Berkeley College (Yale University)

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Berkeley College is a residential college at Yale University, opened in 1934. The eighth of Yale's 14 residential colleges, it was named in honor of Reverend George Berkeley (1685–1753), dean of Derry and later bishop of Cloyne, in recognition of the assistance in land and books that he gave to Yale in the 18th century. Built on the site of a group of buildings known from the 1890s until 1933 as the Berkeley Oval,[3] the college was renovated in 1998.

Berkeley College
Residential college at Yale University
Yale University
Coat of arms of Berkeley College
Location205 Elm Street
Coordinates41°18′38″N 72°55′40″W / 41.3106°N 72.9279°W / 41.3106; -72.9279Coordinates: 41°18′38″N 72°55′40″W / 41.3106°N 72.9279°W / 41.3106; -72.9279
MottoEsse est percipi (Latin)
Motto in EnglishTo be is to be perceived
Named forReverend George Berkeley[1]
ColorsRed, white
Sister collegeDunster House at Harvard University
HeadDavid Evans
DeanBrianne Bilsky
Undergraduates450 (2013-2014)

College lifeEdit

The southern portion of Berkeley College
  • Berkeley freshmen are housed in Lanman-Wright Hall, renovated in 2014.
  • Dining Hall: The dining hall is named in honor of Joseph Fogg.
  • Buttery: Currently known as olo-Marvin’s.
  • Library: Also known as "Laz," study space named in honor of George Lazarus and Shelly Lazarus.
  • South Court Basement.
  • Multipurpose Room: A half-court space to play basketball, it is also frequently used for practicing yoga or student orchestra rehearsals. It can be reserved through the Head's Office.
  • North Court Basement: Home to The Thomas Mendenhall, this includes a luxurious sitting area and is equipped with a large entertainment center.
  • The Swiss Room: A private dining room in the dining hall. Transplanted piece by piece from Switzerland, this 16th-century wooden room has been decorated with stained glass by G. Owen Bonawit and is considered priceless. Access is restricted to fellows and Berkeley events.
  • The woodshop: A woodworking shop. A professional cabinetmaker comes to Berkeley most weekends to teach students the trade.
  • The tunnel: An underground passageway connecting Berkeley's two grand courts, North Court and South Court, which are divided by a grassy area in front of Yale's main library, Sterling Memorial Library. It stands steps away from the Beinecke Library, the Bass Library, the Commons, and the Old Campus. The tunnel features a variety of student murals on the walls.
  • On the wall outside the Head's House that faces Sterling Memorial Library, there is a plaque stating that its location marks the house where Josiah Willard Gibbs lived.
  • The Head's House was named as the Swensen House in 2013 to honor Berkeley Fellow David Swensen's enormous contributions to Yale as the Chief Investment Officer.
  • Similar to other residential colleges, Berkeley has its own gym, seminar rooms, and other amenities.


Reverend George Berkeley by Alfred C. Hart

Annual traditions include the Bishop Berkeley Birthday Dinner for fellows and seniors, Thunder Brunch, Lunar New Year's Feast, a snowball fight (which pits North Court against South Court), GLO (a blacklight party), and the Bishop Bash, which was founded in the spring of 2002 by Ben Reiter and Charles Finch - under the guidance of the Head's Office.

Dining hallEdit

According to The Wall Street Journal,[4][5] Berkeley had the best college dining hall in the country: until 2006 it was the testing ground for an experimental organic food and sustainable produce dining plan overseen by celebrity chef Alice Waters.[6] 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, largely due to its central location on campus.

Notable alumniEdit



  1. ^ Berkeley College Home Page Archived January 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Yale College Undergraduate Admissions Facebook page
  3. ^ "History - Berkeley College - Yale University".
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-12-14. Retrieved 2006-03-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Bhatia, Pooja (November 8, 2002). "College Cafeteria Food Hits New Heights With Etouffee". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-02-17.
  6. ^ Leigh Cowan, Alison (May 10, 2005). "A Dining Hall Where Students Sneak In". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Freedman, Samuel G. (30 April 1982). "Ex-Justice Stewart Relives The Eli Life". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  8. ^ [1] Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine.

External linksEdit