in the Georgian style but with a gothic façade. The college was named for John Davenport, who founded Yale's home city of New Haven, Connecticut. An extensive renovation of the college's buildings occurred during the 2004”“2005 academic year as part of Yale's comprehensive building renovation project. Davenport College has an unofficial rivalry with adjoining Pierson College. In a 2010 student survey conducted by the Yale Daily News D'port was ranked the best residential college at Yale. ( http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/university-news/2010/04/20/one-yale-dozen-ways/)

Buildings and architecture

The College
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of the eastern façade of the original Massachusetts Statehouse, in which the British imperial lion and unicorn have been replaced by a pair of yales. The inner face was featured in the 2008 movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. 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 and ideal for pick-up games of various sports. 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. 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. 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.

Freshman housing
Davenport College freshmen live on the Old Campus with the rest of their Yale College class, with the exception of students from Silliman and Timothy Dwight. Currently, Davenport College freshmen live in Welch Hall, which is located across from Connecticut Hall on Old Campus.

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. Davenport students were without a title or figure to rally behind. In 1998, then junior Thomas Shaw, upon returning from a semester of mountaineering, brought back from the California Redwood country 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.

College cheer
Davenport, Davenport, we are here! We don't need no stinkin' cheer! Davenport, Davenport, we are here! Beer beer beer beer beer beer beer!

Notable alumni
  • Sherrod Brown, United States Senator (D-Ohio)
  • George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States
  • George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
  • Barbara Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush
  • William F. Buckley, Jr., prominent conservative columnist
  • John D. Negroponte, former ambassador to Honduras and Iraq
  • Jefferson Mays, Tony Award-winning actor
  • Garry Trudeau, artist/writer of Doonesbury comic strip
  • Sarah Lyall, London correspondent for The New York Times
  • David McCullough, American historian and best-selling author
  • Edwin Meese, 75th Attorney General of the United States
  • Stephen Schwarzman, investor and founder of The Blackstone Group
  • Thornton Wilder, American playwright and novelist
  • Michael Gerber, humorist and author
  • Samantha Power, foreign policy specialist

Building Activity

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